1854 January 31 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


1854 January 31 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


Wedding salutation and updates on the telegraph, railroad, Indian affairs and Judiciary affairs of the Territory.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


Thomas L. Kane


1854 January 31


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Legal Matters
Indian Affairs

Item sets

Utah Territory
Great Salt Lake City, Jany 31/54

My Dear Friend,

Your letter of July 1st 1853, containing the news of your marriage &c. was received some 2 months after, and was laid by for the present in hopeful expectation that the Friendship Offering might also have a chance to speak for itself. But presuming that no opportunity having [?] I might wait in vain at least longer than I wished without answering your excellent letter, I proceed without further apology.

Well, you are married! Please accept (though rather late for wedding salutations) my most hearty and sincere congratulations, not forgetting your good Lady, for your happiness, peace, and prosperity. I am truly glad of it! and pray that you may long live upon the earth to enjoy the sweet society of wife, children, and friends, and when at last old age shall have arrived, may your numerous progeny, the fruit of your own loins, be your faithful representatives upon the earth, and rejoice your heart in undying affection, ever cherishing the proud reflection of worthy ancestry, feeling that they too came of parentage who were the soul of honor,-- the hea [?] of benevolence and charity, the faithful dispensers of Truth and Justice, the defenders of right, and whose nor the most unblushing effrontery, shall dare to tarnish with an unworthy reflection. Is this enough? To live and be fairly represented in Posterity is desirable, is a glory often sought, but will never satisfy the yearning after immortality, the cravings of the human soul, the structure and design of our being.

To live! To increase! To build up! To spread abroad, upon the [?] of never ending existence; increase, & progression, in posterity, in wisdom, in strength, honor, and glory, and in all excellence, is much better than a mere posthumous halo around a semblance of what once existed. But now, alas! nearly lost, forgotten, and finally quite enveloped and absorbed, in the mist and fog of a few short ages to be remembered no more. Always abounding in truth those [?] principles which lead in present life to honor and virtue, and in future life to eternal exaltation and glory.

I am rejoiced to learn of your improved strength and health, for I really feared the result of your Southern visit; truly a father's or Patriarchal blessing is better than a worldly inheritance.

To [?]

When shall Utah become a State? Is the Federal Government too old to establish a precedent? Cannot Deseret gain admission prior to another presidential election? The Solicitors of Nation are to diversified for us to [?] very much appreciate forgiveness, therefor, [?] if we [?] or down.

The Road to the Pacific, from the Missouri, via of the Great Plains cannot pass without benefiting us upon any practicable here is the natural great Central Depot to Southern California and Oregon, the natural diverging point, or crossing place.

We send you a Copy of the Memorial to Congress, and also proceedings of a Mass Meeting upon that subject, which will fully express our views in relation to feasibility of Route, facility of construction &c. We considered that Box Elder Pass, South Fork of the Platte, and Laramie Plains, besides being the most judicious route, for its location will combine the Northern and Eastern into [?] as St. Louis, and the mouth of the Ohio River.

It should be a Nationalwork, and constructed without delay; the Magnetic Telegraph should also precede it. Give us a Magnetic Telegraph in Two years, and Rail Road in five years; it may be completed at spots in that time, if not fully finished. The true feeling of the Nation is
to bring it through the heart of the Country. The trade of the Pacific, and the Commerce of the old world, will be poured into the very lap of the nation. It will be the most natural Highway from England, to India, and be a much quicker passage than it would, should they ever succeed in the hitherto fruitless search of a North West Passage. It may, and it must be speedily accomplished; the energy of the Republic should be concentrated in the first instance upon this work; ultimately it is presumable that other lines will be established. There is no question but that the business will increase as fast, and probably faster than facilities to accommodate it can.

We are informed that our present Judicial is Supplanted by the appointment of other Judges; Very well, I suppose that it is necessary that the courts should sometimes suffer, to promote party ends,but really, we had become quite attached to our present incumbents; so much so that we could have been quite satisfied had the political Guillotine fallen elsewhere. They all appeared quite contented to remain with us, and had taken some interest in the affairs of the Territory, as though they were a component part, and whose interest was measurably identified with ours; in this they are unlike any of their predecessors, or other non-resident Officers.

By the way, I wish to propound a question to you, somewhat connected with the Judicial proceedings in this Territory. One William May killed a man of the name of Dokes; May was indicted by a Grand Jury, convicted and tried under the laws of the United States, and was sentenced to be hung, when he doubtless should have been indicted, and tried under the Laws of Utah. The question now arises whether in the matter of pardon, the Executive should be governed by the ruling of the Court in the mode of trial or by the power granted in the Organic Act, regardless of said ruling.

I have good and sufficient reasons why he should be pardoned, and had I followed my own suggestions, I doubtless would have done so, but finally concluded to Reprieve him, until the case could be decided by the President, who will probably do it; but if he should not, I may, as I am convinced, there has been foul [hard to read] procuring his conviction. I should be most pleased to have your views upon the subject touching my right to act in this matter. The opinion of an unswerving friend, the son of an eminent Jurist, and more<over> a man whose judgment is ripening amid research, and of [hard to read] acquirements, as well as extended acquaintance with men and [hard to read] have, as it certainly would be entitled to receive due [hard to read] and consideration, and I wish you to contact your father, and [hard to read] jurists, upon the point of my right to pardon in this case.

I cannot think that I under rate true friendship, although the world's friendship and myself parted Company long since, much however to my satisfaction, and it is not that, nor yet [hard to read] good opinion that I covet but simply, that right and justice may have its course, regardless of all else.

Dr. Willard Richards is at present very ill, doubts are even entertained of his recovery, but we hope for the [hard to read], his health as you are aware has been poor for many years.

Your old friend the Patriarch, is also slowly sinking away, until quite recently he has been able to officiate in his office, and many a heart has rejoiced under the blessing of the Good old Man

Our Settlements are prosperous although Indian disturbances somewhat retarded operations the past season. They are quiet now, being hemmed in by the snow, but we think if they resume hostilities in the Spring, we shall be compelled to chastise them [hard to read]. Our hopes are that we may be able to effect a good understanding with them, without resorting to offensive war, hitherto we have operated strictly on the defensive, and our policy has ever been to conciliate them, and to learn them the art of civilization. Of our success in this work, you can judge from the fact that at a harvest feast given in Parowan, Iron County, all the natives who had assisted in raising and securing the Grain, were invited to attend, when they were found in that small Settlement to number 154; these are principally Piedes. A small family of Utahs, who professed friendship in the Vicinity, were also invited, but refused to participate in the feast. Less hypocrisy there, than in the higher circles of Society, where they plan your destruction, while they eat your broth.

I guess that I have written a long letter, and one I fear that may intrude matters and things upon your attention, but still I hope not an unwelcome Messenger.
Numerous friends who know you as a friend in time of need, known and unknown to you, join in friendly greeting to Col. Kane.

Bro[s]. H. C. Kimball. J. M. Grant, and George A. Smith, wish to be particularly remembered, and from myself, please accept kind assurances of unalterable respect, and esteem, in the bonds of truth.

Believe me Truly and Sincerely

Ever your Friend
Brigham Young

Col. T. L. Kane