Letter from Orson Hyde, 30 April 1844

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April 30th. 1844.
Dear Brethren,
As the subjects to which our attention has recently been directed, are so all absorbing to the mind, that I am induced to write often, and lay before you from time to time, the train of my own thoughts upon matters engrossing the interest of our entire community; giving you an opportunity to glean therefrom such relics as, in your better judgment, may tend to facilitate the execution of the grand scheme which has so deeply enlisted our united energies.
It is now reduced to a certainty, that will not be admitted into our , at present; for Messrs. and have both taken a stand adverse to the annexation of that territory to our in their letters received here yesterday. This has given an additional radiance of hope to the men, but has smitten the Vanites with wild confusion. They know not what to do. They talk of other Candidates. They want some one who will go for and . I have proposed Genl. Smith to them, and told them that his measures embraced every thing they could desire, but it passed off with a smile. One of the Memorials sent by me will be read in the Senate today by , and the other in the house on Monday next by in all probability. The Bill in the Senate will be referred to the committee on who are composed entirely of southwestern members, with of for chairman; and having introduced a bill on [p. [1]] previously, will undoubtedly cause an unfavourable report to be returned to the Senate; for he would consider the passage of this bill detrimental to his own scheme, and also to the interest of his friend, the great champion, , who is going to that country with a large number of emigrants this Spring. Our members seem to be very anxious for our welfare, and are quite in favour of your <​our​> scheme: but give it as their united opinion that the bill cannot pass.
, who is full of familiarity and good-will, proposes to visit Mr. Smith on his return to upon the subject of , and . thinks of doing the same also. is a good way off, and is not a very good country when you arrive there. I have read something of its history since I left, and have also conversed with gentlemen who have been there. The Tax upon Women and children in removing there, would be very severe indeed.
Now then for a proposition; as will not be admitted into our union; how would it do for you to write to and ask him what encouragement he could give us if we would commence an immediate emmigration there, and supply him with 1–2–3–4 or 5 thousand soldiers to help fight the battle? and then if would not acknowledge the independance of , but continue to harrass her by small parties, make one tremendous rush upon and capture and subdue the whole country. This would secure , , and . If should ack [p. [2]]nowledge the independance of without bloodshed, then we should have a delightful soil and climate, and an opportunity of extending our conquest <​settlement​> into , and we should not be out of the reach of communication, or the necessaries and comforts of life. would be a central point for emigration, for the coming in and going out of the elders. Or if this would not do, let some man whose mind is well balanced with judgment and discretion go and establish a stake in , and let the converts from the South who have slaves gather there and raise our sugar, and we in raise their provisions: But if this is not advisable stick fast in , and hold on. Let the elders go forth in multitudes and raise up Churches, then let the twel[ve] visit those Churches and give certificates for all such to gather into and other counties contiguous as are able to buy farms, and let the poor remain where they are without certificates until we shall have a large territory, heavy and extensive agricultural capital and an abundance of produce; then let the poor come in and fill up the vacancies. If, with our limited means, we now attempt to establish manufactories, we have strength perhaps to half complete them; then we might as well have an inheritance in the moon for all the good it would do us, as to have those half finished manufactories. The fruits of agricultuaral labour are sooner realized than any other; [p. 3] and now, would it not be our most politic course to strengthen ourselves by agriculture, extend our borders, enlarge our territory in as I have spoken, and break up the plan of settling so much within the limits of the town. If we were to get , or rather go there under the mostly favourable circumstances which we have any reason to hope for; There is an Army to support, and also a navy. An executive and legislative government to support Ministers and consuls to all nations. Would not this enormous weight of taxation keep out capitalists and sink the infant government?
Knowing that our inexperienced minds dwell first, and with far more pleasure, upon the sunny side of the picture, I have thought propper to present a little of the shade also; for if we move at all, it is “through” both sun and shade”: yet whatever course you shall determine to steer, after seeing every point of the compass, I am with you, heart, hand, property, life and honor. It is, therefore, but reasonable, when one has so much at steak, to indulge an earnest desire and an ardent wish for the most judicious cause to be persued; and did I conceal my thoughts and find afterwards that we had moved erroneously, I could not escape the sensure censure of my own mind; But if my thoughts are wrong, I know your superior discernment will not only discover, but reduce them to a propper bearing [p. 4]
and understand perfectly our business, that is, so far as I am authorized to impart; and either of them will cheerfully attend to any business in Congress which you may think propper to commit to their charge. They have both said to me, that if you have any further instructions or business they would cheerfully and promptly attend to it by your writing to them. Congress will probably not adjourn till June sometime, if then.
I expect to leave here tomorrow. will stay and urge on all the business as fast as possible. I told him I would stay if he chose and let him go, but he said he would stay. Our business is in such a shape now, it is not necessary for both to stay.
I have instructed to suppress the report of the Committee on , if he found it was like to be unfavourable, and let it never be made to the Senate. If you wish it differently, you have only to write to him. I advised the course which I thought would be the most prudent. In case the committee are like to report adversely, is instructed to go immediately to the with the other memorial and get his signature to it.
I told our members that we could not ask them to hazard their own influence without any prospect of benefiting us: But said I, if you do see any [p. 5] chance to assist us, and will lend a hand to do so; we shall esteem it a favour conferred upon us by your political power, which we, at some future time, shall be happy to reciprocate. They assured me that they would do all they could; and if they could not get our particular Bill passed, they would get one passed that would favour us as much as possible. At least use their endeavors to do so. and myself will correspond all the time, that if it is necessary for me to be here, the railroad cars will bring me here like the wind.
We have both had an introduction to the ; so our way is open there whenever we wish to see improve it.
I intend now to go to preaching, and make as big a stir as I can. I do not intend to idle away any time. Mr. Ross had gone before we could get to see him. My Best Respects to all our Counsellors, and particulary to our Presiding Elder. May Heaven guide your deliberations, and bless you with ability to carry them into successful operation.
Believe me as ever, Your friend and brother in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ for ever and ever Amen
. [p. 6]
P.S. has just returned fom the Senate <​and informs me​> that has not read your memorial Memorial to day as he agreed. <​was expected.​> But moved that his bill respecting that country be made the special order of the day on monday next. This latter bill, we have sent you some days ago, in print.
We hope there is no juggling in this matter, we shall keep an eye upon it.
sends his best wishes to you all.
As before
.
I would suggest one thing more in relation to our agricultural pursuits— if we had manufactories established on a small scale, The products of the large Eastern establishments would be afforded cheaper than we could afford them probably, and as our country is agricultural, and produce bears a very good price, we could obtain our clothing in exchange for our agricultural products, and for a long time clothe ourselves more readily that way, than any other. At the same time encourage the hand cards, wheels, and looms.
. [p. 7]
[stamped postmark] BALTIMORE Md.
MAY 1
[stamped] FREE
 
Esqr
Post Master
Ill.
 
April 30. 1844
 
April 30th. 1844
to the First Presidency
 
about 15 to 20 May
 
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Footnotes

  1. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Jonathan Grimshaw.  

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    Dockets in unidentified handwriting.