"From Our Kansas Correspondent," The Mormon, 15 September 1855, 2.
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- Church History Library, M205.1 M865 v. 1-3 1855-1857
From Our Kansas Correspondent.ATCHISON, K. T., Aug. 23, 1855.
To the Editor of the Mormon:
DEAR SIR: Again has the spirit of communicating what is in me taken a violent hold of my arm and I sit down to write you to let you know, in the first place, that Mormonism is not now what it was six weeks since in this region; at that time the hills around about Mormon Grove were literally covered with canvas, but now, only one rag is left; and that is occupied by three families, but never mind, they have a house up, and only needs covering, for them to move into it. There are, out of the thousands that have been here this season only a few, probably thirty souls left; but I believe that is a principle in Mormonism, to get in an entering wedge, then when the log is well cracked to put in a glut, if the time has not come to open it entire, and I suppose that those that are here are the glut, as they are pretty tough, hard sticks, with Mormonism in the center, and if the devil gets its out of them, I pray that he may have some hard knocks for it.
The corn and vegetables at Mormon Grove, on the P. E. F. Farm, look well, and should the Lord hold off the frost until 1st October, there will be an average good crop of corn and vegetables, for sod land. The P. E. F. Farm contains 160 acres of as fine upland as you will find in Kansas Territory, enclosed by a sod fence, with ditch three and a half by three and a half feet; about half of the enclosure was broke up this spring, and the half section of land on which it is situated is worth $1,500 extra of the improvements, which are worth from $700 to a $1,000 more, making in all about $2,500 worth of property, and all made by a day's work from one and another. Please tell me what it is that Mormons cannot do when united, unless it is to make a lying editor disgorge the truth.
The more I see of Mormonism the more I am astonished, for truly it is a marvel and a wonder. Five years ago I supposed I was wise in Mormonism, and felt, oh, if I could only do this or that, to how much better advantage I could do it, than those were doing it whose business it was; but with five years' experience I have learned more than half the divines in Christendom, and what is that, you ask; well, then, it is, that I am a fool when compared to the spirit of God, and a mere cipher in wisdom when compared with many hundreds of the Elders of this Church. But to return to the Territory and business, and business before pleasure, for if it is my own business it will bring pleasure.
All of the companies, both emigrant and merchant, that intend crossing the Plains this season are off, except, if I may except, Whitehouse's Train of stoves, etc., and four wagons that have, in the last week, rolled out to the top of the hill half a mile. I should not wonder, if he starts, that he does not pass the Sioux Indians, as they are the first on Mrs. Ward's Route this season; but he is stationary, and I hope, for his sake, will remain so until next spring. The Church Train, taking out property for the Church, with the boiler and machinery for Gov. Young's steamboat in tow, got off about the first of this month. I learned on Sunday last that the boiler, weighing three tons, with the wagon, had been condemned by a board of officers, to remain where it then was, somewhere between this and Kearney, charge, heft, and specification, want of team to draw it. I have not heard whether it was doomed to solitary confinement, or whether the machinery was left also, but I do hope that none of the cattle or horse thieves in Kansas will mistake it for a horse and ride it off.
The weather for the last three or four weeks has been remarkably wet and cold, the nights have been so cold that the farmers have anticipated frost , but the weather seems to be more settled, but not enough so to restore the thousands of bushels of wheat that has sprouted, and thereby been ruined in the shock, in Upper Missouri. I know farmers in Missouri that have lost every bushel.
The rainy season here has done some little damage to our new city. The new City Ware House, built last spring by the Atchison Town Company, being built in the bluff, the heavy rains softened the earth above, so that it slipped down against it, causing it to go to pieces in about ten minutes. The Company are now removing it, and in all probability will rebuild it this fall.
There are some good houses going up here and from the looking around of strangers daily, I feel that there will be plenty here next spring to trade with the Mormons. I hope they will not expect to make their fortunes (independent) in one season.
A few days since a Rev. Mr. Butler, from Grasshopper Creek, about ten or fifteen miles from this place, came into town (Atchison), and gave his opinion in regard to Mr. Kelly's departure from this place (see Squatters Sovereign), and to remunerate him for his divine opinion on the subject of niggerology, he was put upon a raft made of two logs, after having the initial of Rascal (R.) painted on his forehead, and shipped, under a banner with the words, Emigration Aid Society upon it, for a bend of the river two miles below this place, where he landed without damage.
Everything of this sort brings to my mind the revelation of Joseph upon the subject of war (Seer, vol. 2d, p. 241), it must be fulfilled.
Here is a list of prices in Atchison: Flour, $11 per bbl.; Meal, none in market; Bacon, poor, 10 cts.; Hams, 12 1-2 to 15; Butter, 15 to 20 cts. per lb.; Potatoes, $1 to $2 per bush.; Onions, and every other sort of vegetables, scarce and hard to be got; Watermelons, good, plenty. Beef, 6 to 10c. per lb.; Sugar, Coffee, Tea, Rice, Salt, &c., any price above 10 per cent on St. Louis prices.
Elders O. Spencer and James McGraw, have left on their mission. Elder George Rust in charge of Church farm; river low, freights high, and very light for the up country, and the awful scream of the steamboat whistle is seldom head at our wharf. I intend going out for a few days' recess soon, and if I can find out anything in regard to his satanic majesty's headquarters, which must be in these parts somewhere, I shall notify you of it at once. Believing that I have given you all the news of note to your readers or yourself.
P. S.—Aug. 27.-The Price Current for this week stands-Flour, 5 1-2c.; poor bacon, 2 1-2c. to 15c. Mr. S. Dixon only has bacon for sale; he will fall on it as soon as any other merchant gets a supply; this is his place of merchandizing.