1851 November 30 Letter to Luke Lea


1851 November 30 Letter to Luke Lea


A report to the Hon. Luke Lea, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Contains details about the peaceful relationship with a Tribe near a proposed settlement, civic and humanitarian concerns, and references to a Major Holeman's report on Indian Affairs.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


Luke Lea, Commissioner of Indian Affairs




Great Salt Lake City
Washington D.C.

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City  Nov 30, 1851

The somewhat unexpected arrival of Major Holeman and the uncertainty of the December Mail being able to weather the Storms and Snows of the Mountains and barren desolation of the plains at that inclement season of the year, has caused me to anticipate the close of the present Quarter in making my official report.

During my southern trip to Pauvan Valley [?] alluded to in my form[missing] report I became more than ever convinced of the necessity of locating an agency at that point.  The Indians in that Valley have always made a practice of stealing Cattle,         Wheat, corn and Beans, a thing that is unknown among any other tribe in this part of the Territory, they seem moreover, with the exception of a few who [illegible] to be peaceably disposed and friendly to the Whites, they appeared exceedingly well pleased with the idea of a settlement being made among them.

It was impossible to ascertain their numbers as but few made their appearance, and they appeared to know but little beyond their own immediate vicinity.  Every [illegible] like it is in all parts of the Territory, have their band [illegible] An Indian will often appear from under a cedar or a Sage brush as  inconspicuously  as though he had sprung instantaneously from the bowels of the earth.

Major Rose who accompanied us made them some presents, an account of which will be forwarded as also his report--marked OK.

This location for an agency presents the more inducements, from the fact of its central position, and the excellent facilities for opening a farm in the immediate vicinity of a Valley that unquestionably very soon will induce and sustain a large and dense population desideration always to be considered as exercising the most beneficial effects upon the character, conduct and disposition of the Indians, within the range of its influence.  The Citizen can hand the Indian a piece of bread and show him how it is obtained, give him some [?] and in a thousand ways give him to understand the comfort and benefit arising from irrigation thereby slowly it is true, yet surely inducing him to plow the ground [illegible] and abandoning their wilder and more dangerous  exploits of predatory warfare,or  [illegible] the more especially as scant in [illegible] fast  diminishing do they [?] the products of the last resource.

Indeed it is no longer a problem [illegible] provide a great of the Indians of this Territory are becoming sensible ; that at no distant day they will be compelled from the scarcity of game to [illegible] resources for subsistence.  I cannot therefore be too strenuous in urging [illegible] department the necessity of securing the present favorable opportunity, where the Indians themselves are civilized to engage in it to institute among them the means of procuring the subsistence necessary to prolong life as well as the establishing of schools [illegible] things pertaining to civilization that can be made of use or benefit to them in their present forlorn and degraded situation.

If previous to any such arrangements [illegible] it becomes necessary to enter into treaty stipulations with them [illegible] not delay that operation any longer, but go about it as speedily as possible.

I take great pleasure in forwarding Major Holeman's report to your department which I doubt not you will find unusually interesting, and highly satisfactory.  That gentleman has spared no pains to make himself useful and to subserve the interest of the Government, he has used the utmost economy consistent in all his transactions so far as I am capable of judging, and made his expenditures and losses far less than similar services usually incur

If the rumor which is alluded to in Major Holeman's report shall prove to be true of which I confess I am not fully persuaded in relation to which women and children being in captivity among the Indians, that suitable measures  will be forthwith taken for their rescue, relying upon the generosity and good faith of the transaction, to meet with the approval of the department at Washington in sustaining us.  not only in such as this but all other similar and like necessary expeditions.  This Superintendency and all the Agents have had to act without instructions from the department except an occasional oral conversatinn or two with some of the officers, by Major Holeman it is to be hoped will excuse any deviations that may be discovered in our reports or transactions, from the General word, policy or principles established by the department governing their intercourse with the Indians.  It is the desire of all connected with this Superintendency to subserve the wishes of the Government as far as possible and the same shall be made known to them

With sentiments of high consideration
I have the honor to be
Very respectfully your humble servt.

Brigham Young

The Hon. Luke Lea
Commissioner of Indian affairs
Washington City
D. C.