1854 June 13 Letter to George W. Bradley


1854 June 13 Letter to George W. Bradley


Brigham sympathizes with the patience needed to get along peaceably with the Indians. He encourages Bradley to continue providing them with beef and supplies and to finish walling in the city if it doesn't escalate conflict.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


George W. Bradley


1854 June 13


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, June 13, 1854.

Geo. W. Bradley,
Major Command[g] Juab Mil. Dist.

Dear brother,

Your letter of 10[th] inst is received per bros. Bentley and Hoyt, from which I regret to learn that our Indian relations in your neighborhood appear somewhat disturbed. I am well aware that great patience, faith and perseverance are required to get along peaceably with the native tribes; the truth is, their sense of matters and things differs so much from ours that we often find it difficult to bear with their indignities and ignorance, still we all must learn as well as they and endeavor to bring them to depend upon us more and more until their interest shall become so completely identified with ours that they cannot injure us or our interest without injuring themselves and their interest.

What to us is a deep insult and outrage, to them is a small matter, of little consequence; on the other hand, a thing of minor importance to us becomes to them a thing of great moment. It therefore becomes us to circumscribe them by the enlargement of our understanding, and control them so far as in our power lies by our superior intelligence, wisdom, and more extended views. By humoring them in some of their notions at times we can often bring to pass our own policy, designs and intentions, they still believing that they have their own way and doing as they please. thus will seeming evil be overruled for good, and truth in the end be triumphant. How often have we witnessed this principle illustrated among the children of men other than the ignorant savages who inhabit these mountains, where their very wrath has been overruled by the wisdom of God, and made to subserve his righteous purposes and bring to pass his holy will. These wild creatures are also in His hands and this is one item that we should never forget that He can and will influence them as seemeth good unto Him. We should never forget that we are in the world where Satan holds great power and realise that our strength lies in Jacob's God.

If we can secure the good will of the Indians by conferring favors upon them we not only secure peace for the time being but gradually bring them to depend upon us until they eventually will not be able to perceive how they can get along without us. If we pursue this course, in a short time they will become perfectly dependent and be obliged to come to us for food and clothing, whereas if we drive them to take care of themselves it begets an independence and self reliance among themselves, which might until they are more improved, cause us much trouble. You have pursued this course. I perceive by supplying them with beef and other things when requested by them, and this policy I wish to see carried out in all of our settlements.

If your forting had been accomplished as it should have been this difficulty would never have occurred, but now you will have to use wisdom, and build it as you can. It may be that you will have to secure your harvest before you do much towards it altho' you can best judge this matter when bros. Bean, Rockwell & Co. shall arrive and have their talk. If Walker shall still insist upon your not walling in your city after the brethren have been with him then you had better humor the thing and not particularly urge the work, at present, but if he says nothing about it and lets the subject pass and you have an opportunity to, go ahead. Or he finally consents that you should go on with it then by all means, crowd it through, nor cease your efforts until the very thing which he Walker, says will be, is accomplished! to the fullest extent until no person white or red can get into your city without you have a mind to let them, and let me tell you again as I have often said before, that so soon "as the Indians in the Mountains find that the people can defend themselves and can take care of their property in spite of them, just so soon are they effectually whipped."

Act in concert with bro. Bigler in these matters, that your acts may be united and that no division may exist among you.
We expect to send teams for some wheat and shall want the assistance promised by bro Bigler to help over the mountains.

Ever praying for your welfare,
I Remain, Your brother in the Gospel of Christ.
Brigham Young