Communication From Elder P.P. Pratt

G.S.L. City, Nov. 21, 1853

Ed. News:

On the 13th of Nov. inst., there arrived in this city from New Mexico, Senores Jose Damian Giron, Tomas Chocon, Bicinte Charves and others.

They have for sale some hundreds of woolen blankets, or “serapas,” some of which are manufactured by the Navijo Indians.  As a specimen of the arts among that people, and as an article of home manufacture, they are worthy of patronage.

They have also for sale a number of horses and mules.

They have taken a room in the 2d Ward.

They were thirty four days on the journey, which they have sometimes performed in sixteen.

They live at a small town some 50 miles north or northwest of Santa Fe, on a stream called the Chama, a tributary of the Rio Grande del Norte.

They traveled northwesterly from their town crossing the river St. John, a tributary of the Colorado, which rises in the mountains northwest of Santa Fe, and pursued a southwesterly course, entering the Colorado below the mouth of Grand river.  Where they crossed it, it was about the size of the Jordan, opposite our city.

On the south of this stream is the country of the Navijos; and further down on the same side, are the villages of the Moquis, built of adobies.  They are seven in number; the principal of which is called Oriba.

The country of the Navijos and Moquis is a fine, good soil, well timbered, mild climate, not much winter, abundant in pasturage, and produces large quantities of cattle, horses, mules, sheep, wheat, maize, peaches, melons, etc.

The country on the north side of the St. John is well watered by tributaries of that river, which fall into it from the N., among which is, el Rio de los Peadras, (River of Stones), el Rio de los Pinos, (River of Pines), el Rio Floredo, (River of Flowers), el Rio de los Anemos, (River of Spirits), Rio de la Plata, River of Silver), averaging the size of the Provo in Utah Valley; and numerous smaller streams.

After crossing the St. John, their road continued westerly a little north, crossing all these streams.  The country is well calculated for cultivation; everywhere abundance of fuel, and in places good pine timber; but above all abounding in fine pasturage, their largest distance without water being eighteen miles.

They crossed Grand river a little below the river Dolores; then over a worthless plain of about 25 miles, to Green river, which they crossed a little below the mouth of White river, and above the San Raphael; both the Grand and Green river fords were good, being about mid-sides to their animals.  On Green river at that point is a fine valley, some ten or twelve miles long, with a good soil, and well timbered with cottonwood, and limited by canyons above and below.

From this ford on Green river, they passed over table lands of a worthless character, till they struck White river, a stream on the size of Big Cottonwood, which heads on the other side of the mountain from Spanish Fork.  Following up White river, they crossed the mountain at a very good pass, and came down the Spanish Fork to Utah Valley.

The whole route is abundantly supplied with grass and water, at proper distances; and the valleys have but little snow or cold in winter.  The rains in the Navijo country, and on the St. John and its tributaries, are said to be sufficient for cultivation without irrigation.

Such is the account in part which we have been able to gather from conversation with the traders above named; which is at the service of the editor of the News.

P.P. Pratt

[Deseret News, Dec. 1, 1853]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nov. 21, 1853, 1]

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