Smith, George A., "From Our Utah Correspondent," The Mormon, 29 Dec. 1855, 2.
G. S. L. City, Oct. 31, 1855.
To the Editor of the Mormon:
SIR,—Owing to the failure of the parent Government in fulfilling its contracts, we have not enjoyed the pleasure of a visit from the Mormon for the past two months; though we must not complain, for it is said there are a few poor half-starved Indians hovering about the road, and Uncle Sam cannot safely pass; though everybody else does so with perfect safety, and have done for nearly a year. We pay our postage, and its all well whether our letters go or not, although patience may cease to be a virtue in some cases. I wish the Government had the justice either to carry the mail or clear the track for private enterprise; so that punctual men may do it. The dearth for news has been unusually great for the season, although the mails across the Desert from San Bernardino to this place have been punctual to the hour; yet failures beyond that place have occurred; for, from causes unknown to us, we have received no papers.
The Presidency have made a visit to Cache Valley, where extensive arrangements have been made for wintering large herds of cattle. The fires have continued their destructive work in the Kanyons [Canyons] on account of the excessive drouth, and immense bodies of valuable timber have been destroyed. The Emigrating Companies and Merchant trains have continued to come in during the last month; the P. E. Fund Companies have lost many cattle, and those brought in are very poor. The President proposes for the next years' emigration to try it on foot, which would do away with guarding cattle, and running the world over to buy them, and being frightened to death with stampedes, or being bothered with mending broken wagons; then it would look so much that a fellow was in earnest when going to Zion, and when he got here he would not be very anxious to go away again. The weather has been very fine for the last month, which has been decidedly favorable to the late emigration. The large amount of late corn and wheat was killed by the frost, Fort Supply suffering the most in proportion. From the Las Vegas we learn that their crops were mostly eat up by Saleratus.
A special term of the District Court is in session in this city, but for what special business I have not been able to learn; but, from the number of loafers daily round the Council House, I am led to conclude that something is up, but I have had neither time nor health to go in and see for myself. I have visited Utah county, where all things are prospering as usual. The county militia have been organized into a brigade, and P. W. Conover has been elected its commander. The corn and potato crops at Provo are quite satisfactory. A Quarterly Conference was attended in Provo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday last, by Elders Parley P. and Orson Pratt. The Sunday previous they attended a Conference at Farmington, in Davis county. Next Friday and Saturday they expect to be at Ogden. The members of the Quorum of the Twelve are holding similar Conferences in all the settlements in the Territory.
The spirit for raising fruit is somewhat on the increase; many are making preparations for planting orchards. The fruit in this city suffered severely from drouth, but peaches were ripening for two months. I ate good flavored peaches at Professor Carrington's on the 16th inst., which had been just gathered from the trees, and he had several bushels on them then. I think there is everything to encourage exertion in fruit raising.
The merchants do not appear to be selling goods so rapidly as in some seasons previous, owing, it is said, to a scarcity of cash in the mountains.
Judge Drummond has removed his family to Fillmore; a regular term of the Court will commence there on the 12th of November. It is rumored that attempts will be made by the Marshal to bring some of the warriors engaged in the Gunnison Massacre before that Court; and on that account many of the Pahvantes are said to have gone west of the Great Desert; but if they could allude the vigilance of Major Reynolds and the gallant Lieut. Maury, of law license memory. I think it would be difficult for Marshal Heywood to catch the real rascals; and the Marshal would not be satisfied with Piede prisoners and squaws, who were only accessory by eating some of the plunder given them by their master, although some of them are now writhing out their three years' imprisonment (under the judgment of Chief Justice Kinney) in the Penitentiary. The Marshal, although of Puritan stock, would most certainly be unwilling to let the guilty cobbler go, and hang the innocent weaver; but how to catch the real rascals, that's the tug.
I am in constant receipt of letters from Elder Hyde. It appears that the southern angular line of Utah came nearer cutting off Carson Valley than the western, as Genoa, the county seat, is in about latitude 30 deg. We had supposed it to be further north. The Elder appears to be in good spirits, and is making calculation to make permanent and extensive investments in that part of the Territory.
Captain Charles A. Harper's division of P. E. Fund passengers arrived her on the 29th inst.
GEO A. SMITH