Howard Coray (1817-1908) to Martha Lewis

HC to ML: Typographical Facsimile { Howard
Coray to Martha Jane Lewis, August 2, 1889.
Copyright c 2009 W. V. Smith
Sanford, Conyas1 Co. Col.2
August 2, 1889
5 Dear daughter Martha.
Yours, bearing date June 2. /89
came duly to hand; and I would have answer-
ed you at once if I could have taken the time
necessary to treat upon all your questions and
10 queries in a manner satisfactorily to myself as
well as pro table to you but I could not consist=
ently do so; Howard’s time is about all occupied
Howard Coray Holograph: CHL, MS 3047. At the time of this writing, Coray was
living with his son in Sanford, Colorado, a Mormon colony established during the previous
decade. Howard Coray was born May 6, 1817, Dansville, Steuben, New York, he died Jan
16, 1908, Salt Lake City, Utah. Married Martha Jane Knowlton, Feb. 6, 1841 (b. June 3,
1822, Covington, Kenton, Kentucky, d. Dec. 14, 1881, Provo, Utah).
2Sanford, Colorado is located about 20 miles north of the Colorado{New Mexico border
roughly equidistant from the Colorado east and west state lines. The author’s wife Martha
Jane had died in 1881. Howard had married a plural wife, Mary Ann Johnson in 1853,
but the union ended in divorce a few years later.
12 Howard’s time ] Coray’s son, Howard Knowlton Coray, b. April 10, 1848, Navuoo,
Hancock, Illinois.
in looking after his saw mill{ hauling lumber to
ll contracts &c &c, consequently much labor and
15 care has rested upon me{ watering, hoeing out the
garden, and a large potatoe patch that has taken
me 3 weeks { hard work; besides, taking Edna to
Sanford to School in a Cart and bringing her home
at night | (2 trips) making 11 miles each school day,
20 and in addition to this, have to go every night from
2 to 3 miles, after the corns { making my daily travel
some 16 miles per day | So you see, between travel-
ing, hoeing, and watering, I have been kept pretty
busy. I have just got through hoeing, and Edna
25 does not go to school to day, which a ords me
leisure sucient to write to you;
Your^ query is: do I think Mary will follow Clark
out of the Church? No{ I think not, ; but she is tried
30 very sorely in her feelings | she is well versed in the
scriptures, and has had many testimonies in regard to
the truth of Mormonism{ and being a very kind hearted3
good woman, the Lord will feel after her and not
35 permit the Adversary to lead her to destruction. As
I understand Clark’s a airs, he is in the right and
has been badly used, in regard to his grist mill
diculty. but he is sadly wanting in some of the
elements necessary to make a good Latter-day Saint,
40 consequently the Lord, (as all will have to be tested
and tried as gold in the furnice 7 times,) may have
permitted trouble to come upon the family in this way.
If I understand the principles necessary for a
3End of L1r.
28 Mary will follow Clark ] Mary Knowlton (Coray) Roberts, b. April 22, 1848, Winter
Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska, d. May 19, 1923, Vernal, Uintah, Utah. Orville Clark
Roberts, b. Sep. 1, 1833, Winchester, Scott, Illinois, d. Dec 12, 1912, Lamesa, San Diego,
man to possess in order to lead a woman into
45 the Celestial Kingdom of God, O. C. Roberts will
have to change materially from what he now is,
before he will^ able to take Mare there, or get there
himself. The condition of Clark’s a airs is a sore trial
50 to Mary| but we all have sore trials{ Eppie has some
trials, and I perceive, you. are tried not a little
Now, concerning the Church’s having a policy that
con icts, or seems to, with revelation : I don’t know
as I will be able to say anything that will be very
55 satisfactory to you | I will, however, have to reason
in my own way, hoping and trusting that what I
may say will at least do no harm if it does no
good. God says in the Book of D.&C that He com-
mands men to do certain things and they don’t step
60 forward in obedience to His command, and then revo{
kes the commandment. Ancient Israel was permitted
to practice polygamy; but the Nephites were forbidden
to do so on the ground that they, as well as Ancient4
65 Israel had caused their fair wives and daughters
a great deal of sorrow &c., Now have not the Mor-
mons been as unwise and cruel as they were? and
was not a check necessary| something to bring
them to their Senses? I think so. .
70 You say \it is painful to see one’s landmarks being
swept away.” Well, as for me, this is not the case.
When I rst joined the Church I commenced gathering
up evidences in regard to the truth of this work, or
Mormonism . The rst that made a deep im=
75 pression on my mind was the baptism of re and
4End of L2r.
50 Eppie ] Euphrina Serepa Coray, b. Feb. 4, 1850, Fort Kearny, Kearny, Nebraska, d.
Dec. 8, 1923, Salt Lake City, Ut.
the Holy Ghost. This was promised me before I was
baptised by water. I soon went to Nauvoo{ became
acquainted with the Prophet{ heard him preach and
saw him conduct the April Conference of 1840. The
80 power and wisdom that he displayed on this occasion
was more evidence. I hear father Barnsby[?] speak
in tongues and saw him & Jacob Foutz lay hands
on a woman that had not been able to walk for
6 months and she was healed. The next morning after
85 she was administered to she could walk as well as she
ever could. Mother had been deaf for over 20 years
before she joined the Church, and was immedietely
healed on coming into it. Now what do you know
concerning our family’s being healed by the laying
90 on of hands{ yourself, Don, Mary &c &c. These gifts are
to con rm those that believe{ not make believers{ I
have studied the Gospel as revealed by Joseph Smith
and wondered if it were possible for any one unaided5
95 by the spirit of God to have revealed such a system
of salvation and exaltation for man. My conclusion
is that in the negative. I sat and listened to his
preaching at the stand in Nauvoo a great many
times when I have been completely carried away with
100 his indescribable eloquence,|power of expression{ speaking
as I have never heard any other man speak{ I have
heard him prophesy many things that have already come
to pass, I have seen him translate by the Seer’s stone
5End of L3r.
82 Jacob Foutz ] Probably b. Nov. 20, 1800, Washington, Franklin, Pennsylvania, d. Feb.
14, 1848, Salt Lake City, Utah.
90 Don ] Don Silas Rathbone Coray, B. Sep. 20, 1864, Tooele, Utah,
103 translate by the Seer’s stone ] Most likely a reference to Book of Abraham. This
would imply that JS may have translated in the 1840-41 time frame. The use of the stone
in the endeavor is con rmed by Lucy Mack Smith to two traveling Quakers in 1846.
105 I have been present when he received a revelation
on priesthood; he blessed me and prophesied that on
my head, which has been litterally ful lled, and
I have seen him by the aid of the Spirit of the
Lord, as a prophet raised up to usher in the dispen=
110 this, the
sation of the fullness of times; besides^ work and the workings
of it, have been made manifest to me by the good spirit,
Now, with these and more evidences of the truth of this
work would it be wise for me to query in my mind as to the
115 propriety of some of the transactions of those who are legally
placed at the head to steady the Ark, as it were? I am
satis ed that it would not be best for me. If the way and
manner that polygamy is being handled looks a little queer,
it is best to wait patiently for the outcome; and so in regard
120 to Clark’s case. Well, as for 91, I see no failure in it at
present. The Savior might come and manifest Himself
to but few.{ In the Kirtland endowment He manifested
Himself only to Joseph & Oliver, & it might be similar to that
again.| Please write as often as convenient{ Love to All,
125 Your father Howard Coray6
6End of L4r.
118 polygamy is being handled ] May refer to the increase in Federal anti-polygamy fervor
and/or new Church restrictions on contracting plural marriages (they had more or less
ceased in the U.S. at this point).
120 Well, as for 91 ] Probably a reference to JS’s statements regarding a December 1832
revelation { see D&C 130:14-17 for one instance, also see PJ addresses of February 14,
1835, April 2, 1843, April 6, 1843 and March 10, 1844 and notes there.