Chapter LV.


Letter to the Deseret News--A Brief Review of Mexican History

Characteristics of the People--Land Grants and Purchases Peculiarities of Land Titles--The Climate of Mexico

THIS old letter, copied from the Deseret News, I think will help in describing Mexico:

"EL PASO, State of Chihuahua,

February 10, 1876.

"Brother J. Nicholson:

"I herewith send you an account of the country and people of this region.


"The town of El Paso is situated on the right bank of the Rio Grande del Norte, in the State of Chihuahua, on a low bottom, liable to much damage from high water; land sandy. The streets are simply old cattle tracks, running in every direction. If an idea can be given of them without mapping it will be by saying they followed the forks of the trails, giving the grounds somewhat the appearance or shape of regular triangles.

"The river-bed being quick-sand, it costs a great deal to keep a water-ditch in order. The houses are one-story, made of adobe; solid block, mainly after the old Moorish style of small fortresses; hollow, square in center; one door in front.


"The climate is warm and pleasant; plowing and sewing can be done any time during the winter. This makes the farmer rather indolent, as he does not have to hurry as ours of the colder climates do.

"The products are wheat, corn, barley, beans, peas, onions, pepper, sweet potatoes and some few other vegetables. Many things more might be profitably cultivated, if once understood; but the people are satisfied with what they have, and manifest but little interest in new introductions.

"The fruits are grapes, in great abundance and of the best quality; pears, which the people dry in great abundance, price, ten cents per pound. They are excellent eating. Their apples are small seedlings, not worth eating. A few peaches of an excellent kind do well here. I have seen no other fruits. I have heard that strawberries and some other small fruits have been cultivated by foreigners, and they do extremely well.


"The mode of cultivation is with an old wooden plow, working their cattle by the horns. They scratch up the ground very poorly, afterwards doing much work with the hoe; they regulate their ground for watering by making small embankments around small, irregular plats, from thirty to fifty feet across, and flooding the land. I think this is a poor way, as it causes their land to bake very hard; but this is the manner in which their fathers did it, so they think it is all right. They cultivate all open crops with the hoe, using the large, old-fashioned 'nigger' hoe. They cut their hay with the same tool. In Arizona we saw hundreds of tons, at the government posts, cut in the same way. They harvest with reap hooks and thresh with goats or flails.


"Mechanics are scarce. In this town of ten thousand inhabitants there is one blacksmith shop, three or four carpenter shops, two tailors, three or four shoe shops, one wheel-wright and one silversmith. And this is, as far as I have been able to learn, about the whole number.

"To compensate for this lack of mechanics, there is but one doctor and one lawyer; and the latter is supposed to be insane, as he has quit the practice, walks quietly around the town, says but little to anyone, is polite, dresses neatly and seems to mind his own business. My opinion is that he is the most sensible lawyer I have ever seen.


"The commerce of the country is limited. The people sell their wines and dried fruits generally as soon as ready. They go to all the surrounding country; to Chihuahua as well as up the country to Santa Fe and Arizona. There are three Jew stores and one Mexican store. Their business is small.

"There are many small dealers of various kinds, and there are many people who seem to live on occasional small amounts; but how they get their money deponent saith not.


"The people are slow to adopt improvements. Things look about the same as they did when I was here about thirty years ago, in ' 47. The town looks about the same. A very little has been done about the square and church--hardly perceivable. They use wooden-wheeled carts, and everything seems as though it was but a short time since I was here and saw things just as they now are.


"This is natural to the people of this country. A kinder-hearted people, naturally, I do not believe can be found. They are polite and mannerly--even the lowest of them. Their children are quiet and obedient, there being no 'hoodlums' here. Parents are affectionate to their children. Husbands are polite and affectionate. They have great reverence for Deity, their religion and old age. Get them once directed right and they will be the best people on earth.


"The people are generally healthy, there being but little disease among them. There are a few Americans living here.

"As to their morals, I believe the people of this town stand above par, compared with more civilized communities. The Apaches are the only people said to be strictly virtuous that I have met on this journey as yet, though it is generally admitted that the aborigines are much more virtuous than the mixed race of this country.

"Here's the people are a mixture of the Spanish and native--the native blood predominating. Of the pure bloods there are only about two hundred remaining in this town. Catholicism prevails more here than in the interior, so I am informed by persons from the lower States of Mexico. Their liberty of conscience is beginning to be more popular, and priestcraft is beginning to lose its power over many, but not enough for them to be popular as yet.


"The stock of the country is scarce and inferior. Horses, cattle and goats are tolerably plentiful. There are a few pigs and fowls. The circulating medium is corn, copper coin, greenbacks and a little silver. Dogs are in great abundance, noisy but seldom bite.


"Taxes are light, except on work on dam and water-ditch. The municipal regulations seem good. They have a police force, but it is seldom needed. The officer, the Jefe Politico, seems to control. There are some more officers, such as police magistrates, etc.; but the first seems to be manager of everything of a political nature. The present income that, Pablo Padio, is serving his second term, having been re-elected lately. He is very much of a gentleman.

"The people are very obedient to official authority, and show great respect to the same.


"With all the faults of the people--which faults are more blamable to the manner in which they have been ruled than to the people--there are good and noble principles among them. Their devotion to their religion I consider a virtue, for they have had no chance to have any better. Their reverence is unbounded, and, as I before stated, let them once be enlightened with the gospel and I believe they will receive the truth--and they will not fall away, but will stick to the right.

"D. W. Jones.

Mexico, although a sister republic, with railroad communications and much commercial intercourse with the United States, is not well understood by the average American. There has been for a long time, and still is, to quite an extent a prejudice against the Mexican people by the Americans. We look upon them as far behind the people of the United States, and often make unfair remarks about the "stupid" Mexicans, not stopping to consider who the people are or what their opportunities have been.

A great many accuse the Roman Catholic church of being responsible for the ignorance and degradation of the inhabitants.

In as few words as possible, I will offer an apology for the Mexican nation, and compare what we have done with the same element.

When this continent was first discovered there were millions of Indians inhabiting it, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the north sea to the Gulf of Mexico. That portion of the continent lying west on a line from Texas to Oregon, fell under the control of Spain, a Catholic government; that east under Protestant Christianity.

Up to the treaty with Mexico, nearly two-thirds of this continent was under Spanish rule. Let us see what the conditions of the country were at that time. There were about six millions of the inhabitants of Mexico, enjoying all the rights of citizenship. A great portion of the rulers of the country being of the natives, no distinction was made, but the priests offered to the natives the inducement of equal rights with the invaders.

Mexico is simply a nation of converted semi-civilized aborigines, living and having a being, and still numbering as many as at first.

The power and influence of the priests were extended into Arizona, New Mexico and California and thousands of Indians were brought into peaceable relations. No wars of extermination were declared against the natives, but missions of peace were the main means of conquest. Up to the year 1848 there were in this Mexican territory, tens of thousands living, and at least enjoying an existence.

Now let us see what has been done by Protestant Christianity for the natives who dwelt on their side of the line. I do not propose to quote hundreds of pages of history to show, but will simply refer to the fact. They have been killed off just as have been the bear, the wolf and the wild animals detrimental to the interests of the good, pious Puritans who wanted the country.

The real and true comparison is, How do the natives of Mexico compare with those of the United States? Let that power and influence which took hold of the natives of Mexico speak and say to those who took hold of the other side: "Here is our work. Mexico as it is today is peopled mainly by descendants of the races we found here. Now show us your work."

The question is which are the greater people, Americans or Mexicans? The question should be, which are the greatest the Mexican or American Indians?

If Mexico continues to improve and the people to advance in the future as they have for a few years past, the question may yet become, which people are the most advanced?

The Mexicans have many national characteristics that might be copied to advantage by Americans. Whether national contact will destroy some of these nobler qualities or not is a question.

They are hospitable, polite, faithful to a trust, true to their friends, respectable to their superiors and parents. When they have the means they are ambitious to make home and everything around pleasant; and of late years are ambitious to advance and educate the people. They are tolerant to all religious denominations.

Many suppose that priests still reign in Mexico. The Catholic priest who has helped to preserve the life of a nation has no more privileges in Mexico today than the Protestant minister who has helped to exterminate the natives on his domain.

In many respects Mexico is far behind other civilized countries. Their system of giving out their lands in large grants has left the country in many places comparatively unsettled. It is no uncommon thing for one man to own from a hundred thousand to a million acres of land. In fact, on the very start, all valuable lands not given as municipal grants were given to individual favorites. So there is no such conditions as in our country, where a poor man can go and locate a homestead.

Many persons have been deceived by the offers of government lands in Mexico, supposing they could get good lands at a nominal sum. The only way to get good lands is to purchase from the owners of undisputed tracts. To do this safely the buyer or agent must be perfectly familiar with the language, also the customs and character of the people he is dealing with. There are sharpers, speculators and deceivers in that country as well as in ours.

Many of the officers of the government are interested in speculations in lands and will vouch for persons when their recommend is interested.

In getting titles they must be thoroughly and correctly traced back to the original grant, and all adverse claims settled. From what I know of land troubles in Mexico, I would not spend much money on any land that had ever been in dispute.

There are so many chances for deception that it is risky. There are many tracts of land where the titles run smoothly back to the origin where there never has been dispute or litigation. These are the lands to look for if one wishes to live in peace and security. When the grants were first allowed many times the boundaries were indefinite, the boundaries having been defined by mountains or strains, or something subject to dispute, the country not being fully explored. Those taking possession would set their monuments so as to take in all the country that would be considered valuable without particularly consulting the exact lines of the recorded grant.

After ages of occupation these monuments come to be considered proper. Sometimes they were short, sometimes expanded beyond the lawful lines. There was often a great deal of waste land adjoining these grants. As Mexico is a dry country, no lands are of value except where water can be procured.

As the country began to be prospected by foreigners desirous of stock ranches, etc., and also the more advanced condition of the government, it became apparent that these grants should be more perfectly defined, so that what land still remained to the government could be sold. As these old grants stood there was no certainty even to a government title, as the grant could not be broken or infringed upon.

The attempt to get these government lands and the failure to get titles has given rise to the idea that there are no good titles in Mexico. Whereas the titles of these grants are so good that they cannot be broken; and when there is any controversy between the government and land grants, the grants almost invariably win.

Under the conditions it became necessary to cause a re-survey of the whole country. To bring this about the country was cut up into districts, and contracts let to persons to do the surveying, their compensation to be in part or whole or percentage of the lands left after the title grants were defined.

It now became a question between the old land owners and the surveyors which would get the most land. Where the surveyors could crowd in the lines they had the more land, while the grants sought at times to extend or reach the first allowance. This has given rise to much litigation, and even up to the present some few controversies are still going on.

There is not much risk in buying old original grants that run regularly, without adverse claimants. In some few places there were small plats of good lands secured to these surveyors by cutting off from the old grants. This being adjoining to the waste land would be used as a bait to sell their worthless lands.

This surveying business was conducted by corporations composed of the most wealthy and influential men of the several districts. As the lands and lines became defined, they having the option from the government on all the land, took possession of these new portions, and commenced to advertise and offer millions of acres for sale at very low figures.

Sometimes this surveying company would become owners of certain ranches. Many of the incorporators being land owners would arrange with the surveying company to add acreage from the worthless lands and on the reputation of the old ranch sell the whole tract.

To explain this I will instance one case that came under my own observation and was offered here in Utah. Without naming the ranch I will call it C____. What is commonly known as the Rancho de C____. When enquiry is made regarding it the common answer from the people is that C____ is a fine place, good land with plenty of water--a splendid place.

This means five thousand acres of good bottom land along the Rio C____, and that is all the Mexican ranchers mean when he speaks of the ranch. The old grants probably embraces two hundred thousand acres extending out from the water about as far as stock would travel from water. There is but very little water except in the river. The ranch is bounded on three sides by dry deserts and one side by mountains with some timber.

One attempt has been made to put this ranch, with five hundred thousand acres of worthless land added, upon the market on the reputation of the little fertile valley of five thousand acres of fine agricultural lands.

These schemes are still gotten up from time to time, and the ignorant are imposed upon in Mexico just the same as in any other country; but when men get bitten in Mexico they try to excuse themselves by reporting that there is no safety in titles.

Now all the answer that can be made to this is, Do business in Mexico just the same as you would in any other country. That is, determine what you want and then apply where it is to be had. Find good land with good titles, then secure it by purchasing from the owner. There are as good titles and protection in Mexico as in any country on earth, and men who have lived there for half a century will verify this.

The climate of Mexico varies from very warm to temperate. All along the Rio del Norte and for some distance out the climate is warm. There is a mountain range running clear through from the north almost to the south coast. Much of the lands cultivated are high above the sea level. They are from four to seven thousand feet. The mountain valleys and table lands are temperate. All who have visited the Republic of Mexico agree that the climate is among the best on earth.

Many persons are incredulous when told that Mexico is not a hot country, referring to other countries not so far south being intensely hot. Many think the further south we go the hotter it becomes. The temperature depends upon the altitude, and, as stated before, a great part of the habitable portion of Mexico being high the climate is simply delightful.

Thousands of people live and cultivate successfully many of the higher valleys without irrigation. Still it is safe to have flowing water so that it can be used for irrigation when wanted.

There are conflicting reports about Mexico and her people, the same as there are about Utah. How often are we of Utah annoyed by the scribbling of some wiseacre who has spent a whole day in Salt Lake City, rode around and been stuffed by a Liberal hack driver, obtaining all the information needed, being thoroughly posted he writes up the country, people, customs, facilities, and explains what is needed, advises legislation, etc., with all the assurance of one thoroughly posted. Some of our Elders who have made a flying visit to Mexico appear to me about as presumptuous. What they don't see or know would make a book. What they do see is often through a glass dimly. If one fast traveler of note happens to make a mistake in describing something all the rest copy. Like some smart idiot wrote years ago that the flowers of Mexico had no perfume; the birds no song. This has often been copied when there is not a word of truth in the statement.

Neither is it true that the thorns of the Giant Cactus, Sahuara are crooked like a fish hook. I simply mention these things to show that these hasty scribblers are not reliable on things of more importance. A person to know and understand Mexico and her people, as the Latter-day Saints should know and understand them, will have to go into the interior away from the commercial towns and cities.

There are large districts of country inhabited by an almost pure race, descendants of Lehi. Any one conversant with the Book of Mormon will have no trouble in finding abundant proof that the greater portion of the inhabitants of Mexico are descendants of the Jews, and are the very people, or a great portion of them, to which the gospel is to go to immediately from the Gentile. That the work in Mexico seems a little slow is a fact, but no fault can be laid to the natives, according to my observation and experience in that country.

When those whose duty it is to teach them are ready, according to the revelations given, the natives will receive them gladly.

Now, as this country, Utah, is fast filling up with inhabitants that have and are coming to stay, there naturally will be an element that will push on from time to time. "Go west, young man," is now obsolete; there is no west to go to, so the pioneer must either turn to the northern plains of Canada or the mountain valleys of Mexico, or allow the heel of civilization to be placed upon his neck for all time.

The questions arise, are there no more pioneers? Have they ceased to be--have we all found the haven of rest so long looked for? Are the waste places all built up? I cannot think that all progress is at an end, notwithstanding Salt Lake City is a great place. Still, I do not believe all will end here. So, in case there should be an individual or two who have the spirit of pioneering yet lingering within them, I will ask and answer a few questions for their benefit. In answering these questions I may repeat some things already explained in the book; but for the convenience of many persons I have concluded to ask and answer just such questions as are put to me almost daily, doubtless, many times, by people who wish to gain information. While some ask questions merely to be sociable, my aim is to give those who are interested in the welfare of the people of Mexico and might wish to go to that country, such information as will be of use and protect them from being misled.

The most important consideration is good lands with perfect titles. So to begin:

Can good lands be procured in Mexico? Yes; as good as can be in Utah or any country I have ever seen.

Are the titles good? In yes; there are many large tracts of good land, suitable for colonizing upon, that the titles originated in Spanish grants. These grants are proving to be perfect, as they stand good under all tests.

How about government titles? It is the report that a Mexican title for land is not very reliable. How does this report come about? There is no reason why a title from the present government of Mexico is not good. The only thing necessary is to get your location right. People of this country often make mistakes in locating properties. No government will defend a person on lands belonging to another party simply because they would like to have it, and make a wrong location.

Can a person settle upon and procure lands in Mexico the same as in the United States? No; there are no such laws in Mexico. In fact, at the present time, that Republic has no lands to be considered. This I have fully shown heretofore; your question must apply to titled properties. It is a waste of time to ask questions about government lands in Mexico.

Then you say all desirable lands must be bought of private owners? Yes.

What price will have to be paid for these lands? About the same average as public lands in this country.

How is that? I have often heard that good lands could be bought in Mexico for twenty-five cents per acre, either from the government or from land companies, who have control of large tracts.

Well, my friend, if you depend upon any such prospects you will be left, as others have been who have undertaken to get cheap lands in that country.

How is the country you recommend for timber? Is there plenty, and of what kinds? Pine, of the best quality is in great abundance, as well as considerable oak and some other hard woods of medium quality.

Is the timber in the mountains and canyons, the same as here in Utah? No; there are millions of acres of timber lands adjoining the tillable valleys that the timber grows upon, the low hills and upland plateaus, where teams can drive among the timber without any road making whatever.

Then there must be considerable rain fall in this timbered country? Yes; there are thousands of inhabitants living in the district who never pretend to irrigate their lands, and they raise good crops, generally.

Do they never fail of crops? Yes, sometimes; they reckon an average of every seven years for drouth.

Would it not be safer to get land where there is water for irrigation, in case it should be needed? Yes; I would not buy land at any price in Mexico unless there was a reasonable amount of water belonging to the land.

Then you do not like to depend upon the rains entirely? No; and for good reason. We have found, by experience here in Utah, that irrigation is handy and profitable. A great variety of products can be raised, as we can apply the water when needed. When we depend upon rain, many times the seasons are so divided that we have the extremes of wet and dry. This is common in the district of Mexico that I recommend for settling.

When is the rainy season in that country? June, July and August are the rainy months; during the winter season there is considerable rain and some snow.

Oh, I thought it was an awful hot country. How is it you have snow when it is so far south? Mr. Jones, you must be mistaken. I have been down in Arizona; it is very hot there--too hot for me--and this Mexican country is a long ways further south, and you say you have snow there. My friend, you must study the geography of Mexico a little. If you will look upon the map of Mexico and find the State of Chihuahua you will observe a district of country showing where several streams head and run off in different directions, some running for hundreds of miles north; so you see, on entering the State of Chihuahua on the north one travels up-hill for several days. The facts are that some of the finest and most fertile mountain valleys of that country are, as shown by measurement, two thousand feet higher than Salt Lake valley. So, if Zion is to be built up in the tops of the mountains, we lack two thousand feet of being there yet.

Then you mean to say the climate is temperate? Yes; the altitude preserves us from the heat. While being so far south, the winters are moderate; all who have ever lived in the district admit that it has a fine climate.

What are the products? Corn, beans, potatoes, melons, cabbage, onions and anything common to a temperate climate, and good, mellow soil is or can be raised.

How about fruits--is there much raised there? While it is one of the best fruit countries possible, judging from what I have seen, there is but little progress yet by the natives, as fruit raisers.

Why is this? Simply this like in most everything else--the people are a long way behind. They know nothing about grafting or budding fruits; they plant the seeds and let them grow often in clusters, and take what comes. I have seen some of the finest seedling apples that were ever produced, picked from trees grown in a thick clump, without any cultivation whatever. Also pears, apricots, plums and such hardy fruits common to a temperate climate.

How about grapes? It is too cold for any except the hardy varieties.

Is it a good wheat country? Yes; wheat does quite well, except when the season is wet. About harvest time, when, like all rainy countries, the harvest is attended with difficulties, sometimes the wheat is damaged by rust. This can be hindered, somewhat, by drilling the wheat, giving it a chance to ripen early, and not so apt to be effected by damp weather, as thickly sown wheat. Rye, oats and barley do well.

How is the range? Splendid; the whole country is thickly set with excellent grass.

Then if it is a thickly timbered country with plenty of grass there must be plenty of game? Yes; there are deer, bear and wild turkeys in great abundance. A person fond of hunting can have all the sport he wants. There are springs of pure water and beautiful mountain streams all through the country, so that game has a fine chance to live and grow fat. Then there must be fish in these mountain streams? No; for some cause the streams are not stocked with fish of much worth. Is the country thickly inhabited? Are there towns and settlements where business could be opened up? If the country was thickly settled there would be no room for colonizers. There are several towns numbering from one to five thousand inhabitants within a reasonable distance. There are also some of the richest mining camps of Mexico in the district of country, that would furnish an excellent market for all products raised. What are the facilities for different kind of manufactures or industries? Stock raising, especially fine horses, as the high altitude and solid surface, healthy atmosphere and pure water would be adapted to breeding a superior class of thoroughbreds. Now I am astonished to hear you recommend the raising of fine horses in Mexico. That revolutionary country where they will take everything a man owns and give him nothing in return. What would you do to protect your fine stock?

Now to answer this I will make the statement as given to me by many of the old settlers of the district I am writing about. That is, no revolutions or wars of a national character have reached that district for over a hundred years except to defend themselves against the Apaches.

The district is known as the Warrior district, but their warriors are for their own defence and protection; they are noted for minding their own business, being peaceable when let alone, but very ugly when interfered with; perfectly honest and united in protecting themselves against thieves. It is naturally one of the best protected countries on this continent, and a reasonable sized colony could and would be as safe there as any place upon earth. Would cattle raising pay? That is one of the principal businesses of the country. Cattle are bought annually and driven from that country to the United States. Is it a good sheep country? Yes; naturally so, but if I could have my way the immediate district, if colonized, would be protected from sheep depredations. If there is a people on earth who deserve the name of pirates I think it is the average sheep owner of Utah. They know no law but to crowd their sheep upon any and every place where they can live regardless of the rights of others.

There are large districts of country in northern Mexico well adapted to sheep raising, not suitable for farming or inhabiting to any great extent. Sheep men should be satisfied with such countries and not crowd themselves upon the settlers as they do in this country, eating off the range from the home stock, befouling the waters and filling the atmosphere with a sickly stench for the greater portion of the summer season.

The answer to this is that it is for revenue. Yes revenue, but at the cost of the comfort, health and lives of many people. The revenue is to the few while the nuisance is to the many.

Anyone wanting a sheep ranch in Mexico had better not apply to me for information. I would rather wear a coat made of Australian wool then have a healthy, happy country tramped down and made a sickly, stinking desert by herding sheep around a settlement. But if anyone should wish to start a woolen factory they would have no trouble in getting all the wool wanted, for it is already cheap and plentiful.

Would a tannery pay? Yes; hides and oak bark are plentiful, that really would be one of the most profitable industries and easiest to start. Lumber and all kinds of building materials being near at hand.

Is there a demand for mechanical labor? My supposition is that a thrifty colony would demand work among themselves. Again, the country being new as far as modern improvements are concerned would, when an example was set, naturally begin to build up and create a demand for many kinds of labor that are not now wanted among the natives. It is a country naturally rich in resources, and would soon prosper and build up a people provided they applied themselves intelligently and industriously to improve the natural privileges.

How is the government? Do you think a man can live there in peace any length of time? I think a man will have all the privilege and protection that could be reasonably desired.

Well, now, why won't they legislate against our religion in time there just the same as is being done here? That is too big a question to be answered in a sentence. You must read the Book of Mormon in true belief, realizing that it is true and plain. If you will do this honestly you will have no fears about the future in Mexico.

Well, now, how can a person be protected in his rights? By going slow and learning how from some one who is capable of teaching you.

Can a person single-handed do anything in the country you recommend? No, sir; it will not amount to anything except a colony of sufficient strength and means to get a good tract of land and be for a season self-sustaining.

Would it not be very expensive to move into that country? Not under proper system and organization. How long would it take to go from here with a family and get settled to work? About fifteen days, allowing nothing for delays.

How far is it from the railroad? About one hundred and fifty miles to the district.

Can the necessary stock be procured to commence with? Yes, and quite reasonable.

How about provisions? Such as corn, beans and meat are in abundance. Flour is scarce and of a poor quality and cannot be obtained until mills are built as the natives have no good mills, the flour is bad, but the corn is excellent and will make good meal, which will answer for a season.

Well, Mr. Jones, I have sold out to a Liberal here for fifty thousand, and I don't much like the idea of going without my cake and biscuit. Ain't there no way to get good flour? Oh yes, you can get it for about nine dollars per hundred.

That will do; if I go I will take a few sacks.

How about custom duties? No trouble for regular colonizers that go in order and conform to the laws and make their applications beforehand, so that when they arrive at the custom house they are known as colonizers, haphazzard work in Mexico makes trouble the same as in any other country.

Do you think there will be much of a move from this country to Mexico? I did think so at one time; but I am now under the impression that there will be no great move to that land.

What has changed your opinion? Simply this--the people do not wish to go. The inhabitants of Utah have good homes and have made up their minds to accept the situation and stay, and enjoy their wealth and luxuries the same as other people.

Then you have given up the idea of ever seeing a prosperous colony of Mormons settle in Mexico, in some of the rich valleys that you have been recommending so long? No, sir; not at all. I still have faith in the move; those who have faith in the Book of Mormon, and have a greater desire to see the words of the Book fulfilled that to have to accumulate wealth, will go.

Then you think it will be at the sacrifice of worldly wealth and comforts that people will take hold of the work? Seemingly so, but not in reality. There are many principles revealed to this people that we are slow to put in full practice. Among others United Order, a principle the Prophet Brigham declared would have to be practiced before further advancement would be made by this people. While the majority of the people called Latter-day Saints are inclined to look with suspicion on any move in that direction, the natives of Mexico favor and, in a good degree, practice the principle. A short description of their mode of farming will illustrate this. In the spring, when planting time comes, all join together and go into the field of one party and plow and put in the seed; the poor man who has no cattle shares the same as the wealthy. This they continue until all the fields of the village are planted. If any lack seed it is loaned to them. If there is a scarcity of provisions the first field products fit for use, instead of being sold at an exorbitant price, become common property, and all the hungry partake of the blessing. When the crops are gathered in the owner of the early field receives such as his neighbors feel free to give him, which is always liberal in quantity.

Now I would not advocate the doing just as these natives do; but will say this, their customs show that they have a principle of union and good fellowship among them that could easily be trained into more successful principles of union. They are true Israelites, descendants of the Jews, and having left Jerusalem before the crucifixion of the Savior, have not that curse resting upon them, but, on the contrary, have the merit of having descended from a people who received the Savior and the gospel and lived for hundreds of years in a condition of peace, union and intelligence far beyond the Church at Jerusalem. They are entitled to the gospel, according to the Book of Mormon, immediately following the work among the Gentiles. The day of their deliverance cannot be far away, for if the fullness of the Gentiles is not close at hand, the Saints must have a hard experience before them.

Now, to finish up this work, I wish to give a few of my own observations and reflections. The sketches of history I have given as they occurred to me. My descriptions of country and inhabitants, according to the best of my judgment, after years of study and acquaintance. No person can describe a country from a single visit sufficiently well to predicate a reliable report upon, unless receiving information from a most trust-worthy and intelligence source. For this reason I have always made it a rule to visit country, where convenient, at different times and seasons; also to inquire from different disinterested parties, watching closely the general reports. The judge on his bench allows a person's general reputation to be a proper question for proof, but will not allow direct individual testimony, neither good nor bad. This rule should largely apply in determining the quality and conditions of a country. If the reputation is generally good, then we may look favorably on the subject; but if bad, like the person with a bad reputation, we should be careful in dealing with them.

Sometimes, when speaking of certain tracts of land in Mexico, persons will ask me if the titles are good. When I tell them yes, they will ask, "How do you know? I hear people are often deceived about titles; how do you know they are good?" There was an old lady told me the title is good. Now this might seem a light answer; but, in reality, is not the "old lady's" answers on general reputation, and many times more reliable than an interested party?

Of course, this information is preliminary; but it will, many times, enable a person to form an opinion as to whether it will pay to make further investigation. I would rather take the friendly report of a neighbor about the titles of a Mexican ranch that I would the information of an officer of state, that might have an ax to grind. People who visit President Diaz and cabinet when on land business in Mexico, are likely to be kindly treated and receive such information as his Excellency and associates have to give, but, individually, I have always found it best to get posted from the neighbors or owners.

I came from Mexico to Utah nearly forty years ago. I have been interested in that country and people from that time until the present. I have often met Elders whose faith and testimony seemed strong, yet seemed to have but little faith or interest in the work among the remnants spoken of in the Book of Mormon. To me this has always seemed strange. We are all looking forward to the time soon coming when the gospel will be withdrawn from the Gentiles and go to the "Jews, of which the remnants are descendants," so says the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

There can be no question but the turning of the gospel from the Gentile to the Jew means first to the remnants. Any one studying the Book of Mormon carefully cannot help but see that the Word is to be carried to the remnants. It might be easier and more convenient to make a tour to Jerusalem, but it won't fill the bill. The remnants must be preached to, then they will believe and come to a knowledge of Jesus.

We who have been gathered from the Gentile world have the promise of coming in and being numbered with the remnants and helping them to build up the New Jerusalem, provided we harden not our hearts. Now what does this hardening of hearts mean? I will suppose a character and see if it will apply.

A person hears the gospel, his heart is pricked and naturally softened. The love of God and the testimony of Jesus comes upon him, he goes forth after receiving the blessings of the ordinances and preaches the gospel to his friends and countrymen and baptizes many, teaches them their duty, and finally gathers to Zion. Then he settles down to the duties of home and life among the Saints. He is prospered and blessed, his heart is warm and soft. He enters into all the duties common to a faithful Elder, his family increases, he is persecuted for his belief and practice, all this he stands and feels good in doing his duty and maintaining his principles.

Now this man has been gathered out from the Gentiles and will have the privilege of being numbered with the remnants, if he hardens not his heart. Now why should such an individual harden his heart? What motive or cause could there possibly be for the hardening of the heart? It may come in this way, the Lamanites are a poor, and to the rich and refined looked upon as a dirty, degraded people, still the Lord has promised that those of the Gentile world who receive the words of the Book should carry them to the remnants. Now will we do this, or will our riches hinder us when the time comes? Doubtless there will be some who will say, "I am not interested in these dirty Indians." Possibly this is what hardening of the heart means. Some would apply this to the whole world who reject the gospel. I think it more consistent to apply it to the Elder who has received the gospel and had his heart softened to his duty and then allows it to become hardened through prosperity. To those who suppose the Lamanites all low and degraded, I will add this to what I have already said in their favor. There are thousands of the finest artisans upon earth among the remnants. Also many of them are educated and refined, and as for natural intellect, who ever saw an Indian who was a dunce?

Without the aid of the remnants this people never would amount to much. We have increased and built up beyond any other people, yet our numbers are small considering the great work before us. Many will say wait, the time has not come to preach to the remnants. Possibly this is so in a measure, still I never could believe but what many of the people have been ready for some time past.

The mission to labor among the remnants has never been a popular work. There are too many sacrifices to make. There is not an Elder who has labored faithfully for the welfare of the Indians but what has been brought under trying ordeals, many times suffering worse than death. It is no wonder that but few have stuck to the work.

There will, doubtless, be a change when a more general spirit of preaching to the remnants come over the Elders. Missions will be conducted in a more systematic manner. More wisdom will be given and support extended.

I have seen this Church and people pass through many trials. They have always been able to stand and gain strength through their various experiences. The gospel teaches us that we should be ready to make any sacrifice for our religion; but I have never been convinced that we have a right to sacrifice, in the least, any portion of our religion, either individually or as a people, for the sake of convenience. Our enemies, the wicked of the world, have been crowding upon us from the beginning, seeking to make us abandon the principles God has revealed, until now we are virtually denied the rights of citizenship unless we abandon our religion. The concessions we have lately made--whether it has done us any good or not--has fully proven to God and man that there is no honesty in the propositions made; no concession will satisfy our enemies short of down right apostasy. If this people would really become wicked and fully practice the abominations common to the present generation, then we could vote, hold office and be "good citizens."

To say that the practices of this people cannot be tolerated in the nation, as a religion, is to say that the teachings of the Bible cannot be allowed as religion--for there is not a principle taught or practiced as religion by this people except Bible doctrines and precepts. This the world knows and have acknowledged as often as our principles have been put to the test. Many look forward to some move of importance taking place within a year or two. Sometimes I am asked if I have an idea. Yes. "Well, what is it?" I believe it will not be long before the Saints will acknowledge that the wisdom of man will not do to depend upon, and turn unto the Lord and ask Him, in sincerity, to direct them through His servants, whom He has commissioned to lead Israel. Politics will not do. There are powers that will beat us when we depend on our smartness. It may be a little humiliating to acknowledge, but the world are smarter, in some things, than we are. Young Utah will never do to lead this people. Whenever we undertake to get ahead, in any way, of the wisdom of our Elders, then we will fail to put a man forward as our best man, because of any earthly success will never do.

History points to a time when our rulers in this nation were honest and wise. Laws were made for the good of the whole people. No speculative jobs were put up in those days; both brains and principles were in demand. As the nation advanced wealth became principal, until today there is but little said about the intelligence, honesty and capability of national leaders only as financiers, and telling of the luxury and extravagance of their wives and daughters.

This wave of luxurious desire has even reached to Salt Lake City, and made a little ripple here during our last grand campaign. If we will look back calmly we will remember that financial ability was the main cry. The Lord will not change His laws and commandments to suit the proud and wealthy. Wealth leads in the world, but principles will lead this people; wealth does not necessarily do away with principles, neither does wealth prove that principle exists. So the first great move before this people will be to fall into line and be governed fully and willingly by the principles of the gospel.

The questions are often asked, how long will it be before the power of the wicked is broken? How long will this people be annoyed and oppressed by their enemies? This I cannot answer; but I refer the reader to page 122 of the Book of Mormon, showing clearly that there is a certain work to be done before the wicked will be used up. Any one reflecting reasonably upon the great work will see that it will necessarily take time. Nothing can be done only in order; God has promised to hasten His work, but He has not promised to violate His laws for our convenience. It must, of necessity take a few years of diligent labor from many of the Elders of the Church.

For anyone to suppose that the wicked will be destroyed for our protection before the remnants are ministered to is not faith, but presumption.

Biographies generally end with death, romances with marriage. I am not expecting to die for many years to come, as I am still strong and healthy.

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