Helaman Pratt Correspondence 1887

(Envelope postmarked Logan, Utah Jan 24)
(written across the edge “Read Feb 14, 1887” “J Z Stewart” )

Via El Paso
Elder Helaman Pratt
Jaurez, Canton Galeana
Republic of Mexico

Office of
Probate Judge, CacheCounty

Logan City, Utah, Jan. 23rd, 1887

Dear Bro. Pratt,

It has been a long time since I received your last letter, but I have not been entirely indifferent about writing as I have written I do not know how many letters to you since but have failed to mail them, except only and I am not sure whether I mailed that or not; however I do not intend that this shall share the fate of the others.

I often think of you and always have a great anxiety for the welfare of the mission and my prayers are that the time may soon come when the predictions regarding their redemption will be verified.

As you are doubtless aware the Book of Mormon is out some weeks since and a number of copies bound, and may it soon be read and appreciated by that people.

Now Bro. Pratt I hope you will write me soon; tell me all about the condition of the mission; the prospects for the future; the [page break] prospects you have for a new home, and all the information regarding the section of country where the Saints have located and the intentions of the brethren concerning the future course to be pursued with regard to colonization, etc, etc for that those are matters about which we have chatted many hours in bygone years, and I think that neither of us are less interested now than we were then.

We are doing the best we can under the circumstances, and the Saints are feeling as well as usual seemingly satisfied that God is at the helm and how it will be when we are brought to the severe test, which appears to be coming is yet to be seen. It seems to be rapidly nearing.

I hope Sister Pratt reached you in safety. I have not heard from you since she started. I am very busy this winter and feel that I am doing good; probably I might do more <good> were it not that I am rather overworked.

This however is only during the cold winter months as many of the students have school as soon as spring opens.

I have not heard from the folks in Salt Lake for several weeks, in fact not since Sister Pratt left, so cannot say how they are.

Now Bro. Pratt, I hope you will write soon and that the blessings of the Lord may attend you in your labors and that you will not forget your friends in the far North. My wife joins me in kind regards to yourself and Sister Pratt and little ones as also enquiring friends if any these be. I am as ever your bro. and friend. J.Z.Stewart

[Transcribed by Pat Bishop and Nora Fowers; Mar. 2011]

James Z. Stewart to Mr. Pratt [Helaman Pratt], letter, 23 January 1887; Correspondence, letters received, 1886 December-1902 September, MS 199, box 1, folder 3; Church History Library, Salt Lake City.


Genus Maricopa Co Arizona

March 7- 1887

Brother Helaman –


You will See that I am still here.  But am undecided just now what to do.  We are having a dark day here.  My Sister Jenny Hawley Died on Wednesday evening last – March 2nd taken down in her usual good health.  Sick about 10 days and I hear of Sickness every where here perticularly among children. Dan Jones oldest Son died  here some weeks ago  He then started back to Utah with his family and I have just heard that another Son has died on the road.  He has been talking of going down your way – to Mexico – all winter but now has gone north.  When the weather gets warmer here I feel that I will have to get away [unreadable] I will have to go back and take my chances as I am doing nothing here.  and if I was able I would not like to risk my children here at present.  How is Dora and how do your children stand the change.  Is the climate warmer there than here – or colder.  How far are you from Deming.  And are you not nearer to some station on the Mexican Central.  I find the fare from here to Deming is for 300 miles $25.00 while it is the Same from San Francisco to El Paso- 1300 miles.  Such is Rail Road consistency – What are your Mill prospects—that you spoke of—and how far from your Settlement is it to good timber – My Sisters Sarah and Belle ar tolerable but all feel bad and are worn out on account of Sister Jennys death. Charley Hawley is like a lost sheep – Jenny leaves 4 girls.  The oldest one Married [page break] From what I hear.  The fiends are trying to goad Than to desperation.  So that they can get him to resist them that they may kill him.  For I Suppose they feel like they would not enjoy his society if he is ever a free man again.  Joe Bush – his guard – makes it his business to tyrannize <over>—and insult him at his pleasure having forced him to say a word back to him He put him in the Sweat Box. 28 hours along with a [unreadable] the warden was petitioned  (By the Brethren) not to have him go in as he had been sick 10 days but no heed was paid to the petition.  After he had been in 10 hours—Dean begged that he might be put in for the remainder of his time – but they would [page torn] Bush was begged them [unreadable] him have a pair of Blankets – this was refused  Jones called for a drink of water – and even this was denied him.  All light was shut out – and he could not stand up nor lay down without laying in a mess.  How long shall this continue.  And I Sometimes think – if we have our fingers on Such a fiend as this – would the Lord require mercy at our hands.  The Tucker Edmunds – Edmunds Tucker – dint seem to bring happiness to Br Hollister and the “Loyal Leagues”?  I Suppose that they are offering up prayer now – in their way – that the Mormon Concience  may be stiffened.  That they will not register as the Test Oath is all the hope left them-  Doniphan in a political campaign in Mo. used to say – that He was not a candidate for Office “That there were more office Seekers than Offices.” “more Pigs than tits.”  I think this saying would apply to Utah Just now.  I suppose that you are busy – and haven’t time to read letters – So will quit this.  Samuel R.

[page break]

[Transcribed by Erin T. McAllisterDick and Angie Grigg, Mar. 27, 2011]

Samuel R. to Brother Helaman [Helaman Pratt], letter, 7 March 1887; Correspondence, letters received, 1886 December-1902 September, MS 199, box 1, folder 3; Church History Library, Salt Lake City.



1a Calle de Soto No. 2
City of Mexico
April 4, 1887

J.H. Ralson Esq.
Grand Centra Hotel
El Paso, Texas

Dear Friend

I saw Mr Otmzer on the train yesterday and he told me you were at El Paso and well, I was more than pleased to hear this as I feared you was dead, as I have not hurd from you but the once since you left this city, and I have written to you severil times. In taking with Mister Snow, about you we concluded you were eather dead,or had sent the amount due me and it had not reached me. Now if it is posible for you to send me to this city the amount I lent you you will confer a great favor ____ ____.

Our colony matters are all O.K. will soon have steam, saw, lath, shingle and the mills running, and as soon as we have timber and a little time to build I should be pleased to have a visit from you. There is plenty of oppertunity for you to invest in lands if you so desire


1a Calle de Soto No 2
City of Mexico April 13, 1887

President John Taylor
Salt Lake City

Dear Brother;

I left my home in the colony of “Juarez” on the morning of the 31st of March to attend the conference of the Mexican Mission which was held at Ozuma on the 6, and 7 inst. At Casas Grandes I took passage on the coach for the station of Gallego M.C. R.R. at which point I landed in about 36 hours from Cases Grandes at a cost of $12.00. Coaches make regular trips from Gallego twice a week leaving state every Monday and Thursday morning imediately after the arrival of the train. I mention this as there may be some of our brethren would prefer coming to the colony in this way than to come by Demming on account of the slow and tedious journey from Deming to “Juarez” by private conveyance.

On the morning of the 4th I arrived in this city and was met at the station by Bro. W.W.Cluff, Jr, who was ____. Bro. H Cummings being on a trip visiting the Saints at Ozumba and the Tierra Caliente.

We took the afternoon train the same day for Ozumba where we found Bro. Cumming and the saints well and everything prepared for the reception of those who should come from a distance to attend the conference. On the evening of the 5th we held a priesthood meeting and on the 6 and 7th meetings were held which were very well attended and the reports from the representative of the different congregations while showing no great progress in point of numbers, was highly gratfying on account of the good spirit manifest by the speakers, and the determination to root out inquity and to live more purer and better lives.
Since Bro. Snow and myself left this city the 1st of last December Bros. Cummings, Cluff and Lara have been working very diligently and have given much good instructions in regard to the law of chastity &c, and have brought to light some 15 or 20 cases of adultry, most of whom under instructions from Bro. Snow after making a public confession before their respective congregations, have been admitted to rebaptism, only 8 baptisms have been administered since our October Conference.

We have the names of 57 men women and children who are ready to go to the colony, and today we will ______ _____ to be approved by the minister of Colonization as provided by law, and also ask that they be transported over the R.ys from their homes to San Jose Station, Chihuahua, where we will be met by the brethren from “Juarez” with teams.

In a communication received on this subject of transportation from the minister he says “as soon you furnish the list of names of those who wish to colonize to be approved as the law provides your petition for transportation will be granted.” Monday the second of May is the day mentioned for starting. On Friday the 8th inst I returned from Ozumba and found Bro. Snow had arrived in good health about one hour before me. Everything looks favorable to a speedy consummation for our business here.

Bro. Snow and the missionaries joins in regards to you and all who may be with you.

I remain you Brother in Christ
Helaman Pratt

P.S. We have received no information as to who have been or will be called as missionaries for the mission and Bros Cummings and Cluff begin to feel as though they would like to know whether they well be released this year or not, they have been here now about 22 months. If missionaries are called who have no knowledge of the language, it will require about one year hard study before they will be able to talk sufficient to hold public meetings and be efficient workers.



Juarez Chihuahua
Mexico April 29th/ 87

Pres. E Snow
City of Mexico
1st Calle de Soto No.2

Dear Brother

The money per hand of W. F. Calton reached me yesterday, on receiving yours from Corralitos. I wait and saw the “jefe” about flour and inquired about Wheat, but could find none. I then engaged 1000th flour & 54 the best we could do; since then Bro. Eyring has paid 64 and it appears scarce; the Jefe would not fully guarantee only as he could by wheat, the ex jefe has sold all his to Corralitos Co.

Bro. Sevey goes over in the morning to get the balance of amt contracted for (1000lb) and it occurs to us that it would be well to ask minister Pacheco to have 3 or 4000 lbs pass the Paso del Norte customs house free of duty in view of incoming immigrants and the wants of those here who failed to have crops here under the conditions of failure in the Campo contract. We can get the flour better and quicker from San Jose than from Deming, and persons here could aid in the _____ to get the flour if it could come in for over presents need free of duty, and some who come in will have to buy for another—year—. The wheat below looks pretty well.

The water holds out; looks like rain; and nights cool: _____ lots here; the Boiler and all saw mill out fit on the ground yesterday; no accident; so far as we hear; teams have been into strawberry with wagon bows and cover, and Bros. Rancher and Karthner have gone on into Corralis with teams. Bro. Williams, Dillman, McClellan and others are going over.

In asking the precinct for flour to pass we cannot send a journal paper as Mr. Campo is not here and his son is in prison, and if possible we need some person appointed to act for us who will assist us to obtain our rights without being in conflict with the people locally.

If any of our native saints could be appointed who understood the law it would be desirable;

With regards to Bro. Cummings, Pratt and Cluff
Your as in the cause of Truth
A.F. Macdonald


Ygnacia Gomes del Camapo
Mirador De La Alameda No 7
Mexico, Mayo 8 de 1887

H. Pratt
Colonia Juares

[Transcriber’s Note: This letter (pages 79–81 of PDF) is in Spanish. Spanish transcriber needed.]


1a Calle de Soto. No. 2
Mexico, May 8, 1887

Hon Erastus Snow,
Juarez, Chihuahua

Dear Brother:

As you desired I write you a letter this (Sunday) evening and will take it to the train, to inform you how things are progressing. I got the $250.00 check from Bro. Thatcher and cashed it at 28 ½ % premium. I paid the notary $21 and the mission fund its due and still have something over $80 your due.

Campo tells me the order for the free entry of those horses and wagons is ready, and the one of the 4000 lbs. Flour will be ready sometime during the week. I have been unable to learn from Judge Sepulvida just what is the fate of that petition to admit free the machinery, etc. De Anda is still absent and though I have been to the office many times and to his house once I have not seen the Judge yesterday or today. I may call at his house on my way to the depot with this letter, and if anything definite has been done about the matter, add it as a postscript; or if I an learn anything more tomorrow as to how the matter stands, I will drop you a few lines tomorrow night.

The missionaries did not arrive this morning as we expected. We will watch the trains until they come, or we get some word from you. I remailed Bro T. letter and one for Bro. Pratt, also a letter from Bro. Collett.

We are well, only I have a bad cold on my lung and in my head. I hope you or Bro. Praatt tells us how you got along with the company, and how they seem to like the colony. With kindest regards in which Willie joins.

I remain your truly
Horace Cummings

P.S. Judge S tells me it has passed Fomento and He thinks it is now all right. We will see about it tomorrow HC


President’s Office
Church of Jesus Christ
Latter Day Saints

PO BOX B.                            Salt Lake City, Ut                   June 15th, 1887

Elder Heleman Pratt,
Juarez, Casas Grandes
Chihuahua, Mexico

Dear Brother,

The last favor we had from you was dated the 13th of April in which we were pleased to learn concerning your labors and success, and the progress of affairs in your mission.

You allude to the necessity you have been under of dealing with cases where the law of chastity has been violated among native saints. From what we know of that country by the reports which have reached us this, we suppose, is a besetting sin of the people of that land, and it will require patience and much [instructions] instructions aided by the presence of the spirit of God to check the evil tendency. The decendants of Lehi are very degraded, but to them great promises have been made, and the Lord has pledged himself by covenant to fulfil them.

It is very interesting to learn of the success which has attended your efforts to get the aid of the Government in transporting over the railroads the native saints whom you desire to move to our new settlements. As Brother Snow remarks in his letter it is the first time in the history of our people where a Government has extended that kind of aid to Latter-day Saints. It may be that the Mexican Government has the spirit of being a nursing father or mother to the house of Israel. There is more of that blood under their jurisdiction than under the greater part of the Governments of the earth.

The Missionaries that you asked for we suppose have long ere this reached you, and we trust that you will find them tolerably well prepared by their knowledge of Spanish for the labors of the ministry.

[Transcribed by Pat Bishop and Nora Fowers; March 2011]

President’s Office to Elder Helaman Pratt [Helaman Pratt], letter, 15 June 1887; Correspondence, letters received, 1886 December-1902 September, MS 199, box 1, folder 3; Church History Library, Salt Lake City.


1a Calle de Soto No 2
Mexico, July 21” 1887

Helaman Pratt.

Juarez, Galeana, Chi.

Dear Brother:

Yours of July 3rd came to hand yesterday.  The last one I received from you was enclosed in one from Bro. Snow and I answered it when I answered his, enclosing some stamps.  I suppose it did not reach you on account of containing the stamps.  My wife sent me a $5 green back also which failed to reach me.  It is not safe to risk much in a letter as it seems there are experts who can tell when money or stamps are in a letter.  However, I will try it again and enclose a few as you request.

I was very sorry to learn of the turn affairs have taken there with our Mexican colonists.  It will naturally put a damper on things here unless the Lord rules otherwise.  It is a good thing that you wrote me the particulars so fully, as I can use your letter to good advantage in explaining causes, etc.  We can only do the best we can for them but I deeply regret the coure our Mexican friends have taken.  The news, however, is received among our converts much better than I feared it would be, and most of them are still firm in a desire to go next April.

The brethren (Eyring & Snow) have not yet arrived but we expect them tonight or in the morning.

[page break]

The best prospects we have at present are in the Tierra Caliente, and the few there are very anxious that one or two Elders be established in Morelos as in Ozumba.  As, of course, when they all arrive they cannot well stay here and in Ozumba.  I think the idea a good one.  The Elders in Morelos and Ozumba could change about often, and in that way be able to keep well in that warm climate.  You and Bro Snow might talk it over and let me know what you think about it.  I can get a good dry room there for $3 or $350 a month and hold meetings in it.  As a number from San Jose and another small town just above Morelos are taking an interest in the work, a meeting in Morelos is almost necessary.  More over the Protestants, I understand, have no minister there and most of them would doubtless attend our services.  We might try it a while, and see how it works.  If necessary during the hottest season the Elders could be recalled.  I see no opening to establish one or two in Nopala district.  Artiaga told me yesterday that Madina told him Yanez and family had withdrawn from our church, and re-entered the Independent church.  I don’t know if it be true or not.  He is opposed to a school up there and seemed<s> very indifferent.  Jasinto Rosa has arrived from the colony but I have not seen him yet.  I enclose a note to Jose Paez from his mother who is very anxious to hear from him direct.  Would it be well to re-instate Bro Zuniga as Bro Barco’s cousellor?  Confer with Bro. Snow and let me know.  We continue meetings in his house at Cuahunstta and his daughter is very favorable to us, and <so is> her husband also.  Having been absent about two weeks I have many letters to write so will close.  Regards to all.  Ever praying for the welfare of the colony.  I remain as ever your fellow laborer.

Horace Cummings

[page break]

[Transcribed by Dick and Angie Grigg, and Brandan Hull, March 2011]

Horace Cummings to Helaman Pratt, letter, 1 July 1887; Correspondence, letters received, 1886 December-1902 September, MS 199, box 1, folder 3; Church History Library, Salt Lake City.


There is said to be 395,372 her. of land in zone 2 Canton Degollado which belongs to the Govnor, now if you can secure the right purcas of said land until the 15 of June, we will pay you 18 cents per hectora providing that upon examination said lands prove to be suitible to our purpose said price to indue all expences of every kind including your own fees.
We think you can buy these lands and leave you a margin of from $30,000 to $40,000. If this proposition appears to you as feasable we will leave you a commision on the subject if we do not have the plesure of seeing you before our departure, pleas answer. Yours Truly

1 Calle de Stoto No 2 Helaman Pratt
Mexico 1887

Return to histories of Helaman Pratt