Mail Contracts and the Mormon War

[William M.F.] Magraw lost his contract [to provide mail service between Salt Lake City and Independence] in 1856 for unsatisfactory service and was succeeded by a Mormon, Hiram Kimball, the new low bidder. Brigham Young then took over Kimball’s contract, planing a great Mormon commercial enterprise which would carry not only the mails but all goods between the Missouri River and Utah. . . . [T]he contract was summarily annulled in June of 1857, on the pretext that Kimball was late in fulfilling its terms. The charge was true but only because winter blizzards had, as usual, delayed the mails. . . . Magraw’s unhappiness at losing his contract, and Mormon unhappiness at losing theirs, were contributory causes to the ensuing ‘war’ of 1857-58.”