Brigham Young got letters. Oh, the letters he got. Some are serious, some are pleading, some are insulting, some are helpful. Most are from church members and leaders either reporting on church business or asking for help and advice. Some are from non-Mormons, both friendly and otherwise.
Most historians have been more interested in the letters Brigham Young wrote, than in those he received. Some have scoured the collection for letters from important people on important topics. Me, I’ve been as tickled by the letters from the obscure, and the letters about the bizarre, as anything of more enduring value.
So, this post inaugurates a new series at Keepa where I’ll share with you some of my favorite letters. They’re favorites for various reasons.
This one, written in the early years following the Utah War, is — you have been warned — not safe for reading at family home evening. And no, I haven’t been able to identify the highly recommended Mr. Jacob Barnum. Enjoy.
I presume you are a ware that a countries greatness depends upon the perseverance and bravery of its sons now, knowing as I do that you have between thirty and forty wives and that you are unable to get anymore children I would suggest to you the propriety of sending for one Jacob Barnum – a resident of Scotts Valley Township Siskiyou County, California for the purpose of sleeping with each of your wives one night – if you do this I will pledge my estate that your harems will have two children each that Salt Lake City will become famous for giving birth to a hardy race of people and that they will become numerous and powerful enough in a few years to annihilate all opposition