Joseph Young, letter to Calvin & Chloe Bicknell, 28 Jun 1855, in Laurence B. Johnson, ed., The Pines Letters, (Bordentown, N.J, 1954), pp. 31–33.
Great Salt Lake City June 28, 1855
Dear Father & Mother Bicknell
I sit down to pen a few lines to you once more and first of all would say we are all in tolerable good health through the mercy of our Heavenly Father/ the Season here has been quite unfavorable to our Farmers thus far/ the Grasshopers have Devoured much of our grain and other vegetables/ still I think there will Be Plenty Left to suply the weants of the people and all who may come to sojourn within these Peaceful Vallies! Janes health would Be good for her poor Constitution But hard work and the Cares of So Large a family Breakes her Repose too much for Comfort or happiness/ we often wish for Father Mother Eliza & Julius to Be in our Midst with Seymour and Hurlburt/ But these feelings we suppress and make our selves Comfortable in the Reflection that all will Be Right in the End/ I suppose you have By this time learned that Brother John Taylor is Publish - a paper in the city of New York and Brother Orson Spencer one in cincinati which Last is not a great way from your place.
I shall write to Brother Spencer and Request him to send you a copy as often as he publishes it.
I will now Proseed to give a Little History of our increase and improvements in these Valleys: our Settlements now Extend from Bear River Valley to the south and as far as the Riovisgin [Rio Virgin] a Distance of more than three hundred miles including ten counties/ their names are as follows/ 1st Boxelder/ 2nd Weber/ 3rd Davis /4th Salt Lake/ 5th Toele/ 6th Utah/ 7th Nab [Juab]/ 8th Sanpete/ 9th Millard/ 10th Iron - the First county derives its name from the great abundance of timber which grows in that county and called by that name/ Salt Lake from the immense Body of Salt Water in the Vicinity of our city/ Toele Utah Nab [Juab] and Sanpete are Indian names and identifyd different Tribes of Indians who live and roam in these mountains/ Millard is the seat of government and a corporated city in it name Filmore in memory of the Magnanimous Late President of the United States/ Iron County forming the Southern Extremity of our settlements takes its name from the Vast quantities of that article found in those regions where there is a large Foundry in Successful operation.
I could not tell what Number of inhabitants there is now in the Territory But I should think likly from thirty five to Forty thousand/ it may be less or more than the above estimate/ the Saints are Living in Walled Towns as a General thing, which is considered By far the most safe in these Mountains.
the Sallies of the wild Indians of the Desert on our Settlements and the murders which they have commited on our People in Different Places and at Different times renders that Step of Percaution indispensible/
our Public improvements are advancing with Moderate But Steady Progress/ the Foundation of our Temple has been Laid more than Two years and is moving Forward with as much Rappidity as we could anticipate/ its design is Somewhat original/ in taste and architectural grandeur it is not likely to be surpassed.
the State Prison is built on a high piece of ground about 5 miles from our City/ there are two or three Covics in it I think/ the State House is Being Built at Filmore where the Legislator will assemble the coming winter.
we have good common schools where our children are taught Reading writing Geography arithmatic Grammer &c.
there are select schools where the high Branches of Literature are taught with good success such as Mathmatics Natural Philosphy astronomy and the other useful Banches of science/
I have given a short history of our situation and improvements and now come Back to my own family/ we have Eight Living Children and the ashes of two more Left in Nauvoo which makes ten in all! my oldest son (Josephy) is a little taller than his Father and about the same in size/ Seymour B. is a fine active Boy and is growing to Be quite a man But small in size/ Markies De Lagrand is small of his size also/ Josephy is quite sttentive to the cares of the Family and takes many Burdens from me which gives me much comfort. Adeline is 20 years old But as yet is not Married/ Julia Vilate and Chloe Eliza are good girls and good scholars.
Rhoda and Henriette Both Born in the Valley have had much sickness But at Present we are all on our feet/ I wish to train my children in the Right Chanel and give them all the inteligence in my power of God our Father and Jesus the Redemer for without our posterity we cannot be Perfect any more than the anscients could be.
Since I commenced this letter yours of the 15th of January fell into my hands which I think is your Last/ I hope this will be a partial apology for Past Neglect of promptly answering your letters.
May God Bless you with his holy Spirit