"Correspondence," St. Louis Luminary, 24 November 1855, 202.
G. S. L. CITY, Sept. 28, 1855.
Dear Sir—I arrived in this city on the first inst., having made the trip from Mormon Grove in 28 days; 8 of which we traveled in company with an ox train. The U. S. Mail left the same time as we did and reached this place several days later.
The September mail left for the States on the first instant, so our eastern correspondents are obliged to wait for the October mail, before they get answers to their communications by the Aug. mail. This is very annoying, especially to our merchants and other business men, a petition was circulated yesterday, and unanimously signed, praying our Post Master to retain the October mail, till the September mail arrives.
Captain Ballantyne's company of P. E. F. Saints arrived in this city on the 25th, inst. The Nauvoo brass band, accompanied by many of the Saints of this city, went out to meet them on the 24th and stayed over night with them in the kanyon [canyon] President E. Snow and lady, and sister Ballantyne were among the number.
They had really an interesting time. The night was spent in feasting and dancing, in music and prayer, and general rejoicing; that the hardships and perils of their tedious journy were at an end. The sisters wept for joy, and many a tear drop was discovered on the cheeks of the sterner sex.
They came into the city in beautiful order. The band mounted on horseback, rode at the head of the company and played most delightful music. Their beautiful flag borne by two young men on horseback, threw out its magnificent folds to the breeze and several smaller flags floated from the tops of the waggons.
As they corelled on Union Square, Presidents Young and Kimball rode down to see them, and gave them a cordial welcome to the valley of Ephraim.
To-day, about 9 o'clock A. M., Captain Moses Thurston's company rolled into the city. I stepped into a carriage and rode out to meet them, at the border of the city. The Saints in this company also seemed in excellent spirits. Among other acquaintances, I was happy to meet with brother and sister Seal, sister Holdsworth, and sister Annie Hampton, all well known to the St. Louis Saints.
I was only absent from this city about seventeen months; yet, during this short time, very many palpable changes have transpired. Several magnificent buildings have been erected, stores, public Halls, and dwellings, and a host of smaller and more humble dwellings, and mechanics shops.—The Presidents new dwelling, which is now nearly completed, is not only a beautiful, but an elegant edifice, and would do honor to any city, Mormon or Gentile.
Business is very dull and money very scarce.—Grain is cheap: wheat and corn $1.50 per bushel. Notwithstanding the dreadful havoc of the grasshoppers, I think there is a sufficiency of grain in the Territory to sustain the inhabitants, if it is properly and economically used.
There has been much more sickness here this season than at any other previous season since our settlement of these vallies. Yet deaths have been comparatively few.
There is a spirit of union among the Saints here, every year seems to add additional union and faith. They are breaking of the shackles of superstition, the old rusty cloak of tradition is being thrown aside and the people are more and more willing that God shall rule in Zion. It is a much less ornerous task to rule this people now than it was ten years ago. The priesthood does control now, then it did not. It required "Thus saith the Lord" to accomplish a trifling object. Now when the Prophet speaks, there is a response from tens of thousands of willing hearts. President Young has the confidence and esteem of all the Saints. His word is law in Zion, and the people yield a willing obedience to all his requirements. Men and women are less selfish in their feelings, they seem willing to sacrifice all consideration of self upon the alter of Zion's interest. They have learned that to build themselves up, Zion must progress, their interests are so closely identified with the interests of the kingdom of God, that the line and distinction cannot be traced. While Zion prospers the Saints increase in prosperity. When we withdraw our support from the Church, we suffer individual loss.
We are anticipating a "great time" at our Conference which commences a week from next Saturday preparations are being made for a mighty host, the covering to the new Bowery is being extended, and a large number of additional seats are being provided. The weather is fine; as pleasant as spring—More anon. Yours in the Lord.
This letter was most likely written by Charles H. Bassett, however this information has not yet been verified.