1862 February 25 Letter to John M. Bernhisel


1862 February 25 Letter to John M. Bernhisel


In March Utah will vote on a State Constitution and elect two Senators. Statehood should be granted if a republic form of government can be sustained. Updates are given on emigration, a Southern flood, and the Postmaster.




Brigham Young


John M. Bernhisel


1862 February 25


Great Salt Lake City
Washington D. C.

Number of Pages



Financial Matters

Item sets

G. S. L. City, Feb. 25, 1862.

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

Dear Brother:-Your welcome favors of the 24th and 31st ult. came safely to hand, and were perused with much gratification.

You will doubtless ere this have received information concerning the steps recently taken in regard to our admission, for I have previously written to you quite fully on the subject. At the Constitutional election to be held on the 1st Monday in March (3d) we anticipate a unanimous vote in favor of adopting the Constitution framed and adopted by the Convention begun and held in this City on the 20th ult. and presume that the first meeting of the General Assembly will be held in this City about the middle of April, to elect two Senators to the Congress of the United States &c. At the aforesaid March election you will doubtless be unanimously elected our Representative to Congress. Touching the question of our numbers, which you write has been raised by some, we think that raising such a question comes with rather an ill grace from the party in power, since Mr. Seward's speech in favor of the admission of Kansas in which he took the ground that applicants for admission should only be questioned as to the republican form of their proposed government and their capability to sustain it. The character of the government we propose for ourselves as a State can be learned by examining the Constitution that will be presented, which does not differ in any material point from the one you now have; and our capability for self government was fairly demonstrated by our action under a provisional government for a considerable period previous to our Territorial organization. Mr. Seward's two questions, the only ones deemed admissable, being undeniably answered in the affirmative, the party in power, whose leader he was in the Senate and whose Secretary of State he now is, most certainly should not swerve from so fair and just a position and endeavor to keep a large portion of their fellow citizens in Territorial pupilage on the irrelevant question of population, especially when more numbers have been often and correctly disregarded, and more especially when our population is already so large and increasing so rapidly. The difference to the parent government between the expense of a Territorial and State government should also have some weight in these times of enormous expenditures, particularly with those professing so great a desire to economize in every available manner.

Br. Hora<ce> S. Eldredge started this morning for the States by stage, accompanied by br. Joseph W. Young. He goes down to purchase machinery of various kinds, and to exercise a general supervision over the affairs of our this year's immigration. Three hundred four yoke ox teams have been called for, to go to Florence for freight and to assist the immigration, and Bishop Hunter will soon apportion them to the different Wards, with instruction, and Bishop Hunter will soon apportion them to different Wards, with instructions to have them in readiness to leave here as soon as the weather will permit in the Spring. We think this number will be sufficient for the freight and for all who may need assistance to cross the plains, as each wagon can bring quite a number, if those walk who are able to.

Reports from Pres. Cannon and others represent that our foreign immigration will be large, though not yet sufficiently large to keep pace with the annual increase, especially in Scandinavia and British Isles.

The recent flood in the Santa Clara and Rio Virgin caused a considerable loss of property, will doubtless in the long run prove advantageous, as it will teach the inhabitants the necessity of building above highwater mark, and by so doing not only avoid the loss of buildings, but also escape the unhealthy misama of the bottom lands. Fortunately the few buildings swept away [?] of but little value, and no lives were lost.

It may be well to recommend to the First Assistant Postmaster General to appoint Lewis Robison to be Postmaster at Fort Bridger. Br Robison is still the rightful owner of that place through fair and lawful purchase and payment, notwithstanding its being taken possession of and retained by mob violence under the garb of military organization and Government power. If the Department sees fit to appoint Mr Robinson, all right; if not, that Post Office, so far as I know, had better be discontinued.

Draft No 6, for $200, favor of Howard Egan, on Reeve, Case, & Banks, drawn by Livingston & Bell, has been arranged here; of this you can advise said Company, if you have written to them as advised in my letter to you Dec. 30, 1861.

Your family and friends are well, as are also the people generally,

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Brigham Young