1861 November 11 Letter to John Van Cott


1861 November 11 Letter to John Van Cott


Current news is shared on the telegraph, new settlements and next seasons emigration plans. Van Cott is free to return home with Elders Rich and Lyman.




Brigham Young


John Van Cott


1861 November 11


Great Salt Lake City
Copenhagen, Denmark


Missionary Work

Item sets

G. S. L. City, Nov. 11, 1861.

Pres. John Van Cott,
Copenhagen, Denmark,

Dear Brother:-- Since the 24th ult. we have been privileged with telegraphic communication east and west with the cities on either coast, the wire from the east having reached this City on the 17th ult., and from the west on the 24th. Between repeatings and occasional bralls, we have as yet but seldom received Washington news on the day it transpired, but, so soon as the wire is stretched from Omaha to Davenport, we expect each day to receive the most important items of that day's doings. From latest telegram dates, though no important battles have taken place since the Bull Run affair, we can discern that mutual waste and destruction are going on at a rapidly increasing rate.

At home the usual labors preceding winter are being industriously prosecuted, for which, thus far, the weather has been very favorable; and to-day the workmen are busily engaged in putting up the roof timbers of our massive and commodious theatre. We expect soon to finish the roof, which will enable us to so far complete the inside work as to make building available for comfortable use during a portion of the coming winter.

Upwards of 200 families, selected and volunteer, are on their way and getting ready to go to Washington County, strengthen the former and make new settlements on the Santa Clara and Rio Virgin rivers, chiefly for the purpose of raising cotton, indigo olives, and other products of climes warmer than those north of the south rim of the Great Basin.

From the Scandinavian letters in the Star and from br. Amasa's letter, Sept. 17, we learn that the mission under your charge is in a flourishing condition, and that the Elders are faithful  and diligent. news cheering to all who love the advancement of truth on the earth. Br. Amasa writes that many of the brethren in Scandinavia are poor, though very anxious to gather. For their encouragement I will mention that we intend, next Spring, to send ox teams to assist the poor from Florence. We would like timely advice of the number from your mission who will need team assistance across the plains, that we may be able to calculate, as near as practicable, the number of teams it will be requisite to send.

Having now been some time zealously and faithfully engaged in your field of labor, you are at full liberty to return home next season. When you start for home I wish you to leave br. Jesse N. Smith in charge in your place; and, that he may be measurably prepared for the new duties, it will be best, from time to time, to afford him facilities for becoming acquainted therewith, so far as circumstances will permit.

On your return I would be pleased to have you assist in the affairs of the next season's immigration until the companies have left Florence, when you can form a small company with Elders Lyman, Rich, and others', and cross the plains at your pleasure. So far as you assist as aforenamed, it will be requisite to keep an accurate account of your transactions, that your receipts an disbursements may be easily and satisfactorily adjusted here upon your arrival.

The people are very generally enjoying good health, as are also your family, so far as I know.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young