1853 October 1 Letter to an Undisclosed ‘Brother’


1853 October 1 Letter to an Undisclosed ‘Brother’


A request to Congress to pass a land bill, and an account of quarterly disbursements and expenditures.


Indian Affairs
Government / Legislature


Brigham Young


Undisclosed ‘Brother’


1853 October 1


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, Oct lst 1853.  

Dear Brother,

I have reflected much upon the condition of this Territory, when compared with the privileges extended to all other organized Territories, particularly with regard to the indian titles and land surveys.

No person conversant with the ways of Congress in such cases, or only slightly familiar with the position, and just requirements of the inhabitants of Utah, will need argument to convince him of the justness, and necessity of immediate action in this matter by the General Government, inasmuch as they desire to promote the welfare both of our white and red population.  Hence, I in common with all your constituents feel to insist that you use every laudable effort to have a land bill passed by the next Congress, also to have some person authorized to treat with the Indians for portions of their land within this Territory.  I will also respectfully request that the land bill for Utah be like, or similar to the land Bills of oregon, at least that it be shorn of none of the liberal features of that bill and that whoever is authorized to make treaties be appointed from among the residents of this Territory, as a matter of self-evident economy for the Government, and with a certainty that the appointee would be more familiar with the wishes and interests of the parties concerned.  It is well known to Congress that until treaties are made, and a land bill passed the inhabitants of this Territory are compelled to occupy the anamolous and unpleasant position of American Citizens who live on, and improve the soil as first settlers, but, according to the Laws of the Land, have no power to buy, sell, or in any manner acquire and convey ownership to the land they rightfully occupy.  Your earliest and most careful attention to effect the above desirable objects will be expected and properly appreciated by all the inhabitants of this Territory.

The account of the disbursements by the Superintendency for the quarter ending September 30th, 1853, is forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs by this mail, amounting $3437.20/100, and you will please receive & receipt for that amount when ordered and allowed, and also my salary $625. and the Contingent expenses of office for the same quarter amounting to $1054 87/100 an account of which is forwarded by this mail to the Secretary of the Teeasury, and the necessary requisitions or drafts are enclosed to you with this letter, except for my Salary, which you know is paid to you as my Agent, as it falls due, without an order, and I have forwarded the usual Certificate of presence.  Accidentally the draft of June 30th,/53, for $8845 71/100 was drawn payable to me; I forward another [?] of that,drawn payable to you, or your order.

I forward you by this Mail, the bill of expenses for locating the site of the seat of government and a certified copy of the deed of certain rooms in the council house of this Territory for the consideration specified therein, also an account of Expenditures on the State House at Fillmore.  As I knew it would be some time before any Part of the State House could be finished for the accommodation of the Assembly, I deemed it far the best policy, and so did all of the assembly, to make the above named purchase, and thus avoid paying the very high rents customary here and have suitable rooms at once.  You will see at a glance that the purchase and the expense for locating the site exceeded the $20,000 appropriated by Congress for building a State House in this Territory, hence I had not supposed that any further accounting for this sum was necessary, and I still think so and that all expenditures on a State House at Fillmore are gratutious on our part and unpaid for​to us until Congress shall make another appropriation for furnishing the Territory with a State House.

You will please make such use of these papers and statements as your best Judgement may dictate, and the circumstances require, and you may mention, if you choose, that we intend to build a State House after the design sent to Washington, whether Congress makes any further appropriations for that purpose, or not.

Your letter of the 14th ult. arrived yesterday, and in reply I will state that the history of our Indian difficulties cannot be got out by this mail, and that I do not wish the bids for Mail [?] to be lowered one farthing.

I have drawn on you yesterday for $2000 favor 0. H. Cogswell at Twenty days sight, also for $3,841 ­ 24/100 favor Messrs Livingston & Kinkead which you will please honor at the time on the face of these drafts.

Praying that the Lord may bless and prosper you in the discharge of your various duties.

I Remain

Your Brother in the Gospel

Brigham Young


P. S.

You are at liberty to draw on

S. W. Richards Liverpool

for funds if necessary.