LETTER FROM A MORMON ON THE GREAT DESERT, TO A FRIEND IN SACRAMENTO.
Independence Declared—Faith in the Cause—Pug-nacity of the Women—Directions to call on the Female Saints in Sacramento—Private Commu-nication to a Mormon Sister—The Writer's Fu-ture Plans—His Prospects of Marriage with two or three Women at once.
IN CAMP, ON THE GREAT DESERT,
200 miles from San Bernardino, Jan. 25,1858.}
* * * Well, you know, ere this, that our independence is declared, and that henceforth we are a free and independent people. The world may think that this is simply braggadocio on our part; but they will find out their mistake. We do not intend any longer to endure, submissively, the in-sults and abuse which have been heaped upon us; and, by the help of God, we know that we can sus-tain the position we have taken. You, no doubt, think we are foolish to undertake such a thing: that it is impossible; and that, before long, when a good number of us shall be killed, that we shall be subdued, and Mormonism receive its death blow. But wait, and you will see that such is not the case. That we shall have to endure many hardships and privations I do not doubt; and probably many of us may be killed; but before we will submit, we will destroy every vestige of our homes, and take to the mountains, with our women and children, and live with the Indians in their fastnesses until such time as the Lord shall open the way for our deliverance and return to civilized life. The women, instead of being anxious to get away from us, are ready to take the rifle and revolver, and help us fight our enemies, or to stay at home and raise grain while we go out and contend with them. As to the final result, I have not the slightest doubt; thought what my individual fate may be, I know not. At present, I am enlisted by General Amasa Lyman, as his pri-vate secretary. When the regular army is or-ganized I shall enlist—in what capacity or position I know not. This will probably be the last oppor-tunity I shall have of writing to you for a long time; and, as I cannot write to all of my ac-quaintances, I shall take the libety of asking you to do me the favor of calling on those I shall mention, and tell them you have heard from me, and read to them such portions of this letter as you please: Mr.-, Mrs.--, if you can find her, and Mrs. that used to be, now Mrs.-. Be sure and call on her, for if any of our Elders should be going through Sacramento she will be most likely to know it, or at least to find out; and you might then write me by them, as there will be no mail, and I should like very much to hear from you. Address to me at "-, Iron county, Utah," " and if any one brings it safely through, " they can deposit it in any Post Office in the Territory. Put a three cent stamp on it. Give Mrs. my kindest regards. Tell her I sent her presents to Mrs.- on by--. He will go safely, and it is possible that brother--, who used to travel with me in California, will call on her on his way from Oregon ; and that, if he does, to let you know, so that you can write to him. When I left Sacramento, there was a young man named-, belonging to the church, working at, a short distance up the river. He may be coming through; if so, you might send by him. Try to find some way of communicating with me. I also inclose a letter for Mrs.-, which I wish you to be kind enough to deliver into her bands pri-vately. I do not wish even her husband to see it. Not because there is anything improper in it; but because I do not wish to expose my feelings to the gaze of every one. I have left it open, so that you may read it if you like; and then you will know there is nothing out of place in it.
Well, I must close. I wish I could see you, shake hands with you, and talk to you: but I can't at present. Remember me kindly to all who in-quire kindly after me. As to the rest, I can for-give their malice and wish them well. They know not what they are fighting against.
When I left Sacramento, I thought probably, if everything should continue peaceful with us as a people, I might be sent on to New York in the Spring and so should be able to see my mother before she died. But now I see such a thing is impossible, and had I fifty mothers, as I may per-haps have yet, I would not forsake the path of duty to see them, much as I might desire to do so. How long it will be before we have peace, I know not, but till then I presume I may bid farewell to all my friends and connexions in the world.
Some may, perhaps, ask you if I am married. You can tell them no, not yet, and don't know whether I ever shall be; but if I do get married, the probability is, that it will be to two or three women at once! I But to tell you the truth, I dread marriage more than any other duty that I may have to perform; and I don't know that I ever should marry if it were not my duty to do so. I have never yet seen the woman I could think as much of as-you know who; but I presume whenever I meet with one who possesses to the same degree the qualities I admire, and her affec-tions, instead of being alienated from me, shall cling to me, I shall be as much, if not more ar-dently attached to her—in all reason and common sense you will say I ought to be more. Will, good bye. Yours, etc., Z.
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