Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter LX
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In Bannock Valley. Happy meeting with Indians. What Lorenzo said to them. Lamanite Elders speak. All shake hands. Lorenzo describes the Agency. What the Secretary of the Interior says. A comparison between the two colonies. The one at Washakie. How located. Sunday School. Meeting exercises. How Lamanites are taught. How presided over. Their Co-operative Store and Sheep Herd. White families. A re-action. An Adage. The United States Supreme Court decides. Tele- grams to Hon. L. Snow.
AVING remained in this locality as long as we thought proper, we moved in a westerly direction some eight miles and pitched our tent in the valley of the Ban- nock, still on the reservation, three or four miles from the western boundary and sixteen from the " Neely Settlement," situated about four miles below the American Falls. About one hundred and fifty Indians are settled in this valley, many of whom have been baptized. They cultivate a"bout one hun- dred acres of land. They greeted us with warm hand-shaking, while their dusky faces were beaming with joy. One Indian came to our tent saying he was very sick, and requested us to administer to him by laying on of hands, which we did.
The reservation is now, evidently, under Presbyterian rule, and whatever we do our motives will be misrepresented and every possible effort will be made to destroy our influence and root out from the heart of the Indian every good seed sown.
As we were about to leave the reservation, we thought it due the Indians that we explain our reasons for depart- ing so soon and without holding meetings. Accordingly we informed them if they would come together at our camp the next day, Sunday, we would give them an explanation.
Prompt to the word, Sunday morning, about ten o'clock, they were gathering together, some coming in wagons, on horses, and some on foot; the young men and women gaily dressed ornamented with beads, ribbons, feathers, etc., etc., some carry- ing parasols shielding their brown faces from the scorching sun, all in their best and most attractive attire, and neat in appearance. We improvised a booth of green boughs, while our Lamanite friends were engaged in arranging the bowery just in front, by means of wagons, poles and green bushes. Thus prepared and ready to commence meeting, our hearts overflowed with gratitude to our heavenly Father for the opportunity, as we gazed on this peculiar scene an assembly of the children of Lehi, anxiously awaiting our message, and we felt the Spirit resting upon us as we bowed before the Lord in earnest and solemn prayer.
I then arose and told them Bishop Zundel would explain the position each of us occupied in the Chucch; then I would tell them our object in making this visit. Brother Zundel hav- ing thus explained, I informed them that we had come to visit them, that we felt a lively interest in their welfare and happi- ness, and would like to have visited them sooner but circum- stances prevented. We applied to Mr. Cook for the privilege of holding meetings and preaching, but have been reftsed. He promised to write to Washington to inquire if the authorities there would give us the privilege. We were greatly surprised and disappointed in Mr. Cook in forbidding us to talk and preach to our Lamanite friends and brethren, but es he had seen proper to do so we should respect his orders, go home and wait till we hear from the head men at Washington.
I said I hoped they would not be angry with Mr. Cook for his refusal, but endeavor to respect him in his position, and if they would do right, be patient and prayerful, the Lord would overrule all these matters for their good and best interest; that we had not seen them for a long time, and were now pleased to renew our acquaintance and find
that the good
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Spirit they received after baptism was still warming their hearts, and we did not intend so long time would pass until we again should visit them ; that we desired them to be good and kind to one another, not to swear or gamble, nor commit whoredoms. I exhorted the husbands to treat their wives kindly, to be industrious, learn to cultivate the ground, raise their grain and vegetables, and as much as possible make their own living, etc.; that if they would remember and do these things, love one another, be humble and attend faithfully to their prayers, keep the 'good Spirit in their hearts, the Lord would deliver them from poverty and bondage. And many other words of exhortation and consolation were spoken as I felt led by the Spirit.
Our two Lamanite Elders then addressed the meeting with inspired words of comfort and good counsel. During the entire services there was profound silence and the most marked attention, not a \\<hisper and scarcely a move.
Having closed the meeting with prayer, I informed our friends we would like to shake hands with all of them, for which purpose we placed ourselves in line and received them one by one, till each had given us a warm, friendly grasp of the hand, women and children following in the rear, all eagtr, and performing the parting salutation with spirit and animation, imparting life to the ceremony.
The Fort Hall reservation is situated in Snake River val- ley, Oneida County, Idaho, and contains, it is said, 1,233,329 (one million two hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and twenty-nine) acres, with thousands of acres of as good farming lands as can be found in the west.
And with all this, everything about the agency wears a gloomy and forbidding aspect; very little land is cultivated, and that little very poorly and sluggishly. No marks of industry or enterprise are anywhere visible. There is no one to lead out and set the example, and there are no inducements offered those poor Indians to stimulate to industry, and appar-
ently no effort to improve their morals, cultivate their intel- lects or correct their stupid and false notions of Christianity.
On specified days in the week they gather to the agency, where Mr. Cook's servant doles out to each his small pittance of meat and flour furnished by the government. So long as they draw this meagre supply, sufficient to keep them alive in a half starved state, with no stimulating influence to industry, they will not rise above their present condition.
Their buildings are mostly low huts, huddled together without regard to taste, order or convenience. Mr. Cook informed us the population of the reservation, including all ages, was but 1,500 (one thousand five hundred), and con- stantly decreasing.
From the report of the Secretary of the Interior, we gather the following: "In February, 1880, a school was opened, which has been continued up to date [which we visited, con- sisting of four girls and six boys], save the usual vacations." The report also says: "Notwithstanding the fact that this school is costing the government some $1,700 (one thousand seven hundred) per annum for teacher and employees, in addition to food and clothing for the pupils, the fact still remains that not one Indian on the reservation can read a word. Of revealed religion their ideas are about as crude as they are of letters, save what they have learned of their brother polygamists, the Mormons, who have quite a following among them." So much from my brother's journal.
We now wish to show, by comparison, the wide contrast between the condition and prospects of a colony of Indians cared for and supported at great expense by the United States government, and our little colony, numbering two hundred and fifty men, women and children, located in Washakie. Box Elder County, Utah Territory.
These Indians receive no appropriations from govern- ment. The colony is located on lands purchased of the Brigham City Mercantile & Manufacturing Association, and
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is conducted on the same principles, so far as practicable in its present growth.
About four months since, in company with Brother Lorenzo and his son Alphonso, the writer visited the Washakie colony, arriving on Saturday evening, forty miles from Brigham City. Next day attended Sunday School, where white and red scholars intermixed, and was exceedingly grati- fied with the exercises, the order and interest strikingly mani- fest and the progress of the classes.
We also attended meeting in the afternoon and were not a little surprised to mark the effect on savage customs, savage looks and manners, produced by a constant exercise of kind- ness, patience, good instruction and good examples, prompted by the love and spirit of the Gospel. The meeting was opened by the choir, all Lamanites, and the prayer offered by a Lamanite brother. My brother addressed the congregation, and the rapt attention of the red brothers and sisters during the services indicated the importance they attach to devotional exercises.
The colony have built a good frame house, 24x40 feet, with vestry added. It is well seated, and fitted for school as well as religious purposes, and they own a good library.
These Indians are very industrious, are taught all kinds of business farming, fencing, brick making, house painting, and in fact all of the ordinary branches of home industry.
The day school is taught by Elder J. J. Chandler, who is also superintendent of the Sunday School, an experienced and successful teacher. His day school has numbered as high as fifty-five, with an average attendance of forty-seven. The Indian scholars are only taught the primary branches. Their great progress in penmanship is complimentary of well developed organs of imitation.
These Indians are presided over by Bishop I. E. D. Zun- del, with his counselors, Abraham Hunsaker and Moroni Ward.
This season they have raised about six thousand bushels of wheat, besides a large amount of hay. They have a co-op- erative store of from $1,500 to $2,000 capital stock, and a sheep herd of one thousand five hundred head.
All white men laboring in the colony have their families with them, thus placing in the midst of the red people telling examples of cultivated and refined domestic life, which is pro- ducing happy results.
A RE- ACTION.
" Better late than never," is a true adage when applied to the triumph of right over wrong, of justice over injustice, as in the case of the late decision of the United States Supreme Court against the unjust, illegal and oppressive act of 0. J. Hollister in levying an assessment on the scrip of Zion's Co-operative Mercantile and Brigham City Mercantile & Manu- facturing Institutions.
The circumstances attending the assessing of the Brigham City Co-operative scrip have been briefly narrated in a former chapter.
The following telegrams need no comment, they speak for themselves :
Salt Lake City, March 17, 1884. Hon. Lorenzo Snow, Brigham City:
Dear Brother. A telegram just received from Hon. J. T. Caine, Washington, D. C., tells us that to-day the Supreme Court of the United States decided the scrip tax case in our favor. This virtually decides the Brigham City case in your favor. Please accept my congratulations, and believe me,
Truly yours, (Signed) THOMAS G. WEBBER,
Secretary and Treasurer Z. C. M. I.
Ogdeii City, March 18, 1884. To Hon. Lorenzo Snoiu, Brigham City:
A telegram from Hon. F. D. Richards, from Salt Lake
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City, last night, informs me that the United States Supreme Court affirmed the judgment in favor of Z. C. M. I. against 0. J. Hollister, yesterday, so your judgment against Hollister . will be good for the whole amount, without any necessity for compromise. I shall, to-day, write to my old friend Walter Evans, commissioner of internal revenue, at Washington, D. C., in relation to the matter, and do hope that the money will be paid at once. When I hear from Evan^, I will inform you.
You and your company can well be congratulated on the long delayed but ultimate success for at least a partial recov- ery from a great injustice.
Truly, your friend, (Signed) R. K. WILLIAMS.
The following closes our historical sketches of the official labors of Brother Lorenzo:
This temple, the fourth which the Saints have com- pleted, although two others are in progress, is known as the Logan, Cache County, Temple, and was dedicated on the 17th day of May, 1884, just seven years from the time of the dedi- cation of the ground on which it is located.
A few months previous to his demise, President Brigham Young selected the location, and, in connection with his brethren of the Priesthood, dedicated it for that sacred pur- pose. He also organized the three Stakes, Cache, Box Elder and Bear Lake, into what is known as a " Temple district," with the understanding that the Saints in those Stakes or counties should, in a general sense, be held responsible in fur- nishing the necessary means and labor for building.
Subsequent to the President's death, Apostles Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D. Richards were appointed "Temple committee," as general supervisors of this important work; in which capacity Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D.
Richards continued until its completion. Charles C. Rich was early prostrated by a lingering illness which terminated in his death, my brother serving as chairman of committee in his stead.