1853 September 30 Letter to George Manypenny


1853 September 30 Letter to George Manypenny


Transmission of quarterly report detailing conflicts with certain Indians in the Territory.


Indian Affairs
Government / Legislature


Brigham Young


George W. Manypenny


1853 September 30


Great Salt Lake City
Washington City D.C.

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Department of Indian Affairs U. T.
Great Salt Lake City Sept 30, 1853

Hon. George W. Manypenny
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Washington City D. C.


In compliance with the regulations of the Department. I transmit to you [?] report for the quarter ending September 30, 1853. together with a full list of the employees in this Superintendency; the account current the Abstract and accompanying vouchers from No. 1 to 23 inclusive. Since my last report but little has occurred immediately pertaining to this office that would be of interest to the Department, still it may not be amiss nor altogether uninteresting to allude slightly to aggressions by a portion of the tribe of Indians called Utahs, upon the persons and property of the inhabitants of this Territory.

On the 18th of July [ult.] Indian Walker and his band gave vent to their evil feelings, and disregardless of uninterrupted, and long continued acts, and expressions of the utmost kindness, commenced open hostilities by menacing the people at Springville, and killing a citizen of Payson. Since that date the Indians have killed three other persons, and wounded several more, and driven off between 3 & 400 head of cattle and a large number of horses, and are still prowling around the weaker settlements, watching their opportunity to kill defenceless and unarmed persons and committing such other depredations as their necessity & emergencies may dictate. Up to the present we have organized ourselves [?] on the defensive, using all diligence to secure our crops and winter's food, making forts and yards for the security of our families and stock and in tearing down houses and putting them up in Military forts. These labors, with the additional duty of adding guards [?] and being always on the alert for exceedingly expensive and [?] in addition to all the toils and privations always attendant upon settling new countries, and more especially a region so isolated and [dreary?] as this Territory.

In addition to these extra expenses and losses, the [?] have exercised upon the friendly Indians [loss] neighborhood and operat [loss] an unusual and necessary expenditure [?] provisions &c for said Indians. The necessity for this expenditure will be readily understood, when you reflect [?] upon the readiness of all the Indians to commit depredations upon very slight temptations, anxiety through to come in considerable bodies to pay me a visit and tarry several days to learn whe ther we design [loss] and the additional trouble & expense of [loss] sending to the small friendly bands in the neighborhood of our weak settlements, whenever any slightly unusual [?] to forestall evils that may arise, from misunderstandings.

Unavoidable circumstances have thrown a large portion of this exenditure upon the Superintendency instead of the Agency & Sub-Agency.

With the exception of Indian Walker and his band, the Indians within our borders, profess friendship, so far as I am acquainted, but the Pauvans, near Fillmore City, have stolen much wheat from the fields, and are suspicioned with having shot a guard on his post the 13th inst. I have not heard of any depredations being committed on the persons or property of emigrants passing on the Hummboldt,or Mary's River route, which is a gratifying indication of a more friendly feeling on their part than has existed heretofore.

Soon after the commencement of the present Indian difficulties, I issued a revocation of all licences to trade with Indians in this Territory, and have granted none since. I deemed this the most prudent course to persue, and peace is restored, as otherwise it would be very difficult, if not impossible to prevent trading guns, powder, and lead to our enemies.

So far as I am informed, the employees in this Superintendency are uniformly diligent, faithful, and economical in the discharge of their several duties.

As the duties, and business of this Office are considerably increasing, it would accommodate us very much, if you would forward a reasonable number of blanks by the first return mail if consistent with the usages of the Department, or give instructions to have them printed here.

Major E. A. Bedell, of Iowa, Indian Agent, for Utah [?] Major [?] Holeman arrived in this City on the 15th of August ult. and reported themselves ready for duty on the same day, but could not relieve Major Holeman according to the strict <letter> of instructions from
you, dated the 6th of last June, as Major Holeman was absent on a trip to Carson Valley, and did not return until last evening. Owing to this circumstance I instructed Major Bedell to enter immediately upon the duties of his Office, and divided this territory into two Districts, the Eastern and Western, for the better conduct of the business of this Superintendency, assigning the region east of the N. & S. Territorial Road to E. . Bedell, and the region west of said road to sub-agent J. P. Rose. I have chosen the above named road as the best line of division for the present, dividing the country into nearly equal parts, and is a line already determined and easily recognized.

I do not consider my duty [?] in this report without briefly alluding to the small annual amount appropriated by Congress, for the support of this Superintendency. It does not appear to me as supposable that congress is entirely ignorant of the number and scattered condition of our settlements, nor of the fact that considerable numbers of friendly Indians are almost constantly harboring around these settlements, and depending upon them mainly for Support without returning an equivalent [?] in labor or trade.

The result is that notwithstanding [?] the amount received from Government funds for their relief, that amount falls short of their necessities, and very far short of their wishes and demands, thus almost forcing our citizens to furnish the larger portion of the relief, or subject themselves to [?] and the loss of property by [?] course is pursued being wisely deemed far the best and most humane policy, as you are already well aware that the promises <for> a livelihood [?] natives, by their country and habits are very limited.

Trusting that this my report is sufficiently extended, & explicit, and that the accompanying papers are [?] they are respectfully submitted.


Signed Brigham Young
Gov, & Ex Officio Supt. Indian
Affairs, Utah Territory.