1862 February 5 Letter to John M. Bernhisel


1862 February 5 Letter to John M. Bernhisel


The Indian Department is determined to withhold payment of just dues. Brigham considers crediting the government the amount they owe from the taxes assessed on Utah. Brigham discusses Statehood.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


John M. Bernhisel


1862 February 5


Great Salt Lake City
Washington D. C.

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs
Financial Matters

Item sets

G. S. L. City, Feb. 5, 1862.

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

Dear Brother: Since my last to you, Feb. 3, yours of the 10th ult. has come safely to hand.

It would really seem, from what has transpired in the case, that the Indian Department is very much if not altogether determined to withold the payment of my just dues. This inference appears directly and fairly derivable from the long delay of action on my accounts, and, after so long a delay, the forwarding them here for examination by Ex-Superintendent Davis, and then another delay of nearly a year after Col. Davis' favorable report, and still, at latest dates, caviling over a question of statements concerning thirty Dollars in B. F. Pendleton's Voucher, and striving, on the ground of a clerical imprudence in said thirty dollars, to invalidate the correctness of the rest of the accounts. From all I can learn, and from all that I understand appeared in examination entirely to suit himself, with full and free control over persons and papers and time, it appears that the only discrepancy in the whole amount occurred in relation to $30 00/100 in Pendleton's small a/c of some $68, Pendleton being alleged to have stated to Col. Davis that said $30.00 was furnished in milk, vegetables, &c., instead of clothing as charged in the bill and certified to on honor by D. B. Huntington. As to Pendletons a/c, it is a matter, personally knew nothing about.

Now what is the correct course in relation to this discrepancy, as also all the rest of the accounts, which Col. Davis passed upon favorably, after a long and minute examination, and about which there has no discrepancy come to my knowledge, and to which Huntington, so far as his name appears on the papers, not only certified on honor, but also testified on oath. Is not this course plain, fair, and just? And does it not appear to savor of an inclination to avoid paying honest debts, when an effort is strongly made to extend doubt over accounts to which no such doubt can or does in any manner pertain? Furthermore, my certificates and vouchers are sufficient, without any further testimony thereon. I am aware that, after all that may be said or done ever so faithfully and correctly, the Department has or can assume the power to do just as they please in this as in other cases; but I feel thankful that my posterity and welfare are not confined to nor restricted by their action. It occurs to me, if the Clerks in the Indian Department, and such others as your judgement may dictate, or to furnish a copy, as you may choose.

While writing the foregoing your favor of the 17th ult. came safe to hand, from which I learn that certain dues on my salary are passed to the Indian Department, and are there pending the long delayed adjustment of my accounts with that Department. How, think you, would the Government be pleased, when the quota of tax assigned to Utah is collected, if I should credit them that amount on my just demands against them, and put the sum in my pocket?

On the 22nd ult., by request, I made a few remarks to the Convention, among which was the statement that there was not a particle of authority given Congress by the Constitution to organize Territorial Governments. On the 23d, as you will see in this weeks "News," Judge Kinney, also by request, addressed the assembly, and in his remarks sustained my position in regard to Territorial Governments. Such being the real fact on that point, what good reason can Congress urge against our admission to the family of States, our Constitution being strictly republican in form, and we having long ago proved our capability to sustain self government. Aside from the justness of our being relieved from our illegal colonial position, which we have borne so long and patiently, it most certainly is to their pecuniary interest to admit us, a view of no slight moment at present.

You can inform the President that he need not appoint a Governor, Judges, &c., for Utah, or, if he appoints them, that he can pay them their salaries there, and advise them to remain at home, for we have no use for them here.

Br. Horace S. Eldredge will visit the States this Spring on business, and will superintend the affairs of our this years emigration.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young