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Church History

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Waiting for the Mail

Separated by hundreds or thousands of miles from old friends and relatives, early Latter-day Saints in the West eagerly looked forward to the monthly mail (during good weather—mail did not cross the plains in the winter) from the East. Poor delivery service by the private companies who carried the mail was a constant complaint from Utah. One Latter-day Saint reported in 1860 that he had seen “at least 20 large sacks of mail matter” piled up in the storeroom of a way station 270 miles from Salt Lake City. “Some may deem the storing of mail sacks at a way station carrying the mail according to contract,” wrote Brigham Young, “but to us it appears very much like not carrying it.”


Brigham Young letter to William H. Hooper, Jan. 30, 1860, Brigham Young Office Files, Church History Library, Salt Lake City