1854 August 31 Letter to John M. Berhisel


1854 August 31 Letter to John M. Berhisel


Brigham provides instructions for an enclosed letter to be delivered to Jefferson Davis soliciting the admission of Angus M. Cannon to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Also enclosed was a requested order for the Code Commission. Letter contains details about government business, Indian affairs, emigration, updates on associates and personal remarks.


Governor/Territorial Legislature


Brigham Young


John M. Bernhisel


1854 August 31
1854 September 1


Great Salt Lake City
Washington D. C.

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs
Business Matters

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, Augt. 31st. 1854.  

Hon. J. M. Bernhisel, M. C.
Washington City.
D. C.

Dear Brother,

Enclosed I forward you a letter directed to Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, soliciting the appointment of Angus M. Cannon to a cadetship in the United States Military Academy, at West Point.  I wish you to read the letter, seal it, and send, or deliver it to the address, and as you are the proper person to make the nomination, I presume you will improve a suitable opportunity to do so, and take such course as may be necessary to insure a favorable action.  Bro. Cannon will accompany Elder John Taylor on his mission to New York City, who, with several others, will start for their missions to the States in a few days.  You will please attend to this matter in season for the next period of appointing, which I understand will be in the ensuing February or March, as I wish bro Cannon to be admitted at the earliest possible date.  If there are any further requirements to insure success in this matter please inform me, and I will attend to them. 

Elder Saml. W. Richards and T. S. Williams arrived in good health and spirits on the 26th inst, and Elders Orson Pratt, H. S. Eldredge, and F. Kesler on the 27th, the last named having been slightly detained by weakness of animals.  Most of our companies are far back for the season, and the Church train had lost 120 head of cattle by a stampede.  Men were still hunting for them at my last advices, and may have succeeded in finding some or all of them.  Owing to this, and other circumstances connected with our immigration, I am quite busy raising men, animals, wagons, and provisions to send to their assistance, and as the grass is now growing rapidly, and the weather pleasant, I presume we shall be able to bring all in before the weather becomes very cold.  The companies are reported to be in usual good health and spirits.  Col Steptoe has arrived, and will probably form the winter camp for the major portion of his command about ten miles south of Tooele City, where the grass, fuel, and water are good, abundant, and convenient.

So far as I know my drafts upon you will be light if any for some time to come, which will happily relieve you from much uneasiness, and embarrassment, for which privilege and ability I feel thankful, as your mind will be more at rest, and more free to attend to the many vexatious affairs of your station.

I enclose you the order from the Code Commission, as per your request, which you will please attend to, making such disposal of the means as the circumstances of our business may require, for I can arrange the matter with the parties here.

Sept. 1st.  The mail which arrived last evening brought your letter of June 7th to E. Whittlesey, and your reply of same date; yours of June 26th to R. McLelland; and to me dates of July 14th. 17th, 18th and 19th.  Your remarks on the subject of "excitement", "use of time, skill, judgment," &c are, and always have been entirely coincided with, but I thought it no way improper, in the midst of the various annoyances by which you are constantly surrounded, to drop a few brotherly suggestions to keep cool.  Furthermore, please rest assured, that I always entertain the utmost confidence, that you exert yourself, to the very best of your abilities for the welfare of Utah, and fulfil your Official duties with most commendable diligence, skill, and ability.  If you bear this in mind, you will ever have the Key to the true meaning, and ultimate design of all remarks contained in my letters to you, which might otherwise be obscure, or misunderstood.  You are remembered every Sabbath evening in our prayer Circle.

If J. H. Holeman continues to be in your way, and work against us, and you wish him fully shown up to the Indian Department, in his true course and character, as it was while he was here, please inform me, and it shall be attended to, as the papers and facts are on hand.

The estimates you request will be forwarded by the October Mail; but owing to the numerous, and liberal presents which were made at Laramie to various Tribes, with which the Snakes and Utahs are familiar, and owing to the representations thereof by mountaineers, and the fact that the Indians cannot be made to understand the difference between my position and the General Government in relation to them; their expectations are raised to a high pitch, which it will be out of the question to reasonably gratify, unless the appropriations are made on a suitable scale.

Aside from their expectation, sheer Justice, and the theory and practice of the government require liberal appropriations, that the inhabitants of Utah may be releived from the onerous, & unjust load they have so long been compelled to bear.

Hence you can estimate that our Indian Bills will be from two or three times larger than the amount of any former year, or they will be dissatisfied and troublesome.

The Treasury warrant for $5000, which you mention was remitted in February last, came safe to hand, as I have already once or twice notified you, as you will learn when you receive the the balance of my former letters.

Col Hiram B. Clawson is occupied in properly preparing the Utah War bills, and they will all be promptly forwarded by the October mail as you wish.  Bro Carrington has dropped you a line by this mail about the Map you have sent for.  The letter you alluded to, from the Hon Jefferson Davis arrived in the same Mail as your letters noted above, and will be attended to by next Mail, as also Mr. John F. Callans request.  There are no general important items of general news at home, and as the mail is ready to be off, I must leave particulars to your correspondence with Bro Cain & your family.  The Indians are quiet with us, and each other, and  we are still blessed with general health, union & prosperity.

Brigham Young