1854 October 9 Letter to William D. Huntington & Co.


1854 October 9 Letter to William D. Huntington & Co.


Brigham Young instructs William D. Huntingdon and Company to treat a little known Indian tribe fairly in trade, and to teach them to use farming utensils and conduct business morally without fraud.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


William D. Huntingdon & Company


1854 October 9


Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City

Oct 9. 1854

To Wm. D. Huntingdon & Company

Dear brethren,

You are about to open an intercourse with a tribe of Indians hitherto but little known to us or any other white men.  A responsibility rests upon you in regard to the influence which you will exercise in your intercourse with them as much depends upon the conduct of our people towards the Indians in their first impressions, you should be governed in all your intercourse with them by the golden rule "do unto others as you would that they should do unto you" It is in your power to do them good by a fair and equitable exchange of property by furnishing them such things as will be for their benefit.  I understand that these Indians are in the habit of cultivating the earth, raising stock, and manufacturing clothing, blankets &c, for their own use and also to trade to others.  They are now a settled tribe of Indians occupying the same land from year to year, having fixed abodes.  They doubtless have 'such to contend against from their wilder neighbors who roam over the plains, have no fixed place of residence, nor cultivate the earth.  Those Indians are more peaceable and quiet and nearer approach to civilation than those in our midst who are indolent and seemingly use no bodily exertion for a subsistence, they are consequently left to prey upon their neighbors and are often times reduced to extreme want and beggary.

Those Indians who seek then to help themselves should be encouraged, and it is my wish that you should teach them the use of tools and farming utensils, take some along with you such as plows, spades, shovels, hoes, picks, axes, and reap hooks or sickles for reaping their grain and teach them the use of them as also the use of other articles of usefulness which you can introduce among them.  Teach them also morality both by precept and example; permit no fraud to be used in the transaction of business among them nor the use of any improper language, neither looseness in the intercourse with them, and any of your company.  Observe these things, that you may do them good, and let the advances which are made towards them be not (as is too often the case with other civilized communities towards the natives) the precursor of still greater degradation and the accompaniments of decrease and final exterpation of the race, but seek to exalt them in the scale of being, seek to redeem them from thraldom, and bring them up to a higher degree than they now occupy.  Do not let the love of money or property swerve you from doing right, but be circumspect, upright and honorable with them as you would in your deal with anyone else and more so as you see the advantage which can be taken of their ignorance.

I wish you to do well, but while you are blessing yourselves bless them also and encourage them in doing right.  Do not pursue a course which will strip them of their property without ample remuneration therefor, lest they also be driven to seek their living like their neighbors by thieving and plundering.  Be wise and prudent of your men and property.

Induce a few of them to visit us if you reasonably can and seek to establish a good feeling and understanding between us.

Praying God my Heavenly Father to bless and prosper you in your journeying,      

I Remain,
Your brother in Christ
Brigham Young