John M. Bernhisel Letter to Brigham Young

Volume 22:3 (Summer 1982)
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John M. Bernhisel Letter to Brigham Young

Author James F. Cartwright

Dr. Bernhisel wrote this letter to Brigham Young, now a part of the Phillip Blair Collections of the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, on 23 April 1850 while serving as an appointed delegate to the U.S. Congress. The letter contains an informative account of the tensions dividing the nation over the admission of California, the organization of the remainder of the Mexican Cession territory, and, of course, the conflict concerning the extension of slavery into the western territories. John Bernhisel records a dramatic outburst of these tensions in the Senate between Senators Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and Henry Stuart Foote of Mississippi. Bernhisel's perspective of this incident and of other events he records is that of one who, though involved in these issues, was primarily concerned with the status of Utah; therefore his pages on the progress of the various compromises making up the Compromise of 1850 provide interesting source material on Utah History.