Great Salt LakeCity Aug, 23, 53
Dear Br Orson,
At a General Conference held in the autumn of President Youngs Arrival in this valley he announced publicly that the former alotments of City Lots would be set aside, and the whole be surveyed and given out a new, the same as if there had been no alotments.
Feeling anxious for you I enquired of President Young if any lots could be reserved for those absent. He replied – “No. – It will be time enough for them to receive inheritances when they arrive. he wished the lots to be given out to immediate occupants who would build on them.”
I enquired of him When I should take my inheritance. He advised me to take those which were formerly alotted to Orson Pratt.
Verrily believing that these Lots were free, and as liable to be given out as any other, I took them in my own name, and paid the surveying and Recording. Intending to keep the choisest corner lot for you. From that time onward I improved them, in all good faith, not only with President Youngs knowledge, and approval, but actually Leased one corner for a store, by his Advise.
How you may judge my surprise, when after toiling with my wives and children for so many years, and going hungry and destitute and and even selling our Chl clothes, To make improvements, fence, build and set out dues: etc: President Young informed me on last Sunday that I had entirely misunderstood him. That he had never considered the Lots as mine, except the south Lot which he understood I had arranged for, with you, when we Last met on the Road as pioneers.
I told him my reasons for improving them, and that I had done it in all good faith; and would now abide his decision on them.
His decision was: that if you and I could agree and be satisfied it would satisfy him and all would be right.
Well now, Bro Orson, We can certainly do that with all ease. Because, whatever you wish of me I in regard to the matter I will do, if in my power. I want you perfectly satisfied. – Ask and you shall receive. – Speak and it shall be done. –
But never lay up my feelings, n or consider me as an unkind brother, who would wish to crowd upon you. I have acted in all good faith, and with motives as pure towards you as I would towards the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Br, I and my family are as well as usual. Your family are generally well, they will doubtless write to you all particulars. The Indians are Robbing and Murdering our citizens. But you will have all the news without my writing it.
I am as ever, your Br in flesh soul and Spirit.
Prof,r Orson Pratt P.P. Pratt.
[Transcribed by Cheryl Brawn and Doratha Young; Jan. 2013]