Appendix C

Letter of Brigham Young to Kamehameha V

March 24, 1865[1]

To His Majesty Kamehameha the Fifth, King of the Hawaiian Islands.

Sire:—the departure of Francis A. Hammond, Esq. a resident of this Territory and a gentleman with whom I have been long acquainted, for your Majesty’s dominions, affords me an opportunity of writing of which I gladly avail myself, as I am desirous of making explanations to your Majesty in relation to the expected operations of Mr. Hammond and his colleagues in the midst of your majesty’s subjects. Mr. Hammond and his friends who will follow him in a few weeks with their families go from this Territory with the intention of locating upon lands in your Majesty’s kingdom. They will go there as religious teachers, but while this is their calling they will not confine their labors to spiritual matters only. According to the precepts of our religion, the spiritual and temporal are so intimately blended that we view no salvation, or system of salvation as being complete, which does not provide means for the welfare and preservation of the body as well as the salvation of the Spirit. The Spirit and body are both the products of our Heavenly Father and God, and they both are the objects of his solicitude and care, as is fully proved by the pains which the Lord took to teach our Father Adam in the beginning, and by the laws which he afterwards frequently gave unto His people upon temporal subjects. Mr. Hammond and my other friends who will labor in conjunction with him, will therefore endeavor to teach your majesty’s subjects, who may listen to them, practical salvation. We have but one object in making a colony in your majesty’s kingdom, and that object is: the benefit of your majesty’s subject; and we fully believe that, with proper management and the encouragement and protection which the constitution and laws of your Majesty’s Kingdom extend to other settlers, this can be done and the people be taught the arts of industry and self-preservation, and be benefitted morally and physically without involving a pecuniary outlay that will not be in the end amply renumerative.

Sire: as the king and Father of your people, it will be a cause of heart felt pleasure to myself and friend to have your Majesty’s sanction and approbation of this enterprise upon which they are about to enter for the amelioration of your Majesty’s subjects. Should this effort—which is, I think, wisely limited to a small field to commence with—be likely to prove successful, operations will be gradually extended, with your Majesty’s approval to wider fields.

Sire: A few words in relation to our views may not be inappropriate and may explain and account for our motives in taking these steps and the interest we feel in the successful accomplishment of this plan.

Doubtless your Majesty has heard that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in a Book which is known by the name of the Book of Mormon—a Record that has been divinely revealed and which purports to be an abridged history of the peoples which formerly inhabited the American Continent—and that we believe in this Book as we do in the Bible—the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Because of our belief in this Record, we have been derisively called “Mormon.” Yet it is our belief in that Book, and its teachings and promises, which has prompted us to view the aborigines of this continent as we do, and to deal with them as we have—treating them with such uniform kindness and consideration in all our intercourse with them for the years that we have been surrounded by them, that they look upon us as fathers. This record teaches us that the aborigines of this Continent are of Israel – descendants of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt; and that their ancestors were a highly enlightened people, blessed of God, and enjoying his favor; but that, subsequently, through transgressing His laws and sinning against the great light and knowledge which they possessed, His anger was kindled against them, and He punished them with a heavy punishment. Nevertheless, He had promised their fathers by a covenant, that they should be held in remembrance by Him, and that in His own due time He would prepare a way for their restoration to His favor and blessings, when they should become a mighty people in the land of their Fathers.

Sire: We have not a doubt in our minds but that your Majesty and the people of your Majesty’s nation, over whom in the Providence of the Almighty you have been called to rule, are a Branch of this same great family. You are of the House of Israel, and heirs of all the promises made to the chosen seed; the Book of Mormon, (which is another witness of God’s dealings with the children of men corroborative of the Old and New Testaments) is your Book; for the promises and covenants of the Almighty which it contains as applicable to your Majesty’s nation as to the nations of this Continent. This being our belief, accounts for the interest which we feel as a people in your Majesty’s nation; it may, also serve to explain the hope’s we indulge in respecting the results of our labors. We believe there is nothing to prevent your Majesty’s people working out a glorious destiny for themselves, if they will avail themselves of the opportunities which are presented to them. They are capable, and Heaven will help them if they will only exert the powers with which the Great Creator has endowed them and seek to help themselves. It will be a pleasure to my friends, in their comparatively limited sphere, to co-operate with your Majesty in advancing, the well-being and development of your people. Their aim will be to gather the people at a suitable place or places, and inculcate on them good morals and how they can best be elevated from their present low condition to a state of enlightenment that will make them suitable associates for the most refined. They will take special pains to impress upon them the absolute necessity there exists for them to observe such laws as will stop their decrease and enable them to perpetuate their race. There is no reason why they should perish and their lands become the property of the stranger. The same God watches over and cares for all his children, and if they will be equally obedient to His laws, His preserving care will be equally extended unto them all. My friends will endeavor to open schools for their benefit, teach them trades, and the arts of industry by which they may learn to know and appreciate the value of the favored country which Providence has assigned them as a habitation.

Sire:—The sentiments which are attributed to your Majesty, and which have thus far, I understand characterized your Majesty’s public polity and reign, augurs much for the success of the design which our Missionaries have in view in going to your Majesty’s Kingdom. It has been with great pleasure that I have heard of your Majesty’s independence of character and the great interest—an interest which well comports with the dignity and character of a truly good kind—which you take in the elevation of your people. I have advised my friends to be guided by your Majesty in political affairs, and whenever they should be advised of your majesty’s wishes on these points they will be happy to carry them into effect.

Sire: in planting this Mission in your Majesty’s kingdom we have no political purpose to subserve; my friends will seek for no power of this kind. In selecting representatives for Parliament from the district or districts where they and the people who may gather with them will settle, they will endeavor to learn your Majesty’s choice, and elect such person or persons, as your Majesty may designate, to represent them. It will be their constant effort, in their intercourse with the people, to sustain the power of the throne and to recognize and uphold your Majesty’s Kingly authority, to the fullest possible extent. I trust that my friends will be obedient to your Majesty’s wishes in all these things. If there is anything which your Majesty should wish to communicate with me respecting them and their operations in your Majesty’s Kingdom, I shall be happy to receive it at any time.

Praying the Lord to preserve your life and to give your Majesty a Long and prosperous reign

I subscribe myself with sentiments of high consideration your Majesty’s Servant in the Lord

[signed] Brigham Young


[1] Brigham Young Letter Press Copy Book (Outgoing Correspondence), vol. 7, 523–29, Church History Library.