Daniel H. Wells writes to William H. Dame evidencing an effort to win the allegiance of the Indians.

Aug 13, 1857
Daniel H. Wells

Daniel H. Wells to William H. Dame, August 13, 1857. Transcription taken from David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, eds., Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre (Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier volume 12; Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2008), 112-13

Daniel H. Wells
Daniel H. Wells, William H. Dame
William H. Dame

Sir; You are hereby instructed to keep one or two tens out in the mountains upon the approaches to the settlements as a corps of observation that we may not be taken at any point by surprise. Get the Indians in your vicinity also to watch & take the most effective measures to be in readiness & to have all the grain secured. Be careful that not a kernel is wasted. Do not have it foolishly and needlessly fed to horses, but let it be preserved, and instruct the people to be economical in using it, use potatoes and vegetables that cannot be preserved and save the grain; have your eye out for good safe places in the mountains where grain can be cached and where women and children can be safe in case we have to take to the mountains. Drop other business and thrash out the grain and secure it the first thing. This is the first business to attend to. The time may come when we shall have to lay everything waste & go into the mountains, therefore let us be preparing for such an event; be storing up clothing of a substantial Kind. Fix up and keep in repair our wagons and take care of our property and not let anything go to waste. Instruct the Indians that our enemies are also their enemies & how they are continually fighting against them somewhere and that it will be come upon them as well as the Sioux & Cheyennes in due time, that they must be our friends and stick to us, for if our enemies kill us off, they will surely be cut off by the same parties. Find safe retreats in the Mountains for Stock as well as families, and cache some grain to learn how to do it so it will keep. A little “practice you know makes perfect,” and it is well to be preparing. Advise with this Office and keep us posted with every important item of reliable information which you can obtain. Be vigilant and active.

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