"News from Utah--Emigrant Trains, &c.," New York Daily Times, 5 Sept. 1854, 2.
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From the Agrarian.
Yesterday afternoon, the 22d inst, a party of three Apostles of the Mormon Church arrived in this city from Great Salt Lake City, bringing with them the mail for July, which, it will be remembered, did not come to hand in due course, owing to the want of a connection at Laramie. The three gentlemen are Missionaries, and their charge are as follows: Mr. LUNT, from whom we obtain our information, is destined for England; Mr. SNOW for St. Louis, and Mr. ORSON SPENCER for Cincinnati. We will be pardoned, on the score of ignorance, for not giving such ecclesiastical titles as these gentlemen wear at home. The mail contains nothing of especial interest, and such items as we are enabled to furnish are taken down from the lips of Mr. LUNT, whose recollections are strengthened by his journals.
We learn that at the time of leaving Great Salt Lake City, which was on the 7th of July, there was peace between the people of the Territory and all the bands of the Utah Indians. Gov. YOUNG had concluded a treaty with all the chiefs, WALKER being at their head, in which the usual protestations of friendship were made, and when presents were exchanged, &c. It was believed that the peace would be permanent, so far as the chiefs were concerned, but it was feared that it would be disturbed by certain wild bands who cannot be retrained by the authority of the generally acknowledged chiefs. The health of the whole country, so far as known, was good. The seasons have been better, and rains more abundant than were ever before known; insomuch that there has been little need of irrigation at any of the settlements. A much larger quantity of land had been cultivated than in any previous year, and the harvest, which had just commenced, was very abundant.
Everything indicated a rapid advancement in wealth and prosperity. The rural population, as far as possible, had been gathered into towns and villages, which were being so walled in as to be impregnable to any assault from Indians. On the 13th June a heavy storm of rain and hail, accompanied by thunder and lightning, spread over most or all of Salt Lake Valley, and into the surrounding mountains. Some crops of wheat and other small grain were entirely destroyed, and others seriously injured, by the hail. In this town one boy was known, and another was supposed to have been drowned; while several other persons narrowly escaped the same fate. They were engaged in herding cattle on the table lands, when the water came down in such impetuous torrents from the mountains as to sweep them into gullies and ravines, whence extrication was very difficult.
From the Lake to Green River, water and grass were abundant; from thence to the upper crossing of the Platte, water was still plenty but grass was scarce, owing to the immense amount of stock which had passed along and literally eaten it up. From what was seen and heard, our informant entertains no doubt that 100,000, and he thinks probably 150,000 head of cattle had been driven to California this season. He met only about 20,000, which, or most of them, would go by way of the Lake; but far the greater number went by the cut-off and Fort Hall. Great numbers of fine horses and mules, and numerous large flocks of sheep are also on the route. As a general rule health was good, and losses from casualty or other causes, rare. The cholera, which prevailed among the Mormon emigrants about the time of departure from our frontier, disappeared as soon as they were fairly on their way; and nothing was heard of the disease among other emigrant trains.
In the train of ELDRIDGE and PRATT, Mormons, a stampede took place on the South Platte, between the upper and the lower crossings, by which a hundred and twenty cattle were lost, about half of which it was supposed might be recovered. As well as Mr. LUNT could judge from what he saw and heard, about four thousand souls have gone to Salt Lake this season, most of whom he met on the way. He thinks that the greatest number of them set out too late, and that there is danger of their having to encounter difficulties from snow in the mountains. They are generally well provisioned, though some of the parties which were detained on the frontier by cholera, were rather short. There is nothing to be apprehended on this score, however, as supply trains will be sent out from the Lake for the relief of those in want. The emigration to California is small, and mainly consists of those engaged in driving stock.
Mr. LUNT heard many complaints of outrages by the Pawnee Indians on the route. A man by the name of FRENCH WOOD, accompanied by three others, in charge of ox teams, was attacked in broad daylight by a party of about thirty of these Indians, who had been permitted to approach within ten steps, under the impression that they were friendly. Mr. WOOD was killed, as were also some of the oxen. The other members of the party then took their guns in hand, upon which the Indians fled. An individual belonging to the train was lassoed and dragged away, but whether killed or not, was not known. Besides numerous smaller thefts of horses, mules, and cattle, seven hundred sheep were driven off in a body, being part of a flock of fifteen hundred belonging to a man named COOPER.
After passing Fort Kearney, which place the party left on the 11th inst., the country showed signs of heat and drought-such as we have had here. Water is very scarce and difficult to be procured; and the grass, though withered and dry, is still plenty and nutritious