Autobiography of Charles Lambert (1816-1892)
Charles Lambert son of Charles and Sarah Lambert [Greaves] was born August 30, 1816 at Kirk Deighton about (12) miles from the city of York, Yorkshire, England, was religiously inclined although my parents made no pretensions, but was named amongst the established Church of England. I prayed much when young and received many blessings. I went to school at Wetherby but my mother’s uncle, George Greaves, he dying when I was about eleven years old, ended my further going to school before I was twelve. I went as apprentice to my father’s brother, Thomas, then residing in Leeds. He soon afterwards married a second wife, his first dead which made things so disagreeable, he beating and abusing me so that I left and my father said I should not go back to him.
Hearing of a good chance to learn to quarry stone and rive slate and also to hew, a great deal was done for the city of London which was covered by boats. This was at Woodhouse Moor near Leeds. I worked there until I was about sixteen when I was pronounced proficient and told I had learnt all I could there, I resolved to seek another place. All this time I was supporting myself. Being about 16 miles from home, I went home and spent a little time when I resolved to go to Harrogate as there was considerable fine buildings in course of erection. After working there awhile and doing well, but my object was improvement, so I thought I might do better by binding myself for some time to a Mr. Charles Favil, builder and contractor, so I agreed to serve him for three years at a stipulated sum per month and furnished everything I needed. He was building a gentleman’s mansion at Starrbeck near Knaresborrough. After that was finished he contracted for eight miles on the Preston and Wiggan Railroad. Spent some time on that line making our quarters at leyland about six miles from Preston, but fate was against us and Favil lost the job, thus he had nothing to do. I did not like to be idle and so expressed myself and that I did not want to pay and do nothing, so he set me free. I then went to Preston to work for one Dewhurst, who was building a Catholic Church, a good job. I got a place by the best workman in the place who promised to be my friend and learn me what he could. I shall never forget his kindness.
I was one of the six who commenced the great Ribble R. R. Bridge. Here I again attended a night school. I was one of the first teetotalers in Preston and a teacher in a Methodist Sunday school, also secretary in the operative Masons Lodge. I left Preston a short time before the Saints arrived there.
I went to Manchester, from there to Warrington and worked on the quay bridges, from there to Birtles Hall near Macclesfield Cheshire, and from there to Peter Langforce Brooks Esqr. MoreHall Cheshire, a very good job. I there gained the goodwill of the foreman Harry Giles, considered one of the best men in England. Worked on that when the main of the building was done. The workmen were discharged excepting fourteen, and I was one of those kept on. I then went to Mr. Giles and told him my objection was to learn all I could and would allow him so much a week for instructions. He promised he would, but would not charge me anything as he wanted me for a companion for Harry, his nephew a few months younger than myself. It was very fine work we was doing and had to do.
After this I went to work at Stael Hall, some very nice work. After this I went to work on the Birmingham & London R.R. at Coventry and neighborhood. After that I went to London, but did not like the place and left after spending my money traveling by way of St. Albans, Petersborough, Falkingham to Sleaford, Lincolnshire. There I went to work at Overham Priory, the Seat of Lord Willchelsen. This was a very good job, after that for Mr. Baker Sleaford. After that was done I went home for a season.
I then went and worked awhile in Leeds and Chapp between when I heard of the York and North Midland R.R. commencing. I went and contracted for some bridges taking two partners, these proving a hindrance more than a help, I had to dispose of them. I being the responsible one finished my contract and done well giving full satisfaction. The inspector stating mine the best on the line, and this to me was considerable. After this I went to Grimstone Park, the Seat of John Craddock. Lord Howden was their managing foreman, filled my place with credit.
At this time I was much persecuted for my religious views, as I did not believe in any of the sects and creeds, they not being in accordance with the scriptures as I understood them. I fasted and prayed for the gifts and blessings and the faith once delivered to the Saints, even went so far as to agree with a companion that we would baptize each other. I desired to know what to do and was so impressed to go East that I exclaimed, I will Lord. When I told mother, she cried and felt bad, but I started. The first day I walked about 25 miles. The next day I got to Grinsborough.
There was a new church incourse of erection. There was an old mate of mine there who made a great fuss when he saw me as did some others. The foreman wanted to know who I was. When Luke Harvey told him I was the best workman in England, they wanted me to stay, but I told them I would think about it. In the course of the eveningI was told that Mr. Baker of Sleaford was just commencing a new hall for Squire Peacock at North Rosby, and that settled me. I told those with me that was where I was going. I got there in the evening and the next morning I went to the Hall there and met Mr. Baker’s son. I told him I was come to work if they wanted me. He thought I was joking but when he found I was earnest, wished me to take hold. I had no tools but the men proposed to furnish me all I wanted, so I commenced. I was soon placed in charge. I wrote home for tools which was sent. There I received a letter from William Watson Stone Cutter and Carver who worked with me at Lord Howden’s, stating that the Lord had again restored the Gospel and that he had been baptized.
I had a vision that prepared me for this, but the joy I was full of thanksgiving. I wrote immediately to know where to go to find some had been so blessed. An answer came stating there had been a branch organized at Louth, Lincolnshire about three weeks. This was about forty miles from where I then was. I soon up and went there. It being Saturday the market day, I being a stranger did not know where to go. I met a man selling milk and asked if he knew such a people as Latter Day Saints or Mormons. He looked at me a strange look exclaiming, why they pretend to raise the dead and work miracles. If you belong to that class I will have nothing to do with you. The next was a respectable looking man, a butcher, which proved to be a Methodist Preacher. We had quite a discussion in the market place. I had the best of it and he said I was far too learned for him, but wished me to dine with him. The next day, Sunday, directing me to a temperance house where I would find some of those I was seeking.
B. Atkins, now living in Tooele, well remembers my visit to Louth. There was about eight members at that time, but no Elder, but I enjoyed that meeting. I wished them to send the first Elder that came and I would get a chapel to speak in and provide for his wants. Brother Henry Ceuerdon came and this was about the 1st of July 1843. I was pleased to see him and as I was alone asked would he share my bed or would be choose to be by himself. He preferred to stay with me. When we retired I waited for him to make a move, he waiting for me; so we said our prayers to ourselves. In the morning I told him if he would come down at 7 o’clock I would wish to be baptized. We was at the time making seven days per week. He came and says he, I have not preached to you yet. I told him if he had got the authority, I wished to be baptized. After some talk and prayer, he baptized me. Before leaving me he said he could not leave me until he had ordained me a priest. I felt well.
I was talking to the game keeper when he told me he believed in the principals. I remember us two going to the woods to pray. A few days after this an occurrence took place I must relate. I had got the “Voice of Warning” for the game keeper to read. While reading it one evening his wife, a stout, well built woman with red hair accosted him, thus Tom Tom, he told her to be quiet and not bother him. She retaliated saying, if that Latter-day devil was here they would have plenty to say. He told her to let me alone and angry words was exchanged, when he was not suspecting, she knocked him over chair and all. At that he jumped up, struck her betwixt the eyes, bruising her and blackening both eyes. At this she cried out murder. When the neighbors rushed to her assistance, I had just gone to bed. A meeting was held when it was agreed to drum me out of the village with kettles and pans.
Next morning at eight o’clock I sent word for someone to ring the bell for me, for them to commence work and I would be there at quarter time nine o’clock. So according to appointment they, the women, began to muster. When a number had collected, I went to them, asked what I had to do with the affair. The woman said nothing. She alone was to blame. She knocked Tom over and it made him mad and he blacked her eyes for her, but he had served her right. This set me free, but when walking up or down the street I was pointed out as the man who caused them to fight. This thought came into my mind and seemed to rest there. If they persecute thee in one city, flee unto another, so I resolved to go to America, to Nauvoo.
Hearing that some of my old shopmates was working at a new hall near Pocklington, I sped my way thither as some of them had joined the Church. One sister, the wife of William Watson, had been confined to her bed nine months, was promised if she would yield obedience to the Gospel, she should be healed. She was helped out of bed and taken to the river and as soon as baptized she told them she was better and walked home. She told me she saw a light all around her and felt it go through her whole system. She crossed the sea in the same vessel with me leaving Liverpool on the 13th January 1844, and never complained more about it as long as I was with her.
When I got to Pocklington I was well received and went to work with William Watson assisting to cut ten capitals of the Ionic order. When they were done I went to Liverpool. Rhubert Hadlock was presiding. Thomas Ward was working in the office. Being at considerable expense I spent my last penny. I wrote to Watson and family and gave my bed and bedding to a sister who husband was in St. Louis. She had two children with her. I had a dream showing me I should go through all right. This I told before I left Liverpool. We left Liverpool January 13, 1844 in the Bark Fanny of Boston. William Kay was President of the Company. I had to deal out the provisions to the Company.
We arrived at Orleans, March 6, and there was the Maid of Ioway, Dan Jones, Captain. This belonged to the Church, but when I saw the boat and engines, I said it would not do for me, but Brother Kay, thinking to gain favor by taking her, engaged the company no. 208. Though my fare was paid to Nauvoo, I told them I would go to work until I got money to go in a decent vessel. A brother, an engineer, said he would not trust his family on board, resolved to go on a boat named Henry, and if I would go he would lend me the money and I go with them, and I accepted. He apostatized soon after he got there. In ten days we was up there but the Company was more than five weeks and suffered much.
The day after I arrived, as I had some business to transact with the Prophet Joseph, I went and had an interview with him and William Clayton. I felt good. I went up to the Nauvoo Temple and saw there was work for me, but my dress and general appearance did not bespeak that of a working man. I enquired for those in charge. Reynolds Cahoon presented himself and some others. They tried me very much and sought to make game of me. They took me for a crank and enthusiast. R. Cahoon at last said if you can work we can do with your work, but we have nothing to give you. I replied sharply I have not come here to work for pay I have come to help to build that House, pointing to the Nauvoo Temple. Then they laughed. At this time I had not one penny and an entire stranger. I went to work but how I lived for three weeks I cannot tell. I saw the press type of the Expositor burn; I was present when the Prophet was talking to some Indians that had come to see him; I attended his weekly meetings regularly, never missed; I appreciate the instructions I received.
I will here relate a circumstance. A Brother William Blood, that crossed the sea in the same vessel, fell sick. He sent for me and said he wished to ask a favor. I promised. Says he, I know I am going to die and I want you to promise before these witnessed that you will be a counselor to my family and that you would get Brother Hyrum Smith to seal me and my wife before I die. I went and saw Brother Hyrum, he promised as soon as he got back from Carthage he would attend to it. He never came back alive, but that has been attended too since.
I worked faithfully on the Nauvoo Temple by day and guarded the city by night. I was Ensign for the first company of the 4th regiment of the Nauvoo Legion, John Kay was Captain. I was ordained an Elder in Elder’s Quorum. Soon after my arrival I was asked if I would be one of the twelve to go and preach to the Indians and equip myself with a gun, one pound of powder, a blanket, and one dollar. I answered yes. I was afterwards told I was not to go, my labors was wanted on the Nauvoo Temple, and that was settled on. I was called to be and ordained a Seventy in the Eleventh Quorum which was called Brigham’s Quorum. I was now considered worthy to draw my rations with other men. I had been told that a widow with a family needed help and would like a boarder. I felt led to go. I did so and felt at home.
About this time a man by the name of Watt came here full of religion, said he wanted to find that pure and undefiled religion before God. I jokingly said to him, I was enjoying that. What do you mean, why does not it say to visit the fatherless and the widow and to relieve them in their distress is pure and undefiled religion before God. I live with a widow and am helping to support her and her children. He had to be baptized and is now living in St. George.
Now Nauvoo was the worse place for a single man I ever lived in. I went and got me a house and lot in case I should find someone to share with me my lot. It so happened that one evening I met with a young girl in the house of Edwin Mitchell with a nice sunbonnet on. I looked and the more I became interested that one is to be my wife and it stuck to me she was going up the river to a place she had been spending some time previous and I confess it was the longest three weeks I ever lived. She came back and it was soon settled. She had a dream and I was shown to her as her husband and not only that but it was shown to her that I was to be guardian for her brothers and sister. Our courtship was but a short one. I have frequently remarked we got married and done our courting after and had not gone through with it yet and wished to continue. We was married by President John Taylor, her uncle by marriage, his first wife being sister to George Canon, father to George Q. Cannon. This took place November 28, 1844. We afterwards was sealed in the Nauvoo Temple by President John Taylor, but not at the alter; it been taken down. We received our washings and annointings in the Nauvoo Temple.
I was called upon to be administrator to George Cannon’s Estate and went to Carthage to take out bills of administration. General Demins was sheriff at the time I called upon him. I never shall forget the kindness shown me by him at that time. I went to see Judge Greenleaf, the county judge. He received me kindly and wished to have a talk with me. We went to an upper room in the courthouse, shut ourselves in and had a talk for two hours. He then and there promised he would never fight against the Mormons. I believe he at that time was a Baptist Minister. He gave bills of administration and then said that family needs a guardian and I wish you to assume that responsibility. I could no other but consent. Brother Thomas Harrington was with me and went my bonds. When I asked for my bill he reply nothing, you are welcome for what I have done, promising to come and see me at Nauvoo which he did, and I introduced him to President John Taylor. The last I heard of him was he was drove out of Carthage for a damn Jack Mormon. At that time the blood of Joseph and Hyrum marked the floor. I saw it, the sheriff was with me to show me.
I worked on the Nauvoo Temple by day, at night guarding the city; our living was poor. I worked and finished the first capital and part of eleven others. I committed with Brother William Player that I would stick to the temple pay or no pay until finished and did. I quarried and worked the last stone called the capstone in which was deposited coins, books. This was laid one morning before breakfast and a good time we had.
I must mention a circumstance that took place a short time previous to finishing the Nauvoo Temple. I was going home when my wife met me at the door and began crying. Said she could stand anything but this (that was the children crying for bread and she had none to give them). I replied, why do you not go and ask the Lord to send you some; why not you go with me. We went into our bedroom and fastened ourselves in and there made our request. In about an hour after, Brother Lucious Scovil came and after some little talk said he would like me to make a gravestone to mark the place where his son was buried. I told him I would do it. He said he was in no hurry but wanted it done. I told him I had a family depending on me. He said he did not have anything to pay with, but in a while told me he could let me have some wheat if I wished it. I told him I would be pleased to get some. He wished me to go with him and he would let me have it. I went, got the wheat, 4 or 4.5 bushels I got, and took it to Knight’s Mill and returned home with the grist, thus was our prayers answered.
Our house was on the corner of Hotchkiss and Fullmer St. Ezra T. Benson lived across the street west of us. About this time I was coming home one afternoon and just before I got home I met a man of middle stature who acosted, saying he was washing to see me. He was of light complexion, dressed in merchantile suit of clothes, saying he was glad to meet me as he wanted me to leave the Mormons and go with him to St. Louis. I had suffered enough; I told him I could not as I knew it was true and the Church of Chris. Oh never mind, says he, I have plenty of money, and showed me a big handful of gold, saying, you shall not want and you can school your children and live as a white man. I asked him if he was a married man. He said no, he was what was called a bachelor. I asked him what his occupation was, and he said he owned many vessels I understood to be steamboats. He tried to prevail on me, but I told him it was the work of the Lord I was engaged in and live or die I was for the Lord. I then left him, but turning quickly around, thought it was a strange affair. But although the street was fenced on both sides, I could not see him. When I got home my wife wanted to know what I was standing so long in the street, for she saw no one with me. I told her. She then said it was the Devil. I then said he was a gentleman, then I would not have him run down any more.
These were perilous times for the Saints. The Twelve had left and everyone was doing their best to make an outfit to follow the Twelve west. I with several others went to wagon making under Sam Bringhurst, and had got the wood for one for myself made, but where to get the iron I could not tell. I prayed to the Lord to open the way. A Brother Crook, a blacksmith, said it would cost $5 dollars and if I could get the iron he would do his part. A short time after this I had a cow that had got away from me. I found her, and bringing her home when we got to Casper Creek she was somewhat wild, and run me through the creek, but I stuck to her and when I got home I had to change my clothes. The next morning she was gone, I found her about the same place. When I got to the creek through it we went, and I got another wetting. When I got home in changing my clothes, from the pants dropped an English soverign, a ten cent, and a five. This was just five dollars; it was an agreeable surprise. I told my wife the Lord had sent that to buy the iron for the wagon. I could account for it no other way and put it to that use. I brought the wagon to Salt Lake.
I was pressed when the Prophet Joseph preached his last sermon from the house top near the Mansion. It was a frame building put up to the square and a place floored over for him to stand on. I do not think it was ever taken down, it was too powerful. He called on the thunder and lightening, the angels for to witness, and going through the motions, drawing his sword if so and so was done, it should not be sheathed again until vengeance was taken on the wicked. There was a tall man standing behind me sobbing and crying. When I turned around to look at him, said he would never fight against the Mormons more, no never. He was a stranger to me.
The Prophet used to hold meetings in a log house of his, sometimes twice a week. I don’t remember missing one when I had a chance. At one of these he said he wished he had a people that he could reveal to them what the Lord had shown to him, but one thing I will say, there are thousands of Spirits that have been waiting to come forth in this day and generation, their proper channel is through the Priesthood. A way has to be provided, but the time has come and they have got to come anyway, and thus left me in a fix.
Sometimes after this William Clayton told me if I would come down into the basement of the Nauvoo Temple he wanted to show me something and that I might bring Stephen Hales with me. We went into a little place boxed off for a paint shop for William Pitt, he being present there. Brother William Clayton read unto us the revelation on plural marriage. This explained the above. I believed it yet did not obey the same until 1872. I think it was on or about the 6th of May 1844, the Prophet Joseph came up to the Temple and clasping his arms around me and lifted me off my feet then, said the Lord bless thee and I bless thee in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It went through my whole system like fire. Then he turned to those around and said the Lord bless the whole of you and peace be with you.
After the Twelve left, we was very much harassed, driving our brethren from their homes, burning their houses, stealing their cattle, made it hard for some. I asked if I could go away and work. Almon W. Babbett said no, we want you to help guard the city and temple. I said no more but done the best I could. At length, realizing we must try and protect ourselves the best we could, set to work. I worked hard at the steamboat shaft we found by the river to make cannon. Brother Bull, a somewhat of a gunsmith, and some others drilled holes and put crossbars and then rim metal to fill up the … They answered a good purpose and done good execution, so said the mob after the fight. William Gheen had one, Bolander had one, he was Methodist Preacher, Hathaway had one, but when the fight waxed hot, ran away and left it his men with him. I got some boys to take hold of it. Rufus Allen was one.
We had them mounted on the four wheels of wagons. Bolander was stationed not far from where President Wells lived. The mob was coming in force down that street. He was somewhat put about. He not been able to fix it to his notion until they were pretty near when he called right, ready, fire. It was done cutting a road right through them which made them run and scatter. They was heard to say for God’s sake, take your dead with you. At this Bolander raised up his hands and said the God of Israel had a hand in that, which made the boys laugh realizing he was a Methodist and did not believe in the God of Israel. We called him a new citizen as he had brought some of the brethren out. There was fifty that run away led by one Rupshaw; he calling to the men to run for the Nauvoo Temple. I called to them to stop, but no go. Curtis C. Bolton was the one who kept the act and all we could make out that stood firm was 74. I talked with him several times after he came to the valley, but I am getting away from my history.
On Sunday night was our last fight. We had lead, scraps of iron from the blacksmith’s shop that we charged the S.S. with. On this night I got some small chains, fastening a ball at each end and one in the middle, and it being dark secreted them on elevated ground up Mullholland Street where we had a good chance to rake the enemy. We had the two pieces and let them go taking the mob fires for a mark. President Wells was by us when we fired them off. The mob said afterwards to me that we tore their wagon covers and tents to pieces. The next morning they sent in a flag of truce. A council was held and we promised to vacate the city in three days.
I worked hard to get poor and sick out of the city that wanted to go. I got my wagons down by the river so as to get them over as soon as I could. I then went back to help others, leaving my wife with the things. While there some men came and broke open the boxes to search for arms as they said I took a sword I had made in King William the 2nd time, a knife and some other things. I had gone to get a cow we had left while near my place. I saw a company on horseback coming towards my place. I did not let them see me. When they got there saw I had left, one shouted out, the little buggers gone.
I worked until all I knew was out, so I went down thinking I would go over to my family. I was sitting on a wagon tongue when about fourteen of the mob came, one pointing to me said, there is the little bugger. So they came and took me, marched me up a little, said they wanted to ask me a few questions. I said all right gentleman. Don’t gentlemen us, said they. Daniel Hill, by trade a miller, and Thomas Harrington saw them and came to us. Says they, where is the cannon you had? I told them those by the temple. You are a liar, you had a good cannon and a good cannonader. After answering many questions, says they, what did you do? I told them I done little chores around the cannon. They swore at me and said we want you to tell us truly how many of you were fighting against us. As near as I could make it out there were 74 all told. Says they, we know you are lying now for we saw thousands of you take him down to the river. A tall dark looking man who had some liquor in him took hold of me. I asked the Lord what I should do, when this was presented to me. Be passive, you are in the hands of the Lord all right, so I felt no alarm, but just as I was going down the banks, the men said the little bugger will fight and each raised the cock of his gun. Hill declared it so frightened him that his hair turned grey and kept grey ever after.
When we got into the water a nice depth, he said I baptize you by orders of the authorities of the temple, G.D. you, throwing me back he held me until my breath was gone but he held on to me. I staggered and gasped and wanted to go out, but he damned me and said you must have another dip and threw me on my face. It was pretty hard on me but I got over it. This affair made some of the brethren feel bad, but what could they do. My folks were glad it was no worse. The mob told me if I ever was caught that side of the river again, death was my doom. This was the Mississippi River.
Next morning I was told that there was a yoke of steers three years old I could get by going after. I had no team so I soon made up my mind and went though the folk felt bad at me going. I found a rope in the river; it had been caught in the willows, about 40 feet long. This I took to get the steers to the river. I got help to put the yoke on, but none to help me to the river. They broke the rope twice on the way and when I got to the river they run in but I held on to them. This cooled them off and I had not much trouble with them afterwards.
I had no chain or money to buy one and not a bit of salt. Indeed it seemed we wanted many things too numerous to mention. While we were thinking how we were to get a chain, word was brought that a person who was owing me $9 I could get by going after. My wife would not hear or me going as my life had been threatened, so she and John Haynes went and got it.
My family was there when the quails came, and killed and ate some. I went from there to the Des Moines River, to Mars Mills, and there I got a good job of work cutting gravestones. In two weeks made $15 in cash and 7.5 barrels of flour besides some bran and shorts. I worked until I got word that all who could go to Council Bluffs were to go. Although I had a very good show for work, I was prompted to go, and did, sending some flour ahead by Charles Decker. When we got to the bottoms by the Boa Lake, there been high willows and pea vines set on fire. It was a fearful sight to us. I run ahead and fired the grass and drove on thus escaping a fearful death as the flames rose high and fierce. We got safe to the Missouri River to a place named by our people Ferryville.
A Brother John Dixon, a friend, hearing of our arrival came and asked Angus, seeing the steers, if they were ours. He replied yes. What do you call them? Says he, that is Chance and that is Lucky. That is like Lambert, it was a chance you got them yet it was Lucky. I went to work as soon as I could after crossing to go and cut down bottonwood trees and hew them to make a house, a little above French Point near where Omaha stands. (Winter Quarters is now called Florence.)
When we got to Soap Creek Hill, my wife would get out to walk. She soon fell under the front wheel and both wheels went over her. One went over her hip and back. The company pronounced her dead, but a halt was called and she was lifted into the wagon and administered to. When she spoke and in three days was walking alone, though she said the spirit left the body. This was to all a miracle indeed. She still lives.
I got a nice little house with punchen floor (logs hewed and pinned down close) and I hadzed them level so that it was very nice. I fastened a pole across one end of our beds. I felt proud of it and thankful. Although we had left our house garden and 40 acres of land behind which we never got one cent for, our flour we sent ahead we never got a pound of, and had to live on stuff we bought to feed to our cattle. My wife made up our last batch into two cakes and I started down into Missouri to find work. I started on the 13th of January 1847. Brothers Thomas Moore and Joseph Kingsbury going down to St. Joseph, they would beg for me. I started with a pair of old shoes and the sole came off one the second day. That was the coldest winter experienced in Missouri for several years.
I must here state that I had a dream before I started, which I told to my wife and some other friends before I left Winter Quarters, which was literally fulfilled. I got to St. Joseph. The prospect for work was good as soon as the winter broke up. I found some I was acquainted with. I wanted shoes as I was suffering with my feet. A friend went with me to a shoemaker who after much talk promised to mend up a pair of old boots if I would pay him $2.50 for when I got work. He my friend going my bond been impressed by my dream I had before I left my folks. I resolved to go back to Round Prairie near the Nodivay about 5 miles from Savannah. The boots made me more lame so that I had to pull them off and walk barefoot. It was after dark when I got to the house and people I was looking for. The man of the house was in bed, his wife still up. As I could not see the gate, I made for the light and came against a high rail fence. A big dog was barking furiously, so the Mrs. Came out and cried, “Sick him, Jack,” supposing it was a neighbor an acquaintance. Learning they came from Yorkshire, England, I called to the dog not to bite me. At this she called the dog to come back. When I got to the house they wanted to know who I was and what I was; I told them. He asked where I was from, where I had worked. I asked him if he knew so & so? Yes. Say I, do you know so & so? Why yes, that was my old mate and bed fellow. At that he jumped right up and asked, do you belong to the Lodge (i.e.) the operative Masons. I said, yes. He told me he was bound to believe me because of his oath, but he wanted no preaching. I told him that was not my errand; it was to procure means for my family. But he asked so many questions on religion that he did not sleep much that night.
I had fasted so long that I was past eating that night. Next day his wife came to me saying she did not know what to think for no man had puzzled him so, before he always beat them in argument. He had a dream and came to me saying if thou be of Joseph explain it to me. Says he to me, I was led to a find building and there shown into an upper room, in the middle of that room was a table on which was spread all kind of precious jewels to adorn the human body. The sight was a most imposing one. While looking upon them I stated to my wife that those were to adorn the kings, princes and nobles of the earth, not for such as us. At this a door opened and in walked a beautiful couple as ever he saw, his wife would have a kiss of the Queen and did. I asked him if he kissed the Queen, he said no. I told him he should have done. God is no respector of persons. They afterwards sold out their place and came to Salt Lake City. She joined the Church, received her Endowments, they had no family. She died there, he went to California and we know not what became of him.
To return to my act. I went to work and cut some gravestones then went down to St. Joseph. I was sick some but yet I was blessed, everything worked in my favor. President Young said I should be blessed and indeed I was. Friends arose up on every side so that I left in the spring of 1849 for Salt Lake with a tolerable outfit. While in St. Joseph my wife been about to be confined, I sent her up to Winter Quarters. It was cold weather when they got to the river to cross. Some teams had crossed but as they were trying to get ours over, the ice broke letting the wagon and contents go into the river; my wife and children standing on the bank. Judge her feelings, I 150 miles away. Brother Joseph Young, President of the Seventies came up and got help and got most of the things out, but judge the condition, yet we have a clock running that went down to the bottom with the other things. On the 11th of April 1848 George C. Lambert was born at Winter Quarters, Omaha Nation.
I had a house at the west end of St. Joseph, the brethren used to call it the Mormon Tavern as many used to stay there when they used to come there to trade. One day as I was passing down the street a man came out of a grog shop and in throwing a tumbler glass at another struck me on the cheek bone. I never had such a blow, it was night to my right eye, and then emptied his pistol. It was almost a miracle how I escaped. My eye was weak. Before that I suffered mush with it; indeed I could not see but very little. I prayed what to do and it was presented to me that if I had some sour juice or grapes put in my eye my wife had in the home, it would do me good. I got out of bed, lay me on my back on the floor. She was afraid but I told her all right. The next morning I could see and went out without binding it up. This was the day before she left for Winter Quarters previous to her being confined. She came down again after that, an account you will find on page 49.
I started from Florence July 6th, 1849 to the valley with 2 yoke of oxen, 4 cows and 3 heifers. We started from little Piegon. I was chosen as captain ten wagons, the bottom for 3 miles was covered with water. The brethren chose to seek a crossing concluded to move down the river for 12 miles. I did not like this so I went to them and asked them not to move the boats down the river until Monday as I preferred to cross there. One said I was only a damned Englishman and what did I know, but they finally consented to let me try. I with my company, and they were good with the ax, cut down some trees and troweled them out so as to hold the wagons from sliding, making a sleigh 18 feet long. We was laughed at but when ready run on one of our lightest wagons, this belonging to N. R. Knight. I asked Brother Henry Woolley to go and fathom the slough we had to cross. It was up to near his chin. I said, drive on and we landed safe to the river by the boats. That settled it. After our company had crossed the rest followed our example.
I was then called upon to burn some charcoal to take along for the whole company, 200 bbls. Which I did, each wagon taking a good sack. Brother Allen Taylor was captain of the 100. I had a hard crowd but the best hunters in the company. The company broke up but mine stuck though it was said if I could lead them. They would be much deserved. We arrived in Salt Lake City, October 13, 1849. Many things transpired on our journey too numerous to mention here but of importance to those concerned.
(I must mention one circumstance here. I was very sparingly in providing myself with shoes, etc. so that when we got to near Laramie I was barefoot. I had a pair of slippers but they were done for also. It was a cold frosty morning, I was going out with William Bateman, one of the company. I said I wished the Lord would send me a pair of shoes. Soon after I said, Will, what is that, why some cattle had lost their bell. Bell, says I, it is a pair of shoes and was just my fit. When we got into camp they called out what a liar our captain is. Now it a cold morning he can come out with a pair of new shoes. But Bateman said, one of them belonged to him. I told him it would do him good when he got it. I thanked the Lord for the gift.)
My wife and family came down again after staying a short time. I thought it best to move them up to near Round Prairie to Joel Estes’s place. He, Estes, was a Baptist yet a friend to us as I could have a log house for one dollar per month and wood to burn for nothing. He used to haul me stone from his place to St. Joseph. This was a great saving to me. I still kept on my house in St. Joseph.
My wife wishing to go to Newark some 4 or 5 miles, got a horse to ride, her brother David riding behind her. In passing a farm house the horse took fright, throwing her off her brother and the saddle being slack, turned galloping across the prairie with her foot in the stirrup. This was a terrible affair, hurting her back and causing a mishap. She thought she would surely die, but the Lord was merciful towards her. She still lives, though her back has never been right since. She has suffered much with it at times.
Page 49 continued. Brother Taylor and some of his folks, her sister Annie, etc. met us on the bench. It was a happy meeting. A lot was reserved for me on the corner of 2nd South and Main Street where now stands the Walker Bros. Store. The cost of the lot being 75 cents for the surveying to Brother Sherwood but George Q. Cannon, my wife’s brother had bought a lot of John Warner in the 7th ward for $16- this I preferred, it being the more suitable for a garden. It being the council that one family should own but one lot I chose to give up the one on Main Street, though Brother Willard Richards wished me to hold on to it stating that in a few years it would be worth thousands of dollars. Brother Richard Harrison coming I gave it to him. He soon sold it for $250 to Brother Mulliner, he Harrison moving to Iron county.
About one of the first things I done after I got here was to build a room. George Q. having made me some adobes, he leaving for California a short time before our arrival. We got into our house about Christmas with no door or windows, yet it was better than camping out in the snow. There been very few houses at that time. (it was 16×14 inside). I then went up Millcreek to burn coal for Brother Jonathan Pugmire all alone. All I had to live on was cornmeal, for which he made me a plough, as I had brought the iron with me also some end irons. We enjoy ourselves at this time very much in our assembling ourselves together. I cut some mill stones for Archie Gardner, for which I got lumber to cover and floor my house. I sought and found stone for to make grindstones, hearthstones, that was a great help to me. I also quarried building rock.
A great many emigrants were passing through here and would have many things that they could not take further and could be had cheap. Brother Thomas Harrington bought a good wagon for me for $15. I had a nice yoke of cattle which he traded for a span of horses, double trees neck yoke, a bucket and some horseshoes. Angus was with him but they would not let me go near. Great bargains was got at times, many things cheaper than could be bought back in the states, fulfilling the prediction made by Brother Heber C. Kimball. I raised some good corn and potatoes in 1850, cabbage, onions, etc. which the emigrants were glad to exchange and give us such things as we were wanting not being able to bring them with us. Thus began the riches of the Gentiles to flow unto us. (Continued in book 2nd)
When President John Taylor returned from his mission to France, he brought machinery to make sugar from the beet. It was decided to build at Provo. I traveled around with him, Brother Coward and Vernon looking for land suitable to raise the beet. I stayed some with Brother George A. Smith and Brother Bean, father of George Bean, Indian interpreter, when traveling.
Vernon and I stayed at the house of Brother Blackburn when it came on a terrible thunder storm. The house was unfinished, no windows yet in. The folks had a shawl to stop the draft some and there been two sisters in the same room who was in danger of getting a good soaking, I got up and placed myself to hold the shawl. The cold was intent and being in the night I felt it vividly. Soon after I was taken sick with the bilious fever and inflammatory rheumatism. This was very bad, my shoulder was out of place, my side was swollen, I thought my heart must burst. I lay for weeks. Brother Taylor and Doctor Coward wanted as they said to set my arm or I never would get better. I said I had not done anything to my arm and would not have them to meddle with it. I was moved down to Brother John Taylor’s, his wives, M.A. Oakey & Sophia Whittaker living there at that time. Sister Lucy Smith, a wife of George A. Smith was very kind to me.
My wife was sent for, she came by stage. I was indeed in a helpless condition. My wife said my side would break. The Doctor said, no, he had been a student in the King’s College for 21 years and never knew of such a thing, but it did and gave me great relief insomuch that I thought to turn myself in bed, but in attempting to do so broke a blood vessel and bled for 3 days. I could not use my left arm, it hanging down by my side and had to be dressed and undressed, yet I felt cheerful.
One day I was walking down the street and met John Gallop who had received the flying roll. A believer in Gladden Bishop, an apostate, he told me if I would receive the flying roll I should be healed. I was angry at him and told him what I thought. He was one of the school committee in the 7th ward. I then went and gave vent to my feelings to Thomas McClelland, he then presiding. Say he, you cannot do anything so go and notify the people to meet. I done so, our room was well filled. He had so much to say that no one else could speak without being insulted, so I asked the president to let him have his say and then let someone else have a chance to speak. He got up and said that the Prophet Joseph had eat and drank with the drunkard and lot was cast with the unbeliever, etc. etc. Cannot describe my feelings. I got up and said I would send him to Hell. At this my side came all right and my arm raised above my head. At this the president called out for them to hold me for I had got the use of my side again. When I came home and threw up my arms my wife shed tears of joy. There are several who are now living who remember that occurrence. President Heber C. Kimball when he was told, says he was there, no one to put him out, was told if I had been let alone I would have done more than that.
I well remember the crickets. I was quarrying stone on the bench when the quails [seagulls] came, would gorge themselves and then puke them up and then go to eating more. I also remember the locusts (grasshoppers) when the air would be full and when they alighted they left their mark. I remember one morning looking at some oats I had and was feeling good about them, thinking they would soon be ready to reap. The locusts came and in a short time they were not worth reaping. At the time of the scarcity of food, I had some barley growing on my city lot that was ripe before the wheat and my neighbors would come and ask, can I have a little barley. Yes, they would cut it, dry it by the fire, and grind it in the coffee mills and I tell now it was sweet. Milkweed was a good thistle roots and many others.
I must mention one, I had divided and dealt out until we was entirely out. My wife asked what shall we do now, all is gone. I spoke as led and said the Lord is good, he is not a going to let us suffer. So says she, you are made of hope, but before noon a Brother H. Woolley, living at Kaysward 25 miles north, came with some flour and shorts. He would not then give me his reason. Flour was selling at $25 and $30 dollars per hundred. After harvest he was down and I then wished to know about his coming and bringing me the flour and shorts. He said I went to bed and a voice said, take that flour etc to Charles Lambert, he is in need of something. To that effect he said he tried to throw off the impression but it came a second time. Says he, I was cross and wanted to go to sleep. This was repeated a third time when I got up, put it in the wagon. This was about 3 o’clock in the morning. I then asked what am I in your debt for the same only the tithing office price ($6). I could relate many such circumstances but these must suffice for the present.
In 1857 when the US Army came up against us I went out to Echo. I went out with Jonathan Pugmire (Major), J.G. Willey, Captain. I assisted in erecting those pigeon fixings on the side of the mountains well remembered by those who were there. After we returned to the city, I was orderly, having charge of the guard. I had charge of moving President Taylor’s mill and family south, which was set down at Provo near to the river, pretty well up to the mouth just below the bench.
Leaving my family there I returned to the city. There I worked planting potatoes, corn, cabbage, etc., previous to the Army coming into the city. I had shavings, wood, etc. to fire the house should the army attempt to seize the city, but they marched through very orderly and thus our homes was saved unto us. When my folks came back and saw the garden, she was filled with joy to overflowing. It was a great blessing to us.
I must mention that I asked for two days to go and see my folks when guarding the city. After calling the roll of the guard, I walked to Provo, 50 miles, and got there by 6 o’clock pm. The next day I started back but was overtaken by S. Woodruff Jr., so that I was relieved of the trouble to walk all the way back.
Brother Aaron Thatcher moved my wife and family to Provo. Fish was very plentiful at that time. It was the chief of our living at the time. I seldom or ever heard anyone complain, they took joyfully their afflictions driving etc. My health was very poor, suffering with my face and eye which eventually went blind (my right eye).
I went to England on a mission in the fall of 1870 and returned in 1871. I enjoyed my mission very much. In 1882 on the 17th of October, my son, George, my wife and myself went to England on a mission. There were about 60 missionaries. When we got to Niagara Falls two gentlemen came on to the cars. One had two little girls, his daughters, with him. He told them to look, they are all Mormon Elders. You may never have such an opportunity of seeing so many together again. Seeing my wife and Sister Holt, asked if they were Mormon women and if they were a sample. I said yes. He then said they were good. I pointed to my wife and said, she is the mother of 14 children, pointing to George saying, that is one of them. That seemed to surprise him much and called for other remarks. One was this: you have got some of our best citizens who lived in this neighborhood.
When we was crossing we had some rough weather, but made good time. When nearing Queenstown, the Captain (Douglas) came to me and said, did you ever see or hear tell of such a trip at this time of the year. I told him he had had our prayers. I know that, said he, the sailors said we had stole a march. After visiting my relatives I was assigned to labor in three conferences: the Birmingham Manchester and the Leeds and Bradford. I enjoyed myself much. The only drawback it was too short. We came back in the Nevada, had a good trip but much sea sickness. One thing in my favor, I never suffered much for sea sickness. This was the 5th time I had crossed. It does me good to look back on my missionary labors. I have built a many bridges for Salt Lake County and at the present am doing a little in that line.