DEAR BROTHER,—Having written to you since the last mail by the Elders, we have not much of interest to communicate, more than you are aware of—such as meeting our heavy liabilities constantly falling due here and in St. Louis for this year’s emigration. I had about one hundred thousand pounds a year to expend for that purpose, it would be some satisfaction to gather the Lord’s poor, although in so doing we might also gather some of the devil’s poor, and poor devils as well. But the time will come when we shall have that amount, and probably more, but the work will keep even pace therewith, so that I do not contemplate that we shall have any more means to operate with than the work will require and demand. Indeed, if we have as much it will be a new era in our financial affairs.
I have been thinking how we should operate another year. We cannot afford to purchase wagons and teams as in times past, I am consequently thrown back upon my old plan, i.e., to make handcarts and let the emigration foot it, and draw upon them the necessary supplies, having a cow or two for every ten. They can come just as quick, if not quicker, and much cheaper, and can start earlier and escape the prevailing sickness which annually lays so many of our brethren in the dust. A great majority of them walk now, even with the teams which are provided, and have a great deal more care and perplexity than they would have if they came without them. They will only need 90 days’ rations from the time of their leaving the Missouri river, and as the settlements extend up the Platte, not that much. The carts can be made without a particle of iron, with wheels hooped, made strong and light, and one, or if the family be large, two of them will bring all that they will need upon the plains.
If it is once tried you will find that it will become the favorite mode of crossing the plains; they will have nothing to do but come along, and I should not surprised if a Company of this kind should make the trip in 60 or 70 days. I do know that they can beat any ox train crossing the plains. I want to see it fairly tried and tested, at all events, and I think we might as well begin another year as any time, and save this enormous expense of purchasing wagons and teams—indeed we will be obliged to pursue this course, or suspend operations, for aught that I can see at the present.
I very much fear that this year’s operations will hinder our bringing on the woolen manufactory, now stored in St. Louis, to the next. I think the emigration had better come the northern route from New York, or Philadelphia, or Boston, direct to Iowa City, or Fort Des Moines, and as soon as the railroad is finished to Council Bluffs.
It will become important for you to forward us a list of their names, and advise brothers Taylor and Spencer, that they may make arrangements accordingly. If they will do this, nothing doubting, I can promise them that they will be met with provisions and friends far down on the plains, perhaps as low as Laramie, if we get their names in time; you know almost everybody has friends and relatives here now, that when they find their friends are coming will go and meet them.
Their passage through to Iowa City or Fort Des Moines will not cost more than 8 or 9 dollars, and they will have only to be supplied with money for provisions, and a few cows, which should be of the very best quality. I shall write to brothers Taylor and Spencer in relation to the subject of the carts, mode of making them, &c. Of course you will perceive the necessity of dispensing with all wooden chests, and all things that are unnecessary. They should only bring a change of clothing. Tin trunks would probably be the best for what they do bring. Fifteen miles a day will bring them through in 70 days, and after they get accustomed to it they will travel 20, 25, and even 30 with all ease, and no danger of giving out, but will continue to get stronger and stronger; the little ones and sick, if there are any, can be carried on the carts, but there will be none sick in a little time after they get started. There will have to be some few tents. You correspond freely with brothers Taylor and Spencer in regard to the emigration. . . . . Let Traveling Agents also understand their duties, and what is expected from them, and from whom they are to receive instructions, and at what points, that all things may be done in order and in concert. As heretofore written, but, lest it may not reach you, we state it again, that we intend to send brother Lorenzo Snow to take you place early the ensuing season, when we expect that you and Joseph, perhaps some others, will make the best of your way home. Urge people to purchase the property sent to you; gather all you can to aid us in the payment of the indebtedness at St. Louis; instruct the brethren that have money, to bring it with them, or send it to us, instead of laying it out and spending every halfpenny of it before they get here, and then having nothing to help either themselves or anybody else with; that when they do get here, they can have the means to start some manufacturing business, or some enterprise that will be useful in building up the kingdom of God.
The weather continues fine, giving assurance of maturing the late crops of corn, potatoes, &c., which we trust with economy will prove sufficient for all necessary wants.
You will probably meet with brother Calkins before you receive this, as he was provided with the necessary means to go direct through. He started in company with brothers Joseph Schofield and Lavender, on the 12th of this month.
All is well with us, and a general time of health prevailing. May the Lord bless and sustain you is the prayer of your brother in the Gospel of Christ.
THE EMIGRATION—is the chief topic of our remarks again this time; and we know of nothing more important now than are the proper directions as to how to make the necessary preparations to emigrate. While we inform that group of emigrants who choose to emigrate according to the old plan, i.e., going with oxen and wagons, the way will be open for them all to do that, and quite similar with regard to the schedule and prices to those of last year as far as we know, and just as soon as they inform us of their intentions, send their deposits, their names, ages, country of their birth, their residences and occupations, and have their money for purchasing wagons, oxen, food, &c., on hand ready to send them at the shortest notice, we shall consider that they do not stand in as much need of our directions now as does that group who are expecting assistance from others or from the Society. We have reported in our previous issues that sums of money have been donated by President Young, and others, to assist the Saints who have lived the most faithful for the longest period of time in the church, and that we have asked the Presidents in all places to search out and send to us the names and ages of the faithful, how long they have been in the church, &c., together with the uttermost mite that they can help with their own emigration, and although there is great urgency for this, and there is danger of the money being used to emigrate the others who have hearkened to the call more promptly, and although all the Saints are living with great excitement and hubbub to emigrate, we report that until now we have not received the list from a single conference! and if some lose their opportunity to emigrate because of that, put the blame on their presidents and not on us.
Since we published the previous issue of the “TRUMPET” we have come to understand a considerable number of secrets while on our visit with the Saints in public meetings, in company with Presidents Spencer and Daniels, in Merthyr and Monmouthsire, which deserve more of our attention than before, the proper understanding of which has to do with the benefit of the Saints. While we say that the great desire of the Saints to emigrate surprises us, and their earnest entreaties everywhere for help and favor melt our heart, we also say boldly—anger whom it may, that the neglect will not be small among many unless all strive to help themselves. After understanding about the new way of crossing the plains, i.e., on foot, and carrying their food on handcarts, and that help will not be permitted from the Fund to emigrate in any other way, the first questions that come out of the mouths of many of the brothers, and sisters also, are, “Well, well, how will we carry out bonnets, umbrellas, parasols, and silk gowns; and our expensive shawls will be damaged by carrying them in bags! Oh dear, I cannot think of going without them.” “Yes,” says another, “we cannot take our looking glasses, our ornaments, our china, or all our new clothes we have prepared for the journey.” The brethren frequently complain already, “Well, it was useless for us to purchase so many pairs of clothing from the hawkers, hats, boots, and shoes and new watches for emigrating, since we cannot carry them with us, besides the fact that we are in debt for them.” Yes, the secrets we discovered a few days ago on this topic prove clearly the need there is for the presidents to look into, and properly direct the Saints in their preparations to emigrate, and we have no doubt but what scores if not hundreds in our midst can sell enough furniture, clothes, and useless baubles, which they could do better without, to emigrate themselves to the States, or the biggest part of their way to Zion. To such, we say, the money under scrutiny is not intended to assist the wealthy like them, rather those who are too poor to be able to treasure up such an abundance of goods around them as to be a hindrance to their emigration. It is intended “to help those who help themselves,” indeed, but not those who help themselves in that way, rather those who help themselves by selling all they can to help toward their own emigration. And were it possible for them to transport such vain things in a handcart, we do not consider that it would be honest for anyone to try to hoard such things, and by so doing deprive others of the privilege of emigrating. He who is not willing to part with even everything but a change of clothes, yes, the last penny in order to emigrate himself, is not deserving of receiving the help of others to emigrate; let him remain until he has enough of the spirit of Zion in him to do that, and do not send his name or his records to us for assistance. And it would be good for all to understand that it is the same spirit that caught Ananias and Sapphira in their deceit; that he who perceived the “wedge of gold” however well hidden as Achan hid it in the camp, has eyes as piercing now as they were at that time, and that their hiding of their property now would only have the same effect against them, or, at least, if they did not prevent their emigration by hiding part of what they possessed, it is obvious that the more money they had themselves, the less they donated to the Fund—most likely they would have the necessary remainder, and thus, all the more could go on the same money. Let not this important matter escape the keen perception of the Presidents who select the emigrants. It is not another that requires their possessions, but it is required of them to use all their means for their own emigration. Their own benefit compels them to turn all things into the service of their emigration. It would be much easier for them to get clothes, &c., in the Valley than to carry them with them according to the new way in question; thus they would save the expense in Babylon and also enjoy the spiritual benefit of having the privilege of being in Zion.
Again we say, and let everyone to whom it applies pay close attention! Let not the Saints whose names have been taken down set their thoughts on their emigration so resolutely, nor believe that putting their names down is proof that they will have the privilege of emigrating this year so that the disappointment, if they do not go, will cause damage to their circumstances or their feelings. The purpose of the inquiry is to seek out those who deserve to receive help for when the means arise, rather the number of those who will receive assistance, as we said in our last issue, depends on the success obtained in selling the properties donated for that purpose, a description of which we have, and some of which we have already sold, hoping to sell more; and also, it would be wiser to use their faith to pray to the One who holds the keys to the hearts of the wealthy for them to unlock them, and also their pockets, than to sink under the influence of extremism to excess abundance, lest they be disappointed.
Let he who sends his name to us calculate what he will receive for the clocks, the pictures and the ornaments that cover the walls of his house , the furniture, the chest of drawers, and the clothes that fill them, and every other thing that can be turned into money. Notice! he is not to sell it all until he has received assurance that he will receive help, rather he is to assess the value of it all, and search out where they can be sold on short notice, and he is to report how much it will all come to. All must remember that paying their debts to everyone, especially to the church of God, is an indispensably necessary preparation. Let he who cannot pay it all to the world, show an honest and just principle by doing what he can in that regard; let him go to his creditor, and seek his consent for him to go,—that he will pay from over there. Praise be to their names, others have paid from the Valley, that which they could not pay here, and all can do the same; but not for anything let us see the creditors follow any of the Saints, and bring shame on them when they are about to start from their country. Reconcile promptly lest shame be brought on the best religion that men have.
CHANGES AND APPOINTMENTS.—The following changes and appointments are to take place in the Church throughout the Principality on the 1st day of February, 1856.
The following Conference Presidents are released so they can emigrate this coming season:—
John Parry, Robert Evans, Thomas D. Giles, Benjamin Jones, John Price, Thomas Jenkins, Thomas D. Evans, John Davies, John Richards, William Lewis, Thomas Morgan, and Lewis Davies.
The North and South Pembroke Conferences are to be joined, and named the Pembroke Conference.
Elder Abednego Williams has been appointed to succeed President Robert Evans in the Presidency of the East Glamorgan Conference.
Elder Benjamin Evans has been appointed to succeed President T. D. Giles in the Presidency of the Monmouthshire Conference.
Elder John Thomas has been appointed to succeed President T. Morgan in the Presidency of the Brecon Conference.
Elder Thomas Harries has been appointed to continue to succeed President D. Jones in the Presidency of the West Glamorgan Conference.
Elder David Davies has been appointed to succeed President B. Jones in the Presidency of the Llanelli Conference.
Elder William Jones has been appointed to succeed President Thomas Jenkins in the Presidency of the Carmarthen Conference.
Elder Edward D. Miles has been appointed to receive the Presidency of the Pembroke Conference.
Elder Thomas Jones has been appointed to succeed President John Richards in the Presidency of the Cardiganshire Conference.
Elder John Treharn has been appointed to succeed President J. Davies in the Presidency of the Merionethshire Conference.
Elder Evan S. Morgans has been appointed to succeed President William Lewis in the Presidency of the Conway and Anglesey Conference.
Elder Griffith Roberts has been appointed to succeed President John Parry in the Presidency of the Denbighshire Conference.
Elder Thomas Rees has been appointed to succeed President L. Davies in the Presidency of the Flintshire Conference.
RECEIPTS FOR BOOKS FROM DECEMBER 5 TO 18.—Thomas Morgans, 15s; E. Middleton, £10; Lewis Davies, £2 15s 7c; B. Jones, £2 4s; G. W. Davies, £37; Hugh Roberts, £3; E. S. Morgans, £1 4s 4c; W. Lewis, £3 5s; J. Richards, £1 2s 6c.
CONFERENCES OF THE SOUTH.—Merthyr, December 30th; Brecon, January 6th; Monmouth, on the 13th; Swansea, on the 20th; Llanelli, on the 27th; Carmarthen, February 3rd; Cardigan, on the 10th; North Pembroke, on the 17th; South Pembroke, on the 24th.
Other things forced out the information on the holding of the West Glamorgan Conference until the next issue.
*** Send all letters, containing orders and payments, to Capt. Jones, “Zion’s Trumpet” Office, Swansea.