Helaman Pratt Correspondence 1885

Calle de Donceles No 29
City of Mexico Jan 9, 1885

Prest Taylor
Salt Lake City

Dear Brother

Your favors of Dec 1st & 16th were received in due time and read with intrest.

The native brethren seem to think that they would prefer to visit until a colony can be formed in the Republic of Mexico and consiquently I presume there will be new discuss of emigrating to Arizona in this year. During the last winter I have been absent from the city most of the time holding meetings, visiting &c. I find quite a marked improvement in our congregation and especialy is this the case in and near Ozumba. Since the arrival of Bros. Stewart and Robinson they are making good progress in the language, and as is always the case the native brethren work with more____ when accompanied and directed in their labors with Utah Elders. The result is our congregations in that neighborhood have more than doubled themselves since the arrival of the Brethren.

In my last visit I found quite a spirit of inquiry. I received various invitations to hold meetings in new places, and to visit and answer questions &c, and I must say that the prospects of the mission have never looked brighter at anytime since our arrival, than at present. There was 41 baptized last year, and we opened the new year by baptizing three more. We have also arranged for the baptizm of several others on the 18 inst.
Bro Snow is still laboring here in the city and teaching English, and all the brethren are well with the exception of a slight cold contracted by Bro Robinson while with me on a visit to the Sierra Ciliente last week, which settled on his right lung and was quite painful for some days, but on his return to Ozumba he began to improve, and I hope he is entirely recovered in this. With kind regards to your self and the Brethren of the council in which Bro. Snow joins

I remain
Your brother in the Gospel
Helaman Pratt


Calle de Donaceles No.29
City of Mexico, Feby 5, 1885

Prest. John Taylor
Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother,

Since my last letter to you, various news paper articles have appeared in the Spanish and English paper at this city, stating the Mormons had sent their advanced guard with ____ ____ planted a colony at Los Cruces etc, and warning the people against our doctrines, and calling on the Government to take active and immediate steps to prevent the Mormons from getting a foothold in this country. This same cry has been raised by the priests of the Catholic and Protestants churches, this being perhaps the only question upon which they were fully untied. All this has had quite an effect upon the people and as a result last week a leading brother at Cuahuistia was discharged and ordered by the proprietor of the hacienda to leave the place immediately with his family and effects. Bro. Stewart and I were there last Sunday and learned that Bro. Barco had found employment at another hacienda and was free from being down cast, but feel well and assured that he could make some coments in his new field. We counseled the brethren to be careful and prudent in their movements and remain faithful and true. And all would work for the good of the kingdom of God.

On my last visit to Napala I found so much excitement that I was unable to accomplish but very little. Those who had applied for baptism had been scared off and some of the places where I was well received the month previous, sent special word for me not come again for if I did I would be roughly handled.

However our brethren here as in other places are feeling well, and appear to be faithful and true.

At Chimal several remarkable cases of healing have occurred under the administration of Bros. Stewart and Robinson, and notwithstanding the opposition two more have been baptized making five baptism last month, and good prospects for more in that neighborhood soon. Just what effect these articles will have on the minds of the government officials we have no means of ascertaining.

I will send you an article published Jany 31st in the Mexican Financier, one of the leading papers printed both in Spanish and English.

The representation of the press do not seem to know anything about the move in Chichuahua as yet, but it cannot be kept a secret from them long. If proper we would be pleased to know who of our brethren are in Sonora and how they were received by the Yaquis, and what their address is.

On account of so many foreigners coming here and exchanging lessons, & teaching for almost nothing Bro. Snow’s classes have dwindled down until since December 1st he has only been earning about $20.00 per month. The expense of keeping our foothold here in the Capital, board and traveling to and fro is about $55 or $60 per month, so that the little Bro. Snow had saved and also the $100.00 we received from you last July is all gone and nothing to go on except Bro. Snow’s earnings. We were in hopes things would brighten up so we could have got along, but not so. I think the Brethren at Ozumba have enough for some time yet.

We have arranged for a conference in Ozumba in the 5th and 6th of April.

All are in moderate good health and join in respects to yourself and brethren.

Your Brother in the Gospel
Helaman Pratt


Calle de Donnceles No 29
City of Mexico, Mar. 9. 85

Geo Reynolds Esq.
Salt Lake City

Dear Brother

Your letter of Feb 18, was received some days ago, and its contents read with intrest; as we were in doubt about some points which your letter cleared up. We were very glad to receive the draft, as we were very short of means. We cashed it for $117.50 in Mexican money.

The Mormon excitement seemes to have cooled down a little here, and all is quiet, at least on the surface.

The mission is about as when I wrote last and consequently very little to write about. The Brethren are all in good health and wish to be remembered to your self & Brethren.

Hoping that all will come out well & the Saints be speedily delivered from their enemies. I remain as ever.

Your Brother,
Helaman Pratt


Calle de Donceles No 29
City of Mexico April 22, 1885

Prest Taylor

Dear Brother

Bro. A. V. Robinson will start for home tonight on account of ill health. His lungs have been more or less affected ever since or soon after his arrival, and at times causing him great pain and he has gradually grown worse since the rainy season set in, which began about the 1st inst.

He has had a number of severe attacks of lung fever and affection of the lungs at home, which resulted in a long illness; and it seems that the air of this high altitude is very severe on him, particularly since the rains began, so much so that it is the unanimous opinion of all the Brethren that it would be unsafe for him to remain longer; and we hope our action in releasing him to return home will meet with your approval. We would have notified you sooner, and wait your reply, but I did not know that his illness had taken such a serious turn until my return last evening from Napala, when I found Bros. Robinson and Stewart had come in from Ozumba, and it was then thought best for Bro R. to start at once while he had strength to travel, as a delay of a few days might necessitate one of us accompanying him. Since his arrival he has made good progress in the language and been faithful in preforming the duties of his calling, and we regret that sickness makes it necessary for him to leave us just as he is beginning to get sufficient of the language to be useful in the mission. This will leave Bro Stewart alone at Ozumba as Bro Snow is occupied here in the city and I am traveling and visiting the diferent congregations; and as it is rather unsafe as well as disagreeable for an Elder, without a good knowledge of the language to be alone among this fanatical people, we would hail with joy the calling of another to take Bro Robinsons place, if you think it necessary. We had a good time at our conference held on the 5 and 6 inst, at Ozumba. Most of our congregation were represented, and about 80 in attendance. There was one excommunicated for apostacy, and eleven baptized. The press is giving us a little rest of late, but the priest are busy working against us, turning to good account the report which reach here from time to time of the proceedings of the U.S. against the Mormons. The other Bro are all well and joine in respects to your self and Brethren. We will be pleased to receive any instructions or counsel you may have for us.

I remain as ever
Your brother in the Gosple
Helaman Pratt


12 pail via El Paso, Tex
Received at Salt Lake City 3:46 p.m Apr 22nd 1885
Dated, City of Mexico 22nd
To. Geo Reynolds Prest Office

Robinson starts tonight sickness
Telegraph ticket from ElPaso home.
Notify his father
Helman Pratt


Calle de Donceles No. 29
City of Mexico May 4, 1885

Prests. Taylor and Cannon
Salt Lake City

Dear Brethren

We received your very interesting letter of April 25, yesterday, also your dispatch on the __. I was in Toluca about 50 miles west of here on the 26, and had gon with the intention of remaining several day, but about 15 minuts befor the train left for here I was impressed to return, and on reaching here found your telegram. Bro Snow and I called the American Cousul, (David H Strother) who is very friendly, he having been to Salt Lake City, and formed a very good opinion of the Mormons. He expressed himself as being of the opinion that Mormons Colonies would be of more service and benifit to Mexico, than any others, and is willing to use his influence as a private citizen with the Government Officials if opportunity presents, and will state things as he saw them in Utah. He takes no stock in the many news paper articles against us, nor in the present raid of the U.S. On the 27, we called on Senor Altamirano. But he would make no moove in the matter with out $100.00 down, we assured him that upon the arrival of the Brethren his money would be sure, but no, he wanted cash down or no work. We did not have the money and no way of getting it, so we concluded to do what we could without him. We learned the proper person to see was the minister of Public Works, and Colonization, Carlos Pacheco. On calling at the palace we were informed that the minister was sick and the sub. minister, (Fernandez Leal) was engaged with the Pesident, and we could not see him until next day at 11 a.m.

Accourdingly at 11 a.m. on the 28th we retuned having addressed Sevor Fernandez Leal, a note with your telegram translated into spanish, and also asking an interview, which was granted. We found a document in his posssession bearning the sinature of A. F. Mc Donald and the names of a number of other Brethren which had been forwarded by the Gov. of Chihuahua. We told him we had no authority to act in the mater and only came to request the postponment of any decission until the arrival of represenatives from Utah who would be impowered to negociate with the Federal Gov. of Mexico in behalf of the Mormon people. He assured us that nothing would be done until the representatives arrived, but said those desierous of settling within the Republic of Mexico may be required to each sign an agreement to obey the laws or it would be better still if they would become citizons, and then there could be no question. We returned home feeling thankful that the Lord had opened our way, and we feel assured that the Brethren will have no great difficulty in arranging matter here. As the law says that a foreigner must be declared to be a parnicious stranger by the Federal Government before he can be expelled and that must be individual cases, and not the expulsion of whole communities. So we were infomed by Altamirano, he also said that no state has this right. The press is begining to howl again, and recommend that the Government handle the Mormon question with iron gloves.

Bro Stewart has just returned from a trip to the Tierra Caliente where he and one of the native Elders have been visiting the saints, while they were engaged in conversation in a meeting house with some of the natives on the night of April 30, a man came to the dore drew his pistol and thretoned to shoot the Elders but after some talk, the native brethren pursuaded him to go away, which he did without doing any harm. This is the first act of violence which has occurred since my arrival, although many have talked of killing us, and others have been very much enraged through the influence of the press and preasts.
We are all well, and are anxiousley waiting the arrival of the Brethren.

May God bless and preserve you, and deliver his people is our constant prayer. As ever I remain your brother in the Gospel.

Helaman Pratt


Calle del Puente de San Pedro Y San Pablo No 3
City of Mexico August 15, 1885

Prest. Taylor
Dear Brother

About a month ago while Bros. Snow, Young, and Taylor were here an estimate was made of what it would take to keep up this mission each month, the amount decided upon being one hundred Dollars ($100.00). This estimate was forwarded to you with their recommendations that it be furnished to us.

When they left they gave us $60.00 to keep us going until we could get returns from you.
This amount has all been used, and we have been obliged to borrow in order means to keep us going. I have been waiting thinking every day would bring a letter from you, but as none has reached us, I concluded to write, as I do not know where to borrow any more, and we only have enough to keep us going ten or twelve days longer.

The Brethren are all well, and the mission is about as when we wrote last. We are looking for the return of the Brethren from Chihuahua every day, as they wrote us they would leave San Jose station for here on or about the 8 inst . My Wife’s health has not been the best since her arrival, but she seems to be improving a little now, and is around every day attending to her domestic duties. All join in sending their regards to your self and Brethren

I remain as ever your Bro in the Gospel
Helaman Pratt

Pleas direct your letters to
Calle del Puente de San
Pedro Y San Pable No. 3
City of Mexico

Via El Paso


(The following letter appears to be in a different handwriting. I would guess Helaman’s wife, Victoria wrote it from Helaman dictation)

1a Calle de Soto, No.2
City of Mexico, Oct. 4. 1885

Presidents John Taylor and Geo. Q. Cannon.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brethren;

Your very welcome and interesting letter of the 21st ult reached me yesterday and I took immediately, took steps to learn what I could about the treaty you mention. One of the members of Congress told me that the matter had not yet been brought up for the consideration of that body. He promised to give me a copy of the treaty as soon as it is presented and also a copy of it as approved. These I will forward as soon as received.
Sr Campo & Co have communicated through one to Bro. A.F. Macdonald, desiring him to survey 260,000 hectaras of land in Canton Galiana, also wishing him to explore the Bevispe river in the State of Sonora.

Bro Macdonald has just replied that he is ready and willing to contract with them. Sr. Campo and his brother, the Jefe Politico of the city of Chihuahua, who is here, told me that the opposition to our purchasing land when Bros. Snow and Syman were here came from the ex-Governor of Chihuahua, Gen Carlos Fuero and another member of the company, and had resulted in their withdrawal from the company, and the company now consists of minister Pachaco, Ignacio Gomez del Campo and P. G. del Campo. They have expressed a desire that our families in Chihuahua enter upon their lands as colonists. Sr. Campo also received a letter from Bro. Geo. Teasdale, stating that the people were very well satisfied with Chihuahua and would like to remain there if arrangements could be made whereby they could secure lands on reasonable terms. Sr. P.G. del Campo, the Jefe Politico of Chichuahua, will leave here on Monday or Tuesday next to contract with Bro. Mac. and see if arrangements cannot be made to have the families remain as colonists. The wish me to go too; and assist in coming to an understanding. Minister Pachaco also desires me to go, and as they proffer to bear my expenses, I have consented, trusting it will meet your approval. I will be absent about 15 days.

Mr Rolston, with whom Bros Snow and Syman talked about lands in Sonora, told me yesterday that he would return north on Tuesday, having failed in his negotiations to survey the lands in Sonora and Sinaloa as he could not think of accepting the terms stipulated in the contract as drawn up by them. However, he has some hopes that the contract will be modified on Monday; if not he will return to Chicago thoroughly disgusted with trying to do business with Mexicans, and loose about $25,000 of surveying done in Sonora on Sam Branan’s contract.

I have just received a letter from Bros. J. J. Stewart and W.W.Cluff Jr of Ozumba stating that the small pox is raging there and in the neighborhood in its worst form, and many families have it, numerous deaths occurred daily. On this account we have thought best to postpone our conference which we had arranged to hold at Ozumba on the 6 & 7 inst, and have the brethren come in until the disease abates.

We have changed our place of residence, as you will see by the heading of this letter, and we now have one of the healthiest locations in the city, near the Alamada. We get the morning sunshine unobstructed, and the waster we use comes from an artisian well said to be 300 ft deep. The rent is now $25 per month, but we hope to be able to lease one of the rooms and thus reduce the rent. Our finances will hold out until the first day of Nov.

Hoping that you health is good, and praying that you may be blessed and continue to be delivered from your enemies, I will close with kind regards to all, in which the brethren and my wife join.

If Mr Rolston succeeds in getting the contract modified to suit him before I go to Chihuahua, I will inform you at once, or if anything of importance is accomplished after I am gone, Bro Cummings will let you know immediately.

As ever your Brother in Christ.
Helaman Pratt


1a Calle de Soto No 2
City of Mexico Oct 10, 1885

James Jack
Salt Lake City

Dear Brother

Please forward the within letter to eather of the brethren, as soon as posible. We are all well, and everything about as usual with is in the mission

Regards to All.

Helaman Pratt


1a Calle de Soto No 2
City of Mexico Oct 31, 1885

Prest, John Taylor;
Salt Lake City

Dear Brother;

Since writing to you we have visited many of the saints, and also some of the neighboring towns in the valley of Mexico; and although we meet with a great deal of opposition, and iniferance, yet we have some prospects of soon adding a few to the church. The Brethren are all her yet, as the small pox is still raging in the district of Ozumba. Our Sundays are spent in holding meetings in diferent places and the weekdays in study and in conversing with those who will listne to us. Mr Rolston left here about ten days ago for the interior, and has not yet returned consiquently nothing new from him. Senor P.G. del Campo left here on the 17 inst. And I presume is now in the camps at Corrolito, Chihuahua. I did not accompany him as I expected when I wrote you last, cause the ever changing whims of Mexicans. I have learned nothing yet of the extridition treaty. I learned through senor Ignacio G. del Campo that the $318.00 extry duties imposed on our people in Chihuahua has been remitted by the treasury department.

Bro Cummings and I accompanied by one of the native Elders will visit tomorrow (Sunday) a small indian town about 20 miles from here, where we have a prospect of baptizing some Soon. We have received information from a Mr, Hurd who is now here on a visit from the Republic of Costa Rica, Central America that there are two American families by the name of Ross living in San Jose of that republic, they have been there about 15 years and are in good circumstances and claim to be Mormons. We will endeavor to open up a correspondence with them and ascertain where they are from and if they are still in the faith, and will send them some of our publications in Spanish. Mr. Hurd thinks we could open up a good mission in that country, as the people enjoy religious liberty and are not near as fanatical as here.

Our money is all gone but $20.00 and tomorrow our rent $25.00 is due, I am sure I do not know what we will do, as it is almost imposible for us to borrow money here, and unless we receive some from you in a few days our situation will be quite serious, as Mexico is a poor place to be in with a family without means of support, but we hope there is releaf for us on the road ere this

Hopeing this will find you still in the enjoyment of health and liberty I will close
My wife and the brethren join me in regards to your self and brethren

I am as ever your brother in Christ
Helaman Pratt


1a Calle de Soto No2
City of Mexico Nov. 26, 1885

Prests. Taylor and Cannon
Salt Lake City

Dear Brethren

Yours of 14th inst reched on the 23rd. We glad to heard you were in the enjoyment of health and liberty. We also received the check for $300.00 from J. Jack which was very acceptable as we had been borrowing since the first of the month.

There is nothing particularly new in this field of labor. We are mooving along quietly and improving every opertunity to enlighten the people in regards to the Gospel, but it seemes some times as though we were making but little progress, We now have on our record 207 names who have rec’d, baptism, but some of these have again returned to their wollowing in the mire of sin and vice and others have changed their place of residence and I have no knowlidge as to their whereabouts. We have some good live, native brethren, who are doing all they can according to their opertunities to spread the truth. Bro. Stewart is now able to use the language suffierim to go among the people, hold meetings, converce &c, which is a great help to me. Bros Cumings and Cluff are study hard and making good progress in the language.

Bro Stewaret and Cluff have just returned from a trip to the state of Hidalgo, they report the saints as all feeling well there and propects are good for a few more joining the church soon. Tomorrow they will return to Ozumba and if the Smallpox has abated, will again commence their labors in that district,

Bro Cummings in company with two of the native Bre, visited Tuyuhuatco, the other side of lake Chalco, where they were well received and report prospects good for raising up a branch. On the 8inst I baptized 3 in the Tierra Caliente, and on the 15 inst. two more in San Agustin an indian village about 20 miles east of here, where there is also propects of raising up a congrigation We have appointments made for some time to come, and in order to fill them all we have to inlist the servises of the native brethren to accompay those who cannot talk yet. Bro Candanosa understands English pretty well and can be of great assistance to Bro Cummings until he can talk and preach in the language. Our protastants friends are very bitter against us, and publish many falshoods regarding us, but in the zeal they always over do it, and all can see through their falce Statements and in many instances they serve as a very good advertisement.

Mr. Rolston failed to get the contract for surveying the public lands in Sonora, and has returned home thoroughly disgusted with his 4 month experience in Mexican business circles. I am informe that the concession to servey the public lands of Sonora has been sold to a San Francisco Co.

The extridition treaty has not been presented to Congress yet.

We are all well, and all join in best wishes and dayley prayers for you and for all Isarial

I am as ever
Your Brother
Helaman Pratt

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