Bowman, Isaac, "Latest from Utah," The Mormon, 23 May 1857, 3.
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ST. LOUIS, MAY 15, 1857.
PREST. JOHN TAYLOR Dear Brother: By request of the Hon. Geo. A. Smith, I write you a few lines. I left Great Salt Lake City on the 2d of April last, a passenger with the April mail, in charge of Mr. P. L. Stoddard, conductor. We had good weather and grass to Fort Bridger, and plenty of snow from the head of the Echo kanyon [Canyon], to Bear River. From Bridger to Rocky Ridge; on Sweet Water, there was no grass; our animals had to subsist on greasewood. From the latter place, to Ash Hollow, the grass was tolerable; and from thence to the Missouri River, there was no grass, except on the Little Blue, where the grass was good. I arrived at Atchison on the 10th inst. I left there on board the Morning Star, on the 11th, and arrived in this city last evening. I presume that the mail arrived at Independence on the 12th.
While crossing the plains, we were overtaken with six snow storms; one very severe storm was at the South Pass, on the 10th April. The snow was from three to five feet deep at the Pass, and the storm being very severe, it was with difficulty that we could find the road to the Sweet Water. We succeeded in getting to the river in the evening, which we crossed on the ice. We had one wagon drawn by four mules, and one by six; and about fifty head of animals besides. The most severe snow storm, mingled with chilling rain, that we experienced, was twenty-five miles above Fort Kearney, on the Platt River, on the 30th April. Six of our mules froze to death in this storm. The other storms were less severe.
The May mail, for Salt Lake City, in charge of Mr. John Murdock conductor, camped with me, on the evening of the 6th inst., on Big Sandy, two hundred and fifty miles from Independence. They were getting along well, and all in good healthy and spirits. The Hon. J. M. Bernhisel, Hon. Geo. [George] A. Smith and Elder T. O. Angell, were passengers with that mail.
Bro. Smith wished me to inform you that he has been very much relieved from the cough which afflicted him while in the States, since he has been on the plains.
The winter in Utah, which had been very severe, broke up in February. The weather in March was warm and pleasant. The farmers were busy ploughing during that month, and had sun most of the spring before I left.
I think that spring is, at least, six weeks earlier in Utah, that it is in Missouri. Provisions are plenty: flour was selling at $3 and $4 per hundred: wheat, $1.25 cents, and corn and potatoes at $1 per bushel. The Utonians are at peace in Utah, and with all good men everywhere. Since I have arrived in this lower world, I have heard much about wickedness and abominations in Utah. I do not think it is necessary to say anything in defense of Utah, as no honest, sensible man will believe the reports, and I care not if the other portion of mankind believe them or not. "The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth," and the wicked must abuse the righteous, so as to hide their own wickedness. I do not think that I shall ever apostatize—especially if I should have to return to the States. May the Lord bless you.