“Very Late from Utah,” New York Daily Times, 12 Aug. 1857.
- Related Companies
- Company Unknown (1857)
Four Thousand Mormon Immigrants on the Plains—
A Bountiful Harvest—The Mormon Temple, &c
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of an interview with Elder SAMUEL W. RICHARDS, of Utah, who arrived in this City on Thursday evening, after the remarkably short trip of twenty-eight days from Great Salt Lake City. Our dates from Utah by this arrival reach to the 13th of August.
Elder RICHARDS left Salt Lake City in company with four others. He was accompanied to this City by only one of the party, Elder GEORGE G. SNYDER, with whom he is commissioned to visit the Latter-Day Saints in the Atlantic States and in Great Britain. The two Elders purpose remaining in town for a week or ten days, and will then sail for England.
The harvest in Utah this season has been remarkably abundant. All the crops have yielded in larger measure than for some years previously. The Saints were joyful at the cheerful prospects before them. Peace and plenty were with them, and their causes of complaint, according to the statements of Mr. RICHARDS, must be exceedingly slight. Wheat, corn and potatoes, particularly, were full crops, and the harvesting had ended prosperously without adverse weather.
Business was reviving, as the result of a good crop, and mercantile pursuits bore a thrifty air of enterprise.
No alarm existed in Salt Lake City in consequence of the march of the United States military forces towards Utah. Authentic or detailed particulars of the movements of the troops had not been received up to the period of the departure of this company; but rumors of the dispositions of the Government had come to the ears of the Mormons with a sufficient degree of distinctness to cause them to appreciate the extent of the recent demonstrations. They expressed themselves unable to understand the motives of the Government in dispatching a force against them; declared that they intended no harm to anybody; disclaimed any intention of entering into a conflict, armed or otherwise, and simply asked “to be let alone.” It was not apprehended that the troops would find any wrongs to redress, nor was it the Mormon purpose to place obstacles in the way of the performance of their duty. In other words, the most pacific intentions and inclinations were expressed.
The only Federal officers remaining in Utah, were Drs. HURT and ARMSTRONG, Indian Agents. The course of Judge DRUMMOND since his return to the States appears to have moved the Saints to severe animadversions; they discuss the Judge’s antecedents with merciless severity.
The reports of the spread of discontent and disaffection among the Mormons in Salt Lake city are denied with great emphasis. BRIGHAM YOUNG, it appears, has met the rumor by an offer to send all the malecontents out of the territory in good style, provided with first-rate teams and teamsters, and with equipments for the journey over the Plains, provided the Federal Government will send to Utah, in equally good style, all the parties who wish to go there. Brother BRIGHAM says he considers this “a fair offer.”
Br. BRIGHAM had returned in excellent health form his Northern trip. His visit was extended to the infant settlement of the Saints at Salmon River, where there are now some forty or fifty persons. This settlement was begun about a year ago. It is in a flourishing condition. The settlers went out from Salt Lake City. Brother BRIGHAM has been holding up their hands, and comforting them.
An immigration of four thousand persons was passed on the Plains by Elder RICHARDS’ party. This includes the entire immigration of this season. There were eight or ten distinct trains, each under the guidance of its own Elder. All were in good health, first-rate spirits, and the parties looked forward to their arrival at Salt Lake with the pleasurable anticipations of people going home. Among them were English, Welsh, Danes, Swedes and other nationalities; the Welsh, especially, being strongly represented. The immigrants were passed between Independence Rock and Fort Laramie, and so far as could be judged, the “hand-cart” portion of the companies were having the best time—a fact which will gladden the heart of Brother BRIGHAM. Hand-cart travel over the Plains is one of his great hobbies,
Elder RICHARDS’ party also passed a portion of the United States troops between Fort Laramie and Fort Kearney. Mr. RICHARDS came down the north side of the Platte. The troops passed up on the south side. The commanding officer was unknown, nor did Mr. RICHARDS ascertain the exact number of the troops, but he presumes they were the greater portion of the force intended for service in Utah.
A number of very heavy freight trains, with twenty-six to seventy-five wagons in each, were also passed on the way.
The little party who accompanied Mr. RICHARDS, although but five persons all told, experienced no difficulties with the Indians. They passed the Sioux Nation in camp, and encountered several scattered bands of savages, but observed no hostile demonstrations.
Mr. RICHARDS informs us that the work upon the new Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City is progressing favorably. The Saints have laid up the basement story of the edifice in excellent masonry. The work, however, has been delayed this season by the scarcity of workmen, who were in great demand in the harvest field. It is declared by the Saints that this Temple will be a model of architectural beauty—quite surpassing in its beauties the first one in Nauvoo. Some years must still elapse before its completion, but the Saints are proud of it already.
Just previous to the departure of Elder RICHARDS, there were rumors of Indian disturbances in the immediate vicinity of Salt Lake City. A few days before, a company of emigrants, setting out for California, killed an Indian about forty miles form the City, and considerable trouble had been occasioned by that act. On the day Mr. RICHARDS left, it was reported that the Indians were gathering in force to revenge themselves upon the Saints, and an immediate attack was apprehended. The Salt Lake people, however, were fully prepared, and a conflict would be necessarily attended with some serious consequences.
The present Mormon population of Utah is estimated by Elder RICHARDS at 60,000. There have been some fluctuations in the population since the last census, but the arrivals have exceeded the departures. The total population of the Territory, Gentile and Mormon, is 80,000. At the next session of Congress a determined effort will be made by the Mormons for the admission of Utah as a State, and the necessary papers are already prepared.
President JOHN TAYLOR, of New-York, Elder ERASTUS SNOW and other prominent Mormons, arrived in Salt Lake City on the 8th August.
From the Mormon of yesterday.
At the moment of going to press we have received dates from Great Salt Lake City, up to the 9th of August. We are glad to be able to report that the Saints are rejoicing in the work of the Great God, trusting in Him for the present and future and neither scared nor giving up the ghost at the rumor of Uncle Sam’s troops being on the plains.
We are happy to inform our readers that Presidents TAYLOR, SNOW, and others arrived in the City of the Saints on the 7th of August, well, and rejoicing in the privilege of mingling again with their brethren in the peaceful valleys of Utah.
The earth has yielded an abundant harvest, and plenty crowns the board of the faithful laborer. The children of Zion never felt better in this last dispensation. The prophet of the Most High is well and enjoys the unlimited confidence of the people. We expect to see Elder SAMUEL RICHARDS, from the mountains, walk into our sanctum at an early day. He has come along with the Mormon express. We shall be happy to see him.
By letter form `Elder MUSSER, at Laramie, we learn that the emigration goes on well, and with the exception of a stampede, nothing particular to report. We shall publish his letter next week.
Elders SAMUEL W. RICHARDS and GEORGE SNYDER arrived here this (Thursday) evening, twenty-eight days from Utah, by way of Council Bluffs, Keokuk, and St. Louis. They are on a mission to the Churches in the States and in Europe. Their company consisted of five persons over the plains. They are in good health and spirits.