Letter, Orson Hyde to John Taylor, between 7 December 1842 and circa 15 February 1843
, Letter, [, Hancock Co., IL], to [, Hancock Co., IL, between 7 Dec. 1842 and ca. 15 Feb. 1843]. Version published in “Communications,” Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1843, vol. 4, no. 6, 90–91. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
For the Times and Seasons.
By and with the advice of President Smith and several other leading members of our , I take the liberty to drop you a little note which I wish you to insert in your highly valuable paper, the “Times and Seasons.”
The prosperity and rapid growth of the City of during the time which I have been absent, which is almost three years, show and demonstrate to me, that nothing but the distinguished blessings of a bountiful providence upon the untiring hand of industry and perseverance could have adorned the vacant prairie with such a vast number of beautiful dwellings, and converted the forest into fields and beautiful gardens.
When I first arrived upon the borders of this place, I tried to recognize some of the old landmarks, but so great were the changes and alterations, that it appeared altogether like another place. I felt something as I did while standing on Mount Olivet on the East of and viewing the surrounding country: said I to myself, is this a dream, a vision, or a reality? Circumstances demonstrated the reality of the scenery: so when I come to the residence of my and children on the 7th of Dec. last, and shared with them the warm embrace—sat down with them all hanging about my neck.— I said it is, in reality, .
The whole time and attention of the Saints in this place since their beginning have been, in consequence of persecution and banishment from , devoted to opening new farms, building habitations, and to supplying themselves with food. They have consequently paid but little attention as yet, to the raising of sheep and to the manufacturing of such articles of domestic apparel as are indispensable in a new country; and the consequences are, that we are deficient in this respect. We have lands, we have houses, and an abundance of provisions; and we recommend to all such as anticipate selling their possessions in the East, and emigrating to this place, that they bring with them all the wool in the place—all the domestic flannel; and all the full cloth; common and satinetts, which they can procure. Property may be sold in the East, in these hard times, for such articles at a much better lay, than it possibly can be sold for, in money: and in this place, these articles may be exchanged for lands, provisions, and labor, just about as advantageously as for money, and that too at an advanced price from prime cost, sufficient to warrant transportation. But if money can be obtained in the East for property, it may be in some respects a little better, and should be preferred. Yet, in these times, we must so arrange our affairs, that the scarsity of money shall not hinder the of the people, or of building up the kingdom of God.
And again, sheep in this place stand next to money, and we hope our brethren in the East will use their utmost exertions to send and to bring all the sheep into this country which they consistantly can; and if you cannot sell your property for money, sell them for sheep or wool, and forward them on here, that the rams of Nebaioth may minister unto us, and that domestic economy may receive that patronage which will protect us from the chilling blast of winter, and adorn our fathers, our mothers, our wives, and our children with the beauty and workmanship of their own hands.
Sheep may be driven to this place from as far East as the State of , and as far to the South as the southern part ef Kentucky, provided they be driven slowly and by careful and attentive boys or men. If they be driven in the spring before shearing, particular care must be taken not to overheat them by driving. It will cost but little to get them here; for after grass begins to grow in the spring, they will pick along by the way, and on the prairies, nearly as much as they will require.
Also our brethren in the South will do well to send or bring raw cotton. There are many families in this place who can manufacture this article to good advantage. I hope, also, that all the brethren here will raise, each a piece of flax this year. By a little exertion the seed may be procured in time. Let such brethren, as live any where within this who have flaxseed, consecrate it to the , and forward it as soon as possible to the that the brethren here may obtain it from them for their labor on the .
How beautiful it would be for our young girls to be instructed by their mothers how to spin and to weave, and when they come to be married, how very comfortable it would be to have a fine quantity of good sweet white linnen! Therefore, mothers, get your wheels ready, and tell your daughters that they are the old fashioned piano, and let their ears be charmed [p. 90]