1854 June 18 Letter to P. W. Conover


1854 June 18 Letter to P. W. Conover


Brigham places partial blame of the Indian hostilities on the settlers. He recommends more patience and reminds them that the Indians also belong to the House of Israel.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


P. W. Conover


1854 June 18


Great Salt Lake

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, June 18. 1854.
Col. P. W. Conover

Dear brother,

Your letter by yesterdays express is received, from which I learn that the Indians in your vicinity are getting quite saucy, are pilfering &c. You very naturally inquire "shall we bear it?" Now what would you do if you did not bear it? would you wrangle and quarrel with them when you know that that would only make matters worse, and lead on to even hostilities. Nine cases in ten where such outrages are complained of which have fallen under my observation, the parties complaining are partially to blame; a great majority of the people never receive such treatment, nor even insults from them, but those are generally abused the most who have little wisdom, patience, or forbearance. I can scarce remember an instance where an Indian was civilly treated, that he abused a family. Tis true it sometimes becomes a little burdensome to comply with all of their requirements, but they are not generally very extensive, and it is much better to do so when a person can and do it with a good grace too, as tho' they were willing. I tell you the spirit of the people instead of holding them by their faith, is against them, for the least aggravation or offence, damn them, kill them, is the first thing you hear, the boys set the dogs on them and threaten them; now until the people can get a better spirit in themselves towards them, how can you expect that the Indians will have a better, and so long as we condescend to their level and jar and wrangle with them about trifles so long we may expect to find the same spirit in them--if they had it not they would catch it from us. It is better to give them cattle and provisions than to have them take it or drive them away. The brethren must consider, are the Indians not Israel, and are not this people Israel also, and must Israel be at war with each other. Do we not know that we have been driven into these mountains, amongst these wild creatures by the gentile world with whom we could not live, and must it now be said that we cannot live with Israel either. Let us be wise and consider our relations towards them and be diligent by faith, prayer and practice, also to gain an ascendency over them and save as many of them as we can to exercise a genial influence over them and gradually lead them from their savage propensities.

Ever praying for your welfare and that the peace of Israel's God may rest upon you, I remain your brother in the Gospel of Christ.

Brigham Young