Helaman Pratt Correspondence, Undated
(Two pages in Spanish, not transcribed)
C. H. Wilcken
Salt Lake City,
After a very pleasant journey of 18 day we arrived here in good health on the evening of the 10 inst, we ware met at the depot by Bros Ivins & Pratt who are allso enjoying good health. We stayed one day at St. Louis, visited the principle places of intrest. Tower Park, & Shaws Gadens, were beond all I had ever dreamed of in theyr line.
We next visited the exposition at Louisville which was realy a credet to the state of Kentucky. Here we took the steamer for Cincinata, which is the finest city that we have seen on our trip. Visited the Zoological Gardens, Edons Park & many other places of intrest & here we parted with Elders Morgan & Gravesbeck, started for Chattanooga, where we found one of Archie Claytons sisters, Mrs, Haws, her & husband were well & glad to see us. Here we visited the U.S. Semitry where there is 12,950 soldiers buried, it nicely aranged, & well taken care off.
We started for New Orleans as we thought in time to have one day there before starting for Vera Cruz, but owing to a partly disabled engine we ware unable to make the proper conection at Jackson where we ware obliged to wait a day & when we arrived at New Orleans we only had one hour to get from the station to the warf & therefore no time to spend in New Orleans . We had a very prosperous trip across the Gulf & landed at Vera Cruz after being on the water 5 days, was a little sick one day but after that we enjoyed the voyage very much. We pased the custom House officer without having to pay any duty & arrived here as before stated.. The City of Mexico is sed to have between three & four hundred thousand inhabitence. The city is layed out with streets runing at right angles & although not very wide still they are strate & in the business & main parts are all well paved & kept in good order, they are mostly wattere or sprinkled by indians who have watering cans & by hand. The city is built very _______, the houses are mostley of stone & brick plastered and generally 8 stories high. This can truly be said to be a city of churches, it almost seems as though there is a church on every other block some are very old, one which we visited today is said to be one of the oldest in the city. San Diego Tlalteloleo by name, was built in the year of 1693, it is now ocupied by soldiers, & used as a prison, near this the city is building a very large custom house of stone & brick, the work all being done by Indians who are certainly skiled in maconery & stone cutting & carving. Some of water with which the city is supplied is brought from Chapoltepec, some 3 miles south west of here by means of two stone aqueducts which are suspended by arches of stone that have stood for ages & are still in good condition. Chapoltepec is a castle that is built up on & around a hill & is said to have been inhabited by Montezuma & after by the Spanish Vicroies & more lately & then by Maximillion & it is now used as a military academy, there is also a fine monument erected here in memory of a number of cadets who ware kiled here by the Americans under general Scott in 1847. The castle is surrounded by beautiful park, the trees of which are very large & sed to have stood for hundreds of years. The road from Mexico to Chapoltepec is a beautiful drive & is frequent by thousands on Sunday, it is being improved by grading placeing seats & colums for statuary &c it already has some statues & is partley lit by electricity. There is a great deal of welth here, but thousands of the people are in the deps of poverty, filth & degradation. The great Cathedral of Mexico is realy grand boath in point and architecture & embellishments, the arch work in the interior is realy wonderful to behold, the banisters railings, candlesticks are said to be made of composition of gold & copper which is worth more than its weight in pure silver & there is tons of it used in this church. The alters are fine beyond my power to describe & there are many beautiful oile paintings here, in fact one could spend days in viewing the beauties of the interior of this building & would then have but began to comprehend it all. The church of Guadelupe is second in importance & beautifully ornamented having between 3 hundred ft. of banister and railings of pure silver & infact the altar arches & vestment are one blaze of gold & silver.
(below is mostly in Spanish. I think it is about the organization of
the Relief Society.
Typed very little of pages 94 – 95)
1 – Emma Hale Smith
Born July 10, 1804 – Pennsylvania
Baptized for O.C. June 1830
Sociodad de ___. Mar 17, 1842
Narvoo, Ill. 18 members
2 – Eliza R. Snow
Born January 2, 1804
Educated – literature
Baptized April 5, 1835
3 – Zinna D. H. Young
Born – Janrary 31 1821
4 – _______ Wilson Smith
5 – Emmaline B. Wells
Feb 29, 1828
Rey L. Pratts Outfit
Oct. 1 To two Wagons, (amt drawing intrest @ 10% ) 310.00
Oct 1 Fo one span mars (drawing 10 per cent nt) 200.00
Oct 1 To one horse from Clawson (drawing 10 per cent nt) 100.00
Oct 1 To one horse from Young (intrest 1 per cent) 112.00
Oct 8 To round iron 2.80
Oct 8 To 2 peaseo tire iron 4.49
To Keg 2.50
To tire chanes 14.40
“ circul irons 4.73
“ 3 saga .90
“ 2 tire chanes 1.86
“ Blacksmithing 45.00
“ ½ jack 7.50
“ amt from Dublan crop 79.05
“ 70 kelos share @ 80 cents (bot by Robinson) 5.60
“ 3 par collars and bridles 58.50
“ 1 side leather 8.50
total Mexican silver 647.81
Total Gold 310.00 620.00
For one water barrell 2.50
134 First Ave. Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec 29. 190?
H. Pratt Esq.
I went to my cash box last night to get something out of it and found your letter of the first with check for $235.00 as stated. It came while I was at Washington, from which point I returned a week ago and my wife put it in the cash box with some other letters and they had been overlooked until I opened the box last night. I am glad to get the money. I have done nothing but spend money since I came here, and owing quite a sum more than I have paid, depending upon getting money from Mexico to make payment.
We have gotten settled now and I do not expect our expenses to ___ ___, but there will always be plenty of expense as long as we live in this city.
I was glad to have the opportunity to go to Washington, had been near several times, but never thought I could spare the money to go there, I think I wrote you a few lines from there did I not.
I am more than surprised at what you tell me in regard to the Robinson Cardon stock having been put into the Industrial Co. I do not remember that the question was ever mentioned to me before, and if it was I made no such recommendation as that suggested. I do not believe it was ever mentioned to me, and I not only deny being in any way responsible for it, but as a member of the company, as stock holder, protest against men putting property in at their own valuation, without consulting the board of directors. Such an act is void on the face of it. I always thought, and have said so to you, Bro. Taylor and everybody else that I have talked with, that the purchase of those cattle was a bad transaction, and I would be foolish to suggest that what was bad for them would be good for me and my associates. I hope it will not be allowed to pass without investigation
I think with you that the note for your ranch is better with Bro. Brown on it. If you can get the next payment you will be all right.
I am very sorry that it is so dry down there. Here we have had repeated storms, the country is covered with snow, and sleighing has been fine for several weeks.
I came home yesterday from Malad where I went to attend the quarterly conference of that stake, it is colder up there than here. I cannot see that I have been more uncomfortable here so far this winter than at home, it is undoubtedly colder, but for the first time in years I have felt no sign of chillblains.
I hope to get down there in a few weeks, and shall expect to go to Mexico before I return. I also have to go to Sonora. There is a question in regard to the Western boundary of the Wood Hagenbarth land which is yet unsettled. Bro. Brown has been working at it during the past two years but has not yet gotten it in shape, and I do not know when I shall be able to do it. I shall be thankful when I get everything down there properly settled up.
I trust that you will soon be entirely recovered from your ___hurt, and able to work without suffering. I know you will work anyhow, it is bad enough to be tired out at night without being unwell with it.
With kind regards to the family, and wishing you a happy and Prosperous New Year, I remain,
Church of Jesus Christ
Latter Day Saints
P.O. BOX B Salt Lake City, U. T. 188
Affairs here are still unchanged so far as persecution is concerned though there is evidently less vigor manifested by the officials than they exhibited some time since. It appears as though a change had taken place in public feeling in the east. The papers have less to say against us out there is not that hostility manifested which we witnessed sometime ago. The removal of Dickson and his assistant Varian from office has thus far had a good effect. A more bitter and unrelenting enemy than Dickson was, probably never figured in our history. He and all those who have been connected with him in this cruel persecution will yet be covered with odium for their conduct.
The general news you get by the newspapers [page break] doubtless. Our advices from all parts of the Territory are that the Latter-day Saints are feeling well and are determined to live their religion.
We trust yourself and family are in the enjoyment of good health. With love to you and all the Saints, and all the Elders with whom you may be associated,
Geo. Q. Cannon
[Transcribed by Pat Bishop and Nora Fowers; Mar. 2011]
John Taylor and Geo. Q. Cannon to Helaman Prat, letter, undated; MS 199; Church History Library, Salt Lake City.