Washington City, D. C.
Feb 14th 1854

To President Young

Dear Bro.

Yours of November 30th I have just received. I thank you and also the Lord, for the privilege of returning home this season.

Before I can return I shall be under the necessity of writing ten more Nos of the “Seer,” and of Printing and sending out the same, as I have received the money for about four hundrerd subscribers, and I should not feel right to return without fulfilling my obligations to them.  And more especially as you have not counselled me to return, but left it to my own option as the spirit shall dictate.  The printing of the Seer, board, and other expenses connected with it costs about $1000 per year; while the subscribers in the United States and British Provinces only bring in between four and five hundred dollars the <loss of > profits, therefore, so far as this country is concerned is about $500 dollars per year.  But yet I rejoice that the Lord has enabled me to keep it up, and I verily believe that the things published therein have been the means of doing much good; (I do not mean the errors published;) Many have been stirred up to investigate, and the saints have began to wake up out of their slumbers; and now and then one will keep awake, so that I [page break] Greatly rejoice in the mission which you gave to me.  My whole desire is to be useful and do all the good I can; and my imperfections and follies I hope my brethren will kindly overlook, as they always have done in times past.  You undoubtedly have seen before this all the nos. of the first volume of the Seer.  The subject of “Celestial marriage” is continued through the whole 12 Nos.  I have done the best with it that I could.  I am happy to say that no Gentile has, as yet, to my knowledge, been able to bring one argument against it: they only grunt at it, as all other swine naturally would do when treading upon pearls.  The Seer is not only in circulation here, but in Great Britain and on the continent, and even in Asia, and in the Islands of the sea.  In the second volume, I say nothing about that subject, but am treating upon Faith, Repentance, and other items of a more simple nature, according to your suggestion, and as I had intended to do, after having placed those other principles prominently before the public.  As I have not extracted from other publications, but have taken pains to have all the contents of the Seer, so far, of my own composition, it has cost me an immense deal of labour; and I fear that the composition, printing, and sending out of the next ten numbers will take me until August or September before I can start for home. My hair is getting somewhat grey, and considerably thinner by constant sitting and writing; I am crowded with letters of inquiry [page break] which take up a good portion of my time in answering.

I am getting my printing done in Batltimome done in Baltimore, at which place I make it my home. I have not had an opportunity to visit any branches of the Saints in this country for nearly a year, as there is no one to attend to the numerous letters which are constantly coming in and which have to be attended to, and my circumstances will not allow me to hire a clerk and pay his board. Indeed, I have not seen the face of a saint since last July, with the exception of the Dr Bernhisel & the wife which you kindly gave me the permission of getting while upon this mission. I would send you the date of our marriage, only I think that the letter might be miscarried or opened. And I do not wish to expose myself unnecessarily to the fury of the Gentiles or their unrighteous laws.

With regard to the 5000 each of the Books of Mormon and Doc. & Cov. And the 10000 hymn books, I have paid out as follows:

I have paid L. W. Richards toward the church books                        $3152,50
I have sent to H. L. Eldredge Cash towards  Do Do                               700,00
Paid Discount on bills of Credit on                  Do Do                                43,07
Traveling and other expenses in relation to church books                    95,00


I have requested Bros Richards & Eldridge to keep a strict account of all the expense on those books and forward the same to me that I might present it to you [page break] according to your request. Or, perhaps, I might have counselled brother Eldridge to be accountable to you so far as the $700 dollars are concerned. As soon as I obtain particulars I will forward to you. There are several other books which I have obtained which I will forward to the Assistant Librarian at Harvard University in your name, according to your request, and place the same to your account. I hope you have received the list which I have already furnished him, as I forwarded it to you some time ago. I have about two dollars “Perpetual Emigration” money on hand and not far from a hundred dollars tithing which small amount is subject to your order. I suppose the Dr. will furnish you all the news in relation to Congress affairs therefore I do not mention them.  I am persuaded that the Dr. is as true-hearted and faithful a man as you can place in Congress; at least, I know nothing to the contrary. But I do hope that Utah will never think of sending A. W. Babbitt as any other person out of this church to represent them in Congress. I have not seen Col Kane since I have been on this mission; I called once to see him, but he was absent to the West Indies. Judge Douglas’s “Nebraska bill,” if passed, would deprive us of the eastern third of our territory. Is not this Friendship? Such as might be expected from an Ill. Senator. Yours in the Covenant of Peace.

Orson Pratt.

P.S. I know of no person in this country more suitable for the President of St Louis Conference than Aaron F. Todd Bro Eldridge and myself have been thinking of appointing him.


[Transcribed by Julia Winfield. Erin McAllister, Janean Hendrickson, and Heather Hoyt, Apr. 2010]

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