Correspondence of The N. Y. Tribune.
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Dec 7, 1860.
Some months ago I gave the details of the kidnapping of the negro "Ben," and of the injuries he sustained at the hands of the scoundrels who ran him off, with the intention of selling him back into bondage in Texas. Though the source of my information Was such that I could trust to it undoubtingly, I was certainly startled yesterday in the street by confronting in all the enjoy-ment of "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness," the same merry "Ben." I learned from "Ben” that to Heber C. Kimball, the second Titan in Mormonland, was he indebted for his freedom and return to Salt Lake City.
It would be too long to give Ben's narrative of cap-ture, binding, whipping, running, and release; but the latter deserve at least the few words. Two of the fel-lows who accompanied the assumed proprietor returned here after a short visit to Pike’s Peak, whither they had gone instead of to Texas. Heber saw one of them and demanded “Ben;" and though the man is of that class on whom the pointed revolver makes little im-pression, Heber's remonstrance and threat succeeded. Ben said Heber told him ''Dat he hab let me go, or I he'd sarve 'em up, de whole kit of 'em, soul an' body." It was enough. The young fellow returned to the Peak, and, though probably daring, enough to live without fear of other mortals, he could not shake off the Mormon prophet, and Ben get the hint that he might return. So much to Brother Heber's credit. The story of his sympathy and manly action for the ne-gro's freedom I gave at the time of Ben's capture. Yesterday afternoon I met in the library of the Uni-versity the Hon. Wm. Crosby, the representative from Washington County to our Legislature, who furnishes me with some terms of information respecting the county he represents, worthy a passing notice, especial-ly as there is so little known of that county. The in-habitants are estimated at about 1,500 persons, chiefly engaged in farming and grazing. The County of Washington, in area, is as large as the State of Con-necticut, generally of a barren, desert character, broken and mountainous. On the borders of the Rio Virgin and the Santa Clara there are narrow strips of land exceedingly fertile, on which everything grows with great richness, and at a cost of very little labor. During the present year only 50,000 pounds of cotton have been raised, but properly cultivated and attended to, the inhabitants there could raise all the cotton ever required by the inhabitants of this Territory. At present its cultivation is almost neglected for the want of proper facilities for its manufacture. The entrance also of the army in 1857, followed by immense trains of goods—which, by the by, some of the merchants never paid a cent for, and it is very doubtful if they ever will—was also a crushiog competition to the peo-ple of Washington County.
Every kind of fruit that has been tried there, grows with great luxuriance. The apple, pear, plum, apricot, peach and fig trees do exceedingly well. The English walnut tree grew ibis year nine feet, and the Catawba grape grew nineteen feet and a half before the 6th of September. The bunches of those grapes, many of them, measured nineteen inches in length. At Toquer-ville, one of the small towns in that county, one man raised this year two water-melons from one vine that weighed the one sixty, and the other fifty pounds.
At the Agricultural Exhibition, held there last Sep-tember, the fine grapes which I have mentioned were on exhibition. At the same time there was exhibited a stalk of cotton containing three hundred and seven forms, a radish measuring eighteen inches in circum-ference, a sun-flower head thirty-six inches, and a mon-ster castor bean stalk, a sweet potato vine five feet and a half long, and one Isabella grape-vine twenty-five feet long. One man had in his garden trees which, in six months, grew as follows:
ft in. ft. in.
Washington Plum…..8 6 Almond…..7 2
Apple Trees……….…..6 6 Peach……..8 6
Apricots……………..….7 O Pears……...6 0
In climate, Washington embraces sill the varieties from frigid to torrid, from regions of perpetual frost to an eternal Spring. Every kind of outdoor work, plowing, ditching, building, &c., can be pursued throughout Winter, in some parts of the county, while in others there are killing frosts throughout the whole year.
I had almost forgotten to mention that the soil is ex-cellent fur the grape, and during the present year very fine tobacco has been grown there, as well as madder and indigo. The sorghum raised there has a magnifi-cent flavor, and, without the "patent fixings," with very little labor, and that of the simplest character, good sugar is made from it. At the late exhibition, the sorghum took the two highest prizes. I believe the Honorable member from Washington has brought with him a few gallons of this very fine molasses as a cadeau to the Prophet. To readers who have every luxury in abundance, aid at very moderate figures, these items may have little interest, but to those who watch the progress of the people here, and the reclaiming of the desert, this information has great significance. In a few years every thing that the people require will be raised from their own soil, and manufactured by their own hands.
Mr. C., from whom I elicited these facts, was born in Indiana, but "brought up" in the Southern States. Mormonism got hold of him in 1843, in the State of Mississippi. Following the fortunes of Brigham, he brought some nine or ten slaves, "very select nig-gers." In 1851 he went over to San Bernardino and was Bishop over there. The State soon liberated the ebony folks, and Mr. Crosby of course lost his $9,000 or $10,000 by the operation.
The Superintendent of the Church Public Works and a few others went out exploring for coal about the Weber some time in August last, and found a splen-did bed of mineral. It promises to he the greatest blessing that has yet fallen to the lot of the Saints. Of course I do not look at things with "an eye of faith;" that is their business. But among a people paying $10 per cord for wood, scarce at that, and sure to be scarcer, the discovery of coal is an important matter. The present coal bed is about fifty miles distant; but nevertheless, paying $3 per tun at the mouth of the pit, at which it is now sold, it can be brought into the city and sold for $20. Last year it was sold here to blacksmiths for $40. The Pacific Railroad folks should have an eye on this. The apprehension that the ab-sence of coal and wood in the Territory would be a se-rious obstacle need not now exist. Though the wood is scarce and high- priced as an article of daily house-hold consumption, railroad companies can get all the lumber they require for money, though they may have to haul it far and pay a good price for it. I believe that the whole country is full of coal, and what is not coal is gold and silver; but I earnestly hope that the day is far distant before the Mormons or anybody else discover the precious metals. The coal discovery, however, is very important. The Bishops of the city have been instructed to urge upon their flocks the hauling of it, and it is hoped that by constant travel the snow will be kept down and the roads clear all Winter. A Scotch miner, who had just returned from the coal bed, told me the other day that it far exceeded anything that he had ever seen in his own country, or in the States, both in quality and abundance.
The political news from the East is looked for here with great interest. The Mormons look to the break-ing up of the Union as inevitable at some time, but not just yet. We have not yet heard how the election is received at the South.
The regular session of the Legislature opens here on Monday. The Secretary of the Territory, Mr. Wootton, is making very proper arrangements for the convenience of the Assembly—furnishing them all with desks, Con-gress chairs, and carpeting the floors of both Houses. These are not luxuries elsewhere, but in Utah, where Secretaries have abominably neglected their duties, and left members to furnish nearly everything they re-quired of this character, Mr. Wootton's proceeding necessarily draws out complimentary comments.
The important business of assigning the new Judges to their districts in the Territory, and the time of hold-ing Court, is looked forward to with considerable interest. His Honor John Cradlebaugh contests the light of the President to remove him, and though Mr. Flenniken was appointed his successor to the bench in Carson, Mr. Cradlebaugh pertinaciously retains pos-session, and refuses to resign. On this account the meeting of the Legislature is looked forward to with much interest.
Capher, Walker, Murray, and Gibson, left a few weeks ago for the East Indian Archipelago.
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 21, 1860.
The regular session of the Legislature is now in session, and has received the Governor's Message. It is exclusively confined to matters of local interest.
In the Auditor's report accompanying the Governor's Message, there are some items of general interest to people outside, as well as to those in the Territory. The report states that "the total valuation of property " assessed in the Territory for the year 1860 (Green "River and Carson Counties excepted), amounts to "$4,673,900." Assessors in Utah are, I presume, like Assessors everywhere, not likely to obtain an exag-gerated estimate of the value of property, as on that estimate assessments are made. Property, therefore, may be set down at a much larger figure than that given in the above extract. The Territorial tax at one-half of one per cent is $23,369 50- 100. As an evidence Of the increase of population, and of improvement in property, the excess of Territorial tax is over that of last year $13,278 33-100—five-sixths of which is col-lected in Great Salt Lake County, and that chiefly in this city. Of the other counties, the report states:
"The counties of Weber, Box Elder, and Juab, each show a decrease in the valuation of property compared with assessment for 1859, of 16 percent, and Iron County a decrease of 33 per cent, while the counties of Beaver, Sampete, and Cache, show a more than corresponding increase in the following ratio, viz.: Beaver, 36; Sanpete, 50, and Cache 900 percent. The increase in the three last named counties, especially Cache, may account in some measure for the decrease in the other counties named, from the fact that during the Fall of 1859 and the Spring of I860 very many wealthy families moved with their stock and effects, to form new settlements in Cache and Sanpete counties, and proba-bly the same way be said of Beaver."
The tax of all the counties amounts to $23,369,50; the totals of Auditor's awards issued, $19,184 88, which, together with $5,450 95 payable on appropria-tions, heretofore made, shows that the Mormons have the good sense to keep clear of a territorial debt.
The Legisleture has gone to work with great energy. The House is already occupied with important bills touching court procedure, and the extension of educa-tion; while the Council has been occupied with memo-tials to Congress for mail facilities throughout the Ter-ritory. By this mail memorials are forwarded to the Utah Delegate, praying Congress for a semi-weekly mail from Sacramento, via Los Angelas, to connect with the Salt Lake mail at Fillmore, and the other memorial is for a daily mail from Omaha N. T. to this city.
Edward Creighton, esq., the agent of the Pacific tel-egraph line, arrived here by last mail stage, on Satur-day, and is still in the city, seemingly a little puzzled whether to carry the line through Stilt Lake City or by way of Santa Fé. He has visited Governor Young, but, I think, failed to particularly interest the gentle-man personally in the enterprise. Mr. Creighton has already learned that the Mormon chiefs example as a shareholder would influence the community, and with-out it few shares would be taken here. Unless some such encouragement is given, Mr. C. thinks it very doubtful that the telegraph line will pass through this city, for a time at least. He is receiving proposals for supplying the poles for 400 miles east and the same west, but makes no contracts till further informed by his associate agent, who went round by the Isthmus to California, as to matters there, Should the Salt Lake route be determined on for the Pacific telegraph, by the end of next year New-York City will bs in direct telegraphic communication with San Francisco. It is purposed to establish stations every fifty miles along the route, where a person capable of repairing the wires, setting up the poles, etc., etc., can reside and be on hand. At every other station, or every one hundred miles, small companies of efficient workmen, capable of doing everything, will be located. I understand Mr. Russell of the Pony Express is interested in seeing this route adopted by the company; it would greatly aid his operations. In a few years more, the dangers of the West will be a tale of the past. Before long, ru-mors will go abroad that will draw tens of thousands in this direction in search of gold, and the result will be ranches and cities in every direction, and the wan-dering red skin will have to make place for the pale face, and seek other hunting grounds.
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