1858 October 20 Letter to John M. Bernhisel


1858 October 20 Letter to John M. Bernhisel


Bernhisel is urged to apply for admission into the Union. Brigham recognizes the Lord's hand in preserving the Saints. Finances are discussed concerning Indian affairs, the Penitentiary and the mail.




Brigham Young


John M. Bernhisel


1858 October 20


Great Salt Lake City

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Great Salt Lake City U. T. Oct. 20, 1858

Hon. John M. Bernhisel

Dear Brother--
We improve the opportunity of sending by Mr. Henry Kinkead. We received your letter dated June 29th, July 2d, July 8th, and August 11th, and think that letters thus disguised ought to come comparatively safe, if we could have an honest Post Master in this City. We look for a pretty turbulent session, but hope that you will be on hand, to again present our constitution and application for admission, when it shall be deemed proper by our friend the Col; but if admission cannot be obtained, get an enabling act if possible, so that we can be ready to besiege, another Congress. I feel thankful unto the Lord when I reflect how he has directed all things in our favor. Do you not see the hand of a kind Providence in directing Mr. Van Vliet here last fall, and your return with him to Washington? I have scarcely a doubt, that if you had not been at your post, the thread, slender at the best, would have been cut. He has also suffered us to go just far enough to make them understand that we were in earnest, and meant what we said, and still avoid a collision. Thus, has he preserved us, and unto Him be all the honor, and the glory. You will see Bro. Horace, and George Q. who will post you up more fully of the News, and our wishes. As before advised, we wish you to aid them all you can, and pull together for admission, for it is our constant prayer that we may gain our Constitutional rights. and be freed from the power of the oppressor. We trust that your health is improved, and that you have laid in a good store of strength to enable you to endure the truly fatiguing campaign of the ensuing session.

You will not, I trust, feel so great a weight of anxiety in regard to us as must have weighed you down last winter. You are pretty well aware of the history of the annulling of the Mail contract and other of our affairs at Washington, and can post up Bro. George Q. in relation to our affairs in that city. It was suggested to you in my former letter that if an appropriation should be made to defray the expenses of suppressing Indian hostilities in Utah Territory, that the money should be authorised to be disbursed by the Adjutant General instead of the Secretary, but if it passes in a shape to reimburse the Territory, and that suggestion should be any obstacle, you may omit that feature, as the accounts have been assumed and partly paid by the Auditors. Mr. Sec. Cobb advises Gov. Cumming, that the $12,000. appropriated by Congress for the coping of the penitentiary walls has been drawn, If this is true it must have been drawn by Mr. Sec. Babbitt and lost with him upon his return to Utah,for it has certainly not been expended, as Mr Cobb must have discovered, if he had looked at the disbursing office's account. I expect that Gov. Cumming will write you in relation thereto. I should think that the Post office department would feel ashamed enough for the part they played in annulling the Mail contract, to pay up for the service which was actually rendered, but if they do not it is all right, they may yet see the time they will be glad to make amends for all their meanness.

We are getting along pretty well, and under the circumstances, and hope that ere a another winter shall arrive, that the Army and the train of hell which follows after, will find more fitting and congenial quarters.

Pre-emption laws should be extended to Utah if lands cannot be granted to actual settlers as was the case in Oregon, and New Mexico. The Legislative Assembly have not been paid for the last two years. The money has been appropriated, but withheld by the department. Seeing this, and perhaps there will be no unexpended balance to pay for the expenses of the current year. Collect my salary as Governor and superintendent of Indian affairs, according to drafts, bills, &c. in your hands, If you need any further verifications, vouchers, explanations &c. please notify us, that we may send you the necessary documents. Ex-Genl. Surveyor Burr is now here in the capacity of Mail proprietor, Merchant &c. in company with his worthy compeer, Mr. Hockady. You are aware that they get $195,000. for carrying a weekly mail from this place to St. Joseph.

Praying the Lord to bless and prosper you in all your labors, and help Israel to triumph over all their enemies; I remain as ever,

Your Brother in the Gospel of Christ,

Brigham Young