Friday, August 29, 2014

Brigham Young writes to the Five Jolly Welshmen

Yes! My good buddy at sent me a copy of Bro. Brigham's letter back to John Lewis and his jolly friends! It's in the public research files (I hadn't found it in the indices yet) so she didn't need to sneak it out of confidential files or anything.

But Springville! Why did it have to be Springville! At least Brigham didn't put "at present" in air quotes.

So far we've determined that the Jolly Welshman did not stay together. At least two of them, Henry Moore and John James, went to the Carson Valley. It also appears that our John Lewis may have gone but kept on going over the Sierra for the gold fields. And, there is a possibility that Jane was still alive and may have remarried in Jacks Valley (south of Carson). More research is needed to firm up these hints.

Carson Valley was then in Utah Territory but there was some dispute on boundaries as to whether it should be in the State of California. Then with the Utah War, President Young called back the Mormon settlers in the area. Some stayed. Carson Valley ended up in the new Territory of Nevada. And the Mormons still there ended up out of the Church even if a few made some sweet moolah with the development of the Comstock Lode. Then the Reorganized Church came in and scooped up a bunch of them.

Brigham Young was struggling with the development of minerals in the West. He did not want to see the Saints abandon the Kingdom and lose their souls in the gold fields of California or even roaming the mountains and deserts of Utah. He was also trying to develop industrial minerals, iron and coal. And the Iron Mission wasn't doing that well (and really blew it horribly in September 1857).

No, 1857 wasn't a good year. But it was nice to get a letter back from the Prophet.

John James of the "5 Jolly Welshmen" & Wife.
Looking rather prosperous in Carson City.

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