Baltimore, Md
Washington City, D. C.
April 3rd 1854

To President Young

Dear Bro.

Inclosed, I forward you a copy of the Invoice of the Church Books, sent from Liverpool, including all expenses to N. Orleans. The books were shipped on the “John M. Wood”, and ensured for £1800 against all particular average on losses, unless the vessel is sunk burnt or stranded: to have ensured against every loss would have amounted to more than double of the present insurance. Bro. Richards on his own responsibility has ventured to send them without insuring them against every liability. Bro. Richards could not effect an insurence on them from N. Orleans to St. Louis without costing a great sum. They are consigned to H. L. Eldredge, N. Orleans; and an Invoice has been made out to H L. Eldredge for paying duties which is fixed at £664-1-1, covering all expenses to N. Orleans.

By reference to the Bill you will perceive that the “drawback” in your favor at Liverpool is nearly equal to the expense of duties in this country. And the freight from Liverpool to N. Orleans is exceedingly low; probably as low if not lower than from N. York to the same port. Upon the whole, I am confident that there will be a saving of several hundred dollars, by getting the job done in England, instead of America.

According to your counsel, I requested bro. Richards to make arrangements with the emigrating Saints to transport the books across the plains. But he informed me under date of [page break] Feb. 17th that he and brother Spencer had made considerable enquriry among the Saints to effect this object, but all to no purpose. I also according to your wishes, requested Elder Richards to hasten the work, and forward the same as early as possible, but the work has been delayed much longer than what he expected; and was not shipped until fore part of March; the vessel also was detained in port until the 11th, the period of his last communication. She has on board 396 Saints under the care of Robert Campbell. If she should have a long passage, it would be late in May, before Bro. Eldredge would obtain the cases.

In yours of Oct. 31st you state that president “Eldredge will attend to forwarding the Hymn books &c. from St. Louis.” I have accordingly remitted to him $700, to pay duties and other expenses and requested him to account to you for the same. I also requested him to use every exertion with the Saints to carry out your counsel in regard to their transportation across the plains; but I have just received a communication from him, stating that he has “it will be very difficult to get them freighted, as every one seems to have all and more than they can take.” I also stated to him, that in case he failed in getting them thus freighted, that I presumed that you would be glad to have him loan funds from the brethren, if possible, so that they might be sure to reach Utah this season. But he writes, as follows, “as to purchasing teams and taking charge of them myself, I can do it if I can obtain the means. But the orders that I have now to purchase bills and freight machinery, goods, &c., so far exceeds my means, that it almost frightens me”

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The books, including the boxes weight of the boxes, will weigh about 5 tons; and the provisions, blankets, clothing, &c. of tranisters would make about 1 ton more. About 6 waggons would be required to take them to the valley.

Enclosed, you will find an additional bill of books, pamphlets, periodicals, &c. furnished, according to your order, to John L. Libley, Assistant Librarian at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

I have requested L. W. Richards, as you desired, to send him copies of all such, as I have not been able to procure.

I furnished you, in a former letter, the items that I had expended on the Church Books, amounting to $3990.57.

I hold in my hands Tithing, to the amount of $131,31 3/4; and perpetual emigrating funds $25,68 ¼. I may be under the necessity of using some, or all of this, in order to get home; if so, I will replace it by selling some of my cattle or in some other way.

I send the 5th and 6th Nos. of the 2nd vol. of the Seer by the same mail as this.

I have seen the Dr. once since the commencement of the present session of Congress: he feels well both in mind and body. He, no doubt, keeps you advised of the Congressional News. No acts, that I am aware of, called upon the Dr for any funds since last spring. I then had $1000 of your money from him, and $1000 dollars which I borrowed of on my own responsibility; the 2 notes of which, he enforms me, were given to you; but I have paid them in cash towards the Church books, although one of them is not due, till one year from this time.

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I have purchased between one & two thousand dollars worth of books, pamphlets, &c. from the Liverpool office, all of which I have paid for to the same office. I have been very unfortunate in the shipping of 2 cases which were shipwrecked, and not being insured, I lost near 200 dollars, worth including a large number of the books which were stolen. I asked the Agents at your office in Liverpool, if they could not share a part of this loss themselves, but the office is unwilling to do this unless by your counsel. According to the Gentile method of doing business, the loss falls wholly on me. Some of $300 dollars worth I sent last fall to St. Louis but the box never arrived; all these things, together with several hundred dollars loss in publishing the Seer in this country, has had a tendency to reduce my means very much; but all this matters not, if I can only fulfill the duties of my calling & the duties towards my family, acceptably before God: this is my greatest and constant desire. I shall leave Baltimore for St. Louis about the 1st of May, intending to accompany bro Eldredge across the plains. We shall stick by the train, according to your counsel, until relieved by written orders from you.

Elder Aaron F. Farr is appointed to succeed Elder Eldredge in the presidency of the St. Louis Conference. This has been quite a disappointment to him as he had been making every calculation to return to Utah. Bro Eldredge & myself could think of no other person in this country upon whom our minds could rest.

The selling of L.D. Saint’s publications to the Gentiles in this country is altogether out of the question. There is not, I suppose, one out of a hundred that would take them as a gift unless, they took them to burn. Yours in the Covenant

Orson Pratt.

[Transcribed by Rebecca Staker, Julia Pratt, Nora Fowers, and Julia Winfield, Mar. 2010]

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