Letter from Wilford Woodruff to Orson Pratt
December 12, 1866

Elder Wilford Woodruff wrote the following:

“Council Chamber, Legislative Assembly, G.S.L. City, Dec. 12, 1866
Dear brothers Pratt and Richards,

Having taken my seat in the Council Chamber for forty days, I feel it is my duty to appropriate a few moments of this time in corresponding with my friends, especially with the Twelve. I have never written a letter to brother Pratt, since he was has been on his last mission, although many times I have thought of doing so. I promised brother Richards when he left that I would write, and I now commence to fulfill my promise.

But what shall I say? What news shall I give? It is a general time of health through the Territory, although some are dying, as is always the case. I preached the funeral sermon of sister Polly Vose, aged 86, on Monday. I preached the funeral sermon of the first wife of Simeon Carter, who is now in Box Elder county; she died yesterday and was buried today, being 67 years old. The wife of Reynolds Cahoon was buried a few days since. Laura Pitkin was buried two weeks ago, aged 77. Judge William W. Phelps has been quite poorly of late, but is able to pray in the Legislature. You have been made acquainted that Dr. Robinson was murdered in our streets, which caused great sensation at the time. A negro, called Tom, was found last night with his throat cut, and a stab in the breast, with a paper pinned upon him, warning all negroes to let all white women alone. Amasa M. Lyman, and C.C. Rich have been quite sick; C.C. Rich has got well, and is on his way here. A.M. Lyman is better, and we expect him here soon. All the rest of the Twelve are in the legislature, and well.

We are in constant communication by electric telegraph through all the settlements in Cache Valley, and shall be in a few days with Bear Lake and St. George. We are thus having a very mild winter; it is so warm that peas and other vegetables, that were sown this fall to come up early in the spring, are now out of ground. Franklin S. Richards is messenger in the House this session, and Frank Henry Hyde in the council. The two oldest sons of Orson Hyde are preparing for a mission to England in the spring. I believe both of your families are as well as usual. I saw sister Sarah and her son Laron Pratt, both in President Young’s office today, looking well. President Young has been confined to his house about two weeks with the rheumatism, but is now better. Brother Brigham Young, Jun., is with us, and well, and enjoying himself. I supposed he will return to England during the winter or spring. I have followed brother Pratt on his mission to Austria and through England with much interest. I was quite surprised that he was permitted to remain in Austria as long as he did.

We have received Governor Burkee’s Message, and I think it is the mildest one we ever received from a Gentile Governor. I think we shall have rather a peaceable session, as far as our Governor is concerned. Congress is still trying to do something to destroy “Mormonism,” but I have great faith to believe they will not accomplish much against us. As to temporal matters in general here, money is scarce, goods plenty and falling. We have had, this season, a large amount of merchandise brought to this city. The people are continuing to build in this city to a great extent. All kinds of trade and business are very dull. In Virginia, and the northern mines, flour is worth but little more than with us. But there is a great prospect, next season, of a big grasshopper war, from the Missouri to the Pacific as the whole face of the earth was alive with them last fall. I suppose there will be no teams sent east next season, for the emigration, we are waiting awhile for the Pacific Railroad to approach nearer to us. The emigration, the past season, came in very well; some deaths.

I should be pleased to hear from either of you at any time, and appreciate any information from your field of labor.

Your brother in the Gospel of Christ,
Wilford Woodruff”

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dec. 12, 1866, 2]
[Millennial Star, 29:60]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]


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