1854 June 29 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


1854 June 29 Letter to Thomas L. Kane


Brigham expresses gratitude for Kane's kindness and concern for a prisoner facing capital punishment. He comments on the railroad, slavery, and Indian affairs.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


Thomas L. Kane


1854 June 29


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City June 29th, 1854.

Col. Thomas L. Kane

My dear friend,

Your favor of the 28th April arrived pr. last mail, and without waiting for the Book you mention, of which I shall be truly gratified, I endeavor to answer in truth and friendship, even as I ever cherish you in my memory: in this spirit I formed your acquaintance, when I found you a ready sympathiser with the distressed, since when you have given ample assurances by acts more than words, of the deep impression then received. You then for the first time learned us as we were, and found a people, few in number, it is true, yet a people full of faith, of good works, struggling for an existence upon this earth, of whom you previously had comparatively little knowledge. Pardon me for alluding to these times now happily past, but fraught with important consequences to us as a people, our course has been onward, and our associations then formed, may they ever, even as now continue to strengthen, and be reciprocated.

I thank you for your trouble in relation to the May case, the formality of Law in some places may hang the innocent, and no remedy be found. It is a sorry time for a prisoner to be hanged, and then impeach, or otherwise punish those, who through malfeasance in office have caused his death, it is not my way of doing business; it is no remedy at all, to put a man to death unjustly, and then punish his executioners, but actually makes matters worse.

The President has declined acting in The matter, consequently left the prisoner to his fate; I am very much of the opinion that he will not be hanged.

As regards the Rail Road, you well remarked "The best business Congress has met upon in our time." A subject Truly worthy of the enterprize of the nation, upon which I myself think Congress could much better employ their time, than discussing the merits or demerits of a question, which, however it may be determined upon will assuredly only set afloat existing Compromises, and leave the question of Slavery upon the same basis, which existed previously to their adoption. Whether the principle be right or wrong it seems a very inopportune <time> and wholly unnecessary to introduce it at the Present, for it is bound to disturb more or less the quiet of the community, or country,

There are plenty of useful subjects for the nation to employ their energies upon, which would favor the results of extended liberty & enlightened human progress. This question of slavery in the U. S. is a vexed question, and happy will it be for them if they pass This ordeal in safety.

In our Mountain home, we feel not the withering souless influence of Political, or even fashionable Despotism. We breath free air, drink from the cool Mountain stream, and feel strong in the free exercise of out door life. I have traveled over several Hundred Miles this season among the Native Tribes, to conciliate their hostile feelings, and cause them to become friends. I have the proud satisfaction of having been eminently successful, and peace again smiles upon all our settlements, and that too without a resort to arms.

It is truly gratifying to be able thus to prevent the shedding of blood, although even if we had been obliged to chastise them, we should been abundantly able to do it, still some of the brethren would have lost their lives in putting them down by force, and then if we do not have compassion upon the poor Indian who will?

We have ever pursued this policy towards them, to feed and clothe them, and then if they presumed upon our forbearance to become ugly, saucy and hostile beyond endurance, we have been compelled to chastise them, yet we have never lost sight of this policy to conciliate them as soon as possible, and act strictly on the defensive.

But I am lengthening my letter beyond my intention or time, therefore close praying my Father in heaven to bless you & yours, with heaven's choice blessings, through Time & Eternity.

I remain as ever

Your Friend in the bonds of Truth,
Brigham Young