Transcript for "News From the Plains," The Mormon, 18 Oct. 1856, 2
THROUGH the politeness of President Erastus Snow, we are favored with an extract from a letter addressed to him by Capt. A. [Abraham] O. Smoot, dated Platte River, 30 miles above Ash Hollow, Sept. 16th, by which we learn that there are fears entertained at Fort Laramie for the safety of Col. A. [Almon] W. Babbitt. He states that the Colonel met him a short distance from Fort Kearney, thirteen days previous, since which time he had not been heard of. He says:
"We have no doubt that he is killed, likewise his driver and Bro. Thomas Sutherland. They left my Camp on the 3d instant, at 30 miles above Kearney, and crossed on the North side supposing it to be safer travelling among the emigration. They designed making Laramie in six days; but they have not been seen or heard of since, and it is the opinion of all that they are cut off by the Cheyennes.
"There have been three Companies destroyed during the present month, including A. W. Babbitts. Among them was Thomas Margetts, from the Valley and a small party of six or eight persons with him, including his wife and children, and another small party from California, in which three were killed and two wounded, property all destroyed."
Though no trace of Col. Babbitt or companions yet justify the abandonment of all hopes, we should not be at all surprised if the surmisings of Elder Smoot and the folks at Fort Laramie are too well founded. The Colonel has hitherto been a successful traveller on the plains, and if we mistake not, has crossed and re-crossed from Salt Lake to the States sixteen times, during which he never was subjected to any particular annoyance from the Indians. When he last passed through this city from Washington, on his way West, he spoke of his unlimited confidence in the honor of the Indians, and said he would sooner trust them before he would pale faces in a similar position. From past friendly relations between him and the Indians, his heart was confiding; and dreaming of no danger, with nonchalance he entered upon a dreary journey of a thousand miles with little or no protection. The cry on the frontiers is loud against the Cheyennes, by whom he is supposed to have fallen, and without doubt the government will soon take some steps to protect the lives of travellers in future.