Brown, John, and A. M. Harmon to Brigham Young, 17 Sept. 1853, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 32, box 22, fd. 21.
Prest. Young & Council
Dearly beloved Brethren
As Bro. A.W. Babbit is on his way to the City with good speed, and will probably arrive some days before the mail we gladly embrace the opportunity to send you a short sketch of our situation, as the season is getting far advanced and our teams getting pretty much wore down.
The two companies of the Emigrating Fund brethren together with others are travelling together making some 55 waggons. We have had some sickness, and have buried five. There are yet several very unwell, in other respects the brethren are comfortable as can be expected under the circumstances. Within the past week, our teams have failed considerable, so much so that we have already had to leave two waggons, and shall probably soon have to leave one or two others. In our present situation we can average from 10 to 12 miles per day but our strength of team is not sufficient to exceed that.
In regard to provisions for the companies, we have now on hand 23 days rations, not to exceed that. Some are already short but by dividing we can get along comfortable for that length of time. There are about 400 adult persons in the two companies, three fourths of whom are coming by the P[erpetual]. E[migrating]. Fund teams; but in respect to provisions the whole are about in the same situation[.] In regard to means for self defence in case of trouble by the Utahs, we can muster about 40 guns nearly all of which are the common English fowling pieces, our ammunition with few exceptions powder and small shot, very few Rifles and not many balls. No lead to make balls, and in fact we are poorly prepared for war, in case of difficulty. However we shall keep those we have got in good order, both guns and ammunition, and you may be assured in case of difficulty we shall do the best we can.
There is a good spirit generally amongst the saints here, and we travel along pretty comfortable. All are anxious to reach the valley, before the snow falls if possible, if not we shall endeavor to bear all that comes with patience. Bro. Babbit is in a great hurry and we must conclude with our best wishes and kind regard to all.