For some months everything went well with the Provo settlers, but in the fall the Indians began stealing, and once in awhile an arrow came uncomfortably near some settler when away from the fort. At length a party of men who were out searching for stolen cattle, had a fight with a band of Indians in which five of the savages were killed.
The settlers in the fort were now continually annoyed, until in February, 1850, a company of militia was sent from Salt Lake City to their aid. A fierce battle ensued, in which a number were killed on both sides, and the Indians were scattered to the mountains.
It was President Young’s policy not to harm the Indians if possible, saying that it was cheaper to feed them than to fight them. But even this kind policy did not altogether prevent trouble with these wild people. In 1853, the Indians, led by Chief Walker, made war on the southern settlements, with the result that about twenty whites and a great many Indians were killed.
At the close of the war with Mexico all this western country became a part of the United States. At a convention held in Salt Lake City, March 4, 1849, the people asked Congress for a territorial organization. Later, a petition was sent asking to be admitted into the Union under the name of “The State of Deseret.” Until Congress could act, a temporary government was formed which existed for nearly two years. President Young was elected governor, and there were the other officers usually found in a state. September 9, 1850, Congress passed an act organizing Utah Territory. President Millard Fillmore appointed Brigham Young as governor. Out of the six other officers, three were “Mormons,” and three non-"Mormons” from the East.
At a conference held in Salt Lake City, October 6, 1849, a number of elders were called to new mission fields. John Taylor, Curtis E. Bolton, and John Pack were sent to France; Erastus Snow and Peter O. Hansen to Denmark; John Forsgren to Sweden; Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto to Italy; Addison Pratt, James S. Brown, and Hiram H. Blackwell, to the Society Islands. Brother Pratt had but recently returned from a five years mission to these islands, where twelve hundred souls had been baptized into the Church.
At the April conference, 1851, Edward Hunter was chosen to succeed Newel K. Whitney as bishop of the Church. There were at that time about thirty thousand people in Utah.
President Young and the Apostles traveled much throughout the Territory, locating settlements, organizing wards and putting the Church in order. At the October conference, 1853, some of the leading brethren were called to locate in different parts of the Territory. Among them were Elders George A. Smith and Erastus Snow with fifty families who were called to strengthen Iron county, and Elder Lorenzo Snow with fifty families to go to Box Elder.
In the summer of 1854 the grasshoppers did much damage to the crops, and again in 1855 in many parts these insects took every green thing. This brought on another scarcity. There was much suffering and again the people were compelled to live on roots. A number of the brethren had stored up some grain which they now shared with those who had none. In this way all fared very much alike and the hardships were shared by all.