Levi and Mosiah Hancock Journal Excerpts

Levi Hancock Journal

Levi Hancock Picture


Levi was raised on the frontier, had little formal education, and was a cabinet maker by trade.  He was baptized into the LDS Church November 16, 1830, and spent a great deal of time as a missionary.  He was a member of Zions Camp.  On Feb. 28, 1835, he was ordained by Joseph Smith as one of the First Seventies of the Church, and soon after was chosen one of the First Seven Presidents, which position he held for 47 years–until the day of his death.  He passed through many of the persecutions of the Saints in Missouri.  Later he served as a police officer in Nauvoo and acted as body-guard to the Prophet.  He was the only general authority of the Church that enlisted in the Mormon battalion, and became the chaplain–doing much to mold the character of the soldiers.


He later went to the Great Salt Lake Valley and subsequently became one of the pioneer settlers of Manti.  Levi served two or three terms in the Utah Legislature.  In 1856 he consecrated all his property to the Church.  He later moved to Southern Utah, and about ten years before his death, he was ordained a patriarch, blessing thousands of saints.  He died in Washington County, Utah, in 1882.


Considerably more information about this great pioneer can be found in the Journal of Mosiah Hancock, his oldest son.


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(Copied from his own journal by Clara E. H. Lloyd, great-grand daughter.)


My father, Thomas Hancock, born 20 Nov. 1763, son of Thomas Hancock and Jemima Wright.  My mother Amy Ward was born Feb 29, 1769, daughter of General Jacob Ward and Irene Jones.


Children:  Elijah                     born 21,  Sept. 1786

Thomas                     born 25,  Jan.  1788

Clarissa                   born  3,  Sept. 1790

Alvah                      born 19,  Apr.  1796

Solomon                    born 15,  Aug.  1793

Joseph                     born 18,  Mar.  1800

Levi W.                    born  7,  Apr.  1803

Sarah (Sally)              born 18,  June  1805

Amy                        born  8,  Sept. 1807

(lived only 2 years; died

9 Sept 1809)


I was born in the town of Old Springfield, Massachusetts, on the seventh day of April in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and three. I was the seventh child of Thomas and Amy Hancock.


My father started from York state with his wife and seven children and settled down in what was called Bristol, and stayed there two years.  We then moved to Pitts town where we stayed for one year.  He worked for a Mr. Allcotts, later going to a Mr. Perry in the same town, in Ontario County.


The first of my remembrance is back to the summer of 1805, a man by the name of Poas took me on his lap and opened the spelling book and showed me the round letters and I said they were O8’s.  This could have been baby talk but the man thought I was smart.


At the age of four I began to call upon the Lord seriously.  My mother was a praying woman and trusted the Lord to hear and answer her prayers.  She often told me I must love God, or he would let the devil have me; this would frighten me so much I could not sleep nights.  I would have her tell me about the damned souls in Hell and how they had to be in a lake of fire and they could not die.  This wrought such a serious impression upon my mind I was likely to be distracted before I made it known, at last I broke out after I had laid all night without sleep and said, “Mother, must I die?” “Yes,” she said.  Then I said, “I wish I had not been made.” “Why?” said mother.  I said, “Because I am afraid I shall not be saved.” “Oh my goodness,” said an old woman [2] sitting in the corner, “can it be possible that a child at the age of four thinks on future state and I now so far advanced in life and just ready to fall in the grave, I scarcely ever thought of God.  What will become of me?”  Much was said concerning me and my attitude toward the Lord.


Soon after this we moved a short distance into Bloomfield, to my brother-in-laws, Samuel Algers, my father had gotten home from his farm and moved us all here in Ontario Country, the town of Wolcott, is fifty miles in the country, joining in Lake Ontario.  In the fall he returned while mother was milking the cows and said he had bought a small farm near my uncle Ward Jacobs and would move there in the winter following.  I was in my fifth year.


We made preparation for moving and at the appointed time started out by staying at Samuel Algers.  My father prepared to take the near cut and cross the Bays on the ice, as it was near the last of December and very cold.  We got to Big Sadus and then put up for the night.  Next morning Father took an ax and went to try the ice ahead of the team.  We came near the bank and in went the sleigh, how excited we all were, we came very near losing it.  We saw men on the bank looking at us and at that time, I remember my thoughts, “If you were like my father you would come and help get this sleigh out and onto land.”  But father being very active worked with the teamster and soon unloaded us children and a few other things to make the load lighter so as to be able to get it out and ascend to the bank.  It wasn’t long until we came to a house and for the first time in my life I saw some negroes.  There were three or four.  One black man was called Saul and a women called Caroline were owned by a Mr. Adams.  I used to like to hear Saul talk.  He would motion how he had to suffer with the cold and how his master would abuse him.  He wished he had been white as I was and my brother Joseph.  Saul’s master died and he used to tell us, “He had gone down but that he was going up.”


We stayed at his place until about the middle of winter when Silas Munsel, who had married my cousin, Dolly Ward, came and moved us to my uncle Jacob Wards, here we remained until spring.  We then moved onto a farm my father had rented of a man by the name of Woodruff.  It was here that we all took sick with the Ague and fever.  It was during this time when we were all in the house, which was made of round logs, the door facing west, we were aroused by the sound of a noise like a musket being shot at the north west corner of the house, we all ran to see what it was and nothing could be seen.  One week from that day my father’s mother died.  It was said by all that this noise must have been the sign of her death.  However, my father was stripped of his tender mother, who had brought up three sons.  Two had fallen in [3] the Revolutionary War.   My father was the youngest.  He went to enlist and gave his name to fight for his country.  “How, can I spare my last son,” cried my grandmother, “he is all my dependance.” Now the news went to General Washington and in his kindness he said, “I cannot rob her of her remaining son.  Here take the boy you have done enough.” I learned of this from my parents.


Since my grandmother’s death, which was about the time of green  roasting corn, A.D. 1809, many a time have I been to her grave, upon top of a high hill, under a green Beech tree which leans over her grave west.  I think of her when alive and how she used to say, “come Levi, let’s take the basket and go get some chips.” I was near her height when I was six years and four months old.  It was said, that she was the smallest woman in stature known in the country round and about.  And I often heard it remarked, “although she is so small, she had been mother to good stout men.” I know my father was strong for he has been known to stand in a half bushel and throw 1/2 bushel of wheat on his back.  It was once proved to me for I saw him do it as he tended the grist mill.  He was 5 feet nine inches high, very large about the bust, dark eyes, black hair and rarely ever known to lose his temper.  Indeed he was called the best dispositioned man in all the country.  Three times he was obliged to fight, never was whipped once in the city of Boston.  He fought a sailor, a boxer and called the bully of three rebels, who had challenged the place.  My father was known to be the stoutest man then so fight he must.  He said “No, I will treat,” offering the glass, it was knocked out of my fathers hand by the sailor.  The third blow my father gave him, he gave up, whipped.


Then one time he was struck in a store or struck at by a man who got his pay on the spot.  The next time he was in a tavern where a fellow threw my uncle out the door, then said to my father “now you must go. . .” “No,” said my father, “I hired this room for the night.”  But the man said, “you shall go”, and took a hold of him when the squabble began.  He brought my father to the floor but soon found himself whipped hoarsely.  This statement came from those acquainted with father, for he would never tell what he had done for he didn’t like to hear a man boast or brag.


Now to return to the year of 1809 while we were living at the Woodruff house, as we called it.  My grandmother had been dead a few days, my baby sister was very sick with the fever.  Father and mother were sitting by the bed pondering in their hearts what course to take to obtain a comfortable living for their children when their attention was aroused by the sound of three strokes made on the floor.  It was like a whip stalk laid on the floor, heavy, three times.  “There,” [4] said mother, “one more from the family must go.” In three days our baby sister Amy died, on September, 1809 just two years and one day old.  I tried to follow them to the grave to bury her but couldn’t go for I had the Ague and fever, so I sat down on the ground to rest a while before trying to go back to the house.  After sometime down on the ground I finally made it back and laid down on the bed, where I stayed until I was better.


The Presbyterian Minister preached the funeral sermon.  When he first saw the baby my mother said to him, “I want you to tell me what you think about the child?  Do you think she will be saved?”


The minister said, “I cannot tell, it depends wholly on this, has it been baptized or not?”  Mother said, “I have not had a chance to have it done.”  He said “Amen,” “The state of your child is very uncertain.”  At these words, my mother’s countenance fell.  Mother was broken hearted and took to the Bible reading most of the time.  She was sick from the shock of this minister.  Mother was unable to keep house, so father did the cooking and my brother, Solomon tried to do the washings.  I remember one time he put some flannels into some lye as mother did the linens and cottons, he boiled them all to soap.  It taught him a lesson not to boil woolens in lye.


About this time my father moved on his farm where he had cleared off a small piece and sowed it to timothy grass.  Here he and his boys went to work.  I was only seven years old at this time and as was the custom, I was put to be out in the spring, to help out all I could.  Mother was still ill and father had to do most of the work as well as go half a mile to his work, there labor all day and then to go home at night to help.


In the year 1810 mother got some better and would talk to me of Jesus Christ.  (I would hear observations about the Presbyterian minister whose name was Benjamin Bell.)  I recollect one day I said, “It was a pity that there had not been a (Zebub) put to the end of his name, which caused quite a laugh.


Just before I went to live out, I had a curious dream:   One night before going to bed Mother and I had been discussing the Bible and the teaching of Jesus.  I dreamed He came to me and said He was my Lord and presented me with a white decanter and said, “drink of this, it is for you.” It appeared to be white liquid matter and when I tasted it, it ran through me like oil and filled me with the love of God until I felt so satisfied.  It cast out all fear of death.  I looked and saw a dark colored bottle in his other hand, and I asked [5] him if he would let me taste of it.  He handed it to me but I only took a drop for it was the most bitter of anything I had ever tasted or heard of.  I awoke with a start and found it only a dream.  I told mother and she told the other boys.  “Oh, the little Christian,” said one.  “There goes a little Christian,” said another.  For awhile they tormented me over and over.  For awhile I didn’t understand what they meant and supposed they were calling me something mean.  I got mad and asked what they meant.  “Why, you have got religion,” said one.  “You lie,” said I, “you have got all my good feelings,” and then fled.


About this time father gave me a whipping for the first time. I had taken a board he had hewed out and had sawed it and made a swinging board.  Father had other plans of making me a sled without my knowledge.  He inquired about the board, and one of the boys said I had made a swinging board out of it.  He took a little stick and gave me three blows.  It grieved me so I wouldn’t show up until night.  By short breath I thought I deserved it and would try not to offend him again.


My mother grew worse and I was put out to a man by the name of Eliason Tupper and his wife Lucy.  The winter now is past and spring has come at last, the flowers and grass are beginning to show and are beautiful.  Again I must change my home, about the first of May my brother Solomon came and got me and I went to live with them where I was received kindly.  One of the young men tried to scare me by saying he would open my neck as I had caught cold and had a bad cough.  They would not let me lay down when I was sick, so I grieved and wished I was back home with my father.  I sat up until I was well and he sent me to school to Miss Polly Woodruff long enough to learn the letters.  I had to do all the chores in the fall.  They let me go home for awhile then I came back and chopped all his firewood through the winter all but the large logs.  Sometimes I would be sent on errands near my fathers place and I would have to stop and see him.  It would seem like the sun would go down as fast again as any other time.  The man would need me and give me the beech rod, but the next time I was sent close to home I would stop and see Father but I would not stop long as I knew I should get a whipping.


After winter I had to go and trim the hemlocks where the man was chopping trees until the summer came, when I had better times and he moved back on his old farm.  After he had finished his job of clearing the land that he had taken of Mr. Johnathan Melvin, the richest man in the place at that time.  It has now gotten to be warm weather and in the year of 1811 about this time there began to be considerable said about the war.  It was said that the British had been fighting [6] one of the American Rebels and the United States was going to war.  The name of the American Rebel was “Littlebelt” and war was the cry all season.


The president’s message demanding the United States to put into armor and attitude demanded by the criers and corresponding with the National spirit and respectation was the cry and soon came the news of some battles that had been fought.  Men who witnessed when the battle was over, that the imagination cannot conceive the awful spectacle presented on board the ships.  Bloody limbs and men dead or dying, some groaning and screaming in distress.  This produced a terror in some minds, while some were boasting what the Americans could do.  Those battles took place on or about the year 1811.


Winter came cold and dreary.  I then had returned to my father’s house, my mother had been sent to my sister Clarrisa’s who had married some six years ago to a Mr. Samuel Algers.  Mother was getting better and soon returned home and all things looked flourishing.  Spring came with all its loveliness.


My mother used to pray a great deal and one night she came to my room and said, “I shall never have to worry again.”  “Why?” asked father.  “The Lord has made it known to me,” she said.  “How did he make it known to you,” my father questioned her.  “I went out after it had thundered and lightened, I asked the Lord to let a certain light appear on the ground in a certain place, if all was well with my child, and it came and then went away.  Then appeared again.  I asked if she was saved to show it again.  It came as I desired so I know all is well and I shall never worry again.”


Mother then stated many things she remembered.  While in Bloomfield a man tried to force her and she fought him with all her might.  My brother Thomas heard of this and swore he would nearly kill him and what he did with him I never knew.


All summer nothing was heard of but war with Britain.  We heard that Thomas had enlisted and was marching toward Kingston, sorrow and dismay was depicted in many families.  Bad news came of how Hull had surrendered to the British.  We all kept at our labors through the summer and in the fall we heard that the Americans were taken prisoners, and that my brother Thomas was among them.  The battle was on the 12th of October, 1812.


Soon there came news that the British had landed at Port Bay.  The people were called to go and defend the place.


[7]   My father played the fife.  Andrew Woodruff played the drums.  Our merchant by the name of Obadiah Adams said he would furnish provisions, whiskey and team and follow after them.


Father played the tune called “Baltimore” the British retreated and there was no fight.  Father came home with the rest of the people and said the merchant didn’t go after all and wouldn’t give them liquor.  The people were quite angry, I learned.  The soldiers had marched all day without any refreshments.


About this time my uncle Jacob Ward and Silas Munsel sold their farms and moved about one mile and half west.  They began to improve their land, working long hard hours.  I went to Bristol to live.  My father continued to live on our first farm and in the fall I returned and remained for awhile.  I decided to study surgery and become a doctor and went to live where I could go to school.  But for some cause my father called me home where I remained during the war winter.  During this winter I made mortar and mended the doctors house so he lived well for the winter.  He gave me a little along but as he was about as destitute as I was it was very little.


In 1813 Father had taken a job clearing land for Mr. Odgood Church.  There was ten acres and he got $12.00 an acre.  It was about two miles from home.  Solomon, Alvah and Joseph helped Father and I had to carry their dinner every day when it was not too cold.  Provisions were scarce and when they had gotten the chopping done, they had to work at home.  Spring was again here so part of the time he worked on our farm and the rest of the time we worked at long railing.


This summer my father gave Alvah, Joseph and myself a small piece of land each, to see which could raise the most and take the best care of it.  We all raised a good crop and secured it well calculating to sell it and get us something to please our notions but for some cause the colts got into my corn and covered it with their dung.  One day there came a young man in the house to inquire about some corn.  I told him I had a new kind of corn I would sell him.  He wanted to know what kind.  I told him I called it cold corn.  By this time Father began to laugh.  The man wondering what it was all about.  When father told him he had a hearty laugh too.  After this for a long time when I met anyone I was asked if I had sold all of my new kind of corn.


That summer while we were all making hay I heard a man call “Uncle Tom” meaning father, as most everyone called him “Uncle Tom”, who knew him, both old and young.  The second time he called “Uncle Tom”, father looked up and lo and behold, there was a Mr. Stratten, one of our old neighbors who lived in Bristol, Ontario County.  I [8] have brought Thomas along said he . . .  no person can imagine how we all felt except those who have experienced the same thing.  We dropped our work and ran to him, as tickled as a puppy.  We got hold of him, father could hardly speak. . .Mother took hold of his hand.  “Why Thomas, you are alive.  We heard you were dead.  I never expected to see you again.”  Then Father began to inquire about the war.  Under all the excitement he told us all how he came to enlist and was forced to camp over into Canada and fight.  He had been taken prisoner and had sailed down the Lake Ontario then down the St. Lawrence into the Atlantic, then to the United States and exchanged.  He said he was tired of war.  He told of his narrow escape from the Indians before he was taken.  He had brought along a lovely looking wife about sixteen years old.  He also had his violin he called “Bostonrattle.”  All men who heard him play said they never heard such music.  He had the touch of the master.


All his tales filled us with horror of war.  We had heard the cannons on Lake Ontario and I think in the month of August following there was considerable skirmishing.


My father had now finished the job of clearing the land and we could rest a little.  Although our farm was not paid for, a man by the name of David Earn offered to swap land with us.  He had the same number of acres and equally as good.  Father made the trade and agreed to leave in the winter.


The war continued and near the first of October perhaps the fifth, Commodore Chancy fought and took seven of the British Squadron.  I heard the cannons roar through the hold action.  This is all the battles I heard except when Osweg was burned which was about 14 miles off.  Often the news would come different actions by sea and land until winter closed the scene.  We now prepared to change our place and leave the land we had labored to clear in order to see our food.  It was here I had spent many joyful days with the children.  I stood by the window and saw my uncle Jacob Ward’s house in the Thunderstorm knocked down by lightning.  In a few days my uncle left there, and soon after I had the pleasing dream and tasted the white oil from that white decanter from the lovely hand of the person who presented it.


In January 1813 we got our new farm and truly it was a lovely place.  There were apples, peaches, cherries and other trees aplenty.  But, how changed the scene was this year, instead of bread as we have been used to, we have nothing but cowslips for greens in April without meat or bread.  Flour could not be had at any price and the corn was cut off by the frost.  We had potatoes tops then pigweeds. [9] All summer was a famine.  I recollect my mother went to a Mr. Planks who owned a grist mill and the old lady sent a loaf of bread home to the children.  We each had a small piece, it tasted better than anything I ever ate save the sweet liquid of my dream.


This summer my brother Solomon had bought a piece of land near the lake and was to work clearing it up.  We got out of provisions and a young man by the name of George Omstead went to him and took half of all the flour he could raise about fifty pounds.  He said he would not see him go hungry and gave it to Solomon, they used to be playmates.  He would take nothing for it for their hearts had been knit together while young.  They used to whistle together, until Solomon joined the Methodist Church.  He once played the violin, he had bought it from my brother Elijah in about the year of 1811 and had learned to play a few tunes on it.  Soon after mother got well he used to talk to her and he became quite serious and took to singing.  He learned many religious songs and it was thought a sin to play a violin.  He told his experience at a Methodist meeting where a young woman by the name of Naby Bunce shouted and shouted, “Glory to God we have got a fiddler.”  He then came home and thanked Father for his kindness and said he hoped from this time on he should serve God and talked swell to his brothers.  He told us to be good children.  He then took his violin and broke it and burned it.  The following summer he went to Bristol, Ontario County.  I went with him and stayed through the summer, returning in the fall of 1814.


My brother Solomon had been courting a girl by the name of Alta Adams and when he came back they were married.  They lived near us until Father moved back to our first farm.  After the first of August we began to get bread.  We heard of a field of rye owned by Jonas Leland, which had gotten ripe and he called on the poor to come and help him cut it and gave them a good price for their labor.


We were then able to have rye bread and soon the potatoes came on so we fared well again.  By fall we had some apples and peaches.  I went to live with Solomon for awhile to help him boil his sorghum.  By this time it was spring and I helped Father drive his team and get the ground ready to plant corn, beans, and potatoes and wheat.  After the crops were in I went to live with Samuel Algers in 1815.  I stayed there through the fall and winter.  My sister, Clarrisa was at mothers with her young baby, Fanny.  She stayed through part of the summer, sometimes her boy, Eli, was with her and at times he stayed with his Father or his uncle Solomon.  Samuel Algers went to stay with his wife and children and hauled wood with a man by the name of Adams.  In the spring they returned home.  He gave me twenty-five cents to bare my expenses and I started home in March, 1816. I [10] arrived home in time to make molasses.


Alvah went to Ohio to see the country as we had learned it was a beautiful country.  Father gave Elijah an acre of ground and let us boys help him build a house for him and a shop.  At this time it did seem that there would never be an end to father’s friends.  Such friends as I hope I shall never have.  There were from twenty upwards living on him all the while, “as lazy as sloths” it was “Uncle Tom” by all.  While he was at work they would be idling about the house.  I would see my old father work like a slave and it would vex me so, I could hardly keep from swearing at times.  I saw my father’s countenance and I pitied him but he took it in patience and only once did I hear him complain and then he said, “I am always glad to see friends and I should now be glad to see some leave.” And he showed it so plain that soon some of them left.  One of those men, one of my brothers gave a handsome flogging and he troubled us no more, and claimed no relationship and I never saw but once since.


This summer I went to work with Laurance Seamur, one of the finest men I ever saw.  One of the most ingenious men to work in wood.  I had worked some considerable at it myself.  He gave me sawed timber and I built myself a turning lathe and went to work.  He showed me how to work and I soon got so I could make myself a good plain bedstead and tables.  I soon fixed up my folks up very comfortable.  But in the fall of 1816 a man by the name of Luther Smith came and said he would give me six dollars a month if Mr. Seamore would let me go and cook for his hands through the winter.  Mr. Seamore told him if I chose to go he would not stop me.


I told Father I thought I would go to get some store pay for Mother so that she might get some things more comfortable for she had been teaching me the figures last summer.  So in the month of September I left for the wilderness and the third day we came to the place appointed to get the vessel timber out for the great raft, which one of the merchants had agreed to land at Quebec for so much.  Among the workman was this man my brother had whipped by the name of Edward Mooney.  I had been there for one month, when he would try every day to pick a quarrel with me.  I had made a new door to our new cabin.  I had worked like a dog to please the workman but he was always mad and when I was busy cooking, he came in and said, “I want a place to wedge my ass, where is a piece of board?” “I do not know,” said I. “I have a good mind to split down this door.” I told him he better not do it.  “Shut your head you little devil,” said he smashing his ax through the door, splitting it.  Declaring that he would whip me if I told.  I vowed I would whip him in two years if I ever came across him.  I thought he might try to pounce on me, and if he did I was [11] going to give him all I had.  I never have met up with him since.  I did see him at a Methodist meeting once but not to speak to.  If I do meet him he shall have to confess to me.


I told all the men that one or the other would leave soon.  They believed me.  I suppose Mr. Smith thought I would soon forget it and would stay.  I waited two or three days and nothing was done about his going so I packed up my things and started for home.  When I told Father all about it he said I didn’t need to go back.


Mr. Smith sent for me to come back but I told him, no, as I had decided to work at my trade.  I was fourteen years and seven months old at that time.  I fixed up the shop and fixed up my lathe and went to work making furniture.  I also helped on the farm.  In the spring I helped make sugar.  Father let me have a piece of land and told me I could have all I raised on it.  I chopped the logs off and put some of the smaller ones against the larger ones and burned what I could.  I raised twelve bushel of wheat and some potatoes.  A man by the name of Cook wanted to buy it and said he would give me sheep for pay.  I was proud of my three sheep, one weather and two ewes.  In April Father came and asked me how many sheep I had.  I was afraid something had happened to them and asked if they were dead.  Father said, “No, but you have an increase.  You have now five for one ewe had twin lambs.”  I was more than happy over this.


In a short time Alvah came home from Ohio–telling us of his experiences and how beautiful it was around there.  This summer we were all sick.  The mill pond of Loren Seamens raised through the timber.  It was such a disagreeable smell and the mosquitoes were bad which caused a lot of sickness and death all around us.  My brother Elijah became very ill and had a high fever.  He grew worse each day it seemed.


Alvah and Solomon went about sixty miles to get a man to come and look at our farm and trade some land in Ohio to Father for it.  He liked the farm but the sickness and the bad smell of the swamp made him change his mind and he soon left and would not trade.


As summer wore on the water dried up and we soon were all better and soon got well.  We stayed here all winter and next summer we calculated on moving.  When the people learned of our plans to move they would try to hinder us as they thought it was too hard for old folks to make a new start in life.  Dr. Erns took another course.  He tried to rob Father of a mare he had bought from my brother and had paid for her by chopping wood.  The doctor served him at the law, and gave him no credit for the wood.  He called me for a witness but I could not prove all he had done, which threw the cost on my brother [12] for it.  The doctor got a man deputized and came to our house and wanted the mare.  Father said it was his, but the doctor insisted he was going to have the horse.  Father said, “You cannot have the mare as she is mine.”  The doctor said he had come prepared to take her back with him.  I then spoke up and said, “Father, I am prepared to keep her for you.”  “How will you do it?” he said.  I had come well armed and I took down my rifle and went to the stable.  The doctor said, “Notice he has a gun.”  I told them I wouldn’t shoot if they didn’t take the horse.  “I’ll not take her but you shall go before a Justice of Peace tomorrow.”  He then went to walk off saying something very mean to Father which displeased my brother and he struck him.  The next day we were all sent for.  I was set at liberty but my brother had to stand trial and was fined five dollars for striking the doctor.  Alvah said he would never pay him.


Elijah never did recover.  He was sick for a long time and on the first of August, 1818, he passed away.  Alvah was away for a week before Elijah died and he would open his eyes and ask if Alvah was back yet–until he breathed his last.  We would tell him not yet, and once he said, “oh dear, and then sang the following song:  I’ll praise my maker while I breathe, and when my eyes are closed in death.  Praise shall employ my noble powers.  My days of praise shall near be past while life and though is being lost or in mortality endure.”  Then closed his eyes and gasped once or twice.  A light cringe was seen by my mother who was by his side.  This caused her to think he had been disappointed in his belief.  Soon his countenance assumed a different aspect, he smiled and remained that way until his internment.


The evening he died Alvah came home at about nine o’clock and said, “Elijah is dead isn’t he?”  We told him yes, he was gone.  “Well,” said he, “I have seen that thing tonight I never saw before.  As I came against Elijah’s house, not a cloud to be seen while before his door it lighted up so I could see every house in the neighborhood.”


I then gave Father my sheep and bought me a coat and went to chopping for it, by cutting twenty cords of wood to pay for it.  I next bought me some pants and my father bought me some shirts and a vest.  Father sold his farm and trusted it out for five years.  He then began to prepare to move in the winter.  He settled all his debts, collected in all we could and then visited our friends through the country.  On the first of January I started out alone to go to my uncle Levi Bristols in Manchester, Ontario County.  The counties here [13] have been divided.  Wolcott is now in Sineca County.  I traveled through Clyde formerly called Gailon.  I at once called at the blockhouse.  I there inquired for Viania and went there and then on to Lyons town and then to Manchester I finally reached my uncles that night.  It was the first time I had been there.


The following day our people came and it truly was a time of rejoicing.  Here I saw the young Bristols that I had heard so much about.  The stoutest men in all York State here.  I saw the mother of Clark Bristol for the first time.  The daughter of my little grandmother who was about four feet high who sleeps in death now under the leaning beech tree in Wolcott near the cranbury marsh on the high hill with my sister by her side.  If ever I rejoiced in my life it was with my father’s sister.  This woman would make no more of lifting off and on the fire her five pail iron kettle than my mother would her dish kettle without being filled.  One of her sons was known to take two barrels of whiskey, two fingers in each one and carry them across the still house.


The boys here loved me and like to play with me and sometimes it would seem as if the smallest one would almost crack my bones, when he would get hold of me.  My uncle declared how he loved my father.  It made no odds where father went or “Brother Tom” he called him, I want to be with him, he said.  If he goes to heaven I want to be with him or if he goes the other place I want to be with him.


We could not leave here until sometime in February.  While we were here I traveled twice to Bloomfield to see when Thomas would start for Ohio.  The last time I went I learned he would start the next week if Solomon would go and drive his team.  Solomon went and took him as it always happened if anyone of the boys wanted help it must be Solomon and if running Levi must do it.  If there was a sacrifice to make Solomon or Levi was called on to do it.  And the truth of this I will show hereafter find a true statement of affairs shall be had in remembrance that it may be handed down from generation to generation that those of my blood and kindred may profit if they will.  I have writing and dates which I am transcribing and calculate to condense my history in books instead of leaves of paper.  I am not [now?] determined to serve God and do all the good I can in this world while I live.  I have been writing ever since I was fourteen years old.  The way I learned to write was to old letters and imitate them as near as I could.  What I have written is the truth as near as I can tell the story.  I love God, although I am making no pretense to any form of religion.


[14]  Sometime in February we started from my uncles in Manchester and journeyed through Bloomfield then turned our course toward Buffalo.  While there in Buffalo we saw the remains of some buildings that had been burned in the war.  We heard tales told of the distress and suffering of the people there at that time.  We saw some of the effects of war.  We then went on down on the Lake shore and saw for the first time the little cloud hanging over Niagara Falls.  There I saw what I had been hearing of and knew what Thomas had told of how he had looked off the banks and drew quickly back a little below.  He had once crossed the river in the dark and ascended the bank when the dead and dying came tumbling against him which nearly brought him to the ground where he dropped one of his implements of war and stopped to pick it up, when down came more dead and others crying, “My God, I’m gone.”  Oh what a sight to see.  It makes your blood run cold.  Though soon he did mount the bank and there more than two thousand bayonets were playing.  Thomas mixed with the others and with that unquenchable spirit of seventy-six he assisted in clearing the ground of the Britains until day when the battle was again renewed.  Often I have heard him say when he was fighting he thought there was no Britains fall until the order was charge bayonets.  Again when he came within a few steps of them the Britains retreated there.  He also beheld the dead which gave him fresh hope in victory.  Queenston was soon in the hands of the Americans, and the cannons spiked and the British General slain, his name was Brack.


We continued our journey up the river for some time.  At times we traveled on the ice and sometimes on the land.  The snow was now falling on the land.  The first of March another snow [came] so that we could move ahead faster.  We soon got to Erie and camped out of our way as we were lost.  We finally found the right road and by some means or other we lost our Father who was ahead in another wagon.  We camped that night within about one mile of him.  In the morning we tried to catch up with Father for we found out he was ahead of us.  In the afternoon he began to think perhaps we were behind him and began to hold up.  We saw a man coming toward us and he told us that Father was about one mile ahead.  We soon overtook him and made camp for the night.  The next morning we all started on our journey but in a few days broke our wagon and paid the highest price to get it mended.  We then went on about a mile and it broke again.  We were forced to stop and the man we stopped with was kind to us.  He made no profession of religion.  He had a young son who was a Methodist preacher.  I went to work and bought some flour and some whiskey for my father and the old man Curtice we were living with.  As nothing made these two old men happier than to drink a little sometimes and as good natured as men could be.  I liked to see them enjoy themselves together and hear them [15] talk.  We stayed here until Solomon came from Chagrin with another wagon and we started on our journey again with him.  We asked Mr. Curtice what we must pay him for house rent.  He said nothing and offered to pay for some whiskey I had loaned him. I told him I wanted nothing for it.  He wished us well and a pleasant journey.  We arrived at Chagrin about the first of April and put up at George Minters.  I heard him tell how he had once been tried for murder in Ontario County and had got his certificate and sung a song he had made about it.  But something would whisper in my heart all the while, “You have once killed a man for his money.”


I did not want to stop there so Father rented a house of Charles Braut about six miles from here so we moved to this new place.  I borrowed some tools and made a table and hired out and got some shoes.  I helped father plant his corn on rented land about ten acres.  This was the first good seed corn I had seen.


About the 10th of May 1819, I asked Father to give me liberty to go with Mr. Braut and cut a Beech tree.  Father said I could go; it would be good experience for me.  We started and soon came to the Bee tree.  It was a very large tree and the bees were in a large branch of a high oak. I took a chalk line and climbed a tree standing near by.  We had a log against it and from that I got on the branch where the bees were.  I let the line down and drew up the ax and chopped the branch off and down went the bees.  I descended and saved all the honey.  He offered me no pay.  I thought I could not stand that.


I then continued to live the best I could from place to place until spring.  About this time we were making sugar.  I sat down and wrote the following:  April the 11th–1820.  Know all men by these present that I Thomas Hancock of the town of Chagrin and County of Cuyahoga and state of Ohio, do hereby give unto my son Levi W. Hancock his time and from this time until he is of age and furthermore I give unto him all his earnings in testimony thereof I have set my hand and set my seal.  Thomas Hancock.  My father signed this the same day.


Next day I went to boil some sour sap into molasses.  I left for Chagrin and went to work in a cabinet shop with James Spalding.  I stayed there until the first of May.  One day I had been to work with him building tan vats for a tanner near by.  When coming home I went to the tub to wash me and just as I went to stoop over a young man standing by put his hand in the water and threw it in my face, it was so sudden I threw up my head and not knowing Mr. Spalding was [16] behind me stooping over to wash the back of my head.  When I raised up I hit him in the nose making it bleed.  He swore at me.  I told him how I could not help it and after I had explained to him he was still angry and would not hear but blamed me and said I ought to be whipped.  I told him I knew I was not to blame although he bled like he had been fighting.  I told his wife I was going to leave, she ran to him and defended me so he came and said I should not go.  But I had decided if he didn’t believe me I would go anyway.  I gathered up my things and told him good-bye and then went to my brothers and stayed one or two days then went to my fathers where I tarried for about a week.  I bought some clothes of my brother Alvah and put them in a chest and calculated in the fall to return and get them for winter.


I then went and started without purse or scrip into the wide world not knowing where to go.  I went through Chagrin, Painesville, Austinburg and there inquired if they could tell me where Lebanon was as I had a sister living there.  The man asked me who she was and I told him her name was Algers.  He said he knew them well and directed [me] which way to go.  I took the course and traveled until sundown and then asked a boy how far it was to Lebanon.  I learned it was six miles farther and that I had already traveled forty-four miles that day.  I asked the man if I could stay there that night.  He said, yes, and gave me a good supper and breakfast.  The next day I went on to my sisters.  I had not seen her since she lived at my fathers in the time of farming with Samuel Algers.


I lived with my sister and helped her husband Samuel build some fine buildings and one saw mill.  He was kind to me here.  He gave me rest and was pleased to see me enjoy myself.  All of the people were my friends.  While he lived in that town he taught me many things I did not understand.  My sister was like a mother to me.  He never made me work only when I pleased.  I found he was a man of influence among the people.  He gave me paper and ink and let me write as much as I pleased and clothed me also.  I went among the young people where I had not been used to.  I used to play the fife and flute and was not easily beat.  I sometimes played the violin too.


Samuel was a Lieutenant in the Ohio Militia and when training came I was sure to have some new tune that suited the fancy of the people.  Always I was asked to feast with the officers.  This I enjoyed very much.


I went to some dances that winter and practiced music a part of the time.  I helped Samuel’s eldest boy do the chores.


[17]  Next spring we were calculating to work at the Jainers, working together.  I was getting to be considered stout though small for my age, at this time I weighed about 95 lbs. and not a boy of my age was found to be any stouter or more active.


One day Samuel Algers and I were asked to come to a log house rolling near the east end of town where I for the first time saw him lay out his strength on a large clum log that some stout men had been lifting.  When Sam went to the butt end and lifted it so easy that it caused the whole crowd to wonder.


A man by the name of Stephen Bishop then wanted to throw him down and said if he could get him just where he wanted him he could throw him.  Samuel let him take his leg and in his arms and when he would say he was ready, Samuel would throw him easily.  Apparently as easy as I could a child that had just begun to walk.


Here for the first time I got mad for after Samuel had started home, this same Bishop’s son began to play with me and in a shuffle I threw him down.  The old man was mad and came at me and pulled my hair and tore off my apron we used to wear to handle timbers with to save our other clothes.  He said, “You damned little cur.”  I saw he was mad and asked him to stop and explain himself.  He continued to pull my hair.  By that time I was angry and went to work on him and would have got him down if I had not been hauled off.  I saw him run behind the crowd.  I called him a “damned old fool” and when I came to think of what I had said I was ashamed and scarcely dared to look a person in the face.  When I would think of it I would say in my heart, I would swear no more but lately I have considered it over and say I did not swear.  This was in the year of 1821.


Samuel took a job of cabinet work to do for this man’s brother, John Bishop when he could get the lumber ready and bought a place in Chagrin and moved my sister Clarissa and gave me a few tools and I went to work in the place where he had been working this summer.  In the fall I went to another place to work in the town of Rome.  I put up my lathe and went to making spinning wheels, reels and bedsteads.  The man I worked for was Michael Powers.  I had only been there a few days when he came and asked me to go get the midwife.  He said, “If I have a daughter, she shall be yours.”  “Agreed” said  I, and went to find the midwife and it wasn’t long until, Mr. Powers told me I had a girl.  I laughed and said I should be mad if I knew I would have to wait for her to grow up.  “Yes,” said he, “but you may do that.”


[18]  “If I have to wait for that child to grow up,” I thought, “I should not want one.”  I told him.  Then she could be free to choose for herself.  Our conversation here stopped as Samuel Algers came to do some work he had promised, to make for John Bishop.  He made our bureau stand and other pieces of furniture.


I continued to make spinning wheels until I had got many in debt to me, and in good hands.  I then thought that I would have some land near my Fathers as I loved him and wanted to do him good.  I visited the people I was acquainted with and settled for my board and room and different places and bid them good-bye.


I then went to fathers house and while there I bought twelve acres of land of my brother Alvah and agreed to pay him in rattle, for his house and improvements, that were on his land.  “Now,” said he, “I have no where to go.”  I told him he could stay and take care of the lot for so much and see that nothing disturbs the improvements.  I then bought one hundred apple trees and set them out early in the spring.  I also set out a row of peach trees along by the road.  I lost two trees of apples and could not find them.  I went to Talmage, Portage County, to see the furnace.  I there heard a man say he wanted a plow wooded.  His name was Bettice.  I told him I would wood it for him.  He got some tools and I soon stocked it.  He paid me at the forge.  I took the bag of grain and came home, on the way I found my two apple trees but they were dry but I thought I would set them out and see if they would live.


I went to Lebanon and helped Samuel Algers cover the house for Elijah Peck, after he had enclosed it he went back and I continued to work about from place to place through the summer.  In the fall Samuel returned and went to work for a Joseph Miller.  This season I signed a petition to have Lebanon called “New Lyme” as most of the people were from Old Lyme, Connecticut.  The position was granted and the town is now “New Lyme.”


I went to Wayne township and worked for a cousin of mine by the name of Sylvester Ward.  I did part of the guning on his sawmill in a months time.  I returned and went to Mr. Miller where Samuel was to work.  It was here that I became acquainted with that good family.  After I had been there a while they all agreed to give me an invitation to stay with them.  I accepted the invitation and stayed through the following winter with them.  I worked on his new house.  He was rich and free.  He was close in a trade but true as the sun.  He was Baptist and sometimes called a “blue belly” by some who were his enemy.  I had heard much said against him and indeed had formed an idea that he was the worst man, but I never knew anything wrong myself in him.


[19]  Samuel Algers had now gone home to his family in Chagrin and I had to work alone on the job.  This was the year of 1822, I was about 19 years and 6 mo. old.


About this time I made a bargain to build with Richard Tining.  I took my tools and was to take a job of work for his brother-in-law that is to enclose his house and he was to give me half of the pay.  Accordingly we commenced in April 1823 and in about six weeks we finished the job.  I then went to Chagrin and payed Alvah the first payment on my place.  I later returned and worked on the house of Mr. Miller.  I took a house to enclose for a Mr. Elishis way the next summer.  He gave me some clothes and factory pay to bind the bargain.  In the spring my father came to see me.  I was painting some chairs when he came.  I was so happy to see him and went with him to my uncle Benjamin Wards in Wayne for a visit.  I returned to my work and did another house I had taken for Mr. Hunt, which I did before I commenced Mr. Ways.  I let my father have as much factory pay as he could carry home.  When he had gone I went to work hard.  I finished the two houses.


I had bought a horse so I rode him to see my folks in Chagrin. I traded my horse with Alvah and nearly paid him up for his place.  I then returned to New Lyme where I made some bureaus and tables for a Mr. Knowles.  In the spring Alvah came to see me and I let him have his lay pay.  Then I learned that the land he had sold me, I could not have until Father had paid for his land.  So I waited contentedly and let him continue to live on the place, never asking him for rent. I went back and found I had money and cattle due me enough to pay for my fathers farm and that too and had cash in my pocket.  I had all the things I wanted to make me comfortable.  I wore the best clothes and all around me were my friends.


I took a schoolhouse to build or enclose.  I sold my cows and took good mens notes for it.  My brother Thomas came to see me and he was almost worshipped being a brother of mine.  He was called the best player on the violin ever heard, by the people.  He would play and sing very well.  There was continually a crowd round to hear him.  The Baptist man Joseph Miller was charmed with it and said he never heard so sweet music before.  After Thomas returned home I went to work again and soon the news came that Miss Minor was sick and died a short time.  The first person grown that had ever been known to die there in this town.  I called on to make the coffin.  Shortly after a Mr. Gee died and I made his coffin.  Then Mr. Lee died and I made his coffin.


[20]  It was said that these old men were sitting together talking one day and all at once they heard the most beautiful singing they had ever heard in their lives.  The wife of Mr. Lee told me what they said.  It was but a few days before their deaths about the first of September.


Mr. Joseph Miller was taken sick and I was called to go and see him.  I found he was near his last.   The pains of death had seiged upon him.  He was greatly troubled in mind.  His brother came to see him who was a Universalist.  Mr. Miller would exhort his brother to repent and tell him he was deceived.  Then he would appear to be concerned about himself and groaned and take on as if he was afraid of hell and in this way he died.  Though I never heard him say he was afraid of hell but he believed in a hell of fire and brimstone.  Mr. Miller died and as to say he died in the triumph of faith I cannot say it.  He died and was buried in the month of September 1824.  I was then 21 years of age.  There was soon a marble placed at his head and on it was printed “Joseph Miller who emigrated from Lyme, Connecticut at a certain time and died September 1824 in the triumph of faith.”  This man was a good man and he showed it by his works.  He sought with all his heart to serve God.  He minded his own business.  He never slandered any person and as honest as any man in those parts but when I look on and see a man when dying act as he did I cannot say he died in the triumph of faith and I thought at that time if you believed as I do you would die as easy as to go to sleep.  I do believe in God and believe him to be much better than I, as I was better than the most cruel tyrant.  I was thought once to have made a reached speech when I heard a man speak of the torments of the damned.  I said if God would do so he was worse than I and I could prove it.  All the proof I would bring was my own testimony and that is this:  “I know I never would torment a snake that would bite me, but kill him and then I had done I had got him out of the way where he could do no more harm and that was enough for me.  This was a belief that was growing in the minds of many but it was not much spoken of.  If a man sinned his soul should die.  “This caused me losing the soul that sinneth.”  “It shall die.”  God by Ezekiel cried.  “The soul is mortal I reply Jehovah has not lied.”


After Mr. Miller died I worked in his house and made my home there, doing considerable work on his new house.  I went for a visit with my folks in Chagrin and soon returned again to Samuel Algers.  We worked at Esquire Uselius Dodges this next winter.  I then went to work for widow Miller.  Along about this time I fenced Mr. Miller’s grave.  I went to his brothers and hired and in the spring I did his store.  I made his table and chairs and bureaus.  I did considerable [21] janitor work for him in the year 1825.  In the summer Father and Mother came here, this man Miller lives in Rome, Ashtabula County and on the turn pike leading from the town Ashtabula to Warren in Trumbull County.  I left my work here and went with my parents to my uncles and returned with them again.


Mr. Champion said to me, “I have a particular regard for you Mr. Hancock.”  “Why?” said I.  “Why,” said he, “you love your parents so well, you have bought so many things for your mother.”


“Yes,” said his wife, “it does look so pretty to see a young man take that course.  Your parents cannot help bless you indeed.”  All they had in the house, I had bought after my payments.


I went to work for a Mr. Sylvester Rodgers.  I layed down his ballroom floor and sealed it.  After I was through with this job I went to Chagrin and bought my father’s farm and in the winter I thought I would try to build a comfortable house.  I made my payments in the spring I went to getting out timber and getting logs to mill for boards.  I bought nails and glass and got out the frame for a story and a half house, 18 x 30.  I finished it by the 4th of July and this was Independence Day.  We celebrated the occasion with a big ball.  This is the ticket for the ball:


Since life is but a fleeting day, rejoice while you can. Be happy when you go away, Our compliments to Mr. & Mrs. And solicit their company at a ball in the Assembly room of Levi W. Hancock, July 4th, 1826, at ten o’clock.


Price $1.00 per couple


The liberty pole was raised at day break.  Two gallons of liquor drank.  Procession formed at nine o’clock, marched one hour.  Danced until twelve.  Dinner at half past two.  The ball commenced.


Samuel Algers sold my brandy for me and made enough to pay all expenses.  Everything went well.  Peace prevailed.  In the evening all went home.  I had a good lock and key to the house and in the morning some of the old people came to buy a drink of brandy, I gave each a dram and took no pay which surprised them all.  And well they might be for that time you could not get a man to do the least thing without pay.


The whole land of my Fathers had now become mine save about sixty dollars and no brother could say but what I came honestly by it.  I saw [22] the faces of my brothers and two of them felt as if they were without a home.  One day I saw them and felt sorry for them and said I, “Now brothers the farm is cleared up and there is enough land to give us all a good living.  If we cultivate it.  Now I will give you an equal part of the land and make your hearts contented.”  I reserved my orchard and well and told them to go to work and help take care of the old people.  Which they said they would help pay what was behind.  Soon one got offended and wanted to fight me and without a cause.  He had worked a few days on the land and came to me and wanted a deed for his part.  I told him I had no deed myself and I could not make a deed until we had paid for it.  He was not going to work on uncertainties.  I said I had laid out many hundred dollars and I was not afraid of losing it.  I told him I had given him an equal chance with me.  Now he wanted to fight me for it.  He kept on this way day after day, and some mischievous fellows would tell him they knew I was a subtle arch fellow and I was figuring to get their labor for nothing and they had better look out.  Levi was not so good as to give them a chance for nothing when my heart I knew was honest and all Levi wanted was to have Father and Mother taken good care of and this I often would declare to all and that same jealousy has caused me to suffer in body and mind when I would be to work year after year in order to convince the brothers of my sincerity by sending home my earnings to my parents.  Many times did I ask one certain brother to stop and reason a while but he would listen to an enemy rather than me who had it in my heart to do him all the good I could and had showed it by my works for I had already given an equal chance to this raging brother of mine in the farm, I held in writing that I had paid for by my own hard earnings as the interest had almost got it out of the power of all the Hancocks to redeem.  I redeemed it myself with my own hard earnings and it shall stand recorded to be handed down that those who may see this whether my children or Joseph’s, it is the truth and nothing but the truth.


I had it in my heart to do good and he did misuse me in quarreling and wanting to fight me.  I was grieved and while I was meditating one day I was told that a letter was in the office for me.  I went there and found it to be from my good old friend Travis Miller, he said that my friends wanted me to return to Rome and put up my shop there.  They would give me all the work I wanted and good pay.  He had written to me by request of my friends.  I wrote back that I would be there soon.  I then went to see my good brother Solomon and told him I wanted him to come and see the farm and I would let him have it.  He could pay Joseph all he asked for what he had done.  Then he might pay me when he could and set his own price and do by me as he pleased.  He came and gave me a mare and his note for three hundred dollars for about one thousand and I was glad to leave.


[23]  I looked at father and saw he looked sorrowful and I hated to leave but thought it best.


I went to Rome and told the people that I calculated to stay there.  I built a fine two story shop with a drystand.  I paid thirty dollars for one acre of land.  I sold out the next spring 1828 and bought fourteen acres near the cross roads in Rome.  This was close to where they were going to build a Baptist meeting house and also a Presbyterian meeting house which was soon completed.  I then built a shanty and stayed there all summer and fall alone.  In the winter I went to live with George Babcock and stayed through the remainder of this year and in the winter of 1829 I helped him build and get out timber for his store.  He was a doctor and merchant.  I made my home there for some time.


I worked and paid my board and room and then I would go and see my old friends.  The widow Miller sent for me and wanted I should come and do some work for her.  I went and completed the work she had for me to do, then went to the Babcocks.  I bought some goods and put in his store and he said I might trade as many goods as I could buy.  But I gave away my goods to the poor and never made one cent.  I found I couldn’t live that way and I went to work again.  I thought I would go to the widow Millers.  I stayed there and in the winter I took some sleigh rides with the young people.  I found that that would not do in that place it cost too much to hire the horses and sleighs so I put my heart into my work again and in the spring I concluded I would look me up a companion.  I thought best to build first on my land in Rome.  I went to work and tried to get material to build with and thought I would work out for the same.  I was fully bent on settling down but to love one girl more than the others I could not do.  The young ladies there were all my friends, I never did insult one in all my life and never did keep company with anyone.  Never did I ask for the company of any girl further than to ask them to go to the dance.  Often I would have compliments from them how they thought as much of me as they did their brothers.  In this way I lived through the summer of 1830.


In the fall I concluded I would go and see Samuel Algers in Chagrin so I hired a horse of my good friend Mrs. Miller and started out.  I arrived at his house that evening by taking the near road.  I set down and presently Alvah came in and asked me if I had heard the news?  “What news”, asked I.


“Why,” said he, “four men have come and have brought a book [Book of Mormon] with them that they  call history and a record of the people that once inhabited this land.”


[24]  “Oh, said I to myself, that sounds interesting and I would like to hear more.  I began to inquire about it.


Alvah said, “Why, do you not recollect of reading what the Savior said, how he had other sheep which were not of this fold at Jerusalem?”  “Oh, yes I do,”  said I.


“Well,” said he, “they were here and  he [Savior] came and taught them the same doctrine that he taught them at Jerusalem.”  “And,” said he, “they baptize for the remission of sins and are building up the church as the apostles used to do in the days of Christ.  Tomorrow they are to hold a meeting at Mr. Jackson’s in Mayfield.”  “Yes,” said he, “they lay hands on those they baptize and bestow on them the Holy Ghost.”  At these last words I gathered faith and there seemed to fall on me something pleasant and delightful.   It seemed like a wash of something warm took me in the face and ran over my body which gave me a feeling I cannot describe.  The first word I said was, “It is the truth, I can feel it.”  “I will go and hear for myself tomorrow.”  This was on a Saturday so the next day I took my mother behind me on the horse and went to Mr. Jackson’s.  We got there a few minutes before the meeting.  After I had been there a short time, I saw the people begin to assemble.  I got in the chamber where there had been a few boards pulled up (which had been laid down loose before) to give the spectators a fair chance of hearing.  In the chamber I took a seat beside a lawyer by the name of Card.  He sat with his pencil and paper and commenced to scribble as the speaker arose and began to talk.  I sat with both ears open for the first word he spoke.  I believed all he said as much as though I knew he was Jesus Christ.  After he had talked a short time,  he opened the Book of Mormon and read what Christ said to his disciples who had gathered around the Temple in the land of Nephi.  “Of the three days of darkness that had been upon the land. . .”  When he had got through reading and talking about the new revelation.  He then went to exhorting the people to read the scriptures and see if they did not tell of the doctrine.  They teach us that there must be something sent from God in order to prepare the people for the glorious reign of Christ.


Then  the words of Isaiah 11th chapter on a part of the chapter as far as the eleventh verse.  After this man had spoken, whose name was Parley P. Pratt, I had found out.  He gave liberty for anyone to reply.  Sidney Rigdon then spoke and said he had been trying to preach the Gospel for a long time and now he had done.  He thought he should never preach again and confessed he was completely used up and advised the people not to contend against what they had heard.  After this man had spoken there arose another young man whose countenance bespoke a spirit of peace and love.  He [probably Oliver Cowdery] said he had been an eyewitness [25] to the things declared and the book reported to be a revelation was truth, however strange it may appear to the people.


Parley P. Pratt then said, “If anyone wants to be baptized, let them come forward.  My father went and was baptized and also my sister Clarrisa and some few others.


I went home to fathers and then the Devil began to rage.  There was one man by the name of Phelps that appeared to be mad and he exerted himself every way he could to discourage us from believing.  He told of the many impositions that had been palmed upon the people and where that would not do but that we still believed and meant to prove the work and not condemn it nor the men who brought it until they had proved themselves unworthy of our confidence by some mean trick.


Next morning I went back to Mayfield and asked where the men were that had been baptizing there, with a firm determination to be baptized.  I found that they had gone to Kirtland.


I then asked one of Mr. Jackson’s sons if he would go to Kirtland with me.  He said he would go if I would stay all night.  I stayed the night with him and the next morning we started for Kirtland, Ohio.  Upon arriving there we found that Parley P. Pratt was engaged in baptizing.  I dismounted my horse and went and  asked Parley P. Pratt if he would baptize me.  He said, he would if I believed.  I told him I  believed that Jesus is the son of God, and felt within my heart that the things he had told us were the truth.  He then baptized me.  I thanked him and got on my horse and started to go, when someone asked me if I was not going up to Brother Morley’s.  I said I did not know where he lived.  I was told to follow some men who was just on before I did so we soon came in sight of the house as I thought, and then asked if this was the place where we were to go.  I was told it was the place and was invited into the house.  I went in and presently the room was near full.  We talked and heard many stories and their opinion concerning Olivery Cowdery.  Our horses were put up and fed.  We were then given supper and when the time came that we though we had stayed long enough we went to rest.  In the morning I called for my horse and was told where I could find him.  When I found him he was so lame he could scarcely go.  I didn’t know what to do but concluded not to go to New Lyme that day.


I told Oliver if he would go to Mayfield I would go and let the people know.  He said he would go. I then went for my horse calculating that it would take me all day to get to Mayfield, but to my joy [26] and satisfaction I beheld my horse well and got on his back and he went off as well as ever.  I soon arrived at Mr. Jackson’s and called the people together.  Oliver did not come until we went after him.  He came and talked awhile, Lyman Wright [Wight] and myself had been talking to the people the first evening I came.  It was the next day before Oliver Cowdery and Zibra [Ziba] Peterson and one of the Whitmores came.  They held meetings and baptized some and in the evening they confirmed many members of the church.  The next morning I was ordained an Elder.  I then went home to my father’s and soon after I went to Rome and commenced to hold meetings.  The people appeared to be astonishied at the doctrine but did not persecute as they did in some other places.


This was in the year of 1830 in the month of November.  I preached from place to place where the folks were well acquainted with me.  Not long after I came to Rome, lies began to circulate through the land concerning the church.  This caused the people to be more cold.  However, some believed that there was something on the doctrine worthy of notice.


In December I went about three miles west to work on a house laying the floors.  It was white top plank, I had to match.  I hired a Mr. Baldwin to help me.  He was a good man and after we had laid the floor we concluded to make a fire and lie down until morning.


As I was praying  a personage stood before me with a small yoke in his hands, said he, “This is the yoke of Christ.”  There were many lamps placed on the top of this small yoke.  I thought it was the Lord talking to me and I felt willing to obey him and put forth my hand and laid it on one lamp and saw a smoke rise from it.  I then touched two more and saw a blue blaze, then some more and some smoked and others burned blue.  Three shone as bright as any lamp I ever saw in my life.  He stood and held them a short time and then said, “These I will take into heaven and give you a sign that you may know that you are my servant.”  He then drew in his breath and blew in my face and said, “You will tarry till I come again.”  As he breathed on me, faith came, the heavens sent forth a shower of spirit, it took me in the face and filled me until I ran over with it.  No person could feel better than I did.  My spirit took its flight and left my body on the floor.  I thought I was dead.  All my senses were perfect and I realized many things that I am not able to write nor express with my tongue, I was told by the spirit to come back and bear testimony to the world of the truth of the work.  I then entered into my body and told the vision to Mr. Baldwin.  I told him how the lamps all went out but the three that burned so bright, and how smart and what a gentleman the personage was [27] who came without anything on his head, with ruffles shirt to me, even Satan and how modest and innocent the man was who called himself the Lord.  I saw tears run down from his eyes.  I saw the unfortunate son who fell, when he tried to approach me the wave of my hand would cause him to go from me.


We finished our work on this house and later went to Baldwin’s house where he let me hold meetings.  In January someone knocked on the door.  A person said, “Come in.”  Three good looking young men came in and inquired for me.  I never had seen them to my knowledge before.  They asked how I did and told me they were preachers belonging to the Church of Christ.  I learned their names were “Edson Fuller, Heamon Bassett and Burr Riggs.”  We called a meeting and spoke to the people for three or four times and commenced to baptize.  Mrs. Goldwin and two daughters came in the church.  Her sister and son and many others through the neighborhood also joined and were baptized.  All of this part of the country appeared to be awake and would listen to the new doctrine.


Those elders ran into all manner of doings, receiving revelations and seeing angels.  [Spiritual ecstasies] Falling down frothing at the mouth.  One of them who acted the worst was Burr Riggs.  I have seen him jump up from the floor, strike his head against the joist in the Baldwins new house and swing some minutes, then fall like he was dead.  After an hour or two he would come to.  He would prophesy and tell what he had seen.  At other times he appeared to be so honest and sincere I was led to believe all said, but concluded that all could not be blessed and perhaps I was not as pure as those young men.  What I had received was enough for me.


Edson Fuller would fall and turn black in the face.  Herman Bassett would behave like a baboon.  He said he had a revelation he had received in Kirtland from the hand of an angel, he would read it and show pictures of a course of angels declared to be Gods, then would testify of the truth of the work and I believed it all, like a fool.


I dare not come out against anything that an elder should say for fear I should speak against the Holy Ghost.  I let them go on in this manner until the people got mad at them and tried to convince me that I was led astray.  They said I was honest and the dream I had they did not doubt but the doctrine was false.


One girl said she would rather go to hell than believe it, and in a short time she died.  I could not help thinking she was taken at her word.


[28]  There were many that said nothing that belonged to the church.  All of this took place in the winter of 1831.


By February we started for Kirtland.  I bore the expense of them all, we took North on the turnpike leading from Ashtabula to Warren, Ohio.  We traveled on to Ostinsburg and put up there.  I saw a man by the name of Crawel.  I was slightly acquainted with him as he was a lawyer.  He said he would keep me but not the others, so I thanked him, and we all went to the tavern and I paid the bill.  The next day we went on to Unionville where we stayed over night.  I paid all the bills there too.  The following day we got to Painville, as we were all weary we were glad to rest.  We found brethren here who said they would take us to Kirtland the next day.  We had been traveling through snow, which was deep and I was so lame I could scarcely walk.  I had paid one dollar to a man this day to haul just four miles.


The next morning brother Harvey Redfield took us to Brother Isaac Morley’s who was a cooper by trade and one of the most honest, patient men I ever saw.  The company he maintained looked large enough to bring on a famine.  I do not know if they lived on him all the time or not.


While I was in the room at “Father Morley’s” as we all called him, this same Hermon Bassett came to me and took my watch out of my pocket and walked off as though it was his.  I thought he would bring it back soon but was disappointed as he sold it. I asked him what he meant by selling my watch.


“Oh, said he, I though it was all in the family.”


I told him I did not like such family doing and I would not bear it.


I then went to hold meetings in Chagrin Township of Mayfield.  By this time there were quite a number of Elders ordained and among them was my brother Soloman Hancock I had heard that he had joined the church but had not seen him since he joined.  He was a Methodist when I last saw him.


I found my father and mother strong in the faith which gave me great joy.  I felt happy for nearly all of my folks had joined the church by now.


Solomon appeared to borrow some trouble about what he owed me, between three and four hundred dollars.  He knew I had this note for that amount.  I told him to give no uneasiness about what he owed me for he [29] had no cause to fear.  For him to go and preach the gospel as I would not press him.  He did go out and preach, doing his best.


Now I will tell how he came to owe me that amount of money.  I had been able to redeem my father’s farm and it all fell to me.  A little interest was behind that I had not paid, but the money was due me and I had notes for the amount against good men, double the amount in fact.  Soloman had a farm paid for.  Alvah and Joseph had no land and I pitied them.  I had rented my land to Alvah for about four years and took his note every fall for the pay.  I saw he could not enjoy himself as he knew not how to pay me.  I handed him his notes and told him and Joseph what to do.  To help me take good care of father and mother and I would give each of them one third of the farm.  This appeared to please them.


I went to work and built my father and mother a house on my third of the farm.  I must have paid out almost six hundred dollars there but Joseph would quarrel with me and I let Solomon have it for half price and took his note and went to where I had formerly lived.


Oh, how I tried to do my folks good and now I defy them all to prove to the contrary.  I said, what more could I do to my father’s house that what I had done?


Oh, whiskey, whiskey, it is whiskey that causes my brother Joseph to distrust my heart, when I have been so kind to him.  My father loves his children and when I would do them good, it made him happy.  Yet, I cannot make Joseph believe but that I want to take advantage of him.  He thinks I shall rob him of what he does on his part of the farm, when it has not cost him one cent.  I said it was whiskey that made him so he could not see.  But I couldn’t give him a deed when I had none myself and could not get one until my money came due.  This is what made me sell to my good brother Solomon.


Now Joseph has joined the church and I freely forgave him and love him and will still try to do him good.  I hope I shall always be able to forgive him as he has been to forget my kindness to him.


When I was alone in Rome I used to sing this song:


Did Christ the Lord once weep?

And shall my cheeks be dry?

Oh, no my heart is filled with grief,

and tears burst from my eyes.


[30]  The son of God in tears

Did e’er his people weep

Be not astonished oh, my soul

Since thou thy tears can’t keep


He wept and I will weep

For friends I’ll shed a tear

And are they so in heaven bound

They have no weeping there.


And now I’ll dry my tears

My friends shall have my Prayer

Until I do in heaven dwell

And stop my weeping there.


I found that I now was in possession of a spirit to forgive all men.


Spring has come.  I go to the West, I went through Cleveland, Ohio holding meetings along the way.  Went through Elina into Brownhelm where we held meetings and baptized and confirmed seventy-one (71) at one meeting from under my own hand.  I felt so happy and blessed.  We then returned to Rome.


I saw the Prophet Joseph Smith last February 1831.  He gave the Law.  [D&C 42.]  I have not gotten a copy of it.  I heard it read but cannot remember too much of it.  It told us to go West.  I have been and done the best I could, I lost my journal and have to make this according to memory.


It is now May 1831.  I told what I had done with the help of the Lord, for I know he was with me and guided me all the way.  I found that we had nearly broken up the Freewill Baptist church west.   A Mr. Rollins came to see me.  I told him many names; he knew them well, he said.  From that time on he did not appear to want to see me, as he had been their preacher before and now his flock had left him.


There was an old sister there that told him a dream she had before I got back there.  The dream did not please him.  She told him the following dream, Well, she said she saw two curtains let down from heaven while she could not see the top, she saw Levi W. Hancock walk between them until he came to a large field, in it was a fruit tree that spread its branches over a large body of land.  Many people shook hands with him.  He reached and took some fruit almost from the top twig and commenced singing.  She saw Mr. Rollins start and run with his hat off, the fire pursued him as far as she could see.  Some had left the church of Christ and they also ran.


[31]  I began to see what the dream or vision of mine meant about the lamps.  Most of the people had gone out and I then told them of it.  What few believed said, “The smokey and blue blaze lamp had gone out.”  I then put it in rhyme.


Hark brethren, who believe in dreams,

And hear me tell what I have seen

Because the spirit I have sought

Some pleasing things to me has taught.


Once I lay down and to repose

In solemn prayer my eyelids closed

And soon a person I did see

Who then began to talk with me.


He was the one to whom I prayed

And this I learned by what he said,

When I to Jesus Christ did cry

This personage was standing by.


A small yoke had and neatly made

And he unto me gently said,

This is the yoke of Jesus Christ

That you behold worked out so nice.


There was some lamps upon this yoke

That I beheld and then he spoke

And said, “These lamps I’ve brought to

Thee lay your hands on and light for me.”


As soon as this my Lord had spoke

I did and saw nothing but smoke

I laid my hands on the next two

That gave no light but did burn blue


And touched some more and saw a light

And three of them did burn bright

These three, said He, I’ll let you know

Shall with me into heaven go


And now I’ll give you a sign

And you shall know that you are mine

The Holy Ghost you shall receive

And then into my face did breathe.


[32]  The spirit then did fall on me

And out I went from my body

My spirit soon away did soar

And left its dwelling on the floor.


The thoughts that came into my mind

Was surely I have gone from time,

Into eternity to dwell, was well

All things I thought, with me,


Eternity transporting bless this

There naught, I thought could equal

The spirit that did on me pour

Made me suppose all trials o’er.


While filled with love I had no fear

I had forgot all friends so near

Until I thought what will they say

When they behold my dead body.


Go with thy friends and there remain

said Christ, till I shall come again

When I return I’ll come to thee

And then my glory thou shall see”


I then into my body went

To warm my friends was my intent

But oh, how changed was the scene

When I beheld it was but a dream,


The End


I told the Prophet Joseph Smith my  vision and sung him these verses.  He said it was an omen of something I would understand sometime.  He thought I would ordain three great men sometime who would do some particular work in the church.


About this time my brother Solomon came to see me and brought Zebedee Coltrin along.  He held some meetings and wanted me to go to Kirtland with him.


We started the latter part of May and arrived there by the last of the month, I learned that on the fourth of June there was to be an endowment of some Elders.


[33]  The Fourth of June came and we all met in a little string of buildings under the hill near Isaac Morley’s in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio.  Then we all went to a school house on the hill about one fourth of a mile ascending nearly all the way.  The building was built of logs.  It was filled with slab benches, Here the elders were seated and the meeting was opened as usual.  Joseph Smith began to speak, he said  that the kingdom of Christ that he spoke of that was like a grain of mustard seed was now before him and some should see it put forth its branches and  the angels of heaven would some day come like birds to its branches just as the Saviour had said.  Some of you shall live to see it come with great glory.  Some of you must die for the testimony of this work and he looked at Lyman White and said to him, “You shall see the Lord and meet him near the corner of the house and laid his hands upon him and blessed him with the visions of heaven.”


Joseph Smith then stepped out on the floor and said, “I now  see God, and Jesus Christ at his right hand, let them kill me, I should not feel death as I am now.”


Joseph put his hands on Harvey Whitlock and ordained him to the high priesthood.  He turned as black as Lyman was white.  His fingers were set like claws.  He went around the room and showed his hands and tried to speak; his eyes were in the shape of oval O’s.  Hyrum Smith said, “Joseph, that is not of God.”  Joseph said, “Do not speak against this.”  “I will not believe,” said Hyrum, “unless you inquire of God and he owns it.”  Joseph bowed his head, and in a short time got up and commanded Satan to leave Harvey, laying his hands upon his head at the same time.  At that very instant an old man said to weigh two hundred and fourteen pounds sitting in the window turned a complete summersault in the house and came his back across a bench and lay helpless.  Joseph told Lyman to cast Satan out.  He did.  The man’s name was Leanon [Leman] Coply [Copley], formally a Quaker [Shaker].  The evil spirit left him and as quick lightning Harvey Green fell bound and screamed like a panther.  Satan  was cast out of him.  But immediately entered someone else.  This continued all day and the greater part of the night.  But to return to the meeting, Joseph said, “Now if you elders have sinned it will do you no good to preach if you have not repented.  Heamon [Heman] Bassett you sit still the Devil wants to sift you. . .”  Then he ordained Jacob Scott and some others to the High Priesthood.  He came to Zebidee [Zebedee] Coltrin and myself and told us that we had another calling as high as any man in the house.  I was glad for that for I was so scared I would not stir without his liberty for all the world.  I knew the things I had seen was not made.


Joseph said that John was to tarry until Christ came.  He is now with the ten tribes preaching to them and when we can get ready for them they will come.


[34]  Joseph Smith called Lyman White [Wight] and laid his hands on his head and say what God should tell him to say.  He did and the blessing was so long I cannot write it.


After this we went down to the house and heard Harvey Whitlock say when Hyrum Smith said it was not God, he disdained him in his heart and when the Devil was cast out he was convinced it was Satan that was in him and he knew then it.  I also heard Harvey Green say that he could not describe the awful feeling he experienced while in the hands of Satan.


On June the fifth [1831] we all assembled on the hill in a field where there was a large concourse of people collected.  Lyman White [Wight] spoke and gave a fine discourse.


The Prophet Joseph said that from time on the elders would have large congregations to speak to and they must soon take their departure into the regions West.  When the meeting was out we went to Gilberts and Solomon sang some songs and we talked with brother Whitmer and told him what happened at the conference.  He asked me if what Joseph had said was fulfilled about someone seeing the Lord.  I told him I considered it so. “Do you?” said he. “Yes sir,” said I. “Were you not there?”  I understood him not.


When night came Solomon and I, Wheeler Baldwin and some others started to my father’s, we walked heavily, some said that they felt as if they would be seized by Satan.  Others that they felt as though the Devil and his angels were hanging about them.  I kept my feelings to myself, until we came to the mill pond of Mr. Fergdsons about a half or a little over the distance we had to go that night.  When we had got against the pond which was about fourteen rods across and very deep, I said, “Let us pray.” So we all kneeled down and prayed around a circle as soon as the last one got through about nine o’clock at night and the moon shown brightly.  A sudden bray of a jackass was heard about twenty feet behind us.  We looked and could see nothing and nothing in the way.  It started toward the pond braying all the time.  I never had seen one in my life and I know that there was none about there for I was well acquainted there.  I heard how they brayed.  The most of our company had seen them.  This braying continued across the pond and ascended the high hills on the other side until it grew less and less distinct until it got out of hearing.


“There,” said Brother Baldwin.  “This proves to me that this work is true, for we all prayed for assistance; the Devil ran away.”  . . .


[35]  We all felt that it must have been Satan, and some said as much.


We then started on our way feeling much better and as light as ever we felt.  We told it to some but it seemed like an idle tale to them.   This took place on the fifth of June 1831.  This may appear strange to some but God knows that I lie not.  Am ready to meet it before the heavens–that night seized me and I thought he would destroy me.  I went to Solomon and he prayed for me, however, I was not bound but awfully tired the next day.


We held meetings that night a revelation came from the Prophet Joseph to many Elders to go to Missouri and preach by the way.


Among the rest was my name with Zebidee Coltrin.  This was a trial indeed for I had not thought of being called upon to go so far.  I had a little money to be sure left, but I spent nearly all for the other Elders that I had traveled with.  I began to think that all I traveled with depended on me for money and I must not look back.  I had just hired a room and moved my tools there.  I had left it nearly filled with furniture and I knew that some people must be disappointed.  All of these things together with a promise to a young lady, wrought on my mind all manner of impressions but when I would think of the old Jack and the man of sin who had been revealed before us all I found myself harnessed and I said, “let all other things go, I will do as I am told in the revelation.”  As soon as I had formed this conclusion I felt better and was determined to do the very best I could.


We immediately started our labors.  We traveled west through Brownhelm.  We preached by the way here in the neighborhood of Brownhelm.


I was told that Jacob Scott, while preaching, threw down the Book of Mormon and jumped on it and said he would go to hell before he would preach it where he was so much persecuted.  At that instant a young woman jumped up and ran about the house and slapped her hands and cried, “Glory.”  Jacob asked her whose side she was on.  “Your side,” she said.


“Well, I am sorry for that,” said he.  He did not turn many from the church in this place.  We went from here to Busyrus having preached only two or three times on the way.  We held some meetings here but was rejected.  We felt very blue and discouraged as my money began to fail and I had not learned to trust in the Lord yet nearly one thousand miles from home.  I had not more than two or three dollars left to depend upon.


[36]  We took west and passed many places, Upper Sinders Bay and Belfountain, where we were rejected.  When we had got to Solon, Shelly County, Ohio, Zebidee Coltrin said, “look at that old man yonder splitting rails.”  I looked at him.  “That man will take us in,” said he.  We started toward him and saw him working.  I asked him if he didn’t want to hire us to help him for awhile.  “We are preachers but nevertheless we are willing to work when we can’t get a living by our profession.”


“Well,” said he, “I want to make some inquiries.  Did you ever hear of the Golden Bible?”


“You mean the Book of Mormon, I suppose?  We have that book with us.”  He dropped his batte and wedges and said, “Come with me.”  We went to his house where his wife soon prepared us one of the choicest meals.  While eating we talked of many things.  He told us his name was Kirkland and that he had a niece who belonged to the church and had written to him.  He read us the letter.  She had told all about the church and had given a true statement of the whole affair so humble and sincerely as to impress him so that he would not get it out of his mind.


Mr. Kirkland was so happy and thankful for us to be able to tell him more about this wonderful church that he immediately went to all his neighbors and invited them to come and hear us.  We had a large congregation to address.  The following Sunday while I was speaking there came a flash of lightening followed by a tremendous clap of thunder, many jumped up, but soon all was quiet and still again and both of us bore our testimony and told what we know and proved as well as we could the work from the Bible.


Mr. Kirkland’s wife came forward and was baptised.  Her name was Hannah.  We stayed there in that neighborhood for many days holding meetings and preaching every chance we could.  When Parley P. Pratt and his brother Orson came we got them to stay and preach a time or two.


We then started on our way together but as soon as we came to the first fork in the road, Parley said, “it is contrary to counsel to travel on the road together,” so it was necessary to part.


“Oh, how I loved that man who baptised me.  The first time I saw him he looked like an angel to me.  I would not have any other man baptise me.  Although his enemies called him the worst of men.  I heard some say, if he would let them shoot at him, they would believe [37] him if they could not hit him.  I rebuked them on the spot and told them the Son of God was killed as so was his disciples and it would not make an imposter of him if they should shoot him.  Some of these men came into the church but were not faithful and left again in a short time.


Before we parted however, we went to the big Hiama River and bathed together.  Then Zebidee and I went to Sidney and inquired the way to Indianapolis, Indiana.  We traveled on and went through Greenville in Dark County which stands on a small branch of the Miami River running southwest.  Here we stayed and viewed an ancient fortification the people said they thought they were made by some of the Americans a long time ago, in some of their wars with the Indians.  This was a good chance to bear our testimonies.  The people told us about a man in the country west of the branch who was almost crazy on account of his soul.  He said, there was so many religions that he didn’t know what to do.  No person could comfort him.


We went to see him.  We found that he knew the Bible by heart almost and was one of the most sensible men I ever saw at times and he appeared quite rational.  He said, “you are men sent to administer the words of eternal life to me and I want to be baptised.”


We explained the Gospel to him a while longer, then went to where there was water to baptise him.  He appeared to be very sensible.  We told him how unpopular the Gospel of Jesus Christ was and that he would be persecuted.  But that he must not give ear to what the worldly men would say for they would surely try to destroy his faith.


He said, he was aware of that and then gave us an invitation to eat with him.  While we were eating we gave him a good council as we knew how and warned him to always be prayerful and trust the Lord.  After we were through eating we bid him, and his family good-bye and gave them our blessing and was on our way.


His friends said they were glad we had come and wished us well.  This man’s name was Earheart.


We then went to Winchester in Randolph County, Indiana and stopped at the county seat on the head waters of the White River.  We saw there a school master and introduced the Gospel to him.  He was so well pleased with the message that he spread the news as fast as possible and called a meeting.  After the meeting he wanted to be baptised, so we went to the water with him and baptised him.  Soon after this we were happy to hear that nearly all the people wanted [38] to hear us so we went to the court house and got permission to hold a meeting there. After this meeting we were able to baptise several others.


By this time we were getting to look pretty shabby as our clothes had become so old, our stockings were nearly worn out and our money gone.  But we were among friends and we were serving the Lord with the faith that he would take care of us.


One of the old settlers invited me to go see his wife and talk to her, so I went and talked for some time with her.  As I was ready to leave she gave me a pair of warm socks.  The first time I ever had given to me in my life, to my remembrance; and if I had had the means to pay her I should have offered to pay her.


Parley P. Pratt once let me have a Book of Mormon and before I could pay for it he was gone.  I read it once and then someone else got it.  I was not used to having anyone give me anything.


Zebidee and I held another meeting and after we were through I was informed that one man brought some cloth for me, some pants and a shirt.  This was in the forepart of July.  We continued to preach here in the region and around about, until we had raised a large branch of the Church.


We were sent for from the Ward township.  We went there and in a short time we had in both places about one hundred members.  Among them was a man by the name of Jones and his wife.  He told me that he was through the Revolutionary War, that he was a bodyguard once for George Washington.  He told me many things about the war, which was very interesting.  I told him my message and we discussed the Gospel for some time then he asked for baptism and I baptised him.  Afterwards he said he had something for me.  He had saved a watermelon on purpose for me so he now went and picked it.


He was so grateful to me.  It appeared to do him good to see me enjoying the watermelon, as if he were feeding an angel.  He was so thankful to be baptised and felt the spirit of the Lord with him.  I had no Elder with me at this time.


Soon after this we thought we should leave here as we had done all we could in Winchester.  The people were growing hard and had threatened to mob us but had not done it yet.  I will now mention a time when we thought they were going to harm us.  It was almost dark and I was crossing the public square.  I saw a company of men [39] standing at the tavern door talking when one man came up to me and wanted me to stop.  He handed me a letter.  It read as follows: Dear Sir: We have been reading your new Bible and find it to be a piece of nonsense and we understand you are looking for the New Jerusalem.  We inform you it is not here; and you must leave this place before tomorrow at then 10 o’clock or we will have something to reveal to you, far beyond the Book of Mormon.  You may take Mr. Brindle with you–(Mr. Brindle was the one we baptised there) if you have any use for such an ass to pack your religion on.”  It was signed, “The Public.”


I showed the letter to Zebidee and asked him what we should do.  He said, “I’ll stay and fill our appointment if you will?”  We had an appointment at eleven the next morning and we were warned to leave town at ten.  We had put our meeting off until eleven in order that some farmers could come to it.


I told Zebidee that I was willing to stay.  The next morning Sunday came and we were prepared for the worst.  It was my turn to speak and I sang too.  Zebidee gave the prayer.  Bill Walker placed himself at the door and looked as surly as a bull; he was my friend.  He said nothing, but something said to me, that I would not be hurt.  So I commenced talking and soon forgot myself and said what came to my heart.  I mounted the bench and walked in among the same crows who had written that letter.  I said, “You wrote to warn me to leave this place before then, but you see I am still here.  What I said before this I know not.  I was heated up, until I cared little what came.  I said, “my Father fought for liberty you now enjoy and you want to deprive me of the liberty that rightly belongs to me.  I am a son of the only man who survived the great struggle for independence, who belonged to the family, and I am a cousin to the first man who signed the Declaration of Independence.  Now if you want to reveal anything to me, come on, I am ready.” I felt as independent as if I sat down and Zebidee then took hold of the subject and gave a good sermon.  He opened the door for baptism.  We felt the spirit of the Lord there with us.  After the meeting we went to the water and baptised seventeen out of that crowd, who the day before were going to mob us.


It is now in the month of August that I made this last account.


Mr. Jones showed me his cornfield and cut down one stalk that measured one rod.  It was the tallest corn I had ever seen.  I think there was none in the field any longer.  This was on a branch, he says, of the head waters of the Wabash.


[40]  I took a route through the country with a brother by the name of Burket and was called upon to preach a funeral sermon for a child who had died.  I did not know what to do for I had never done this before but I trusted the Lord and did the best I could.  I did not know that a gospel sermon would do and I liked to have been backed; but I believe the people were satisfied.  Brother Burket bore his testimony.  I wanted Zebidee along, but he was in Winchester.


We left here and went to Muncetown, and held a meeting.  Afterwards we went to Winchester where we found Zebidee sick so we did not start on our journey until about the first of September.  We stopped in Muncetown and held meeting, then continued our journey west.


We made a little raise of money and was determined to reach Indianapolis as soon as we could.  We did not attempt to preach much on the way, until we felt better as we were both of us nearly worn out speaking.  However, we called to a preachers house where he invited us to come in the town of Musidy (?).  He thought he could use us both up in one night I suppose, as quick as he had some Secterians, as he called them.  He had a church of his own settled around him and he felt at home.  He had heard us preach before and we thought he wanted to show himself before his people smart enough to silence us.  He stated that he had got us there on purpose to show us our folly, in trying to preach the Book of Mormon.


He said, “Now I must be plain, it is my duty to be plain.”  And I will inform you first of all that you will find me a crooked stick, to begin with.  Addressing himself to me, then he paused a moment.


When I made him this reply, “We read that crooked must be made straight.”  It confounded him so much that he let us say what we would.  He would not try to contend with us.  He gave what we wanted to eat that night.  We also stayed the night with him and had breakfast with him.  We then went on our way.


We traveled down the White River.  Sometimes we stopped and had conversations with those we met along the way about the Book of Mormon.  We found them not inclined to believe much but treated us well.  It seemed that they had bought new farms and their minds were all on them.  We did no more than bear our testimony and go on.  One morning as we were traveling the road by a marsh, I looked down the road and saw something like a snake making its way towards Zebidee.  It was not over eight inches long, it was a fast runner.  I never saw the like before.  When Zebidee would turn toward him he would stop still and flatten himself as flat as if a wagon had run over him.  As soon as we would [41] start on, it would run after us.  Zebidee said, “he must be a poisonous creature or he would not want to make war with us.”  We concluded it must be a viperous animal but thought we would not kill it, but let it go although it was so spiteful.  It is thought by some of the Saints to be a sin to kill anything; so we try to cultivate this same feeling and go on rejoicing, “live and let live.”


We soon arrived in Indianapolis.  We thought that the people who lived there could stand more than we could, for when we entered the city, it seemed that the scent of the privies, would suffocate us before we could get through.  We hastened as fast as possible on the National road, until we came to the large stream ill, standing on the east bank of the White River.  Here we stopped in the street and looked at that topsy building until we were satisfied.  We crossed the river and traveled until night and put up.  We passed through one hard time, but the prospect now appears to look better as we have had a good turnpike to travel on about half the way from Indianapolis to Lorihout (?), could be Torihout.  We put up and after we had told that we were preachers we were invited to preach.  It was my turn to speak first.  That night there was five methodist preachers come to hear.  They said nothing.  They were on their way to Indianapolis.  I warned them to preach the Gospel if they preached anything and showed them what the Gospel was as well as I was able and spoke from these words.  If I or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel than what we have preached, let him a cursed.  This text has been the club used by our foes to put down Mormonism.


Zebidee said, he wondered that they had not attacked me, he was surprised that they said nothing.


There was one woman there who told another lady, if she had known we were preachers she would not have asked us anything for our supper.  She lived not far from there.  We ate at her house before we put up for the night.  This other lady said to her, “give them their money back and they will forgive you, don’t feel bad about it.”  She said nothing about it.  The other woman said she hated hypocrisy.  She gave lodging and breakfast for us and asked nothing for it.  We left that place with the best of feelings, and had considerable to say about the woman who felt so badly about taking money from the preachers but could not offer it back.


There is many new towns laid out on this road and but few settlers.  I do not take time to put down their names but pass on toward Tanihout, we began to come to where the road is worked by heads appears to be let to companies to work many places.  It was bad traveling.  About [42] the middle of September we got insight of Tanihout.  We learned that Zebidee had an uncle and cousins living about three miles northeast from there.  We took that course and soon came to his house.  They appeared to be glad to see us and treated us well.  We stayed some time with them and preached some four times in the neighborhood.  When we had rested we started on our journey.  We passed through towns and kept on the National Road passed through Vandalis and soon got to St. Louis, here we bought some bread to last us for a day or two.  We started then for St. Charles ten miles distance.


This is the forepart of October.  It is warm and pleasant.  I came to a tree filled with beautiful fruit, red on one side and yellow on the other.  I was dry and hungry so I stopped up to my tree and picked some fruit and began to eat it.  It drew my face into all manner of shapes.  I did not know what to make of it.  I did not know but what the Lord wanted to make such fruit for.  I thought it was something made in vain.  I threw the fruit away and tried to straighten my face.  I made all the attempts to do it but couldn’t.  Zebidee laughed and made many expressions about me before the pucker left my mouth.  About this time my feet were nearly blistered around not over an inch and half remained sound and that was in the hallow of my feet.  It was agony to walk and I could but just walk.


Zebidee got almost out of patience with me.  My head would ache and I felt as if I could not go any farther.  At times the corruption would gush out of my shoes and everything would dark to me.  I would call on him to pray for me.  My brain would appear to be tormented and the sun would not give more light than the moon in a light night.  I said, “what will become of me, I am so sick I can’t go on.” I prayed all the way and called on him to pray for me.


Everytime I would ask Zebidee to pray, he would scold and find fault; sometimes he would tell me it was the Devil and that would scare me.  I would try to think of all the mean things I had done and then I could find nothing that meant sin.  I know I was liable in many instances to err but to say I had done wickedly on purpose I could not.  I then thought considerable on a promise I had partly made to a young lady before I left Rome.  I did not know but I ought to have told Joseph Smith about it before I started and see what he would have said.  Although she was none the worse for me.  Yet giving encouragement and leaving as I did, it might cause her to go to hell and God would hold me accountable.  All this worked in my mind together with what Zebidee would say and liked to have run me to distraction.  I began to think God cared nothing for me.  I could not walk but a little ways in a day our money was the greater part spent and we were a long distance from [43] Jackson County.  We continued this way until we had got to Boon County, nearly the center of the State of Missouri and I could stand it no longer.  I concluded I would stop.  I gace Zebidee all, every cent of my money did I sacrifice to him.  I told him I would die or find some friends to visit me till I got well.


He took the money and followed after me.  I saw a beautiful plantation, ahead or a comfortable looking house at the right.  I hobbled to the house and knocked at the door.  A pleasant voice said, “come in.”


The first words I said were, “I am sick will you let me stay with you till I get well or die?”  “I am a cabinet maker and if I get well I will work for you until you are paid satisfactorily.”


“Oh yes, my friend,” said the man, “take a chair.”


Zebidee saw that I had found friends and a place to stay until I could get well.  He then bid us goodbye and went on his way.


The old man went to his beauro and took down a decanter and poured out himself and me a good dram and said, “come, sir drink,” and wished me better again.  He wished a better acquaintance.  This was a happy introduction to friends, I said.  We drank and then commenced our conversation.  I told him who I was and what I had been doing.  How I was on my way to find my people.  I told him how I had suffered on the way.  I took my shoes off and showed him my feet.  He told me the name of the fruit I had eaten some days back on the road that drew my mouth in such a shape.  He said the fruit was good in its season and after the frosts came it would be good to eat.  He called it Persimon.  He appeared to take pleasure in doing good for me.  His son gathered some Hickory nuts and told me to eat all I wanted.  His wife was a queen, for she washed and mended my clothes.  I soon learned his name was Thomas Thraelkill.  I said my father’s name was Thomas too, and I had a brother by that name also.


The news soon went through the neighborhood that a Mormon Elder was in the place so I soon began to have visitors.  I told them I did not feel like talking for a while.  I had been sick and was weak and faint.  He said I need not talk.


One preacher came and Mr. Thraelkill said he would like to have me use him up, if I could.  The preacher asked me a few questions and I answered him.  He did not appear to be hard and we parted as friends.


[44]  After I had been there about one week, I wanted to see Zebidee and thought of the good times together.  I still had a headache when I attended to anything.  By this time my feet began to peel.  I tore off skin from one to two inches long, my feet looked like an infants flesh.  I could not rest for the disorder in my brain.  One night as I was in a doze and felt a little better, and I saw Samuel Smith coming toward me and said, “Brother Levi,” and laid his hands on my hand and I felt the power of the spirit come on me and I was filled full.  From this time on I began to feel better and come to my senses.  I then began to realize what trouble Zebidee had in trying to get me along the road.  I felt to forgive him and all men, I praised God in my heart and knew then God had not forgotten me but my faith was not sufficient since I was first taken ill and grew worse every day until now.  It was death to my spirit to be in the pain I was then in.  I was so thankful to be improving and felt it was through prayer.


It was now the middle of October and I went to Mr. Thraelkill and told him I felt like working if he would get some timber.  He got some and I started to work on some bedsteads.


Around this time some men came and inquired for me.  I knew their voices and found they were Thomas B. Marsh and Cyrus Daniels; they stayed all night and we had a good visit.  Cyrus gave me two dollars before they left the next morning.


I continued to work until I had finished five bedsteads.  I asked Mr. Thraelkill if he was satisfied that I had paid for my keep.  He said, “yes,” he was.


His son told me how he had saved me from getting a whipping.  He said when I was turning some bedstead posts, there was a man kept around watching you for a chance to knock you down.  I told him not to.  He said he thought he had to knock me down first and gave it up.  I thanked him and the old man said, “when you go I want to see you first.”  I told him I was leaving the next morning.  His son said, “don’t go this winter.  I will harness the horses and will take you among the young folks and it shan’t cost you one cent.”  Indeed he appeared more like a brother than anybody else.


In the morning the old man shook hands with me and put a number of small pieces of money into my hand, and said, “this may come in handy, goodbye.”  “My wife don’t mean to leave you yet, she is going with you a mile or two.”


[45]  We started on our way, she walked with me a awhile then got one of her neighbor women to walk us to the forks of the road, when Mrs. Thraelkill said, “this is your road sir.  I am going on a short distance on this road (right hand).  I wish you prosperity and health,” as she shook my hand.


I said, “the same to you and your people, you have been good friends indeed.”  As we parted I thought to myself, Oh, I could never see such friends miserable and I in happiness.  It was a pleasant day in November.  I traveled on with speed until I came to the Ferry in Nowerd County, the river Missouri was low, the ferryman said.  It was clear then.  I had heard that it was very muddy.  I had crossed it once near its mouth, but have no recollection farther than here.  I did not travel so fast now as my head began to be bewildered, the sun appeared dark.  I got out of my road frequently but would try with all my might to exercise my reason and go ahead.  I saw in a distance a house which looked comfortable.  I thought I would stop.  I soon found that it was a kind of tavern.  I took off my pack and sat down.  The landlord saw I was not well.  I found that he was one of those holy religious characters, I had often heard of, whose God was the world.


With great pretentions I did not converse with him.  The spirit would not let me.  In the evening there came in a man going to Jackson County.  He was loaded with salt.  This man swore more than anyone I had ever heard before and I was not used to it, but I ventured to ask him for a ride and he freely let me get on his barrels and ride.  He let me take his blankets and he traveled beside his team and when I would get rested I would get out and run ahead of his team.  We put up one night in what was called Victory Grave.  The woman there said there had been a man by the name of Solomon Hancock who stayed there last summer.  I told him he was a brother of mine.  She though he was a mighty fine man, she said.


I started the next morning and traveled and rode some of the way until I came to the forks of the road, then the man told me the way to Independence, Missouri and would take nothing for my ride with him.


I traveled the distance of about five miles and came to the Temple lot where some of the Saints lived and I soon was able to find Zebidee.  He was glad to see me, and I was to see him.  We prayed together and he soon took me to Sister Gilberts.  She showed me a revelation given in August, which read something like this: “Let the residue of the Elders of the Church which are coming to the land, some of whom are exceedingly blessed even above measure.  Also take hold a [46] conference upon this land.  There, said she, that means you brother Levi, Zebidee, Simeon and Solomon.  Joseph gave this when you were seven hundred miles away.  Everybody says you are blessed.  I also saw other Revelations he had given.  She showed me one and said, “There is a piece for you and Zebidee.”  It read: “And now I speak of those Elders who have not yet come to the land of Zion for the Testimony you have born is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon, and your sins are forgiven you.”  She said, some were tried when these words came and their faith almost failed them because they had heard that nothing was done.  Many had apostatized and there was but four behind Solomon Hancock, Simeon Carter, Zebidee Coltrine and myself.


As soon as the news had come that Solomon and Simeon had baptized between twenty and thirty souls, it revived their drooping spirits.  And as soon as they heard that Zebidee and Levi had baptized upwards of one hundred.  Sidney Rigdon gave glory to the God of heaven, and said, “I did not know what those Revelations meant before.  All of this did not make me well and as for the work I never did doubt it from the first time I saw Parley P. Pratt and heard him preach and no man can make me believe that and my vision that confirmed me in it.  Also the transfiguration of some in Kirtland.  I have to be honest before God and do all the good I can for his kingdom or woe is me.  I care not for the world nor what they say.  They have to meet my Testimony at the Judgement seat.  I mean that my conduct shall be such that my words will be believed, the Lord being my helper.  But the distress in my head is such that I cannot remember anything I hear but I believe I shall one day enjoy myself in health yet.  I am not easily discouraged.  I want to go to work at my trade and soon Brother Gilbert got me to work on his store.  In a short time Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer came and Gilbert told them I was just the man to build the printing works.  I told them if they knew how they wanted it done, I could do it.  Oliver gave me the plans and I began to work on it and was soon finished.  I was able to build many things for the Brethren in this place.  Brother Gilbert gave me his old satin coat to last me home.


Oliver Cowdery gave me five books of Mormon.  From them I saved one for myself and sold the other four.  When I had got through Bishop Partridge asked me to go with him and see the land and thought it looked good.


I went to Lyman Whites, in his neighborhood we held our conference.  I then went to Independence.  I stayed at Seelah Griffins and [47] in the night I thought I talked with God.  I told him he might do with me as he chose.  About this moment something told me God was my friend and I had faith given to me and there came a light and entered into my head and body.  I thought I could see out of my fingers as well as my eyes.  I had my eyes quickened.  I could see as well as I ever could before.


I have been here nearly two months and Bishop Partridge has given me ten dollars to go home on and about the middle of the month we started.  Oliver Cowdery came and gave me words of consolation.  He told me God would be with me. . . to go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  W. W. Phelps also gave me such a lot of good advice and instructions.


The middle of January class came and Parley P. Pratt and I were appointed to go together.  On the day designated we started and traveled twelve miles and put up for the night.  Parley had been sick and was not strong as usual.  The next day we went across a large prairie and came to a grove of trees.  We stopped there and held a meeting where Parley preached a fine sermon and I bore testimony.  We stayed at this place overnight.


The next morning we continued down on the south side of the Missouri River and we were overtaken by Lyman White and John Murdock.  Parley and Lyman tarried behind and John and I went on as fast as we could.  The houses were so scattered that we could not do any better than to preach by firesides.  We were treated well sometimes and other times not so friendly.  Some places we stayed they would ask pay and sometimes not.


I took turns traveling with Lyman and John.  Lyman and I went into Jefferson City and stayed a little North of the State House.  Held meetings and one old lady said, it looks so much like the Catholics.  She liked the doctrine for we had a priesthood and found we neither one knew too much about it and felt we should do more studying.  I soon perceived that I knew what it was but did not understand it, and he could give then no light on it.


I remember seeing a little negro boy in the cold, carrying a pail of water.  It was early in the morning and he was cryin-, his hands were so cold.  He would first blow on one hand then the other, taking turns holding the pail.  We thought that if the white children had to do that their parents would think it cruel, but that little fellow had no one to pity him but the poor despised Mormons, and he didn’t know that.


We traveled to the Osaga River and waited a long time before we [48] could get anybody to take us across.  At length we saw a man.  We hollered and called as loud as we could before he heard.  He then went to his canoe and came after us.  We got in and felt as we would soon have a rest.  It was John Murdock who was with me at this time.


We traveled slowly and continued to preach to the people whenever we got a chance.  The people we met were good livers if they were a mind to be but the way they managed was more like beasts than like humans.  They had dogs, horses, cows and pigs and chickens in abundance around the house and in the house and mixed together; in the cold weather doors were open night and day.  Snow flying and wind blowing through the cracks were not chinked.  They used rags for beds, ground for floors.  The children were ragged and dirty.  They had corn pudding and dogger to eat with a little bacon and sasafras tea–is the people living here.


When they have an abundance of horses, cattle and cows they might spare and make themselves and family comfortable.  Land is all they want.


We have suffered with the cold extremely on our way.  We have got among the Gosconad Mountains or high hills.  We ascended the first about one fourth mile and wound around on the backbone ridge until we came to some houses where we found lodging for the night.  In the morning we continued on our way over the highlands until we came to Gosconad River.  We could not cross over and we were nearly frozen.  We chased each other around a tree until we made the people on the other side hear.  One man came and took us over in his boat.  We felt so thankful to get to a fire as we had been out in the cold so long and were about frozen.


It is now the month of February and we begin to have better times.  I have carried John Murdock sick on my back sometimes over the waters.  We had many trials and had to have a lot of faith to be able to stand the test we were put to.


Parley and John are now companions and Lyman White and myself.  We started to St. Louis together.  The towns and farms we pass look like living.  We held many meetings but no converts could we make.  The people were all very religious and will let us stay with them for our money.  We went to the city of St. Louis and to the priests, they were they worst of all.  We had to talk with five of the Methodist preachers.  They felt as large as Lucipher and to appear once we warned them and left.  We crossed the river and put up for the night in [49] Glanoice at a tavern.  We stayed there for four days and preached several times.  When we left our bill was only four dollars.  Our landlords said that he freely gave that to us.  We then went on our way to Vendolia.  We were told here that one man undertook to cross the river Kaskaska and died in sight of town.  In the morning we have to try it.  Two miles across the bottom where we have to wade it.  Morning came and we walked to the water determined to go it.  We traveled sometimes waist deep then on tree tops.  I asked Lyman, what our sectarian preachers would say, if they had to do as we did.  They thought it was hard to have to ride through rain and snow and would talk and sing about it for years.


We had to go on foot, find our cash, shoes and clothes, wade rivers and carry each other on our backs when sick in the winter time, too.  If a man was capable he could tell a story worth hearing and then stories that would be nonsense for we had many laughs and fun as well.  On the tree tops Lyman made many observations and those acquainted with Lyman knows he could answer questions and give them.  I will not try to record these funny things that happened.


About 12 noon this day we came to the high banks where stood a log cabin, here we stopped as wet as if we had swam the river.  We enjoyed ourselves as well as we could.  Told our stories about the doctrine of the church and bore our testimonies.  We paid our bill and started on our journey preaching as we went.  We met a man who pretended to be our friend–said he had friends at Tarihaut.  He was out of money and so we paid his bill and let him have some money to bear his expense through.  We were to preach by the way as we stopped to preach.  This man left and we never saw him again.  We heard he got drunk in Tarihaut.


We held a few meetings in Tarihaut and then went on our way.  We passed through Indianapolis and went to Winchester.  Here the brethren were in a confused state, some dissatisfaction had arisen between some of the members and there became two sides a war of words was the consequences.  I tried all I could to stay their feelings.  They made complaints concerning an Elder who had been sent from Kirtland there to regulate the affairs of the church.  It was said, that he came to Winchester and heard one side and called a vote and disfellowshipped the other and they were angry about it.  The Devil took this advantage and made them enemies.  I felt sorrowful.  They all treated Lyman and me well.  We did the best we could there to help them.


Lyman started for Cincinnati on the Ohio River and I went to [50]

Greenville and held one meeting there.  In the evening was asked to hold another.  The candles were blown out, some began to dance, some came toward the stand where another young Elder and I were.  This young Elder had just got into town, and this was the first we had met.  We dodged among them and under some arms till we came to the door and ran to the woods to pray.  We prayed together then went to some friends and stayed all night.


In the morning I left my young friend and started for Dayton, Ohio.  I preached as often as I could whenever I got a chance, until I got to Rome, Ohio, Ashtabula County, among my old acquaintances.


On the first day of May I met one man who said, I had come on the day I had written I should get back from Missouri.  I had not thought of it since I wrote.  I was glad of it but was sorry the people had made such destruction of my property.  All my property was scattered to the four winds, tools and all for pretended claims, where I owed not one cent justly, it cost half to get the rest back or nearly that.


I went to painting and working at my trade.  I was soon able to clothe myself and built me a wagon.  I sold my land to a man from the other part of town that in New Lyme they knew nothing of.


I settled with all men there and left and went to Rome lived awhile with John Reed then went to Chagrin and stopped with Solomon for a few days when the Prophet Joseph Smith sent for me.  I went and saw him again and had a conversation with him.  Heard him tell about him being mobbed in Hiram and how they pulled the hair out of his head then he showed me the place where they had pulled the hair out of.  He said they poured Aqafortis down him, he thought.  I said, “While I was in Cleveland I heard some laughing about it, who said the devil must have gotten the better of the Lord that time.  I told them I thought he did once before when they killed the Son of God and his Disciples too.  I did not consider that proved him an imposter.  I never saw men so much confounded.  I said no more but all eyes were on me while I stayed at the house.”


I found Sidney Rigdon enjoying himself better than he did when I stopped to see him on my way back.  He then took me by the hand and exclaimed, “You are the favored of the Lord.”   He said he was chastened but hoped the Lord would be favorable to him.  Joseph had now raised him on high.  I was glad for him.  I told Joseph how I had felt on the way.  I also told him about the girl that I left and how sorry I had been that I did not tell him before I went.  He said not to mind that the Lord had a girl for me that would suit me [51]  better than she would if I had married her.  “I hope you will not marry soon.  I want you to do some work for me.” I told him I would do the work and was soon to work building his desk and room.


He [Sidney Rigdon] needed money and so I filled his hand with all the remains of my land in Rome.  He said, he would give me his note for it.  I told him be was welcome to it.


I was with him [Sidney Rigdon] through the translation of the Bible.  I went to the school of the Prophets.  Orson Hyde was with us this winter.  After I finished the school room Joseph offered to let me trade out of Whitney’s store.  I told him I would pay for all I purchased and I did do it.


The Prophet Joseph was often in trouble.  If his friends gave him money, he [was] stripped of it all by his enemies.  I know for I did all I could do to hold up that good man.  My heart would ache for him.  He had to stand against thousands of his pretended friends seeking to overthrow him.  It was terrible the abuse he suffered.


Bishop Whitney also was cursed by some when he did his best to hold up Joseph.  He would suffer himself to be slandered to save the Prophet from trouble.  All this I know I have witnesseth.  I am bad enough but thank God I never sought to harm any man.  I know it is not in my heart to wish the Prophet Joseph or any man who is his friend in any trouble.


About this time Joseph called on me to go to Rome with a hired girl by the name of Clarrissa Reed, who had been living with him.  I went and returned with her in about two weeks.  He then said I must go with Evin Green.  We started by the way of Chardon and preached by the way.  The snow came and it began to get cold to travel, but we went as far as we could get and returned back.  Joseph talked plain to me for not pressing forward into Pennsylvania.  I told him that I was to blame for I had had a dream as you ever had.  You do as I now tell you to and you will come out alright.  He gave me to understand how the comforter would comfort the mind of man when asleep whether it meant anything or not and Satan accused good people.  He said go again and we started forthwith for Pennsylvania.  We went as far as Painesville and stayed the night.  The next day it snowed all day and we had to wallow through drifts and at times it seemed almost impossible.  It seemed that the Devil was determined to discourage us.  We tried to get the privilege of laying by the fire but no, we could not.  We were among the people called Campbellites.  Seven [52] times we were turned down at the doors.  The eighth time we got in to stay all night.  One of the Holy men came in who had turned us down, and by his actions we thought he intended to have us turned out again.  But we were able to spend the night there and in the morning the woman gave us a nut cake each.  That was all we could get from the time we left Painesville.  Nothing but starvation stared us in the face.  We were then determined to trust the Lord.  The first thing we knew we came across two of our brethren traveling into Pennsylvania.  They gave us some bread and meat.  We traveled on until night and put up.  The elders paid our bill and in the morning we started early.  We traveled until we heard of a man by the name of Hartshorn who was a Mormon.  We felt glad, he was about six miles ahead so we quickened our pace and got there that day.  He was a friend but his wife was an enemy.  His son found much fault.  We held a meeting and found the people more than tender.  We went from neighborhood to neighborhood preaching.  We were treated very well all through the land about.


When the time came for us to open the door to baptism, Lyman Johnson came along.  We asked him to preach, he opened the door and baptized all we had labored with except two who chose to have me baptize them.  Lyman returned to Kirtland and never mentioned Evin or Levi or their good works.


I asked the prophet Joseph about such a case.  He said  the laborer who first labored with the people would in the end get the blessing.  I did not tell him what happened, for I felt the Lord, knew who had put forth the efforts.


It is now March 1833 and we had not a place to worship in.  Jared Carter went around with a subscription paper to get signers.  I signed up two dollars.  He made up a little more than thirty dollars and presented it to Joseph.  The Lord would not accept it but gave a command to build a Temple.


I helped my father to move to Kirtland.  I had married Miss Clarrissa Reed on the 29th of March 1833.  I had obligations against the estate of three hundred dollars.  I told my folks to sell and send the money to Zion on all they could spare.  They did it and I gave up the note.  Father bought a place in the town of Kirtland.  My wife and I lived with them.  I signed a note for fifty dollars toward the Temple and went to work on the Temple whenever I could.  I had nothing now to begin with so went to work out and soon bought a cow and made enough money to make myself comfortable through the summer.


[53]  In the fall I had to guard the [Kirtland] Temple walls for some men had threatened to tear it down and at times it grew worse and worse.  News came that our printing office was torn down and sorrow was depicted on the face of all the Saints.


This was in the fall of 1833.  We kept hearing from time to time of the situation of our friends and learned that many were settling in Clay County.


In October the meteors fell all night.  Then I began to  prophecy to the astonishment of all my father’s house that God would save our friends and this is to show us what he can do.  Joseph said, “We must go and see them and if necessary we would fight the mob.”  He said to me, “Now that you have a wife, don’t say you can’t go.”  I said my wife shan’t hinder me and went and bought me a rifle and sword.  I armed myself for battle.  All mechanics were busily engaged in making implements of war all winter, to be prepared in the spring to travel to Missouri to replace our brethren upon their land, if there were law abiding men enough in that state to assist us.


On the ninth of April 1834, we had a son born near the middle of the day; Lyman White named him Mosiah Lyman.  I then began to prepare to travel [Zion’s Camp] and on the first of May bid my folks farewell and started for Portage County, some forty miles from Kirtland.  Here we gathered and organized for marching.  Our money was then thrown together and put in the hands of those appointed to buy our provisions.  I was appointed cook for Sylvester Smith’s mess.  In this way we traveled being directed by the Prophet in peace until Sylvester lost the spirit of peace and became dissatisfied with John Carter and called him an old jackass and many other names which soon brought dissatisfaction in our tent.  Some dared to express their feelings until Joseph rebuked them and told him that he was guilty of sowing the seeds of discord.  He said if Joseph was a Prophet he was not afraid and would contradict him in the face of all present.  Joseph said, “If I have not told you the truth then God never spoke by me,” and walked off.  We all said that is enough.  We believed Joseph.  Sylvester became more calm and acted like a saint; for sometime we had peace.


We had our morning and evening prayers.  When we had got to Busyrus, a considerable size of town, in the western part of Ohio, many conjectors were formed concerning us and many questions, asked us as we were traveling.  I heard one man say “It looks like the camp of Israel.”  Another said as he looked at us, “Well, I guess some place must have taken a Wammet.”  Another said, “The North has [54] given up.”  We did not stop but continued on our march westward passing many places I had traveled before and held meetings in.  Nothing occurred of any account until we got in Illinois when Joseph said, in our tent, “I want you to remember what I say to you.  The Lord is going to give us dry weather now until we get through.  He has given rains that there might be water on the prairies.  You will see the movings of the Lord in our favor all the way through.”  It began to be very pleasant and soon we entered on the wide prairies camping and holding meetings on Sunday.  Once we had many listeners from the county who listened to the preaching of Orson Hyde.  Joseph Young and others of different sects who were bound to preach peace and exhorted the people to believe in God and do what is right.


Next morning we started on our journey in good spirits.  On the way to Illinois River where we camped on the west side.  In the morning many went to see the big mound about a mile below the crossing.  I did not go on it but saw some bones that were brought back with a broken arrow.  They were laid down by our camp.  Joseph Smith addressing himself to Sylvester Smith and said, “This is what I told you and now I want to tell you that you may know what I meant.  This land was called the land of desolation and Onedages was the King and a good man was he.  There in that mound did he bury his dead and did not dig holes as the people do now, but they brought their dirt and covered them until you see they have raised it to be about one hundred feet high.  The last man buried was Zelf or Telf.  He was a white Lamanite who fought with the people of Onedagus for freedom.  When he was a young man he was a great warrior and had his thigh broken and never was set.  It knitted together as you see on the side.  He fought after it got strength until he lost every tooth in his head save one, when the Lord said he had done enough and suffered him to be killed by that arrow you took from his breast.  These words he said as the camp was moving off the mounds as near as I could learn he had told them something about the mound and got them to go and see it for themselves.  I then remembered what he had said a few days before while passing many mounds on our way that was left of us.  Said he, “These are the bodies of wicked men who have died and are angry at us and if they can take the advantage of us they will, for if we live they will have no hope.”  I could not comprehend it, but supposed it was alright.


We continued our march westward until we came to the Mississippi River opposite of Louisiana and camped.  The next day we crossed over and camped about one mile west of town.  I had made me an Elder fife that day and played some marches on the way to the camp, being led by Sylvester Smith.  As soon as we came in sight of camp a dog came, he began to bark and ran to Sylvester and tried to bite him. [55] It made me mad and he said he would kill that dog.  Joseph said he should not, and he would whip any man who would do it.  If Sylvester had a good spirit he could get along without being bit.  It was by a man’s being overcome with such a spirit that caused him to always try to take vengeance and seek an opportunity to do it and take life.  Such spirit kept men in misery.  Sylvester would not believe it.  Joseph said, “If you do not get rid of that feeling you will have your flesh eaten off from you and you cannot help it.”  He would not believe Joseph yet.


Once after this Joseph on the same principle said, “If a man should have to fight in self-defense and kill his enemy he should say in his heart, I wish it might have been otherwise but you sought to take my life and would not let me alone and I was obliged to take yours.”  And said, “If you ever go to battle and are prospered over your enemies and slay them I fear you will be tempted to boast.  If you should boast of your own strength I fear God will leave you.”


This was in the month of June and we traveled about twenty miles and camped in the Alred Settlement.  We stayed here several days and I worked on guns and made a flag staff and put on it a white flag tipped with red.  On our way I put on it an Eagle and printed the words “Peace” in big letters.  When we passed settlements many would come and exclaim “peace” and walk off, until we came to the Western part of the state where they were bitter enough.


We had now in our camp two hundred and five (2O5) and truly we had seen the hand of God in our favor all the way.  Once in particular, when we had camped without in the middle of February.  One man took a spade and said, “Who knows but what I can find water here” and put the spade in the ground and dug a small hole and it filled with water, good water.  When this was done some said it was as much of a miracle as when Moses smote the rock and water came out.  But the greatest miracle in our favor was when we had got between the two fishing rivers on a high ridge by a log meeting house.  We had been told that morning by a colored woman who came to the fence where we were walking that there were three hundred men who were armed and equipped to fall on us that night and cut us off.  Men came riding by who would cuss and swear that before morning we would all be in hell for there was an army before and behind and death was our portion.  Without enemy Jinkens Salsbury wanted Joseph to let him fight.  “No”, said he, “the Lord will give us a bramble to keep off the dogs this night.”  In a short time it commenced thundering and the clouds arose and I went into the tent and lay down and knew no more till I found myself one third buried in water, the tent [56] had blown down and all hands gone.  I soon found they had gone to the old Sanctuary for shelter, where I also went.  The lightning flashed and thunder roared one continual sound and flash so connected one could hardly hear any interval between the flash and the peal of thunder as if all the Marshall bands of drummers of the whole earth had assembled and was beating the bounds of war.


We lay on the benches dripping with water till daylight when we were called to go and discharge our pieces and load anew, which we did and to our astonishment two thirds, if not more, went off.


It was a pleasant morning.  We got our breakfast and soon learned that the two branches of the fishing river were so high we could not cross over.  The branch west had raised upwards of forty feet and all boats were gone.  We turned our course northward about three miles and camped near an old acquaintance of some in our camp.  Next day we were visited by a committee from the mob when Lyman Wright [Wight] exclaimed to them the cause of our coming and others spoke which appeared to give satisfaction.  After the meeting, these of the community went away and Joseph said, “Let us help this man right up his corn.”  We all went into the field and straightened up the corn for our friend that the stock had laid low.  We then returned to camp in the morning.  My brother Joseph had taken sick which proved to be the cholera.  Joseph Smith went to pray for him and when through said that I must stand aside or I shall smitten of the Lord.  He said a scourge must come and I cannot help it.  You have murmured in your hearts and told them to fix for moving off.  I then heard the revelation which said our sacrificed was accepted for we had offered our lives as Abraham did.  I was left alone with my brother Joseph and such a time I never before experienced neither did I ever think I could endure what I then endured.  One continual call for Levi, day and night.  “I want this and I want that.”  I would shoot squirrels and cook them and then give him the broth and it would run right through him like quick silver.  I did this until I thought I could endure no more.  I could not sleep, for his call for to do this and do that.  He said he was going to die.  I told him, “No you shan’t die.”  I then laid my hands on his head and rebuked the destroyer.  A darkness would sometimes come over me that I could feel like smoke.  When I thought I could endure no more and must have rest, who should come but Brother David Evins with another man with the same complaint by the name of Thomas Hays.  Never was I more rejoiced than when he made the proposal to me for me to rest and he would see to both of the sick.  Then when I had rested I could take my turn looking after both men.  We did this for sometime when to my astonishment my brother Solomon Hancock came and he gave us relief by taking Joseph off with him.  He [57] told us how many the cholera had off in the camp and how many others lay at death’s door.


I bid them farewell and went to my sister Sally’s who lived in Clay County.  From her I learned how she had suffered ever since she was driven from Jackson County because of the loss of all her goods, cattle and cows and just everything.  They were poor and so I went to work at my trade again and made the window sash for Mr. Arthur’s house.


I soon bought me a pony and in September I started for home in Ohio, preaching by the way.  I arrived at my father’s house in November.  I then had to work for hay for my horse and cow.  My wife had managed to get along with the baby without running me in debt.  Some had to pay many dollars for their wives debts.  I felt thankful for this and loved her dearly.  Oh, how sincerely my heart was swollen with joy while I looked on my lovely son.  We went to live on our place in the woods where we enjoyed ourselves through the summer.  I bought a city lot in town and built a frame house on it one story and half, with it all paid.


I went to the Hebrew school and paid for my schooling.  We boarded Solomon through the winter.  In the spring he started for Missouri to see his children.  He had learned that his wife was dead and his children were left at the mercy of the people.


I worked at my trade through the summer, nearly when I heard that the people of Clay County were about to drive our brethren from that county.  It was about this time I received a letter from Solomon saying he had married another wife and was going to Missouri.


I saw the Prophet Joseph Smith and he told me to take Fanny Algers and go.  I offered my place for sale and sold it before night.  I made me a wagon of wood and got it iron rimmed on the wheels for Solomon and we started the latter part of August for his father-in-law’s and got there about the first of September 1836.


We stayed there about one week or more and then started for Missouri.  We stopped in Illinois two weeks and laid a floor for a man.  He gave us money.  We went on to his folks and I went to work for grain and in November I bought me a farm in Caldwell County.  I built a house sixteen feet square of logs and a small one for a shop.  I hired rails made and fenced four acres and planted it to corn.  I built a brush fence around my pasture.  I bought and paid for ten [58] acres in the city of Far West and partly paid for a city lot near the Temple block, where I desired living.  I had in all sixty acres of good land besides my city lot paid for.  I had cows, hogs, and one good mare, sheep and hens a plenty and was in a good way to live with plenty to eat.


When I got weary I would take my babe and my little boy on my lap and sing to them these verses:


Here, far in the realm of Missouri

I’ll sit and sing and tell a story

How many trials I have passed over

Before I found this dwelling in peace.


O’ here, here beside the fire

I have my sweet babe and little Mosiah

And here is mother, I’ll set me down beside her

And sing, I’ve found a dwelling peace.


Here in this grove while water I’m bringing

My ears are charmed to hear the birds singing

With songs so sweet they keep the grace ringing

While here at home I live and have  peace.


O here, here we’ve butter and honey

And many will hire and pay me the money

And nothing I owe, and no man to dun me

And here at home I live and have peace.


My cows go oft and come in the morning

And also at night I see them returning,

To give us cream and keep us churning

While here at home we live and have peace.


Here is my field all things are growing

And on the prairie I have men mowing

That I may have feed to keep the stock growing

While here at home I live and have  peace.


My ground is covered with strawberries

And in the grove I’ve plums and I’ve cherries

And I will thank my God and be merry

For giving me this dwelling in peace.


[59]  May we love Him forever and ever

For peace bestowed upon the believer

And turn from Him O never O never

But always love the spirit of peace.







Mosiah CMYK



It is not my intent to treat much on my sufferings; suffice it to say that my part of suffering can go to the end of oblivion. . . Yet if the avenging angels take vengence on the guilty, I think the righteous will escape, for the assumption decreed is bound to sweep over the land as with the fire of destruction. Few of the children of men understand the nature of the fall and redemption of man. Therefore, if through my humble endeavors to place the truth before them I can persuade some to tread the path that leads to the tree of life and enter into the tent of the Lord, I shall be grateful to God for the privilege of so doing.


I am the son of Levi Ward Hancock and Clarissa Reed Hancock. I shall not give our genealogy in this short history of mine at this time, for it is had in the Holy Temples so far as the work for our dead has been done. Suffice it to say: We are of the Old Puritan stock that was in Boston as early as 1632, and my ancestors fought for the freedom of our country. All laid down their lives of my Father’s relatives in the war of the Revolution, except Thomas, my father’s father, and he came out of the war honorably discharged when scarcely fourteen years of age. If our posterity can manage to be as true to the work of God, I shall be most truly happy.


[1]                       A U T O B I O G R A P H Y


I was born in Kirtland, Ohio, on April the 9th, 1834. As I remember, our house was on a hill in Kirtland; it had two rooms. The room on the east was used as kitchen–it was about 20 by 12 feet. The front room had a cone roof about one fourth pitch. It had a door open to the south, and often my mother would tell me to look and see if the sun shone vertical in the door and if so, it was time to set father’s dinner. The front room mother used as a parlor, and a room to quilt and spin in. Often Grandmother Reed would be there; also mother’s sisters, Rebecca and Laura. What joyful times they had carding and spinning. The women used to spin in a different manner than they do nowdays. In those days they got the dinner ready on time. Now there are plenty of `she politicians’ who take great pleasure in putting the devils in office.


We had a spring, perhaps four rods from our east door, which lay at the foot of a small hill where I used to go for water with a small tin bucket. There was a wagon shop across the street a little to the west of our house, run by some men by the name of Webb. I used to go there to see them work at the wagons and watch them paint. One of the men’s name was “Pardon;” and I used to think, “What a funny name.”


On the fourteenth day of May, 1835, my sister Sarah was born. They said that six weeks before her time, father being on a mission, my mother had to milk the cow–the cow kicked mother causing her to go over on her head–Sarah lived only one day! On the fourteenth day of May, 1836, my sister Amy Elizabeth was born in Kirtland, Ohio.


About this time, I thought I would cut some wood. Mother had in those days what she called a woman’s axe. I should think the handle was about three feet in length and the axe would weigh some seven to eight pounds. There were five nicks in it, I think. Mother had been chopping wood, and I felt sorry to see her do it, so when she had gone in the house with her wood I put the axe upon my shoulder and brought it down–first cutting my ear, and then my foot! Being bare-footed, I soon sought mother for medical aid! Mother had taught me from my first recollection that when I saw a woman chopping wood, I should take the axe and cut the wood for her. In so doing, I could thus prove my genteel blood! In late years I have been wonderously surprised to see young things that are termed men, from sixteen to twenty years of age, stand with silent complacency as it were, and watch while their mothers, sisters, or grandmothers wielded the axe to get enough kindling to brown a piece of toast to satisfy their innocents.


I wish to write now of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord revealed to this Prophet as early as the year 1831 that in consequence of great wickedness which would come upon the earth in the latter days, it would be necessary for great men to take the noblest wives. The Lord had reserved the most noble of His choice spirits to come forth [2] through a pure lineage, as the noble spirits were not willing to come through a lineage that was corrupt.


Father nobly assisted the prophet in his good work. Then the apostates tried with all their power to get Joseph down, but they only succeeded in throwing themselves out of the Church. They put the Prophet to a great deal of trouble, and he had to go to Missouri. We went with him, and it was there on the road to Far West that I learned to love the noble course of the Prophet Joseph Smith.


I went and asked father, “Who made the father of our God?” and Brother Joseph answered, “Brother Levi, it is just as natural for God to have a father as it is for you or me to have one.”


When we went to Far West we had a good team of horses. Father had bought a mare we called “Turk, the Arab Steed,” and Tom, her mate, we paid five hundred dollars for, was just as good a horse; so we had a fine team. As we were very heavily loaded while going to Far West, I tried to walk all I could to make it easier on the team. We had grandfather, grandmother, and father’s brother, Thomas, with us. Uncle Thomas had fought in the War of 1812 and was at the storming of _____. Then there was father, mother, my sister Amy and myself going along too. I was bare-footed; never knew the luxury of having a pair of shoes until I was seven years of age, then my Uncle Alvah made me a present of a pair.


It was the disposition of the Prophet Joseph when he saw little children in the mud to take them up in his arms and wash the mud from their bare feet with his handkerchief. And, oh how kind he was to the old folks as well as to little children. He always had a smile for his friends and was always cheerful.


We had it tolerably good in our move to Far West. I remember that one night there were sixteen of we little children in one bed. We used to make our bed on the ground, but grandfather and grandmother and some of the children slept in the wagon.


We arrived at our place on Plum Creek about March 20, 1838. There was approximately eight inches of snow on the ground, and not having a tent we were forced to camp in the open for awhile. Father had bought a place from an old Missourian when he had come out of Zion’s Camp some four years previous. There had been some round logs drawn up to the square. Father soon hewed the logs for building while grandfather made a wooden trowel and a hickory spade. Soon the house was daubed inside with clay, and chinked and daubed outside. Shakes were put on the roof; and a chimney was laid up of sticks and daubed inside and outside with clay mud. A pinion-floor was made. A bedstead was made out of tree limbs and posts so that mother might be as comfortable as possible while her baby was being born.


My little brother, Francis Marion, was born on the 16th of April, 1838. We were truly glad that we were in a house, for a mob was howling outside swearing that they would kill every man, woman, [3] and child belonging to the Mormons. Mother was giving birth to Marion while this mob was in its fiendishness, like so many he-lions. There were two young girls with mother at the time of the advent. One of the girls was fourteen, the other only twelve. They drove my little sister and me under the bed; and we, hearing a noise quite strange, started to see what was the matter, but were soon shooed back under the bed by the young ladies. I inquired of my folks where they found the baby, and they said, “In a hollow tree!” I went out thru the woods as far as I dared go because the mob was still too close by to be appreciated by me, but I could not find anything like it in shape or size!


We had it tolerably fair that spring. The elm-bark and bass-wood buds came in good at first, and for greens we used pigweeds and other weeds to eat. Father had bought three hundred hogs when he came out of Zion’s Camp four years previous, so we had some seasoning for our greens. We also had plenty of strawberries, green corn, and wild plums. In the fall, we had walnuts and hazelnuts. I gathered them with my grandfather, Thomas Hancock.


I would often go up to Far West to see the folks and have a good visit. Often I would see a bear during my journey; but I had more dread of wild hogs than of bears! I used to take pleasure in making pop-guns and squirt-guns from small branches off the elderberry trees; those trees were plentiful in the land.


Once I was permitted to go to a Methodist Camp Meeting, and I used to think it funny to see them pass the hat to get money. I could not help contrasting the way they had of conducting their meeting to that of the Latter-day Saints. While our meetings are conducted with singing and prayer and intellectual talks, theirs were conducted, “Come to the Anxious Seat,” “Come to Jesus.” I would liked to have seen which of the howlers was supposed to be Jesus. I being young could not understand, but being of an inquisitive mind, I desired to know, for it was told to me by one of the greatest shouters that if my parents would come to that meeting and join them, they would not be killed! I tried to get them over, but no, they would not go. I thought it too bad for I feared they would be killed! My parents told me that if I liked, I could go again to their meetings. I never knew why I went, but I did go four nights in succession. I used to think that if the Saints ranted and howled like these people, what a host of people we might have in our Church someday. I decided not to go any more, but I changed my mind when a man told me that Jesus would be there tomorrow night, sure! I decided to go and see if he looked like the same one I had seen there before, and oh, the groaning, shouting, and hollering of “Amen!” One man said that Jesus would not fail to come this time. At last a woman came to the anxious seat and shouted “Glory,” and the congregation said “Amen.” Then the woman said she had the power, and a man grabbed her in his arms and said, “I’ve got him.” The woman fell to the floor as limp as a dish-rag; then a man with a cloak on kicked the candle over. . . . I went home wondering if those good religious people would kill us all. The noted, Sam Bogart, seemed to be the chief howler and cloak carrier in the whole congregation.


[4]   We had a good patch of corn this summer and fall, so again we had green corn boiled on the cob, and grated corn, and hominy or milled corn.


This season we went up to Far West to celebrate the Fourth of July. Sidney Rigdon was the orator of the day. Just the day before the celebration the Prophet Joseph asked father to compose a song. He worked on it much in the night and had it ready for the occasion. Uncle Solomon Hancock helped father sing the song. It is as follows:



By Levi Ward Hancock, July 3, 18-



Come lovers of freedom, to gather,

And hear what we now have to say.

For surely we ought to remember

The cause that produced this great day.

Oh, may we remember while singing

The pains and distresses once born

By those who have fought for our freedom

And often for friends called to mourn.



The lives and the fortunes together

And honors all sacred and dear

Were solemnly all pledged forever

By our honored Forefathers here.

Including the great and the noble

Who in our behalf were so brave

They offered their lives for our freedom

When called for our country to save.



The parliament lords and the commons

To gather their soldiers prepare

And placed at their heads men to lead them

Then over the ocean did steer.

To fight with their foes? Oh, no, never!

To deal with their enemies? No!

But for some few fancied offences

Across the Atlantic did go.



T’was then a pardon was offered

To all who would willingly yield,

Excepting John Hancock and Adams,

The fate of these men had been sealed.

Thank God then, for good Patrick Henry

And other men who with him dared

To come out with heart rending speeches

Against what these war lords declared.


[5]   5.

The Tories were all crying “treason”

Against those who called for their right,

And they would not listen to reason

But called on their forces to fight

To gain for the lords and the commons,

Who called for a tax without right

Then often from morning to morning

Contended for it with their might.



God armed our forefathers with power

And Washington came to their aid;

In wisdom he led the great battle

And soon made the Tories afraid.

He raised up the Standard of Freedom

And called for his brave volunteers

Who all gathered quickly around him

And from their bold enemy steered.



Hark! How the great battle rages.

Behold! He undauntedly stands.

The great cause for hereafter ages,

He pleads with his sword in his hands.

Behold, English lords then came bending,

And from their high chairs soon fell down.

And Tories and tyrants lay bleeding

Before this great Man of Renown.



Great love then filled every bosom,

And joy beamed upon every face,

Where lingered the true seed of freedom,

All willingly gave God the praise.

They told the sad tale to their children,

And told them the same to hand down

To their children’s children forever

Until the great trumpet should sound.



To celebrate this day of freedom

Don’t let it ever be lost.

Remember the wars of our Fathers

And also the blood they have cost.

Go children, and tell the same story

To your children’s children unborn,

How English lords, tyrants, and Tories,

Have once caused your fathers to mourn.



‘Twas honor that nerved up your Fathers

And caused them to go forth and fight

[6]   To gain us this great day of freedom

In which we can now take delight.

Yes, daughters, you too have your freedom,

You too have your country most dear,

You love well your own Independence,

Your Forefathers gained for you here.



Exalt then the standard of Freedom,

And don’t leave upon it a stain.

Be firm and determined forever

Your freedom and rights to maintain.

Remember the God of your Fathers.

Ye Sons and ye Daughters give ear;

Then with you ’twill be well hereafter,

And nothing you’ll then have to fear.



Farewell, ye old venerable Fathers

Who have stood for many a year.

Ye, like the aged trees have fallen,

Except just a few there and here.

White locks plainly show they’re soon going

To earth-dust from whence we all came,

To rest in the mansion of glory

Beyond all the trials and pain.


* * * * *


Uncle Solomon Hancock helped father sing this song on the southeast corner stone of the Far West temple. The stone was there, but was afterwards laid by the twelve apostles on April of the following year.


There were friends of the mobbers who would infringe upon the rights of we lovers of freedom. We rejoiced in building good homes, sheds, and corrals; and in teaching the proper rudiments, that all should be just and propitious to each other; and in teaching the principles of the Gospel to the children of men. We rejoiced in the prospects of a good education. The natives called us abolitionists and supposed we sympathized with the Negro. I saw great cruelties made upon the Negro, but I am delicate to touch upon what I have seen performed.


The eastern people held the name of Deity in sacredness. They kept clean door-yards and other things in order, with sufficient outbuildings for sanitary purposes. They had beautiful gardens with everything calculated to please the eye and gladden the heart of the refined. The Missourian generally lived in a house of unhewed logs with no roof to speak of and no yard for his stock. He seemed to have no education, and it made him jealous of the Saints because of the superior excellence of their minds.


[7]   In the spring when we first came to our place, I often used to go borrow a little fire, for in those days there was no matches that we knew of. Our flint and steel was missing, so I had to borrow fire, and I would go bare-footed and in my shirt-tail. When I got to some houses they would refuse to let me have fire or to let me in, and they would set their boys on me and I would have to run and stand them off the best I could it was not long before I could stand my ground, for my father came along one day and saw how a boy was treating me. Up to that time my father had taught me to run when anybody wanted to fight me, and I had fulfilled the command of my father until I was as cowardly as a hen-pecked husband. This time, however, seeing the condition of affairs, he said, “Mosiah, if you do not whip that boy, I will whip you.” I knew my father meant what he said, therefore I waltzed right into my foe. Father did not need to whip me, and ever after, that boy had a high regard for me even though he was a year older than I. However, the boy’s father and another smarty started to make short work of my father. But, when I saw my father tripping off a horn-pipe on their bodies, I took courage. When my father had finished his business, he said to me, “Mosiah, I give you leave after this to defend yourself and friends.” After that, our enemies knew how to respect us.


By my parents kind endeavor to instill in me the doctrine of Christ, I was always kind to those with whom I came in contact, and never to my knowledge have I been guilty of striking a first blow.


Now I return to our fourth of July celebration. The mobocrats tried to make it appear that the Mormons were disloyal to the government; as well might a toad declare that an eagle had no freedom. None of those but the most ignorant of humanity ever said that of a saints. The Prophet Joseph, his brother Hyrum, and all of our kindred, were from Eastern or Puritan stock, and the songs of liberty and freedom were on every tongue. As well might a vulture sing of the imperfections of a dove, as for the mobocrats to croak about the Saints. The mobocrats were known to say that the law could not reach the Saints, but that powder and ball could! The lightning struck the liberty-pole and made it a mass of splinters, and Brother Joseph said, “There goes the liberty of the people.” Now after sixty-three years have passed, these are my thoughts concerning the liberty of the Saints.


That which the prophet, Daniel, said has surely come to pass concerning the trials of the Saints. No Saint, male or female, has any need to break the high and Holy Covenants with God. The Prophet Daniel was cast into the lion’s den and he did not do it. We should study more of Daniel. Also, the three Hebrew children did not deny God when they were thrown into the fiery furnace! All the Holy Prophets from Adam to the present time did not forsake God–they have continued to keep the sacred commandments and covenants with Him. Christ, whom Satan supposedly thought was in his power, had no time to bargain for the glories of Satan, and He carried out His mission of the redemption of man.


[8]   In my reflection on the power of this beast with eagle’s wings who was to overcome the Saints; and of their worship of the beast, I asked myself, “How far are we justified in worshipping the image of this beast?” To be sure, all the money of this nation is stamped with the eagle, and I know that it is handy to have cash!


I now go back to our celebration of the Fourth of July. The noble Prophet gave vent to his feelings of joy for the restoration of the Gospel, and for it being set up in this chosen land of liberty. We all felt very happy on that joyful day. When we returned home, we found that the mobocrats had begun to exercise their hatred toward the Saints. They were shooting and killing their hogs, sheep, cows, and chickens; they would shoot the Saints from behind trees, houses, banks and thickets, or from wherever they could hide themselves; and then raise the cry that the Saints were doing these things. We being few in number, had to tolerate to some extent their power.


I well remember when brother David Patten and Brother Carter were killed at the battle of Crooked River; and also several of the brethren wounded! Brother Joseph Holbreck was literally hacked to pieces, and he was brought to our home about the first of April. My mother nursed him for about three months. He had to remain in the hay loft all this time until he was able to get out of the state. One evening, old Sam Bogart and two other men came hunting him. He was hid in the hay loft covered with flax. The men were heavily armed, and they searched the premises around before they came up to the house late at night. I would have all who read this to understand that my parents were not people of blood; yet there had been so much murder, rapine, and crimes perpetrated by the mob, that my father did not know how to treat the “Christians” of Missouri. Father got his broad axe and the “woman’s” axe for mother, and said, “We will set the bench before the fireplace for them to get warm–then if they start any trouble, I will grab the broad axe and you take the other axe and we will sell our lives as dearly as possible. We have Brother Holbreck and the three children to defend!” The axes were placed behind the door, then father stood in the doorway, and mother stood with rifle in hand . . the bandits made their approach on the outside. Said Sam Bogart, “I have a search warrant for Joseph Holbreck.” Father asked them to come in, but Bogart said he didn’t believe Holbreck was there. So they went away

I cannot attempt to describe my feelings as I stood on the floor in front of the fire while those three dark figures stood outside our door. I felt sure my mother would get one of them even if they killed my father. I shudder to think of those dark times. I wish all to understand that these things did happen in mobocratic Missouri–in that Christian land close to where the so-called Christians held their Christian meetings. . . right here in the land of the brave and the free! I am a witness of these things, and no one can deny them!


This fall we went over to Far West. I was always glad to see the Prophet and the noble brethren associated with him. What good [9] meetings we had in Far West! I well remember the enjoyment we had at a prayer meeting. One evening I heard brother Tubbs bear his testimony of the truth of the Gospel, and his daughter Betty also bore her testimony.


There was a mob of 1600 camped in the vicinity of Far West. Judas Iscariot Hinkle came in and reported the state of affairs in the camp of the mobbers. A person destitute of the Spirit of Christ might think there was something sweet about Hinkle. Someone got up and spoke in tongues; and Betty Tubbs spoke, saying that she well realized that the time had come for all to put their trust in God and not on man, `and for every tub to sit on its own bottom,’ then she sat down! A few days later, Hinkle formed a brotherhood in a hollow square, and made them cast their arms of defense on the ground. He then delivered the Prophet over to the mob! After they had taken the arms from the brethren, they kept the brethren in the square for three days and two nights without food. The mob became very brave after they had taken the brethren’s arms. One of their officers complimented the men on their bravery, and said, “Now you can go and do as you please with their women.” Many of them left with the intention of committing rapine. When the terrified women ran out to escape those brutal fiends, it was more than the men in the square could stand! They ran out to protect their loved ones; then the mobbers turned loose and shot down men, women, and children! They shot the children because they said that “Nits Make Lice.” I saw C. C. Richardson going from Far West with a white flag of truce. As he and his companions approached the camp, they were fired upon by the mobbers. Luckily, none of the brethren were hit, and a truce was patched up. But the mobbers were not to be trusted. After the brethren had delivered up their arms, father mounted his horse Turk, and rode off to Adam-On-Diahmon. A party of forty-two of the mobs cavelry started in pursuit of father. A whisper came to him, “Go thru the Hale thicket, then turn to the left.” This he did, and it brought him in the rear of the gang that was pursuing him. He said to one of the men in the rear, “Where has that fellow gone?” “I don’t know,” was the answer, “but we will soon catch him.” Father stopped his horse and pretended to tighten his saddle-girth, and then he escaped from his pursuants.


The night before the surrender, mother had run 250 bullets for father’s rifle. Father and his brothers, and a few others, did not give up their rifles. There were 16 guns that were not surrendered. The owners taking their 16 guns into the thicket caused more consternation against the mob than all the mobber’s guns caused against the Saints. But trouble had started! The nation with “eagle wings” was to make war on the Saints and overcome them. The Saints soon had to start forth to please the State of Missouri.


One day about twenty women, in the home of the mother of Prophet Joseph Smith, met together. Some said, “Now that the mob has taken our guns, what shall we do?” I remember part of the speech my mother spoke, “We can do as the Carthage women did when the Romans took the arms off their husbands; we can pull the hair out of our heads so the men folks can make bowstrings.”


[10]  It is a fact which should be remembered. . . the Hancock brothers Levi, Joseph, and Solomon, with their guns guarded and fed 600 men, women, and children while camped in the woods after they had been driven from their homes. They were waiting for an opportunity to get away. I saw the Prophet marched away; and I saw, oh, the scenes I witnessed! I do not think people would believe them, so I will forbear. The howling fiends, although they wore the uniforms of the U.S. they were not to be trusted! So some of the brethren made three hundred tomahawks for protection.


I can hold it no longer. . . and I tell the truth when I say. . . I saw a thing in the shape of a man grab an infant from its mother’s arms and dash its brains out against a tree! Two men got hold of me and had it their own way for awhile; but before they commenced, they told me I could pray. I rehearsed a part of a piece spoken by a young Indian, “The sun sets at night and the stars shun the day; but glory remains when twilight fades away. Begin ye tormentors, your threats are in vain; for the son of Alnasmak will never complain.” They showed me no mercy! . . . I could look upon my body, and I was far above them and was glad; for behold, I saw a personage draped in perfect white who said to me, “Mosiah, you have got to go back to the earth, for you have a work to do!” How I ever came back I can never say!


I saw the fiends tie a young person to a bench–she was scarcely sixteen years of age–and fourteen things in human form performed “that” upon their victim which would cause a hyena to revolt at their fiendish orgies! It continued long after their fainting victim had become unconscious. This with other things too numerous to mention were enough to cause the Saints to pause and consider the dismal surroundings confronting them.


And they, the Saints, having descended from the mighty Abraham, went forth by the spirit of God to deliver their friends–and the mobocrats melted before them as the dew before the sun. Can you wonder then that these loved ones who were devoted to each other and to those enduring ties of love, freedom, and religious liberty–by right of their own, can you wonder then that they could no longer trust their captors, and were determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible? There were some three hundred men and women determined to march forth with spears and battle axes in hand to have their liberty, and to have their Prophet restored to them again. But, the word of the Lord came through the Prophet that the Brethren should have the Saints be patient. The Prophet’s Brethren were a few staunch men in the Church known as the Spartain Group. Their words were few; but their works were great; and their faith was far reaching. They were of the old honest stamp, and if anyone could make a home or heaven in hell, they could! They were true to the Prophet of God and to the virtues and graces; and they never wanted to hold the fat position that Hinkle and some of the others tried to get. In fact, they seemed to be content with their lot as honest Saints.


[11]  Some people tried to class the Mormons with the Danites. The Danites were of a different stripe, however. The Danites tried to hold an outward friendship for the Prophet, and for the teachings of the Savior, but it was not skin deep. They tried to get a hog’s office among the Saints, which proved their love for `loaves and fishes.’ They usually got a few traps that no decent devil would be justly proud of. Oft times they would locate a dwelling in a neighboring town on the prairie or in the woods. There they would let their bottom door swing in for all sorts of low-down characters to meet; where they could always boast of a deck of cards and a candle; and felt themselves safe from official scrutiny. They usually had plenty of horses when needed; and they were quite able to get up and speak in prayer meeting. They were hale fellows, well met with the blacklegs and the apostates of the country. They would pay some tithing in order to pave the way for them to get benefits; and they would say, “Hurrah! for Mormonism” when they were around the Saints, and then some black-leg who belonged to the same gang would bawl out, “I’m a Mormon!” They have always been a clog in the Church and a clog in the country wherever they have been.


After we left Far West, we were left alone for while. The mob worried to know where my father was. One day a deputation of men came to our place and generously gave father three days to get away, which pleased us very much for we certainly had no desire to stay. Father was an expert in everything he tried to do, and he rigged up a foot lathe and soon had two hubs turned out. It didn’t take us long to build a cart, and soon we were traveling off with the cart box filled with corn. The snow was deep enough to take me to the middle of the thigh, and I was bare footed and in my shirt tail. Mother had made me a tow shirt in Kirtland, and the shirt still stuck to me, or rather, I still stuck to the shirt. We had old Tom hitched to the cart, and father drove the horse and carried the rifle on his shoulder. Mother followed the cart carrying my little brother, Francis Marion in her arms. I tried to follow in her tracks. We finally stopped to rest and get something to eat; but mother said she could not stand it much longer. She cried. . . and father said, “Cheer up, Clarissa, for I prophesy in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ–you shall have a pair of shoes delivered to you before long, in a remarkable manner!” After we had made our fire and eaten of our roasted corn on the cob, mother reached down on the side to get her old shoes, and held up a new pair! Father answered, “Clarissa, did I not tell you that God would provide you a pair in a remarkable manner?” We continued on until dark when we found a good sized log to build our bed by. Our cart was filled with ears of corn, so we could not make our bed in it. We made a bed of leaves and put a quilt on top of them, then we covered ourselves with what loose garments we could spare–we were not oversupplied with clothing in those days. Father had what was called in those days a coat; I had my shirt; and mother had one dress made of the same material as my shirt. She had made them in Kirtland, and since that time hadn’t had the opportunity to spin or weave because the mob would not give us time to get anything together. We even had to leave our flax after we had raised it! Father cut down a basswood tree for Tom to graze on during the night.


[12]  We gathered elmbark to eat with our corn on the cob–elmbark and buds helped us get along until we came to the Mississippi River. There we camped for the night because we didn’t know how to cross the river. Oh! what a cold night that was! Tom had some buds and limbs to browse on; and we still had some corn left. We found some herbs growing on strings which we discovered to be wild potatoes–they were good roasted, but I was glad to eat what I could find raw. We also had elmbark which was a luxury with corn. The next morning the river was frozen over with ice–great blocks of frozen ice all over the river, and it was slick and clear. That morning we crossed over to Quincy, Illinois. I being barefooted and the ice so rough, I staggered all over. We finally got across, and we were so glad, for before we reached the other side, the river had started to swell and break up. Father said, “Run, Mosiah,” and I did run! We all just made it on the opposite bank when the ice started to snap and pile up in great heaps, and the water broke thru!


We did not stay in Quincy, for there were so many poor Mormons there; and mother said she wanted to get where we could have a home of our own, even if we had to camp under a tree for awhile. We continued on to Commerce. We left Quincy on February 9, 1839, and arrived at Commerce on the 11th. In the evening we camped under a tree, a wild cherry tree, such as was used to make furniture in those days. Father went to see a man named McFall, with whom he made a bargain for 30 acres of timber land, and 40 acres of farming land. The timber land was about two miles below Nauvoo, on the bank of the river; and the farm and meadow land was four miles from Nauvoo, a little south of the road to Carthage. Our city lot was two blocks from the Prophet Joseph’s home, and we camped under a cherry and hickory tree on the lot. We always had fruit and nuts from the trees while we lived in Commerce.


While father was negotiating for our inheritance, I went with mother to see a Squire Wells; and he seemed to be very tender hearted when he saw my emaciated condition. He said to mother, “Mrs. Hancock, do you say that boy walked all the way from Plum Creek in that condition?” (I had walked all the way in my bare feet in the snow; and my little sister, Amy, rode in the cart with her heart full of tenderness to see the rest of us tramp thou the snow; and so we came thru.) When mother took off my shirt, I took a look at myself in the Squire’s looking glass; and I must say, I never saw such a scarecrow in all my life! My head, feet, and eyes, had not diminished in size–neither had my knees–but the rest of me! My mother called my legs pipe stems, and my arms straws!


We found good friends in Squire Wells, Brother McFall, Dr. Galland, and a few others. Commerce had but few inhabitants. We settled on our lot, and father dragged some logs with Tom and soon put them up to the square. When Tom had finished with his work, I don’t know which of us looked the worst, though Tom still resembled a horse and I resembled a boy!


[13]  Tom having finished his mission on earth, I suppose Father thought he should have an honorable discharge. One day when there was considerable snow on the ground, I saw father carrying an axe and leading old Tom down to the river. I asked father what he was going to do, and he told me to go to the house. I went, and as I looked from the corner of the house, I saw Tom standing on the ice, and father was cutting a circle in the ice around Tom. I went in and asked Mother what it meant, and a tear rolled down her cheek. Then I saw the cake of ice tip, and Tom went under the water–I went into the house, and we all tried to forget our old horse, Tom.


When spring started to draw near, father started to make some wooden plates and bowls. He also made a hickory spade, and we piled up a brush fence and soon had a garden in. There were so many sloughs in Commerce, that the garden was sickly indeed! Our house was on the bank of a slough, and there was a spring about fifty yards down from the house.


My parents were so sick at times that we children knew not what to do! At times we children were so hungry and sick that it seemed we were destined to starve to death. One day, my sister Amy and I started thru the fields to see if we could find some cobs with corn on them. The first one we found had three kernels on it. My sister, Amy, scanning it for a moment, said, “Mosiah, oo is sa biggest body, oo sood ave two and me one.” I had to take the two; but the next cob we found had seven kernels on it, and it was much easier to divide. As hard as our lot was, we never quarreled. Sometimes when our parents were sick and could not cook greens, we ate them raw. I have pulled up grass and ate it, also basswood buds and elmbark.


When the people began to move into Nauvoo and were dying off so fast, father would work day and night making caskets, when he was not sick. He would have to starve until the coffin was finished, or until our dear mother came home from work, for she nearly always brought us something to eat. Sometimes both father and mother would be sick for several days–then we would suffer indeed!


One day father was working on a plow, and several good sized shoats came into the yard and began to root up the garden. We had driven them out three times, and father said, “If you come in here once more, I will kill you with a hewing!” I went into a thicket and prayed that father would take a good sized chunk and kill one of those pigs. They did come in again, and father picked up a good sized chunk he had just hewed off a plough beam and threw it with unerring accuracy–hitting mr. piggy right between the eyes, and knocking him dead! Father groaned out, “I am undone!” Then he grabbed the shoat by one leg and started about town to tell of his misfortunte. He could not find the owner though, so he anchored the pig at Squire Well’s, telling him of his trouble. Whereupon, the worthy Squire said, “Mr. Hancock, you cannot find the owner, so take the pig home and make good use of it.” Father brought it home, and it weighed some 80 or 90 pounds! Mother skinned the shoat–then told Father not to worry over such small matters. But the rest of the shoats did not seem satisfied, so they came back again! The same [14] boy made another prayer, and the same arm threw the same piece of wood–and another shoat died right there–and mother skinned another shoat! We were all happy as long as the meat lasted. I always felt that God opened the way for us to get something to eat.


The water stank in Commerce because of the many sloughs. We were so sick at times that we knew not what to do! Sometimes my parents were so ill they could hardly move, and I would take a quart cup and fill it with water from the spring that was about 60 yards from the house. Then, I being weak, would crawl on my arms and knees, and place the cup of water ahead of me and crawl to it each time I reached it, until I reached the house. Then because of father’s feverish distress, I would usually give it to him. The water would disappear before anyone could get scarcely a taste, and looking at the heroic face of my mother, and the innocent face of my little sister Amy, I would repeat the pilgrimage until my knees and elbows would be worn near the bone!


When father was able to, he preached the Gospel as often as possible. While on a mission in Indiana, he stopped at a building where 400 people had gathered to dance. The man who was to furnish the music could not get his violin to work. Father’s shoes were gone, and his pants were holely at the knees and behind, but he stepped up to the man and asked him what was the matter with his goose. Father took the thing and tuned it and made it fairly sing! The people danced until satisfied; then one of the men suggested that they get father a new suit, hat, and boots because he had fixed the violin and because they had had so much enjoyment. So they bought him a new suit, hat and boots! Then he addressed them for two hours on the principles of the gospel, and afterwards he baptized two dozen of them about daylight.


While father was still sick, he went up to Missouri to see the Prophet. He then went to our old home at Plum Creek. He was also at the laying of the corner stone of the Far West Temple. While there, he learned where Turk was–our horse that had been stolen from us by the mob. He got Turk, and started towards Nauvoo, where we were living then; but decided to leave the horse with George Parish, who had married my cousin Abigal Hancock. He got some peach and plum trees and then went up to Montrose; plunged into the river and swam over to Nauvoo. He said to mother, “Joseph and the Brethren are well.” He set the fruit trees on the lot, and we had plenty of fine peaches before we left Nauvoo. Father began making coffins again, but was again soon sick and it was impossible for us to keep from being ill. We were able to get a coon out of a tree occasionally, which helped on provisions.


This summer Brother Joseph came home, and we went up to his place to see him. As I glanced on his table and beheld a beautiful boiled corn on the cob, I thought, “Oh, what a grand sight!” The corn seemed to be of the King Phillip variety of yellow flint. Brother Joseph asked his father to return thanks on the food, and Father Smith took up an ear of corn in his right hand holding it between his thumb and forefinger, and said, “Oh, God, the Eternal Father, we thank thee for [15] this corn, and pray in the name of Jesus Christ to bless it to the strengthening of our bodies, and the strengthening of our stomachs till Thou can provide something better; which we ask of Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” Tears were streaming down his cheeks, and I thought it a repast of the most excellent type.


This year of 1840 is almost gone. We had a picket fence up by Christmas, and enough corn stored to keep our spirits in our bodies. We raised a great deal of pop corn this past season.


On April 1st, 1841, my cousin Solomon Hancock made me a present of a fine axe and helve. I commenced to cut wood and stack it alongside the house. From that day on, I never knew my father to take an axe in his hand to cut wood. Previous to this time I had used the woman’s axe; for all the boys of my size agreed it was a great health promoter. On April 9th, my Uncle Alvin presented me with a pair of shoes, which I dared not wear except on Sundays. On Sundays I tucked the shoes under my arm and started for meeting; slipping them on just before I arrived there. After meeting was out, I would take them off and walk home in my bare feet. They were so roomy that I kept them in good condition for three years, then turned them over to my brother, Francis Marion. I hadn’t even dared to wear the shoes while cutting wood for fear of cutting them!


On April 19, 1841, my little brother John was born. This summer my father made me a little Kentucky rifle; so now and then we have squirrel for soup Mother certainly knew how to make a savory soup!


I often associated with Hosea Stout–he would often take me in his arms and say he had chosen me for his body-guard; but I would tell him I wanted to be a body-guard for the Prophet.


This summer I played my first game of ball with the Prophet. We took turns knocking and chasing the ball, and when the game was over the Prophet said, “Brethren, hitch up your teams;” which we did, and we all drove to the woods. I drove our one-horse wagon standing on the front bolster, and Brother Joseph and father rode on the hounds behind. There were 39 teams in the group and we gathered wood until our wagons were loaded. When our wagon was loaded, Brother Joseph offered to pull sticks with anyone–and he pulled them all up one at a time–with anyone who wanted to compete with him. Afterwards, the Prophet sent the wagons out to different places of people who needed help; and he told them to cut the wood for the Saints who needed it. Everybody loved to do as the Prophet said, and even though we were sickly, and death was all around us, folks smiled and tried to cheer everyone up. In those days it seemed that we were all of the blood of Israel, and we were more willing to help our neighbor. In these days, it seems that the man who has the most money is the only hog worthy of notice. As the prophet Moroni said: “Their wail is, `Yea Zion prosper, all is well.’.” Those who can yell it the loudest are the ones most sought after, while the meek and humble followers of Christ are cast down to earth with their bodies laid across a ditch for the nobility to cross over on. It reminds me of hypocritical [16] Israel worshipping the golden calf. . . while the God of Heaven was giving His Holy Laws, `Thou shalt have no other God before Me.’ I ask myself this question, “What are the people worshipping today? Is it the golden calf or the image of the beast?” Suppose we go back a few years to the time when Grover Cleveland was president. At that time, three Church leaders went to ask him if he would use his influence to have the persecutions against the Saints stopped. His reply was, “I wish you people up there would do as we do down here.” Did all of them do it? No, just one, who wanted to play politics. And I noticed the other day in a paper where this man met with a brilliant party, an honored and petted one of the land. Why? I asked myself. “Is it because he obeyed the thing called the law of the land instead of what I thought was the law of God?” I asked myself, “What am I? I seem as if I am not fit to be even a hewer of wood or a drawer of water for such gentry. What shall I do or where shall I go to find refuge? Shall I give up my choice friends that I have loved so long, and take up my abode with the outcasts of Israel, and patiently await the time of the Lord?” These are serious thoughts on my part.


Altho only a boy, I saw the mantle of the Prophet Joseph rest on Brigham Young; and he arose lion-like to the occasion, and lead the people forth from the region of death, to this desert and portly land. Here he has caused the desert to blossom as the rose, according to the word of Holy Prophets. Yet some condemn the course that President Young took. I saw one of my brethren only yesterday, and he seemed to be possessed of some intelligence, but he said, “Brigham Young bullied it over the Twelve.” “Who had a right to preside over the Church?” I asked. I say it was Brigham Young! Were his counselors at that time one with him? It seemed to me that they were. When he said, `Brethren, it is time for us to go into the United Order,’ did President Young prove his ability to lead out? He did.” But to return to the Prophet–it was his ambition to be one with the humble, and there was no feeling of agrandisement with him.


Now back to Nauvoo. This season there was much ditching to be done; the sloughs stank terrible! There were many deaths and much sickness Father made many coffins, and quite often when a man who could pay for a coffin, ordered one–father would say, “Here is a poor man who cannot pay for one; let’s give it to him, and you can order one from someone who needs the money worse than I do.” I often wondered what we would do next, but the way always seemed to open up. I well remember, while playing “Anti I Over” at Truman Gillets, the biscuits I saw there, and the one I took. I sought to make it right with him, but he laughed at me cheerily.


I saw many remarkable cases of healing under the hands of the Prophet while we were at Nauvoo.


Once a man came to live with us, and he was quite lazy. He would pop a large pan full of corn and eat it all by himself; but because he was poor and had no home, my parents were kind to him. I am proud of my lineage.


[17]  I was baptized on April 10, 1842, by John Taylor, one of the apostles of the Prophet. I was baptized in a river at the end of a road which ran into it. There I shed my old shirt; and donned a calico one, and a pair of jeans!


Many things transpired in Nauvoo that I witnessed; but they are in history, so I need not mention them. I attended April conference on the 9th of April, and also attended Sunday School for the first time. There were 14 scholars who attended that school. I was in the New Testament class taught by John Taylor.


We boys in Nauvoo formed a company called the `Sons of Helaman.’ Brother Baily from Massachusetts was our captain; and he was proud of us and we were proud of him. I was second Lieutenant, and we drilled quite a lot. Just before we left Nauvoo, I was in the Prophet’s guard most of the time. I loved to march and parade and have the martial spirit; and was happy under military discipline. I would take my rifle with me even tho not in company nor on parade with the `Sons of Helaman.’ Often I was in the ranks of the grown men, and no one ever said, “You’re in the way.” Why it was thus, I could never comprehend. I loved to see a martial feeling cultivated.


Sometimes after our annual conference, the Prophet and others brought oil to our house to be consecrated! And it was my father’s fortune to be kind to the poor, to preach the gospel, to guard the Prophet, and to work on the temple.


Nothing at our house that was eatable ever went to waste. Big lubbers would come to our house with large pieces of bread and butter only to show how much of it they could crumble and waste. They would ask for a top, and father being a good turner on the lathe, could soon turn out a top for them. Even after father was kind to them, they would come and say to me, “Why doesn’t your father get plenty of bread so you can carry it around town and waste it as we do?” I would reply that my parents were not fools; that my father worked hard helping others; that he preached the gospel; worked on the temple; and guarded the Prophet–which was more than they could say.


A few of the apostates began to get a little power in the Church again. There were the Bennets, the Laws, and the Fosters, whose acts were deplorable; and they seemed to think of the Church only because of the `loaves and the fishes.’


The newspaper, “The Nauvoo Expositor,” was printed and issued by the spawn of Satan. They printed the most abonimable lies and misrepresentations. These falsehoods were more than the Prophet and the good Brethren could stand. One night, I had a notice that something was to be done by the despisers of iniquity. I shouldered my rifle and marched along, and I saw the press and type go thru the window. I picked up a hat full of type, shouldered a press log, and with my rifle returned home, arriving there about 4 o’clock in the morning. Right or wrong, I thought I was prompted to do it, but from that time on, all the powers of the evil one seemed to be directed [18] against the Prophet. He knew no peace from then until his death. Some may ask why I did it; and as I said, Right or wrong, I think that I was prompted to do it. The heavenly watchers know more about it than I; and the Power of Heaven did the prompting.


I was in a sham battle, and expected to be in another one directed by Bennet, but I was told to keep my eye on Francis Higbee, which I did, for he was a serpent in the grass. Thru the goodness of the Father of life, our noble Prophet was spared to still cheer the Saints.


I joined the whistling and whittling band. In those-days there was, now and then, a fop or dude who would go to a man’s shingle pile, and with his hat or cap cocked on one side, would sit and whittle and whistle. There was no law against that, but from what we could learn, some of them were interested in taking the life of the Prophet. We kept a good watch, and were directed to keep an eye on the “Black Ducks.” We really tried to do our duty and we succeeded in bagging some game. I was about to give some instances, but forbear by saying, “In no case did I ever help to engage in whittling any one down to make them cross the great river unless they were known to be lurking around the Prophet’s premises quite late, or to be seeking that which was none of their business. In extreme cases when we knew a man to be a snobber, and who still sought the life of the Prophet, we would use our rail. We generally had four boys to a rail–the rail would be flat on the bottom and was three cornered; on the top corner it was terribly sharp–fixed to suit the aggravating circumstances. Four boys generally knew how to manage the rail. We all had our knives and our timbers to whittle and make rails from, and we knew what tunes to whistle. I do not know if the boys from Nauvoo would like for me to betray those old-fashioned secrets; but that was the way we initiated those who seemed to wish with all their hearts to become thoroughly acquainted with the secrets of the Prophet. If they appreciated the way of innocent childhood, they could repent of their sins and be ready for baptism. I do not know of any who seemed to be desirous of continuing the war; instead they were on hand for a covenant of peace. Bennet and some of the others were left to the Prophet’s own management.


Well do I remember the Prophet’s speech from a frame in front of his mansion–where he said, “Brethren, I now roll this work onto the shoulders of the Twelve; and they shall bear and send this Gospel to every nation under Heaven.” He asked the Legions if they were not all his boys, and they shouted “Yes!” I stood on the rail of the fence in front of the mansion. When the Prophet said, “Brethren, the Lord Almighty has this day revealed to me something I never comprehended before! That is–I have friends who have at a respectful distance been ready to ward off the blows of the adversary. (He brought his hand down on my father’s head as he was acting as body-guard to the Prophet) While others have pretended to be my friends, and have crept into my bosom and become vipers, and have been my most deadly enemies. I wish you to be obedient to these true men as you have promised. ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE FOR ME?” Yes! was the shout. “You have said you are willing to die for me. . .” Then he drew his [19] sword and cried, “I WILL DIE FOR YOU! If this people cannot have their rights, my blood shall run upon the ground like water.” When the Prophet had his hand upon my father’s head, I said to myself, “I trust that I will be as true to young Joseph, the Prophet’s son, as my father is to his father.” Afterwards at home, I told my father of my thoughts, and he said, “No, Mosiah, for God has shown to Brother Joseph that his son, Joseph, will be the means of drawing many people away from this Church after him. Brother Joseph gave us to understand that it was our duty to follow the Twelve. The majority of this people will be right; but when you see people thirsting for the blood of the Saints, you may know they are not right.” Before the Prophet spoke from the frame, he had started to go to the Rocky Mountains, and went as far as Montrose; but thru the interference of some pretended friends, he returned. I was a witness to these things–and when the Prophet spoke from the frame, he spoke with power, and the people loved him.


The next day the Prophet came to our home and stopped in our carpenter shop and stood by the turning lathe. I went and got my map for him. “Now,” he said, “I will show you the travels of this people.” He then showed our travels thou Iowa, and said, “Here you will make a place for the winter; and here you will travel west until you come to the valley of the Great Salt Lake! You will build cities to the North and to the South, and to the East and to the West; and you will become a great and wealthy people in that land. But, the United States will not receive you with the laws which God desires you to live, and you will have to go to where the Nephites lost their power. They worked in the United Order for 166 years, and the Saints have got to become proficient in the laws of God before they can meet the Lord Jesus Christ, or even the city of Enoch.” He said we will not travel the shape of the horse shoe for there we will await the action of the government. Placing his finger on the map, I should think about where Snowflake, Arizona is situated, or it could have been Mexico, he said, “The government will not receive you with the laws that God designed you to live, and those who are desirous to live the laws of God will have to go South. You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and the worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down because of their poverty. There will be two great political parties in this country. One will be called the Republican, and the other the Democrat party. These two parties will go to war and out of these two parties will spring another party which will be the Independent American Party. The United States will spend her strength and means warring in foreign lands until other nations will say, “Let’s divide up the lands of the United States,” then the people of the U.S. will unite and swear by the blood of their fore-fathers, that the land shall not be divided. Then the country will go to war, and they will fight until one half of the U.S. army will give up, and the rest will continue to struggle. They will keep on until they are very ragged and discouraged, and almost ready to give up–when the boys from the mountains will rush forth in time to save the American Army from [20] defeat and ruin. And they will say, `Brethren, we are glad you have come; give us men, henceforth, who can talk with God.’ Then you will have friends, but you will save the country when its liberty hangs by a hair, as it were.”


I saw the Prophet and the rest when they departed from Nauvoo for the last time; and I went out to meet their martyred bodies when they were brought from Carthage with Apostle John Taylor, who was himself so badly wounded that he could not stir. There were many of the Saints who went out to meet them, and their hearts were full of sorrow. I went to see those noble martyrs after they were laid out in the mansion. Their heads were placed to the north. As we came in at the door, we came to the feet of the Prophet Joseph, then passed up by his left side and around his head, then down by his right side. Next we turned to the right and came to the feet of Hyrum, then up by his left side and around his head and down by his right side; then we filed out of the other door. So the great stream of people continued until the Saints all had the privilege of taking their last look at the martyred bodies.


After the people had gone home, my father took me again into the mansion and told me to place one hand on Joseph’s breast and to raise my other arm and swear with hand uplifted that I would never make a compromise with any of the sons of Hell. Which vow I took with a determination to fulfill to the very letter. I took the same vow with Hyrum.


I remember Sidney Rigdon in his great desire to become Guardian of the Church. But I had seen the Prophet proclaim these words before the people, “I have carried Sidney Rigdon long enough–I now throw him from my shoulders. If my brother Hyrum wishes to pick him up and carry him, he may–I carry him no longer.”


I saw Brother Brigham Young, of the Quorum of the Twelve, arise before the people–and I saw in him the look of Joseph, and the voice of Joseph; and it seemed to me that he was as tall as Joseph too. I knew that the mantle of Joseph had fallen on Brigham. I had heard the Prophet say from the frame that he threw the furtherance of this Church and Kingdom upon the shoulders of the Twelve; that they should bear and send this Gospel to every nation under heaven. Some say that Brigham knew nothing about it–perhaps not, for when the Prophet and Hyrum were slain, Brigham was in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.


After the death of the Prophet, the mob spent their fury on the Twelve and a few others. The Brethren pushed the work on the Temple; and the Gospel was preached; and every Saint was busy doing all he could to help the work along. Although I was very young, I was on guard many a night, and gladly did I hail with many of the Saints, the completion of the temple. On about January 10, 1846, I was privileged to go in the temple and receive my washings and annointings. I was sealed to a lovely young girl named Mary, who was about my age, but it was with the understanding that we were not to live together as man and wife until we were 16 years of age. The reason that [21] some were sealed so young was because we knew that we would have to go West and wait many a long time for another temple.


My mother had a little son that we called Levison. There was a man who would get drunk in the temple; and once when mother was giving endowments to the women, a voice said to her, “Go to your baby.” She went and found that drunkard lying on her child. She grabbed the fellow up and threw him on the floor by main strength, although his weight was about 240 pounds. The baby did not live long.


Father had a great deal of opposition in Nauvoo. One day as father and I were walking down Water Street, and we came within twenty feet of the Mansion, an east window raised up, and Francis M. Higbee took deliberate aim with a rifle, and shot father in the left breast. I was walking on father’s right side, and I saw the shot fired, and heard the thud as the bullet struck, but father stopped and picked up the bullet from the ground, and reaching it towards heaven with his right hand, said, “I thank thee, O God the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, that thou didst destroy the power of this bullet.” As soon as the shot was fired, the window was shut down. I suppose Higbee thought father was gone this time for sure, but father had been shot at many times by the mobbers and apostates. Father had had the temple in his care for sometime, and some were jealous of the honors conferred upon him.


Once while I was in the temple, Brigham Young came to me and said, “I perceive that you are a sober boy and quick to observe, but do you think you can remember all you have seen and heard in this temple?” “I think I can,” I said. “Be sober and remember all you can, for great things will be expected of you,” he added. He examined my rifle while I was on guard one day, and he guessed it to be a 44 caliber; I thought he was good at guessing.


The Saints started for the Rocky Mountains. We were driven across the ice, but before we started, a man came and wanted to buy father’s 20 acres of timber land. Father said he would sell no land, but would rent or lease it for five years. The man answered, “I will let you have a nice yoke of two year old steers, if you will let me have the dry wood on ten acres of your land”–so we took the steers.


We had 200,000 bricks which we had bought on the Iowa side to finish our mansion, and along came Uncle David Froman from Pennsylvania; he was an old prosperous Dutchman that Grandfather Reed’s folks raised He said to father, “Levi, I will give you 25,000 dollars for your possessions,” but father answered, “No, I will not sell.” Uncle David had a yoke of oxen and a nice covered wagon, and he had come from Pennsylvania when he heard of our troubles; he came to see of what benefit he could be to our folks. “I want you to take my team,” David said Father told him, “I will give you possession of my property, but in five years I hope I can return with an army sufficient to protect us in our rights.”


[22]  So we crossed over on the ice. Before we left we had parched 14 bushels of corn and taken it to Law’s Mill to be ground for food on our journey. But when we went to get our meal, it was gone! We had no further use of William Law or his mill. We were going to use the parched corn when meal time came, and each one was to take his share of the corn meal and mix it with milk–or water, if we could not get milk. William Law had been pampered and petted by the Prophet and some philanthropic propensities in the Church until he had built a pile of money for himself. He puts me in mind of some I have seen since his day who have the same wolfish propensities when they grab the best prizes and seem satisfied for awhile.


The mob had burned our home and everything in it; even the feather bed mother was trying to get out of the house. We found a good friend in a Washington Vorus, who kindly took us into his house and told us to help ourselves to his corn. We borrowed frying pans and bake kettles, and parched corn until we had 20 bushels, which we got ground ready for our journey. Before we got off, we said goodbye to our friends in Nauvoo.


An officer and six mounted dragoons came to Norman Tillet’s to get a wagon and a yoke of oxen that had been traded to Tillet for his place. There was quite a rumpus! My mother told me not to take my gun, and to stay away from there. We saw them at a distance, however, and they took the team and went away. Some of us boys followed them for two or three miles; they knocked some of the brethren on the heads with the butts of their pistols. We boys threw stones at them from our slings, thinking they would unbind our brethren. We kept inside a fence; but they threw down the fence so as to have a better chance to chase us. We kept this up until we met Port Rockwell, and in his smiling style he told us we had better go back–so we did.


We went back to Sugar Creek, where my father, George Myers, Andrew Little and myself were detained to make wagons for the poor. So it was quite late when we left. Besides we had rain every day while there. O! the storms! When we did get ready to start, Father would take us on one day’s travel; then the next day he would go back and get Grandmother Reed and Uncle Levi (who was two years older than myself), and Uncle Ira (who was a little younger than I). And father would bring them all up so we would all be together at night. Thus father traveled, and kept the two families along by traveling the road over three times until we caught up with the pioneers at Counsel point. We got there just in time for President Young, Kimball, and Richards, to come and choose father to go and spiritually preside over the Mormon Battalion. Father went, and we were left alone. The two grandmothers, and the two uncles, and a Sister Sprague, whose husband also went in the Battalion, lived with us.


We were some three weeks in the rain, and one morning mother said, “Mosiah, Sister Sprague and I wish you and Helen to go over to the Indian Mills and see if the people there do not want us to teach their children how to sew, knit, spin, read, write, cipher, and spell. You and Helen take your baskets and go, and on your return [23] get the baskets full of berries. So off Helen and I started, taking the Indian trail to the Mills. Before we got there, however, we were overtaken by seven Pawnee Indians who detained us some time until Helen thought to pray–then the duskies let us go. We finally arrived at the Mills, and the agent, Mr. Wicks said, “Tell your mothers to come.” We started back on the road–and we gathered a good dinner–a squirrel, some fish, and our baskets full of berries. We soon moved our things to the Indian Mills, and Mr. Wicks let us have rooms on the bank of the Big Mesquite, where we were handy to the water, the wood, and the fish of the stream. We went there the 10th of August. On the other side of the stream was a forest of trees where we would often see the rabbits run into a hollow log or tree. We would take a stick and split the end and put a small piece of wood in the fork and press it against the rabbit, and bring it out or down by twisting the stick. We always knew by the squeal of the rabbit when it gave up. I had brought a piece of wire along from Nauvoo to make fish hooks from, and Oh! how we brought out the fish! We also made traps to catch quail and prairie chickens, so we didn’t lack for fish or meat that season thru. Our parched corn meal got mouldy, but we got some new meal, and we had boiled corn, and sometimes fish or a turkey or a deer. Thus the Lord kept us from perishing. Our mothers managed to keep busy, so we got food now and then, but it was hard to keep the Indian children in school, or even to teach the girls to knit or spin.


I got with the Pottawatomie, and some of the Delaware Indians and read the Book of Mormon to them. They would never let me go hungry, and they would often fill my hat with venison or buffalo meat–dried, and so nice! I well remember a boyfriend I had by the name of Opteksech. I taught him to read the Book of Mormon. His skill in the use of the bow was greater than mine, though.


This fall mother bought ten tons of hay by sewing for a halfbreed, Alex Miller. He helped us out by letting me help him in the hay field. I helped put up hay, and being bare foot, my feet bled very much. He would laugh at my pain, so when they went to dinner, I would take a sythe and mow hay until I was quite independent. He proved himself dishonest, but we had plenty of hay. With my hay, I bought a sythe and snath, and I soon learned to grind my sythe in the proper way, so when next summer came I had my hay cut before anyone knew it.


We dried considerable berries and gathered many nuts this fall. I also went to school some this winter of 1846-7. In the spring of 1847, we were not able to go with the pioneers, so we had to stay over this summer. We children went to school until it was time to cut hay. I became expert in getting game and fish, so we did not suffer. But there were some who fattened their own nests at our expense. One man in particular, killed one of our steers. We had five families to provide for, but he never so much as said, “Sister Hancock, here is a quarter of your steer.” Such folks seem from time to time to flourish, and sometimes those who are careless in the rules of honesty seem to maintain a fair position among the people. [24] Father had chosen three bishops to assist in helping us out while he was with the Battalion; but all the good they did was to direct my labors, somewhat, but never returned anything to us. Father’s tools were borrowed and never returned either. As for the steer, the one killed, it was returned to us by mother paying $27.00 in sewing for another one.


My brother Levi was born the 28th of February–8« months after my father left for the Battalion.


We had a cow that freshened this spring, but she was up to the bottoms, 40 miles away. We tried to get some of the brethren to bring her down, and they said they would. But mother dreamed that Bill Hickman got the cow and calf, and she wished me to see if I could get a horse and saddle. I dreamed, however, that thieves got away with the horse and saddle, so I took my gun, and mother made me three skillets of corn dodger, and the next morning I started out on foot. Mother also gave me three matches so that I could have a fire when I camped. Our bedding being scarce, I did not take a quilt, even though the season wasn’t very warm. The first day was so muddy that I got only about 20 miles; but I came to a grove of trees–mostly slippery Elm and basswood I soon had a good fire for the wood was plentiful. I had my knife along, and I got some elmbark which seemed to go well with my corn bread. I made me a bed with some dry leaves at the foot of a clump of trees, and was soon in a sound sleep. But, a dismal noise awakened me’ I grabbed my gun and corn dodger, and up a tree I went, for wolves were in force! I threw some wood on the fire so that the blaze would keep back those “clammoring varmits,” as David Crocket would say. Oh, how the cold wind did pierce me! By daylight the wolves were gone, and I left my perch. I soon got warm by the good fire, and I tried to do some praying–for the music in the wolves choir seemed to introduce in me a desire to feel a little religious. I went on and inquired for our cow, but no one seemed to know anything about her. I soon got my eye on her, and started back that evening. I got to a nice wood where I built a fire, and tied the cow with a rope I had found. The calf had been considerable trouble, so I tied it to the cow! Oh, but the wolves were so thick! I had the calf tied to the cow and the cow tied to a tree–then I made a fire close to the cow, then scraped some leaves together for my bed. I got a great pile of wood so I could keep fire thru the night. Then I saw a rabbit run up the hollow tree where I intended to lay my head; I reached it with my arm and soon had it skinned and cooked I had a supper fit for a king with the rabbit, some of the dodger I had left, and some milk I milked into my mouth! The third day of my trip, I arose early and ate the rest of my rabbit and dodger. I found the cow had eaten the pile of straw I carried on my head, which was supposed to be my hat, so I went forth bare headed. However, the day was cloudy, so I didn’t suffer with heat. Altho the snow was nearly gone, except in the gulches, there was much mud; but I made it to the Perkins settlement, where I and my “companions” fell into good hands. The goodly company seemed to suppose me to be somewhat of a hero. I had a good supper and slept soundly, never once thinking of the wolf choir. The next morning I ate a hearty breakfast, and my kind friends sent me [25] forth with a good lunch. At noon I shot a large grey wolf that got too close, and while going down the Mosquit, a panther tried to put up a sneak job on me and my company–however, I saw its movements as it crouched near the path. I put a ball between its eyes and it quivered without making much of a spring. I then began to cast about for another place to sleep, supposing it would be late before I got the thing skinned; when all at once, Jack Reddin rode up on horseback. He saw the situation and gave me $2.50 for the panther, so I traveled on towards home, reaching it about 12 o’clock midnight, much to the joy of my mother who was waiting and worrying for me. I can assure all, I rested sweetly that night!


My mother wished me to buy a pair of shoes with the money I got for the panther, but I said, “No, Mother, it is warm and I can go barefoot. You have to work hard–get something for yourself!” That summer we went to school taught by a sister, and I went all I could. I worked early and late, and got my lessons at school so I could do other kinds of work.


It was the winter of 1847-48. We got some game from time to time, but we passed thru some privations. On the 10th of May, 1848, mother sent me forth to Winter Quarters to see Brother Brigham and find out if we could go to the Salt Lake Valley. He said, “Yes, and here is a team.” So I took a team back with me, and our team was for us and the other team was for father’s 2nd wife. But the 2nd wife did not come with us, so mother took charge of both teams.


We started with 27 bushels of cornmeal, 15 lbs. of flour, 2 pigs, a dog, and a cat. There was Uncle Levi Reed, 2 1/2 years older than I; and Uncle Ira Reed, a little younger. Levi and Ira drove one team and I the other; although when I would be out hunting, mother would drive my team. We all walked because we were heavily loaded. We left the Indian Mills on May 14, 1848; and we left Winter Quarters on May 18th.


While we were camped at Winter Quarters, Mary Dunn came to our camp and wanted to go with us, but mother said we could not take her because we had no room. Mary’s mother had died and her father had gotten a stepmother for his children. She came with her bundle of clothes to our wagon, and with what joy I hailed my noble, beautiful wife! But Mary had to go, and oh what sorrow as I saw her depart. We were separated for life.


We went over to Elk Horn and were organized in Zera Pulsipher’s company of 50. He was captain. There was John B. Butcher, John Bills, Wm. Burges, John Alger, Samuel Alger, Lewis the tinner, Brother Bunday, Brother Neff, and Charles Pulsipher. I took my duty thru the day with the men, and had my turn standing guard at nights. My first turn standing guard was with John Alger. He said I could have the first turn if I would stand till one o’clock; which I did.


We killed our first antelope at Soapfork; and I also caught a catfish there that weighed 36 pounds. John Pulsipher helped me pull it out! We got our first buffalo about 100 miles out of Soapfork. [26] There were four of we boys, and we went to camp and brought out seven yoke of oxen to get the buffalo! John Benton mourned because of the parts of the buffalo we threw away. Then we boys thought we would stroll along up the Platt in quest of other game; but we went too far and got surrounded by wolves before we got back. We got a severe scolding when we got home, but the howling and the massing of the wolves was a great deal worse in my estimation!


When we got to within about two days travel of Laramie, we just about got into some trouble with a large company of Sioux Indians. John Alger started in fun to trade a 16-year-old girl to a young Chief for a horse. But the Chief was in earnest! We got the thing settled, however, and were permitted to go without the loss of Lovina. We went thru Laramie and on to Platt Ferry. Father, in returning from the Battalion trip, had stopped there, but had gone on to Salt Lake Valley because he had heard we were not coming until next year. We found Lewis Robinson at Platt Ferry, and he was going on to the valley. Mother wished to go also, for I was so free to do everybody’s bidding that I was nothing but skin and bones, and mother was afraid that I wouldn’t live thru it. She talked to the captain of the company, but he gave her the most insulting language, so we pulled out and went on. I did not have to stand guard for that company any more, and I began to mend from that time forth.


When we got to Cash Cave we met father and brother David Petigrew going back to the bluff for us. So father returned with us to the valley. While we were going down East Canyon Creek, mother’s foot got caught in between the box and wagon tongue and broke the toe at the upper joint; but the skin was not broken. So father anointed her foot there and administered to her and it was healed quite soon. We went on and at the mouth of Emigration Canyon I broke a hind wheel; but we had some of father’s carpenter tools along and the wheel was mended.


This evening August 2, 1848, Edmond Ellsworth and Charles Shumway came up to our camp with some roasting ears. August 3rd, we drove into the old fort in Salt Lake Valley and went into a house or room on the west side of the north gate. We turned our teams out near the warm springs while we went to making adobies for a house that we intended to build at Spring Creek toward the warm springs. Father had drawn a lot for mother and one for Emely. So we hauled our adobies out, and it being late in the fall, we stacked them up without a foundation or under-pinning. We moved out there on our lot which was in the 18th Ward of Salt Lake. We soon made a dam and had a pond where we put up a wheel then we attached some machinery and ran a turning lathe where we made bedsteads, chairs, tables, cupboards, etc. So it was late before I could get up our winter’s wood, but at it we went when we thought the team able to get wood or poles and sometimes cane or hay for the cattle in the winter. It was very cold before we got our wood; the first load I got was at the head of Little North Canyon. My Brother Francis Marion and I went up on Christmas day. Mother doled out two spoonfulls of branmash to us before we started. Some might ask: “Where was all the [27] meal gone that you brought from Council Bluffs?” I answered: “It was all gone–the 27 bushels of corn meal was gone every whit; not a particle remained.” If we had only our own family we would have had enough, but mother’s judgment run–not for others when we started from the Indian Mills. She had calculated bread-stuff to last us one year; but there was none to speak of raised in the valley for us. We were supposed to have been considered as father was in the Batallion. When we came in there was always a herd eating at our table; and there was no Elija to tell us that our bread should not fail. So it failed on Christmas Day. Oh, the stomachs that were filled from our small pile–mostly batallion boys. We children would often look at the table with pale anxious faces and wish that all of us together could just have what one of those idle gluttons was destined to eat, but no, their guts showed us no mercy. Now if there are any of them left in the land, I wonder if they ever think how Zion prospered at that time?


Now we return to the Christmas of 1848 of which I spoke. After we received the two spoonfuls of bran mush, we started forth to the head of little North Canyon. We got there in time to put on part or perhaps most of a load of poles or quakingasp wood. We secured the oxen to a wagon wheel and gave them some cane, then we built a fire and went to bed. We had only one quilt and part was under us and part was over. When we awoke in the morning, we had four feet of honest snow on us. Marion left me there, and I got the rest of the wood alone. He went to a fellow with a team about 200 yards below. I started home as soon as I could, but the wind, Oh, how cold it was! It took my straw pile off and left my hair flopping. I was so cold I couldn’t ride, and I didn’t know what to do, so I tried walking and kept up with the team. After awhile I got on and rode to the hot springs, where some unseen power grabbed me and shook me to wake me up and keep me from freezing to death. I usually could stand a lot of cold. I let the team go on while I stopped and warmed my feet in the hot spring water. But, I was too greedy with the hot water, and I scalded my partly frozen feet–they were thawed, sure enough! I then started out and overtook the team at Salt Springs. There I stopped to thaw my feet again, and let the team go to more warm springs which I soon reached and once more warmed myself and took a good thaw before l went home. When I reached home, my mother had unhooked the oxen, had fed and cradled them. Who can imagine the suffering of frozen feet? In three days time, every nail came off my toes! Could I find fault with God or any of His servants? Or with even my innocent brother who ran away and left me? The government had made the demand for the Battalion, and the Church had furnished the same; and the men went trusting their families into the hands of the Lord; yet was the Lord to blame if we had no shoes? Not that I know it to be so. While I suffered with my feet I also suffered with my face–I had the tooth-ache so bad that it seemed I would go crazy. In my suffering I had an inspiration to carry pine gum and put it in my teeth when they began to ache; however, that would not work in every case of tooth ache. I knew I had been healed by the power of God; He is powerful. I arose in the morning feeling thankful indeed.


[28]  I went to Brother Gibbs store, and he let me have 1/4 lb. of gun powder for $1.25 and 1 lb. of shot for 75›. My brother Francis Marion came from the hot springs loaded with geese and ducks. When the Lord gave us game, our good Yankee mother knew a thing or two in making the fowls palatable!


Some of the brethren went to California in order to have a better time. Those of us who stayed kept the Word Of Wisdom and tried to make a living and keep the commandments of God. When our amunition gave out, we sharpened some sticks and went up the mountain and dug segos, but oh, the back aching job for the meager messes we obtained! Some got poisoned by getting the wrong kind. As soon as the frost was out of the ground in the bottoms, we went for the thistle roots which were nice to eat–either raw or roasted; we used the tops for greens.


It wasn’t long before Jack, one of our oxen, slipped into a spring and drowned. We finally got some help to pull him out–then we cut his throat to see if the blood would run, but no, he had soaked too long. He looked fairly good when he was taken from the spring, even tho’ his nose was pale and his hoofs white. We skinned him. Being told that the tripe was good, we set about cleaning that also. We knew that intestines were good to put sausage in, but having no sausage, we cleaned the intestines good and chopped them up with the liver, lights, heart, melt, and kidneys, into what we called chitlins. I thought the meat was splendid, even tho he was 20 years old and had served us faithfully. However, my tender-hearted mother shed tears to think that we had to eat him in our afflictions.


Our two hogs that we had brought with us would run out in the daytime thru the winter, yet had done tolerably well. The male one used to go thru a hole in the wall, and one day a pile of adobes tumbled down on him; so we cut his throat and skinned him. It seemed such a joy to eat such pork! I took some of the boiled hog with me when I spaded up our 10 acres. I would walk out from the city on Monday, and return on Saturday evening. Thus I continued until our wheat was in. When father came from California he had brought some wheat; so he spaded ground and planted two qts. of wheat on one-half acre. When he went to Platt Ferry, he left the wheat with brother Charles Shumway, who saved six bushels for us. We boiled and ate five bushels, and I ate one peck raw while I spaded the ten acres and planted wheat. I would also get some fish or minnows to help the food along, and sometimes I got a rabbit. I had to work so that our wheat was in time to make a crop, and the Lord provided for us. While I dug away to make a crop, I took a hoe and furrowed the land about 14 inches apart, then dropped the grain into the rows about 7 inches apart. I also worked a ditch for water for our land.


On the 17th of May, 1849, the first gold diggers of California made their appearance in the City–they were a company from Cincinatti, Ohio. They had mule teams, and seemed to be composed of fair intelligence–very kind and affiable in deportment. They asked me of our faith, and I tried to give them the information which they [29] seemed to desire. Some of them seemed to be up in what might be worldly parlance, considered profane history; but as far as that was concerned, their ideas seemed dull. One of them asked me if I could let them know where they could stay thru the night with some woman. I told them that I thought there were none of that kind in the City. The captain said to me, “Young man, if you will not take it as an insult, I would offer you some bread that is somewhat stale.” Said I, “I would take it with many thanks.” So they got me a sack and gathered up the bread, and I had a large sackfull to take home. I tried to eat a biscuit on the way, but could eat no more than a half one because it was the first bread I had tasted since Christmas, five long months! Here I saw the prophesy of President Kimball fulfilled which he spoke on the 1st of May. He said, “Cheer up brethren and sisters; for I prophesy to you in the name of Jesus Christ, that within three weeks clothing can be bought here as cheap as in New York City.” He turned and sat down and said, “I wish I had not said that, for I do not see how it is to be brought about.” I was on the stand and heard all he said; for I helped to sing. After I took the bread home, I returned. We took their teams out and tended them all night and three days more. They paid us in flour. We got a hundred pounds of flour from them, and they also gave me a hundred pounds of coffee! We later traded the coffee off. We also got a hundred pounds of states bacon; so we began to hold up our heads in joy! I had worked like a slave, nearly starved too, and here I was all ready paid for my toil! Before they left, a gentleman came up to me and asked me to go to their camp. There he made me a present of a new brown broadcloth suit that had never been soiled! He also presented me with a nice library of books. Said he, “I do this because of the respect due to you from me, in consequence of your superior and excellent qualities of mind and heart, in placing before me the principles of the doctrine of Christ in their purity.” I only wish I could remember his name.


So the harvest time came. I obtained a harvesting cradle, and went down with my cradle and a rake to cut our wheat. Mother went down also, but I said, “Mother, if you are going to work in the harvest field, I shall go, for I will not work in the field with a woman.” She said, “Mosiah, can’t I stay and cook for you?” I said yes. But a procession was being formed–there was my mother ready with a rake, and also my brother John ready to help. Sufficient to say, we got it done and in the shock; then in the stack at home before the snow fell. We had boiled wheat with milk.


Our friends would ask mother if she did not wish she were back in the States. She would always answer, “No! I have seen the noblest martyrs in their own gore; I have seen my husband hounded by mobbers of Christendom, in priestly attire; I have beheld my son, a noble hero, marching forth in his bare feet, with nothing but a single shirt to shield him from the shivering blasts. Since God has delivered us, I want no more of modern Christianity!”


President Young gave my father another wife, and father was called upon to strengthen Sanpete County, which he did to the best of his ability. He went to Manti and was there most of the time until [30] August of 1853. He then came to the Legislature as a delegate for two terms.


We had a machinery shop burn down in 1852, with a loss of $600.00. It was supposed to have been burned by the Indians. We used the machinery to make different things for the people; some paid us, and some were careless.


Father had brought some potatoes from California, but when he went to Platt Ferry, he left his potatoes with Brother Shumway, so that in the spring of 1849 we had only one peck left. And Father in his generosity divided the peck equally with Charles B. Hancock and Levi Reed. That left us with one-third of a peck. One morning as I was going to the field to spade up land for a wheat crop, I heard a top on the wagon, and Doctor Willard Richards beckoned me to come to him. He said, “Brother Mosiah, has your father got any potatoes?” I said, “He has just one-third of a peck which he is trying to save for seed.” Said he, “Will you ask your father if he can spare me one potato? I wish it for seed.” I returned to father and told him of brother Richard’s request. Father picked out three of the largest potatoes in the pile–he held them in his hand for a minute with his eyes closed, as if asking a blessing over them. Then he handed them to me, saying, “Tell Brother Richards I make him a present of these, in the name of the Lord.” I returned to Brother Richards and told him what father had said. He took them in his hands and held them perhaps two minutes; then opening his eyes, he said, “Mosiah, tell your father that I say in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that he will have more potatoes with what he has left than if he had kept these.” I asked father if I could tend the potatoes, and he said yes. So I planted a hill apiece for Brother Willard Richards, Brother Brigham, and Brother Heber. I spaded the land and planted the potatoes three feet apart. I got a good yield and took them to the brethren.


I cannot help but draw the contrast between the brethren of nowadays, and the brethren of the old style of those days. How can I forget the noble Prophet, who felt it no disgrace to be equal with his faithful brethren. Oh, how familiar he was to all, and others of our brethren since his time. But now how does it seem if people cannot yell out, “Great is Baal; Great is republicanism; Great is democracy.” The chances are there is no pot of gold for them within sight.


Thru the kindness of President Young, I went to parents school, and I paid my own tuition. I soon tried to do all the good I could among the Indians, but they were sassy and mean. A great many were camped on the bench above our place. The measles thinned them out considerably, and they took turns carrying each other to the hollow above our place. One day the Indians took a notion to kill some of the cattle belonging to some of the brethren, and Charles C. Rich was sent with a squad of men to settle the business. The Indians gathered on a knoll above our place and were quite saucy. They were well armed. I too was well armed with my rifle and fifty rounds of [31] ammunition. We marched up to within four rods of the Indians, and B. Huntington began to talk. He said they had been killing the Mormon’s cattle. They said they had not, that they had killed only their own. They said their deer had run away and some other animals had come to eat up the grass, and they had only killed some to last them a short time. They told us not to go hungry. There was one we called “Bear Claws.” He had the claws of a bear hung on his neck. He snapped his gun toward us several times; I feared it would go off, the way he handled the trigger. At last Brother Huntington said there was no use trying to do anything with them, as they were too well armed for us. At length Brother Rich began to inquire how much ammunition we all had, and found there was only two of us that had the 48 rounds required in those days. One-half of the twenty men had no ammunition at all; and three had no locks on their guns. I had joined the company after they had gotten to the field of “battle.” Brother Rich told the brethren that they had better go home and prepare for emergencies that might come, so the brethren started for the fort, and I went home. The Indians yelled in defiance at our discomfort. We killed a sheep before long and gave it to the Indians and they seemed tolerably satisfied. That was on my birthday, April 9th.


There were in those days some cattle kings who thought they owned the world because their cattle ate most of the grass; and it took the poor, little folks to guard and shield from foes without and foes within. There were those who had no respect for the rights of those of tougher beef. I tried to teach the Indians the Book of Mormon. I tried to teach them all the good things I could, but they seemed incapable of learning any good things. President Young used to say they were the remnant of the old Giddiantian robbers.


The people were so poor in paying for things we made for them that we had to give up our shop. Father took his tools to Manti where he tried the furniture business; but the result was his shop burned down!


We tilled our land. I worked at different kinds of labor and I was also set aside as a teacher to labor with father and William Hawks. I tried to do all the good I could. This was in the nineteenth ward. Our bishop, James Hendricks was a cripple. He had been crippled in the battle of Crooked River, where Brother David Patten, and Brother Carter were killed.


I now had to prepare to push out towards Utah County. The Indians at that time were cruel. In the winter of 1851-52, I worked for James Gamble on a railroad track at the point of the mountain, making a dugway around the mountain. I also cut considerable hay at Jordan. I paid myself when I worked for myself, but neither Gambles nor some others paid good.


On my birthday, April 9th, 1852, I was ordained a Seventy in the Old Council House in Salt Lake City.


[32]  I carried three peach trees on my back to Payson, and I left them there then returned to the city. I rigged up with my brother-in-law G. W. Brawn, and on the 12th of May, we started with certain other men, to run the ferry on Green River. I didn’t realize what a crowd I was with until they had me out on Green River. The most notorious of them wished me to do a job that my whole soul rebelled against. At my refusal, they pushed me off the boat; and the river being high, and the current strong, I did not gain the shore until I had been carried down for a distance of one-half mile in the cold water. Having on my overcoat and boots, it became quite tedious before I reached the shore. I found some trappers I was partly acquainted with, so I felt safe. I stayed with them all night; then returned the next day to the consternation of those fellows who thought I was a sure goner. The day before I made my escape from that gang, I knew not what to do. Their leader could pray as loud as any jackass I ever saw, and yet to all appearances he was quite a saint. He even told me he was Brigham Young’s right hand man, as well as other startling things. With these strange things before me I knew not what to do.


I had been ordained a Seventy; and I could realize that I held the priesthood, so I thought that I would go back to the states. I felt that God could and would take care of me. I started and got up toward the South Pass when my brother-in-law, Amy’s husband, overtook me. He had two horses; I was walking. We went on to the east side of the pass and came to the camp of a man by the name of Deshaw, who had marries a squaw. He had a boat and he wished us to take it down to the crossing of the Sweetwater and put it together and run it; and he would send his boy with us and furnish a team to haul it down to the river. And we were to give him one-third of what we made. We took it down and I being an expert, soon got it together. We made a few trips across, though the waters were high. It seemed to work all right; but George and I did not agree so I went on. Soon Ephram Hanks overtook me and asked me where I was going. I told him what that gang had said and asked him if Brother Brigham had ordered such things done. He said it was a lie that Brigham never told anyone to do such a deed. This statement eased my mind. He said I could go back with him on his return. I thanked him feeling that he was a friend. I soon came upon a stranger by the name of Edward Doolittle. He and his partner wished to hire me; they said they would give me one hundred dollars a month, and would board me and give me all the whiskey, tobacco and coffee I could wish for. I stayed with them but used none of the stuff named. They were satisfied with me and I with them; for I had never worked or dealt with more honest men. I had the chance of trading for myself, and when Ephram Hanks came along I was ready to go, too.


I had a wild mustang horse that I caught and tamed. I had another good horse and three hundred dollars in cash and I had not tasted whiskey, coffee or tobacco. I got home with my pile. I set my sack of money in Eph’s wagon and took his saddle and I kept along with him until in passing the President’s Office, President Young beckoned to me and I went to him. He asked me where I had been and what I had been doing. I told him all. I got home the [33] evening of the twenty third of July with the blessings of God and the Holy Priesthood. The next day I celebrated Pioneer Day and was assigned the Banner of Judah to carry. I was well fitted to take any honors or anything. My hair was as black as the slow, and I had made the leap forward and backward of many feet so that I was not a dude. I could lift my end of weight with anyone. On the 18th of August I was drafted from my minute Company to go and help our people against the Indians at Sanpete. We started on that day under the command of Colonel Lyman Stevens. We went as soon as we could.


While there I had some adventures, and not wishing to pose as a hero I will try to say that we tried to be of use to our kindred there. I soon became acquainted with the relatives of father’s other wife. I truly found them kind and affable in every particular. After we had guarded and chased and harvested to the satisfaction of our friends we returned home.


On Christmas Day we had a scrap with the United States soldiers. I saw in a certain history of Utah, that it was a row with a set of persons that were drunk. I ask in all reasons, why do people in getting up our histories resort to such abominable falsehoods? Why is it not as easy to tell the truth and shame Satan as it is the wish of some to try to shame God and to raise Satan to a standard? Have not our enemies been the petted and pampered ones long enough? And now I tell it. That command located in those barracks in Salt Lake City had been pampered by the elite of the city until they supposed that the majority of the women and the girls were their private property. Erma King was my partner as we were walking town the sidewalk on the East side of what was then known as Hell-Street, or Whiskey-Street. The walk was full of soldiers and some Mormons. Some of us were going to the Seventies Party at the Seventies Hall of Science. There came along two of the finest looking ladies I had ever beheld. There were two soldiers, or perhaps two sergeants, one of whom made such an expression right in front of the young ladies that all at once the blabbers head had broken a picket and his head lay between two more pickets Then there was considerable stir. I saw that it was no place for my partner, so I hailed a team and having taken my partner in we stopped to see the rest of the play and I saw it all through. I had had no liquor of any kind. There might have been some under the influence of liquor to some extent, but if there were, I failed to see it on any one of them. We went on to our dance having an enjoyable time. Our dance being dignified, we closed at an early hour.


I had come down from Payson on a visit. The first of August, I started from Payson with an ox team to meet my father, who was coming from Manti. I had my rifle and two pistols which I had made myself and while I was crossing Summet Creek, now Santaquin Creek, a bullet took off part of my hat rim so that it lopped down. The oxen took the hint and ran so fast that I did not have time to shoot. I went on to Nephi and stopped at Samuel Adams the next morning. I was on the point of starting out to meet my father when they took me and my team and placed us under Marshal Guard. I [34] helped the people in the harvest field and got no pay. In the evening I started forth with my gun and pistols to meet my father for I was worries about him. As soon as it was dark I started forth from Nephi and the way I went was up to Creek Canyon and soon arrived where Fountain Green now is. And as I was about to take a drink of water I saw my father with a gun in his arms. I soon explained the situation to him and how I had broken away from my guards and that I would not camp there. He said, “Then let us go on to Nephi.” We arrived there at half-past four in the morning. I had traveled twenty nine miles since dark. They let me go after that. The next day we rested and on the following day went on to Payson and here I helped make a large house for father. I also drew a lot by the side of my father’s for myself. I made the adobe for myself while I made father some. I let Warren Hancock put up my house for the rent. I was called here and there and never at any time did I shirk a civil, military or any other duty that I know of in my days from the time I was ordained a priest after the order of Aaron up to the present time. I have seen dudes placed in office over the people when they were not qualified for the position; yet they and their friends have denied it and therefore in many instances they have been a drag to the position they occupied.


On the ninth of January in 1857 I took a handcart girl to wife by the name of Margaret McCleve, in the town of Payson. I fixed up a room which I had rented from Bishop Hancock. We had our times of hardship. I had stayed by father and got his blessings; and had attended his sick wife for I thought she needed tender care. I had done by my father as I would wish my sons to do by me. I certainly tried to do my duty faithfully. I had chances to marry stylish girls; but my great desire was to raise up children in the true spirit of the gospel. I had made my father as comfortable as possible and then he was called to the city. He went down in the spring of 1856 and located in the fifth ward. He had a hard time. I know that Brigham Young thought well of father, for not withstanding his age he was no gormandizer. He would not use the tithing or church means in any way but would attend to his duties in every respect.


In 1856 he consecrated his property to the church, as he supposed the circumstances were on this, wise. He and I were down from Payson and Bishop Raleigh got the consecration deeds up, and he said to father one morning, “Brother Levi, If you are ready to consecrate your property to the nineteenth ward now is the time.” “All right,” said father. So we went over to Bishop Raleigh’s residence with my uncle Samuel Alger and myself as witnesses. When we got there Raleigh said, “Brother Levi, I haven’t had time to make out these deeds in full, but you put your name here and Brother Alger and Brother Mosiah put your names here,” which he did. Now we were required to consecrate to Brigham Young, he being trustee for the Church. We supposed it would be filled out in his name. Some few years after we found out that the Government took it in hand to see that things were restored to their right owners. We found that the deeds had been made out to another person by the name of Thomas White for $1.50 (one dollar ant fifty cents). I inquired into the affair and found by Mr. White that he had paid Mr. Raleigh sixteen hundred dollars and fifty cents for the [35] premises. While we were toiling to build up the kingdom, those whom we had calculated as brethren were sucking our life’s blood from us and taking upon themselves of Mr. so and so after the gentiles fashion. These and other things were too much for my brothers and they left the Church. The gentile mobbers had been hard on us, but the climax of exquisite grief came by the horrible profidity of those who we thought were our brethren.


We were required to forgive each other from time to time; and we do all in our power to take the counsel of the Savior. But while we resist evil it seems impossible to forget some of the Pharisees of our times. Could our brethren and our kindred stand these things as we had to stand them we would feel paid for all our toil and pain. Behold I have seen my noble father untiring in the persecutions heaped upon him by the mobbers of Christianity, untiring in his exertions in defending the Prophets of God; untiring of getting the poor from the mobocracy; untiring in his exertions in taking the Mormon Battalion through in the spirit of the gospel that they might not fail to receive the reward for all their toil over the desert and chilly mountains, until he, through the direct exposure, became paralized on his right side; until he was unable to hold his hand still; after all these things to still be sent forth to strengthen the outskirts of those people, and still in his emaciated condition standing nobly to the rock, pay or no pay, until through the goodness of God he sank like a warrior, taking his rest with his Priesthood upon him. I told him this on certain occasions when I thought he had received sufficient abuse. I said, “Father, I will never stand one tithe of what you have stood. If people serve me as they have served you, I’ll stomp them into the earth.” “You will do no such thing,” he said; “But you will lay your body down for others to walk over to what they will suppose to be their exaltation.” I have seen this fulfilled in several instances.


When we came to the mountains, we came to serve God and not mamon. We have a little of the beliefs of the gentiles especially while we are in captivity to their fashions; but it is entirely contrary to the nature of God to serve the devil because it is fashionable even if we should be in captivity. Does not God plainly say: If you do thus and so you will prevail over your enemies, and if not, they will prevail over you. Look to the revelations of God! Why are the wicked set up and pampered? Some say: “If my son does not do any worse than to go to a pool table or a saloon that it is not so very bad!” So they are encouraged to go from bad to worse until the foundation of life spiritually and temporally, is cut off. They are captives of Satan, indeed, and the choice spirits of the Kingdom of God, that we are responsible for, are beyond our grasp, a prey to Satan’s miseries. Who can ever pay for the loss of those jewels? Then in all reason, I ask: Why do people not pause in their rush for Satan’s popularity and consider the dismal surroundings that confront them? Can you be happy even when surrounded with the everlasting glories of God without your children?


[36]  I shall now return to Payson. About the time I was one and twenty years of age, I know not whether to call it a dream or a vision; some have classed it a dream. I do not expect to give it in full: for to me it is sacred, beyond expression, especially some things I have no power to describe in words or to express in writing. Me thought I was taken away somewhere to Oh, such a Glorious Realm. I saw He whom at that time we Reverently spoke of as The Great Eternal. I saw the females at his right side. I have no idea of their number. I there saw the Savior; and calling me by name He said, “Mosiah, I have brought you here that you may know how it was before you went to yonder earth.” Thinks I, What earth? for it seemed to me that I had no knowledge of an earth. He said, “As it is written in the Beginning, God created man, male and female, created He them.” “And know you that no man is man without female, and that in the Lord. And no female is female without the male, and that in the Lord.” I shall not attempt to tell how they were formed. . . suffice it to say, they were created in pairs, the male and his female. And as they came up to the throne of the Great Eternal the mothers seemed to name the females, and Oh, the respect they seemed to entertain for each other as they marched forth. The right elbow of the female seemed to touch the left elbow of the male. I should judge the males, generally to be about six feet two inches in height, and the females some three or four inches less. Their forms seemed as perfect as a new born infant, with no interference. They marches forth clothed in robes of a light color, tied in front.


They were instructed in everything that could be imagined, the finest oratory and everything of literary turn, including astronomy, trigonometry, surveying, and the use of most delicate machinery. The females were taught to weave, to knit, to sew and to work in everything in their departments. Oh, the music of those spheres; I seem inadequate to touch upon the least of those accomplishments of the Heavenly Characters. Yet they were so orderly and harmonious that it seemed as if one could hear a pin drop. I saw some who became more efficient in science or other knowledge and they were advanced from class to class. It seemed as if the female always kept with her companion for they were always together, for I never saw one fall behind. Even those who had been placed to overlook the classes were always together. The male overlooking the males and his female overlooking females. I even had a companion with me that needed no prompting. It seemed that I had been with the Savior so long, it seemed that I wore the same vesture as his. All at once a Heavenly voice seemed to reverberate, as it were, through the immensity of space and said: “Hear all ye, Oh my children! We have a world for you on which you can dwell and you can have the chance on coming up as we have come up.” We then gathered in counsel to devise means of redemption, should it be needed. One arose whom I had always looked upon as the Savior and said that he would go down and lay before the children of men the gospel that they might have the chance of attaining the glory as the Gods had done by the obedience to the divine plan of life. Then I saw another who supposed his plan to be superior to the plan of the first for he said that he would save all; only that he wanted the glory I saw that he and his plan were not accepted, [37] so there was considerable commotion. At last I saw, as it were, a platform extended where the contest could be decided. I was indignant at the opposition as we fought with our opponents. The one called Levi became my father, and the one called Clarissa was my mother here on earth.


My father seemed a savior as he strove to bring me up in the admonition of the Lord; and blessed be the name of my parents. Clarissa became my mother and she certainly did a Christian duty to me. But there are others who have no right with me or mine, that I cheerfully leave in the hands of One that I know doeth all things well. Although I have been weak at times, I trust that I can be worthy of Glory hereafter. [See Addendum for complete vision.]


I helped to build the Spanish Wall around Salt Lake City before I went to Payson, and helped to fence the fields from the Indians. I was through the Indian Wars of Walker and the Notorious Utes in those days. I knew that Jesus Christ promised that he would see me safely through, and he has thus far. I sparked, as the saying goes, several girls in those days, some of noble quality who tried to have me covenant with them that if we were married I would never get another wife as long as we live, but I never sold myself to such an idea.


When father moved to the city, I had made the adobe for his house. I had hauled them up and had done most of the building of the same, had hauled the wood, done the washing, ironing, and cooking for the family. I had done a great deal of praying also.


A man by the name of Phineas Cook bargained for our house so we let him have it. I reserved two rooms for myself until the house was paid for; but the whole eight hundred dollars went from one to the other until nothing was realized from the whole building. I drew a lot next to father’s. I often used to be sent as a missionary to bring back a thief, while on many expeditions to the Indians. And the thief always seemed to be willing to come back. We seemed to have some reformation now and then when the people would get a streak of wanting to do better; and they would come for us to do baptizing. One cold day I baptized three hundred Indians. When father went to the city I hired out to Phineas Cook as a carpenter to learn the trade, but he was no better workman than myself.


I was always standing guard when President Young came around. Early one spring of 1860, President Young saw me and said, “Mosiah, I have chosen you as one to go to Salt Lake City and finish up your education under Prof. Orson Pratt.” So I traded my place in Payson to John Badger for his place in the 16th Ward in Salt Lake City. I also traded my farm to Badger and got 80 acres of his land on the Jordan River I had let Mathew Mansfield use my 10 acres before that was out on Mill Creek. Well, I attended to school all I could, renting out my farms and working the carpenter trade evenings, mornings, and Saturdays.


[38]  On the 19th of November, Margaret and I received our endowments and sealings in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. We were married at Payson, January 9, 1857, by Bishop C. B. Hancock. Our eldest son, Moroni, was born October 14, 1857. I being away from home after the Johnson Army, Margaret had a tough time giving birth to Moroni, being three days in labor. I returned in January and found my wife a wreck of her former self; but she soon recuperated when I came home.


The brethren who went forth to repel the invaders had no one to help bear the expense of the campaign. But when I returned I set about tending to my affairs. The spring we were married the brethren wanted a great deal of work done, such as carpenter, mason, surveying, etc., and they promised to plough for me if I would do their work. They would plough for themselves and everyone else before they would plough for me. So in the spring of 1858 I spaded up my 5 acres nearest to town and put it in garden truck. I also spaded up my large city lot and put that in. I had an orchard on my lot that I was proud of. This fall I tucked away about six hundred watermelons and at Christmas time I had four hundred and some lasted until early spring.


On December 7, 1858 my daughter Margaret Clarissa was born in Payson, and blessed by John B. Fairbanks when eight days old. I belonged also to the Theatrical Association of Payson. I had laid up 300 bushel of wheat and had $700 in the theatre at Payson. We played on the stage through Utah County and sometimes at Nephi. We had a good stage run of the country. Sometimes Brother George A. Smith would be with us. He would encourage us often by saying that we were good actors. So when President Young called me on a mission to go to school in the city, I felt quite good over it. I got there in the spring of 1860, on May 12th, and went to school all I could.


I did not realize the excellent opportunity extended to me by the Noble Prophet of God, yet I did appreciate the chance. I thought it my duty to work that I might not become a burden of others–therefore I worked what I could. On the 12th of September 1860 our son Mosiah Lyman was born in the 16th Ward in Salt Lake City, Utah.


By order from President Young, I with John and William Lyttle and Joseph McRose started out for Green River to explore and find a road. When we got there we were recalled for President Young said that it had been taken for a reservation for the Indians. So we were called to Dixie in Southern Utah on a mission. I sold out to H. Redfield for $700 and started the 12th of December 1861 from Salt Lake City. I got to Payson and stopped for the winter. My cattle got scattered, I hunted for them almost every day, but could not find them. Brother David Ellsworth who had married my wife’s mother wanted to go to Utah’s Dixie. Dr. P. Meeks, who had married my wife’s sister was already down there. At last on the 20th of March I made up my mind that as soon as I could find my cattle I would start for Dixie. I went out on the 21st, and found every hoof belonging to me, except one cow.


On the 21st we started out with father Ellsworth. My family consisted of myself, my wife, Margaret, our daughter Margaret Clarissa, [39] our son, Mosiah Lyman and my sister Emily Melissa. We had our team and father Ellsworth and Joseph McCleve had their team. We had a yoke of large oxen, six sheep, five cows, two steers and some calves. On the same day we started I found my other cow.


We went on towards the land of Mormon Cotton. We stopped by many of our friends who were glad twice–glad to see us come, and glad to see us go. Someone told us that we would soon come to the country of Mormon Pieplant. We could easily tell it, they said. There was also the Mexican “Mescall.” So when we got to Ash Creek we stopped to get our dinner and of course stewed some pie-plant, which proved to be wild dock. We also roasted the “Mescall” as we supposed, which proved to be the oase, or soap root. But we did get rid of our colds, for the stuff proved to be too laxative for our weak natures. However, we got to Cottonwood, as there were cottons on the creek where Dr. Meeks lived. We got there the 17th of May 1862.


I had lost my sheep at the Severe River and the wolves being so thick I supposed not one of them could escape. But I wrote to the Bishop of Nephi and found that everyone of them came bounding into Nephi the next morning. He wrote me that he had sheared them and the whole outfit was at my command. I took out my trees, 150 that I had brought from Salt Lake City and 150 that I had brought from Payson. The peach tree leaves, some of them were two inches long. I set the whole pile out in rows, and I think they all lived.


We moved up near Quail Creek and went to clearing off land. Not having water in the ditch I went up and took it out of the creek on my land. We brought the water three fourths of a mile and cleared off five acres of land and ploughed it and put it in cotton and corn, so by the fourth of July I had my crop all in. On the fifth of July I started back after Sarah Tew, my 2nd wife, who was still in Springville. I loaded in a lot of sticks, or green ash saplings, which I, with my knife, made into wagon-bows as I trailed along. I then kept them in place by tying them with oase strings. These I sold for one half bushel of wheat each. I got to Springville and stopped at my sister’s.


This was my sister, Amy, my only own sister who later died in child birth with her first child. She had married George W. Brown of Pioneer Fame. She had been to a beautiful city and had seen Joseph and Hyrum Smith; Brother Joseph told her that she could go back to tell her friends that she could stay only three days, that her brother Mosiah would be at her house on such a night and she could let him know what she had seen and heard. She said: “Mosiah, you will not see me alive when you return.” I did not want her to talk of dying so off to the city I went taking Sarah with me so that she could have her endowments. She was sealed over the alter to me the 26th day of July 1862 by Daniel H. Wells.


I soon started back for Dixie; my oxen were in splendid condition. I met George Rust, who had his horse team. One of his horses had balked with him so much that he was discouraged with it. He said: [40] “Mosiah, don’t you want to work yourself into getting a horse team?” “No such horse team as that,” said I. Said he, “I’ll give you my horses even up for your oxen.” “No, you don’t,” said I. I knew what a smart horse jockey he was, and how green I was on all such smart trading occasions. Said he, “What will you do?” Said I, “I have a notion to try and see what I can do with that team.” “If you will throw in the harness and let me have five dollars to buy grain with, as my oxen have never needed grain, and I find that I can do nothing with the team, you will let me have my oxen and yoke back, I might try the horses.” Said he, “I will not make any Indian trades.” Said I, “I can’t do without the double-trees.” Said he, “You can have them in welcome.” I saw that his wagon was a little lighter than mine, only the tongue was thinner; and I felt the oxen ought to go with my wagon. And I said: “Give me $5 to boot and we trade the teams, wagon and all except the loads.” So we took off the loads and changed them. And he begged me not to tell anyone what a fool he had been. I made the same request of him in regard to myself. “For,” said I to him, “I can realize that I have let you have an experienced team that has been trained a long and weary seventeen years, and I have never had the least balk with either of them.” So we both started on our way.


I came to Dixie at Ash Creek and met John Adair, who wanted my pinto horse. He asked: “How old is he?” Said I, “He was sold to me as a five year old horse.” Said he, “I will give you that five-year old pair of steers for your horse.” “That chain, also” said I. “Yes;” said he. So we traded and I hitched the steers onto my wagon and never once thought of mourning because of the loss of my other oxen. I went on and met a man going out on the range. He wanted my other horse. Said I, “No you don’t want him.” “Why, yes I do, why not?” Asked he. Said I, “He is balky.” “Has he ever balked with you?” asked he. “No;” said I. “But he balks.”


I wish to add that when I returned from Salt Lake my sister had been dead for nearly one-half an hour.


In my trading I got a large hog, which in those days we thought it no harm to eat, we fed him ten bushels of corn. When he was dressed he weighed 480 pounds. I found the town lots surveyed when I came home and my folks were well. I moved onto my two lots; and soon put up a couple of stone rooms on the lots. I put on a lumber roof, moved my family in and made a fireplace in each end of the shanty; we then got our stove out, it being somewhat of a luxury in those days. We then got our stuff up from the field.


I soon found that I had to go with Jacob Hamblin to the Moquis Indians. We were ready to go on the 1st of November. I was in St. George with the rest of the party when we were set apart by Apostle Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow. There were 21 of us men at this time, and we started to find a way over the desert to the San Francisco mountains. We went from St. George to the mouth of the Grand Wash on the Colorado River. Isaac Riddle took a boat along that he had made; Andrew Gibbons, a faithful brother, stripped himself to the waist and with only his drawers on, helped swim the animals over the [41] river. After the animals were over, we buried our boat with three days of provisions, hoping to meet here on our return home. We went up to Grass Springs where there was plenty of feed. The Indian guide left us at the river and we obtained two more guides. Their heads were quite shaggy, and they spoke a sort of Piute dialect. They were low in their deportment, and many of them were quite badly deformed. They were naked, and when they first got sight of us, would run like wild deer until stopped by the guides. They would stop and look at us until, by chance, we might drop a cracker, then they would scramble for it. They were not farmers; all they seemed to comprehend was to keep out of our way, and to eat cedar berries. I saw no other food among them. There were many of them not far from the river. When we went up in the mountain country not far from the river, there were some deer. When we came to the edge of the desert, our guides said they would never see us more. They left us soon after we left Peach Tree Springs–a spring which water was fair, and which was surrounded by about 30 peach trees. We then steered for the San Francisco Mountains as far as we could calculate. After two days travel, we could see two little peaks to the southeast; which we reached six days after getting sight of them. The second evening we were on the desert needing water. I went on after dark to pray, and I came to some small tanks of water. I took a good drink, then got my horses and they drank; then I took Brother Jacob there, and the others came and all sufficed! The next day we came to a curious formation where we got water. I obtained in about two hours time, what brought me sixty dollars when I got to Salt Lake City. I have never been able to find the place since. It took us five days after that to reach the San Francisco Mountains. We found some banks of snow, and had only two bake kettles and three frying pans to melt water for 21 men, and 52 animals. There was not much sleep for any of us while the melting was going on. Then we reached mountains and forest that were truly beautiful. We left the forest and went down the little Colorado river. We found considerable deer here, and struck the little Colorado river a little above the Black Falls. From here we went to the Asibi Village, striking it the 16th day of December. We found many friends here, and wherever we visited they always wished us to eat. They were a very kind people–some of whom were quite clean; also virtuous. Their stoves were made of stone, and were so arranged that each kettle was a little higher than the other, as the fire went toward the chimney. They brought their firewood a distance of about twelve miles. Some had burros to carry it; others carried it themselves. They had to economize in those places. Their houses were built of stone and were plastered too–they were generally two stories high, with flat roofs, and they had ladders go up to the first story. When they were all up, they pulled up the ladders. Their ladders were made of two poles on each side, and cross pieces tied on with oase. When they brought their sheep home, they drew them thru an opening into a pen which had a stone wall about 12 feet high. On top of the wall was brush laid crosswise and extending over the wall on each side about a foot. When the sheep were in the pen, a man would go in and raise a stone to a perpendicular position so that it fit tight against the opening, then he would take a stone that had been fixed to fit in a slanting position. When it was secure, he would climb up a ladder. [42] They also had a ladder at home beside the sheep pen ladder. They would place it on the other side, then descend to the ground by helping each other in or out as desired. There were no doors or the ground, and for safety from their enemies, they went into their house from the top.


On one certain occasion, I went to explain as well as I could, the principles of the gospel. We had a great many words written down in the “Deseret Alphabet Characters.” The landlord gave me to understand that the food should be looked after first; so he wished me to ask a blessing on it–which I did. Then we commenced operations. Of course I had a big wooden spoon which I always kept with me. They would wait for me to help myself, then they would follow. I took some rabbit soup and meat first, and I got an enjoyable piece of meat; then when I took more upon my spoon, I beheld what a tender morsel it was! With the three large rabbits were seven small ones that had not been cleaned! I put the spoonful back, found my way outdoors, and cast up what I had eaten–to the consternation of my new friends, who called it waste. We saw that our provisions were getting low, yet our friends did not want to spare any provisions, still would feed the three missionaries. We desired to leave–Brother McConnel, Thomas Haskel, and Ira Hatch. We left for Utah with four Moquis Indians, who wished to see the “Mormon machinery.” Our provisions were very low, but we tried to be patient. When we came to the place where young George A. Smith was killed, we camped for the night. The snow was 16 inches deep. In the morning, we hitched up and packed our animals, sent them ahead, then we remained to pack the rest. When we were ready to start, I could nowhere find my horse that I had packed and sent ahead. I go to the front and report; I start back and go three miles and cannot find it. I see two Navajos on our vacant camp ground. They do not see me, and I go back again to our company who are now several miles away. I told Jacob Hamblin. I could see that my mare was tired, so I threw the reins over the saddle horn, sent her with the men, and back I flew on foot. I got to the camp ground just at sundown. I went up in the cedars about one mile and found my horse. The pack was on it all right, so I tightened it and started after our company. As I was going towards a little pass, I saw two Indians to my right trying to head me off before I could reach the pass. I kept the horse on the trail as much as possible I heard a voice say, “Mosiah, remember the fate of George A. Smith.” I happened to look to my left and saw four Indians running to head me off. Again the voice said to me, “Mosiah remember the fate of George A. Smith.” I took out my butcherknife and gave my horse a prick in the thigh to make him speed–he gave a kick which sent me back! I returned my knife to its scabbord and took the horse by the tail so that when he got off the trail I could steer the rudder and keep him on. Both my revolvers kept swinging against my hips and I hardly knew what to do. I had certainly gone as fast as the Navajos anyway. I knew those Indians were enemies of the mast venemous kind. I saw the two on my right level their guns. I was a little ahead of them, and I leveled the revolver in my right hand. They stopped and I drove my horse into the pass. Then I turned and faced them. There were six who faced me. I now held both revolvers [43] in my hands. The Indians were tall and well formed, except one who had thick lips and was quite large. (I learned after I reached camp that he was the one who got George A. Smith’s pistol and shot him in the back between the kidneys.) He was spokesman, and said. “Mormon, how you do?” holding out his hand, “Mormon, me see um gun.” They seemed so friendly that I thought I’d let them see my revolvers one at a time. I started to hand one to him, when again. that voice said, “Mosiah, remember the fate of George A. Smith.” I now was aware that I had been warned the third time, and I was thoroughly aroused to the responsibilities in which I was under. I determined to sell my life as dearly as I could. Altho the odds were against me in numbers, I had them to my advantage for I had stopped them in their mad rush to get thru the pass; for as soon as they had got fairly in, perhaps one rod, I yelled out, “Harken, you sons of bitches.” They stood still. I being perhaps twenty feet from them. I motioned the fat one to come forward, and I told the others to stop. I then slipped the revolver I had in my left hand into the left scabbord, while my dusky friend strode towards me. The rest of them were in a huddle in the 10 foot wide pass. He came up and I took his right hand with my left hand and shouted in his ear, “Momon Navajo, How you do? You see um gun?” I kept my revolver in my right hand cocked, and the muzzle within a foot of his face. Altho he was quite dusky, I could see the blood dismantle from his face. Having commenced with the bully I called the others to take their turns to investigate my gun. They seemed to be satisfied without further parley. I told them not to follow me. I walked backwards toward my horse. Had it not been for the snow on the ground, it would have been pitch dark. So off I went, following the trail. I knew my dusky friends could not pass me as long as I kept the trail; and I made old Jim trot. After I had gone several miles, I saw a light on a hill–the horse saw it too and enlivened his trot. When I got nearer, I could hear voices say, “He has gone as George A. Smith went. It was a shame to let him go alone that way.” They were coming to look for me, and as they came near me, they gave a shout of joy. There was William Lytle and James Andrews and James Pierce, and others whose names I do not remember. I tried to get on the horse behind Lytle, but could not–so one of the boys helped me up, and to the camp we went. When we got to camp, it was two o’clock in the morning, and it was full of Indians! Old Pennenshanks had been in camp ever since our camp was made, but they were just leaving. I felt tired and lay down to rest until morning. The next day we traded some ammunition for sheep meat, and on our way we went. We soon got to the Colorado River, crossing it on New Year’s Day, 1863. Some were of the opinion we ought to wait until morning, and Brother Hamblin asked my opinion I said, “Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.” “That is my feeling, too,” said Brother Hamblin. So we crossed that evening.


There was a sad occurrence happened in the morning before we got to river. One of the brethren had emptied a small sack of flour into his pack. One of the others had found the sack and had shaken some flour down into one corner. I should judge there might have been about 1/2 ounce of flour. The brother that made the discovery was large and bulky, six feet and two inches in height, and weighing 260 pounds. He called the other man a thief. The other man went to explain and the [44] big one called him a liar. Brother Steel said to the big man, “Tom Walker, you are a bigger man than I am, but powder and ball make us equal. Stand twenty steps off with your revolver, and we will see who is the best man.” It seemed to me that not two seconds had passed when each man was in place with revolver cocked and ready! But–I flew to Tom and put him on the ground, wrenching the revolver from him. James Andrews had Steel flat on his haunches and had his revolver too.


By January 2, 1863, we were on the west side of the Colorado River. It was full of great blocks of ice, and how glad we were to be across. The pass thru a gorge was washed out and it was full of quicksand; so we commenced to cut willows and roll down stone so we could have a road to travel on. The morning of the 4th we had it finished, and six of us men whose animals were the best, started out for the settlements to have supplies sent to the company. We set off, and the evening of the 5th found us at Pahreah. Some of the animals wore given out, and it fell my lot to stay with them until the company came up. I cheerfully let them take what little grub was left and go on. On the 6th, I followed a wolf’s tracks for some distance, but could not get sight of him. I wanted him for food, and I had only one load for my rifle so I had to be careful with it. On the 7th, I killed a buzzard. Having a Moqui bowl that would hold perhaps two quarts, I boiled the buzzard in it. I also had 12 beans that I had picked up in a Moquis field intending to plant them when I got home, but I put them in with the buzzard. I also got some white stuff from the creek bottom and mixed it in too. Soon the pile was bouncing over a good hot fire–wood was plentiful. I made a wooden spoon from cottonwood, and when I needed water, I got it with a piece of hat I had left. Just about the time the buzzard began to be a little tender and I was thinking of a royal meal, William Maxwell came along. “Mosiah, for God sakes, have you anything to eat? I haven’t had a bite for three days!” Said I, “I have a turkey buzzard most done–let us hurry, for I haven’t had a bite for three days either.” So we downed it, and I did not think there was a stink to it, for I had licked the bowl clean; but when the company came up, some of them wanted to know, “What in hell stank so!”


The next day we went to Kanab. Some of us had had nothing to eat, but I found some rose buds! I gathered about a quart, and gave some to Jacob Hamblin. We ate them with relish. Soon a couple of horses were brought forward to take a pick of which one to kill for food One was so sore that he had not a whole piece of skin 6 inches in diameter on his back or sides! From his neck to the roots of his tail, and down his sides to the middle, there was no skin at all! The other was a mare of such thin proportions that it seemed as tho we were choosing from a skin that had been doubled over a pole with the legs left dangling. They called me to give my judgment. I looked to the southwest, saying, “Let some of us go yonder and get that white-tailed deer.” They all looked, but there was a man instead–a man on horseback leading a pack horse. It was Lucas Fuller, popping his lariat with his left hand. He had stopped at the Maxwell ranch, and Sister Maxwell had sent 60 lbs. of flour and a mutton out to us. [45] Luke Fuller being one of the Mormon boys, know no fear when in danger, and feeling no fatigue when he saw his brethren were suffering, came forth again with his noble help. I can assure all that the 60 lbs. of flour and the sheep were all cleaned up at one meal!


We went on to Pipe Springs that day and camped for the night. On January 10th, we went to Short Creek, got some breakfast, then went on to Virgin City, reaching there by 10 o’clock in the evening. A feast of royal proportions was prepared for us, and we ate to our satisfaction–we and our animals both, until daylight, then Brother Jacob Hamblin and I rode over to my place at Harrisberg, a distance of 18 miles, and ate our breakfast. I had taken two lbs. of flour from my home. The people were subscribing food, and etc., for the mission, but never brought it in. They also promised to do my ditch work, but did not do it. I got home in time to see my family without flour, so I went to a man who owed me flour, but could get none. I went to men that I had been kind to in various ways, but “No, you should have stayed at home and let the Indians go to hell!” Such was the feeling in those days of many who made long prayers! I had one particular friend that I had accommodated to a great extent, but he could not lend me any flour for he saw no way for me to pay it. Neither did I. So I went upon the top of a mountain, and there I asked God to open a way that I may never ask such a one again for an accommodation, and to help me get those things I needed to carry on my work. I came home and met Samuel Hamilton. He said, “Mosiah, there is a four-year old steer in the bottoms with your brand on. How much will you take for it?” I stepped down in the bottoms, and sure enough, there was my steer that I had not seen since I had bought it and put my brand on it. Some good spirit had lead it there just in time to be of great benefit to me. I let him have 3/4 of the beefed steer for 800 lbs of flour.


There was a man who had a lot of cattle, and he owed me 600 lbs. of flour. He wanted to let me have cornmeal pound for pound. I said, “Bring it along.” Then he said he would let me have some cane seed meal. I said, “Bring it along.” But, nothing ever came from him, yet he was the first to come and borrow from me when he saw that I had a supply. He would keep his cattle to bother his neighbors but depend on borrowing for a living.


I now return to my ditching for water. I went up to a dam and having received an assessment, I made a ditch to get water to my land. I made 36 days work in three weeks, then came home; but before the water had reached my lots, the thieves above had stolen it. So I had to follow it up.


I had set out 300 trees as an orchard starter, and started a fence around my two lots They were 15 rods square, and side by side–that made 30 by 15 rods I started and took the stones out of the land, trenching it three feet deep and making one rod the first day, January 12th, on the north-east corner of my land running south. On the next day of work, I made one rod, run west. I put in some radishes and lettuce and drove my fence and water ditch very fast. Yet I went [46] to meetings and Sunday Schools and a tended my prayers and kept the word of Wisdom. I prospered so much that even the High Priests began to be astonished. Even the dudes that had never been on an Indian mission came and begged garden truck of me. So I fenced and made garden and guarded my crop at night until I was nearly worn out.


In the spring, James Lewis came to me and said, “Brother Mosiah, you have a fine yoke of cattle. If you will let them go back to the States after the poor, I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ, that you shall not lack team work.” So I let them go. I could not get a team to haul a load of wood or rock, so I had to carry wood off the mountains, sometimes two miles! I loaned my wagon to a Brother Gould, and he left it in a low place and a flood came and took it off, never to return. I trenched my land and throw and carried stones to the line–I made my fence, keeping the stock back and saving my crop. I made a stone corral besides, and I also saved my trees.


On August 31, 1862, my son Levi was born. On May 7, 1863, my son, Samuel, Sarah’s son, was born. I blessed them both.


Sometimes I used my carpenter tools to fix a broken wheel for a man who came along, and thus the work kept going and also the tongues wagging. There was an amount of ditch breaking, and the water would be wasted. I got my turn only three times during the summer, but my trees lived because I made hollow places around them. Some who pretended to be my brethren, would steal the water for their trees, day and night, until their trees got yellow from being scalded–then someone would take a handkerchief of leaves to Church Meeting for the chance to condemn the misfortune of the country. Thus the summer of 1863 passed.


In the fall, my oxen returned; and the Bishop of Washington came up to settle tithing around Christmas time. He said he would allow me 40 dollars on my tithing for the use of my oxen for the following summer, so we called it even and my tithing was paid.

January 1, 1864, found me out of debt. My oxen wore again wanted, and I let them go again after the poor. In the fall, only one of them came to me; the other was lame and was left at Beaver. I gladly let my team go to bring the Saints to Zion while I spaded my land to raise a crop. Again my tithing was cancelled for the use of them. I knew not where I could find my steers, I was in need of them very much. About one-half of my cattle were missing, but no man had a better crop than I.


I have struggled with poverty of the country and worked like a slave, and have fared hard. My families have shared my privations uncomplainingly. Yet there are those who have never entered into that Holy Law who are jealous of what I consider my good fortune, and they try to discourage my families in every way.


After I had fenced my land, and had taken the stones off of it, some of these people took a large strip thru my land because of what [47] they call authority I had to take up my trees and vines, and it was no less than 500 dollars loss to me. The dignitaries of a certain part of the country built their own places at the expense of more honest around them I even saw, while working in St. George, a certain place where as much as a bushel of bread was thrown into a certain pen where four large hogs were raised. Some might say, “Whose business was that?” I say it was the business of every true Saint in all the world. For the rich are those clothed in regal robes who do not care for those who are not lucky enough to have a fat teat to suck? Honest hard working men would have been glad to have recovered the bread from the hog’s trough.


Dixie as it was, had some naturally good resources, but oh, the toil of the poor and honest! They had a butchershop in St. George, and it was hard for us to keep track of our cattle. Some of the dignitaries would sometimes stop with me and invite me to visit them when I came to St. George. When I went to their places, they put on style. Yet some never put on style and I could go to them and they were always the same, the best they had was at my command. Still other dignitaries purposely managed not to have hay for my team.


January 1, 1865, I was out of debt. I got out my crop. I let Brother Forsythe take my oxen to Sanpete for some flour. He returned and said that flour was scarce over there, so I went to Toquerville and got 121 lbs of flour from Brother Forsythe. Not knowing where to get a team, I shouldered my flour and carried it to Grape Vine Canyon. I was tired so I stopped to rest and fell asleep I had carried my flour six miles! All at once, a cheerful voice called out, “Well, Brother Hancock, is it you?” “Over to Toquerville,” “Why, you didn’t carry it from there, surely?” “To be sure, I brought it on my own back,” “Well, get in my carriage. “So I got in and rode home where we got breakfast together. We used to do the best we could while in Dixie.


In the summer of 1862, President Brigham Young came thru Dixie. The people were so glad to see him that they took every means in their power to make everything as comfortable for him as possible. I remember too, when he stopped at Harrisburg at the time Dr. Pridy Meeks, my brother-in-law and I, with our families were living in willow rooms that joined. The President stopped with us. He sat at the head of the table and had me sit down at his right. The President, when everything was ready, asked a blessing, then all began to eat. He asked for some buttermilk, then crumbed some bread in it and began to eat. He conversed freely on the situation of the Saints in the mountains, and said that he dreaded the time when the Saints would become popular with the world; for he had seen in sorrow, in a dream, or in dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of Babylon, and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until one could hardly tell a Saint from a black-leg. And he felt like shouting, “To your tents, Oh Israel!” because it was the only thing that could keep this people pure. “I know that my families court the ways of the world too much,” said he, “And our hope lies [48] in the Lamanites. I hope that you brethren who labor among the Indians will be kind to them. Remember that someday they will take their position as the rightful heirs to the principles of life and salvation, for they never will give up the principles of this Gospel. Many of this people for the sake of riches and popularity, will sell themselves for that which will canker their souls and lead them down to misery and despair. It would be better for them to dwell in wigwams among the Indians than to dwell with the gentiles and miss the glories which God wishes them to obtain. I wish my families would see the point and come forth before it is too late. For oh, I can see a tendency in my families to hug the moth-eaten customs of Babylon to their bosoms. This is far more hurtful to them than the deadly viper; for the poisons of the viper can be healed by the power of God, but the customs of Babylon will be hard to get rid of.”


In the Spring of 1863, President Young, and Smith, and other prominent men of the Church, held a meeting in Harrisberg. President Young said, “This is the place for our women and children and we must meet the demon on our own grounds. And as long as they have anything to eat, we will have something to eat also. For so help us, our God, we will never give up that Holy Law that the noble prophets laid down their lives to maintain. Here we can raise our cotton and our wool, and if our children have to go barefoot, here is the place where they can do so. The powers of hell will do their utmost to get this people to give up that Holy Law which God designs to maintain. Give the devil an inch and he is sure to take an L, (a measuring square.) Therefore, I do not intend to give one inch, but to maintain every foot of ground we have gained. Suppose the sons of God had given up when Satan rebelled, what Glory would they have for giving up at that time? We do not propose to give up now, any blessing God has vouchsafed unto us. This is a time for Heavenly advancement.” (unquote)


January 1864, I went up to Salt Lake City with all my folks. The drought was so tough that I had to carry the water one and one-half miles; clear from the old field to water our fruit trees. I worked at carpenter work in Salt Lake City, making considerable “store pay.” Much of the work then was paid for in “store pay.” I hitched up my team, which consisted of three oxen and one cow. I got up to the city in August. I stopped at my father’s while I worked in the city, and someone stole my cow while I was there. I sold one of the steers for beef for 80 dollars in greenbacks, they being worth about forty percent. I made five hundred dollars with my tools, and helped to put up the Godby Pitts Drug Store.


We started for Dixie in Southern Utah late in the fall. When I got to Beaver, I heard of my ox that had been left there two years before. I found him and took him along and butchered him two days after I got home. Our crop was used up by the drouth, but our trees were alive. So we started again with renewed energy. We left on the 24th of July, and returned on Christmas Eve. I had made the round trip and cleared $500.


[49]  In the spring of 1865 I cleared off about 10 acres of land in the canyon below Harrisberg. Having let my team go again after the poor, I spaded up my 12 acres of land and put it in corn, Cotton, and melons. We raised a bountiful crop, and we also had an abundance of fruit this fall, I also got my orchard on the creek from McMullen for carpenter work. I paid him $200 for it.


The Navajos having killed a Brother Whitmore and Mentyre, I was ordered to Kanab with 100 men. However not being able to get them started soon, I and my brother-in-law, Joseph McCleve, started out ahead on December 10th in a foot of snow. When we got to the troughs the snow was three feet deep. I told Joseph he could go back, as he was scarce sixteen years old. I gave him that privilege, but he most nobly told me that as long as I advanced he would not retire. So having nothing but grain to feed our animals, we pushed on. We traveled all night until we got to the Command of Pipe Springs at daybreak. We made 60 miles in one day and one night. After some Indians had been disposed of, and the bodies of our brethren found and sent to St. George we began preparations to look after some more Indians I was sent to Kanab to cooperate with Captain Roundy I took a company of 10 men over a distance of some 18 miles thru snow four feet deep. We went over in one day–nothing hindered our progress except a man from “Muddy” who took the name of Deity in vain, and I took it upon myself to rebuke him for his manner of language. Then when his horse happened to stumble in the deep snow, he broke the breach of his gun over his horse’s head! I was obliged to put him under guard; yet I had to take him along because we had no men to spare to send with him back to Pipe Springs. I let him carry his broken gun and had one of the men look after him. I had to lead the way to Kanab. We got to Kanab after dark and were welcomed warmly by Captain Roundy and his kindred. They had been forced to gather at Kanab for safety from the Indians, but they were a happy little community. We spent sometime with the people, until one night about 9:00 p.m. there was a shot at a distance. We invited the caller; and when he came, it proved to be Lehi a young Indian who had left the Navajo camp to give us intelligence of the approach of the Navajos, our enemies. Some of our boys thought that he was a spy; but I felt that he told us the truth. We saddled up and started I took nine of my men, as I had sent the swearer to the compound as soon as I conveniently could because I wished the rations for better men. Besides profaning, he was a coward. I had one Gentile, a non-Mormon, in my command. He was a gentleman and a brave man. Eight of my boys followed us thru the night and the next day, but one of the boys deserted and went back to the cabin. Brother Roundy’s boys, seven of them; were gritty and faithful Saints to the backbone. We went to the place where Lehi the Indian said the Navajos would come; and sure enough, there was the trail. Some of us were in favor of stopping there until the return of the enemy but some feared for their families–so we struck the Navajo trail and followed them. When we got after them, they had gathered up the cattle and horses, and [50] when we thought we were close to them, they were twelve hours ahead of our company. But we rushed forth! Those of us who could, vaulted from the saddle and took it on foot in order to have our horses as fresh as possible for the final race; we had to. We had oats along for grain, so we stopped as often as we thought necessary to grain our animals. We found that we were gaining on the enemy, altho they made good time every now and then. We came upon an animal that had given out. They always put an arrow in them so if they had been fat enough for beef, there was danger of poisoning. So we kept up the pursuit until within a few miles of the top of the Buckskin Mountains. Then John Wm. Smith caught up with us, having dispatched that which forbade us following the Navajos over the mountain because of danger. We thought we would take some rest, for we had taken no sleep for two days and two nights.

End of Mosiah L. Hancock’s writings.





I, Victoria H. Jackson, daughter of the above named couple in order to shorten the history of my father, describe some parts, as follows, of my mother’s history concerning him. For the latter part of the history written by himself is unobtainable.


My mother’s life, the same as that of my father, and many others of those days, seemed doomed to great severity. The sad outcome of her deep love for her first husband was almost too much for her. Before the birth of their baby, he laid hold of the wrong horses and ran afoul of the law. Mother refused to leave the state with him. After her baby’s birth and through her father’s request, she obtained a divorce.


I now quote my mother:


“Levi W. Hancock, head president of Seventies, also a great patriarch and state legislator, etc., who lived in Washington, Utah, used to spend much time at the home of my father, George Myers, of Spanish Fork. They had been close friends back in Nauvoo, even before the prophet Joseph’s death and had made wagons together for the saints’ crossing of the plains.


“This Brother Hancock seemed to like me and wanted me to marry his son Mosiah, who lived in Leeds, Utah, with his wife Margaret and her children. I said, `If it is the will of the Lord, I’ll be willing to marry your son.’ He replied, `You go and pray and ask the Lord, and He will show you if it is His will.’ I had full confidence in this patriarch of God, and after I had fasted and prayed for three days–then, I think it was the next night, but hardly know whether it was a dream or a vision, (though it seemed too real for a dream)–I was shown in what seemed a very striking way, that Mosiah Hancock was the one for me. Next morning I told Grandpa Hancock my dream, and he said, `Yes, that’s from the Lord; do not get discouraged.’


“The main reason that I thought in the weeks following that my prompting had been from the Lord, was that it seemed as though the Devil was doing all he could to discourage me. I had considerable trouble with members of my family at home, especially my sister Elizabeth. She said, `You pretend to have dreams and think you’re worthy of a son of Grandpa Hancock. You married Johnson against father’s consent, and you aren’t worthy to have dreams from the Lord. Your dream must be from the devil.”


“I said to her, `Your actions, and the actions of some others, are proof to me that the Devil is working against me in this very thing. And Grandpa Levi thinks I’m worthy to have the right dreams.’


[52]  “But Rachel Ann Brimhall, another sister of mine, remarked, `Martha, don’t got discouraged yet if your dream is from the Lord, it will surely come true.”


“I got to thinking of Mosiah’s wife and children and decided that I didn’t want to make trouble in any family, I became discouraged and told Grandpa Levi that I could not accept Mosiah. I told him that I also had a dream that showed me that I’d have a hard and trying life if I accepted his son, yet that it would be for my schooling. Grandpa Levi asked, `Then shall I tell him that the bird has flown?’


“I answered, `yes, but, after reasoning things out, I thought that after having that wonderful vision, showing me what I should do, that I was not justified in backing out. I was finally convinced that my message had been Devine. So I wrote a letter to Mosiah, telling him of my dream.


“Father had built a new house, the one that now stands in 1933 I stayed with him that winter. Grandpa Levi also stayed there much of the winter and gave us our patriarchal blessings. I had received one letter from Mosiah. It seemed that he believed strongly in plural marriages as advocated by the Prophet Joseph, but that he didn’t know what to do. For there was much that stood in his way, and he didn’t know whether it was the Lord’s will that he enter polygamy.


“In the spring Grandpa Levi wrote Mosiah to come and take him to conference in Salt Lake and wanted them both to go to George Hancock’s (Mosiah’s cousin) at Payson and celebrate their birthdays. His was the seventh and Mosiah’s the ninth of April. Also Grandpa Levi could visit his brother Joseph, father of the wife of George, who had married his cousin. It was after conference and when they had come back as far as Spanish Fork station that Mosiah stopped off and others went on to Payson.


“Mosiah had quite a pain in his side before reaching the station. He wanted to know whether it was right for him to come and see me and ask the Lord to give him a sign that if it was right, that the pain would stop at once. Of course he wanted it stopped anyway, but there were other reasons why he later said that it had stopped at once. He was satisfied that he had his right answer.


“And now I shall relate what had happened just before this. My little child took very sick the fifth of April. Mother was considered one of the county’s best doctors but neither she nor another doctor we had, let alone anyone else, could tell what was the matter. Maggie’s system was terribly clogged and blood came from her mouth; and she had a high fever. Some thought she had been poisoned from playing with the neighbor’s poisoned dog. We did all we could, but she died the next day–on her third birthday–April 6, 1878.


[53]  “Father at Salt Lake conference didn’t get the word we sent to him and didn’t know of this until he returned after she was buried. He said that she had told him before he went, `Drandpa, I won’t det well.’


“While my heart kept aching for Johnson and kept up that ache for seven years, I had found much comfort in my little Margaret Ann. I named her after her father’s mother. She was such a sweet, bright little child, but now she was gone.


“Next day after the funeral, I was so sad I couldn’t do anything. The girls had gone away and left things undone; I was too much overcome with grief to do it. Rilla Brimhall, my cousin, came to see me and said, `Martha, have you heard the news?’


“What news?” I asked.


“`Well, Levi Hancock and son are at Payson celebrating their birthdays and maybe Mosiah will come to see you.’ But I was so stupified and sorrowful over the sudden death of my only child that I didn’t seem to be much interested then.


“After awhile, while the work was still not done, I heard a knock at the door. When I opened it, there stood a nice appearing man. He asked, `Is this where Brother Myers lives?’


“`Yes,’ I answered.


“`Where is he?’


“`He may be out in the lot.’


“After he went around the house, I got to thinking that perhaps he was Mosiah. When he came back, he said that he couldn’t find father and I asked, `Are you Levi Hancock’s son?’ He answered `Yes, are you father Myers’ daughter, the one who had a dream about me?’ `Yes,’ I replied; and he then uttered some kind of praising words. I continued, `I just buried my little child yesterday, and the children left the work for me to do and I didn’t feel like doing it.


“I don’t recall what he said then, but he sympathized with me. He acted cheerful and nice and kind. I had given him a chair and when father came and talked with him, I began to get some life into me again and hurried to get the work done and cooked a nice dinner. I could cook well in those days. Then he and father and talked most of the afternoon, and the awful feeling I had about my child seemed lighter. Mosiah told me that the reason he didn’t come sooner or write again was that he wanted to be sure it was right for him to marry me. Besides, he had lots of work that had to be done and there were other discouraging conditions.


[54]  “We talked lots about whether or not we should get married. With so many things in the way, we didn’t know how we would get along. He said he hadn’t known that I was so young. He had thought that I was one of father’s daughters by his first wife. He was forty-four years old, I was only twenty. But he seemed to enjoy himself at father’s place, and after two weeks we decided it was best for us to marry and started for southern Utah. We went to Leeds, where I met Margaret, Mosiah’s first wife, who shook hands with me. After a few days, Mosiah came into the house and said, `Come Martha, we’re going to the temple.’


“I said, `Not now. I want to help Margaret with the washing.’


“He said, `She can leave it until we get back.’


“So we were married in St. George Temple, May 10th, 1878, a month after I had met him. We visited Grandpa Levi, who, like my father, was glad that they could have the same descendants. After, we returned to Spanish Fork, I stayed at father’s while Mosiah worked awhile in Salt Lake City.”


* * * * * * * * *


In order to shorten the description of my parents’ experiences, I will explain that they, with mother’s sister Esther, returned south and spent a few weeks at my father’s in Leeds. Then in December they started for Brigham City, where people were living in the United Order. But with a heavy load and bad roads, they took a different route from the main one, and the wagon tipped over, pinning mother beneath two heavy boxes. That caused the premature birth and death of her baby girl on December 10 at Brigham City, no funeral being held, however, she was buried in the cemetery. My parents later enjoyed themselves in Brigham City with a good people and ate at the long tables, according to the communal custom, in the United Order. In the spring they went to Snowflake Arizona, where they bought some land. Grandpa Myers had given them $100 in gold, a nice new sewing machine with a metal top, among other things. They used much of the money to buy trees, then went to Moien Copie, where father worked at the woolen mills and mother and Aunt Esther cooked for the hands in order to get money for land payments.


In the late fall Mother and Aunt Esther went to Orderville with friends while father went to help Aunt Margaret and family, who were moving to Arizona with his brother Joseph and others. But, because of danger to the men in hiding and in sending letters while they tried to escape the federal authorities who were searching for polygamists, he had no way of knowing where his first family was. Therefore, he missed them, but later overtook them at Lee’s Ferry at the Colorado River and helped them to get moved to Taylor, Arizona. In the spring he went to Orderville, where mother and [55] Aunt Esther were. They lived in the United Order there, and on the fourth of July, 1880, I was born.


That fall they went to Spanish Fork, staying at grandfather’s while father went each day to work in Provo on the B. Y. Academy, later used for the Brigham Young University. Later on they started for Taylor, Arizona, stopping to visit Grandfather Hancock in Washington, Utah. Mother’s young twelve year old brother, John, who was going with them, turned the horses out to feed, and one valuable animal ran away. They had to wait to get another horse and then proceeded to Moien Copie, where David was born October 28, 1881. From there father took Aunt Esther, then seventeen, for another wife in the St. George Temple. They went again to Arizona, and took up some land east of Taylor, near Uncle Joseph Hancock’s place; they lived in a dug-out for awhile as did many others. Then later they made adobes and built a two-room house. Mother helped father fence a hundred sixty acres, taking us children along. Aunt Esther did housework, and her premature son, George Levi, was born dead the next summer. They visited often with Uncle Joe’s family close by. Aunt Margaret frequently sent her girls to help tend the children. On March 8, 1883, Aunt Esther’s son Mosiah Mayer was born.


After father returned to Utah, the Indians broke out in war, making much trouble for the white settlers before the soldiers were called from Fort Apache, Arizona, to help defend the whites. The redskins killed a man by the name of Robinson and wounded another. They also burned the Pinedale home of father’s oldest son, Lyman, destroying many of this family’s goods. They shot at mother’s brother, John, and made the bark fly from a tree just in front of him. And they set fire to a field of growing wheat that mother and her brother had planted at Pinedale. While ransacking through Lyman’s things, they found a photograph of father, as Lyman’s wife, Miriam, related later. One Indian held up the photo and called out “Elk! Elk!” Already they were sorry they had robbed the home of Elk’s son. They had named father this, for he had outlasted their own fastest runner, “Lightning,” in a 75-mile walking and running race. Lyman’s father had been a missionary among them and they liked him. Strange Indians, not knowing whether to kill him, would open his shirt front, and seeing the LDS garment, given for bodily protection, would release him.


January 3, 1884, mother’s son George Mayer was born. Father then in Utah couldn’t earn much money. But mother said that she had raised a good garden and they had vegetables, including some to divide with his first family. Before father had left for Utah, he and mother started to work at Holbrook at a boarding house. But the smallpox broke out and they had to walk back to Taylor, a distance of about forty miles. In the Spring mother tried to work again at Holbrook, but found it too hard.


[56]  Now again I quote my mother:


“One day I had to leave my children alone while I planned to go to Snowflake on business.’ On the way a fearful feeling about the children’s safety took hold of me. I told the man in whose wagon I was riding, that I’d have to go back. Our place was about a mile out of Taylor. Before I reached home, I heard an awful screaming. I hurried fast, resulting in a fall into a `ditch’ that almost stunned me. Oh! what a sight met my eyes inside the house. Victoria told me about it afterwards. She had been curious about a can that I had put on top of the cupboard. She and David piled up boxes, and she reached up and pulled the Cayenne down into the eyes of all three; George had also creeped over there. The cayenne went into their eyes, noses, and throats and nearly sent them crazy–almost strangled them to death. I hurried and bathed their eyes with milk and sugar, then applied mashed apple poultices, which helped. But their eyes were badly swollen and it was a long time before they got over this.


“In the summer of 1884, my baby George and Esther’s Mosiah got the summer complaint–very badly. I checked George’s sickness with oak bark. I tried to get Esther to use it for her baby, but she hesitated, for she was young and didn’t realize its condition and the value of certain herb remedies in these pioneer times. Having to work away, she often left the sick baby for Victoria to tend. I had about all I could do in the garden; I could only feed him. Finally he turned cold; we didn’t realize that he was getting so bad. We sent for Margaret, who tried to warm him with peppermint tea. Finally he passed away. The dear little soul seemed almost like my own child. Mosiah was still away, but Margaret tried to comfort us. She was a good soul in such cases.


“Mosiah stayed in Utah, where the officers were not as bad as they were in Arizona. He stayed until; the fall of 1884, then returned to Taylor, and as the officers were after him there, we prepared to leave for Utah. The Government put in cruel Mexicans as officers to arrest the Mormon polygamists. Many of the brethren and wives suffered from this situation. President of the Stake, Jesse N. Smith, was arrested and sent to jail for six months. He advised us to leave for Utah.


“We sold a few things, locked up our house, and left our property for Margaret’s boys to look after. We left Taylor on Christmas Eve, 1884, escaping the officers by traveling ten miles off the road and camping the first nights in the cedars. We had horses and a medium light wagon. A few miles before we reached Woodruff, we saw two men come out of the cedars on the west side. They stood waiting for us.


Mosiah asked, `What shall we do?’


[57]  “I said, `You and Esther and the children all get back in the wagon and pull the covers down tight, and they won’t know who all may be in there or what they might get if they interfere. I sat on a box in the front with a gun at my side and held the horses’ lines with one hand. Of course, we did a lot of praying in our hearts. When I drove near the Mexican officers, I stopped the team to see what was their business. I didn’t speak until they said, `We want some matches.’


“I replied, `I haven’t got any.’


“We’re hungry; we’ve got to have a fire; we need matches.’


“I haven’t got any matches. I need them also. I’m hungry too.’


“They made the request three times, then stood and talked with each other. They stood with their hands deep in their big overcoat pockets, and each one had two big rows of ammunition around his waist outside his overcoat. I saw their arms extended very straight and their hands in their big pockets. I knew that both had a revolver in each hand. Of course, they didn’t know how many shots might be fired from our wagon. These two looked me straight in the eyes; I stared back at them. After talking awhile longer, they finally decided to leave. I waited until they were out of sight and then drove on. We thanked the Lord for our escape from those fierce officers.


We traveled on and stopped awhile at Brother Smithson’s–in Woodruff. He had been with Mosiah in Indian troubles, etc. Then we went to Brother Reidhead’s at Woodruff. After two or three days, we left there early in the morning, while roosters were crowing.


“We traveled till we came to the Little Colorado, which was north of Winslow, I think. As the weather was very cold, there was real thick ice on the water. We had to cut deep to get water for the horses. We were afraid the wagon would break through, so we took the children and goods over and put them on the bank. Esther drove the team, and Mosiah and I lifted on the wheels, and the wagon went over safely.


“After traveling a short distance further, there stood waiting for us another officer–a big one. And he had been there watching us while we had crossed the ice. While Esther drove the team, Mosiah and I walked, holding on–to our guns. We took a road leading somewhat away from the officer, then Mosiah walked over to him and asked, `Well, what do you want?’


“The officer answered, `Mr. Hancock, I have an order for your arrest.’


“Mosiah was sorely tried at having to evade the officer so much, and, as he had exerted himself standing in the cold ice and [58] water when we had crossed the river, he was very angry. He jumped up in the air and swung his arms as he usually did when he was angry and excited. He shouted, `Arrest and be damned. Come and get me you son of Hell.’ “As the officer hesitated to come near, Mosiah jumped into the air again and dared him to come closer. The officer stood as if stunned, and after awhile said, `Go on Mr. Hancock. I don’t want you. And he turned and went away.’ We waited until he was gone, then rode on thankful again to be delivered.


“We needed to put up a desperate fight, for it would have been bad for us if he’d taken Mosiah and left Esther and me alone with the children on that winter wilderness. When we got a watering place (I think it was Jacob’s Pools near the Buckskin Mountains), Mosiah took the team, which had traveled all day without water, to a mining place and asked for water. They told him they were U.S. Army officers and would let him have water if he would let them have one of the women with him, for they had no women there. Mosiah knew that he would have not to appear to be opposed to their desires. So he got them to let us have water then by promising that he would see what the girls said about it and then let the officers know the next morning. So when he told us, I said, `Well, if either of us has to go, I’ll go. I’ll stand out where they can see me and you point me out to them.


We did a lot of praying about that also. When Mosiah went with his bucket and horses for more water, I saw him pointing me out to them. When they looked over at me, I waived my gun above my head and yelled out in a very coarse voice, `Hurrah! Hurrah! for Hell! I’m ready for you!’


“Well, they thought I was insane or something else awful; they looked disgusted and said, `Go on, go on, Mr. Hancock. We don’t want her.’


“We hitched the team and went, thankful to the Lord for helping us use a clever plan. We also felt that the Lord was with us when we were climbing the Buckskin Mountain and the snow was almost too deep for us to go through, for a man driving a big heavy outfit had passed us and broken the road so that we could travel.


“Our hearts were heavy when we got to Southern Utah and knew that we couldn’t see Grandpa Levi. He’d gone from this life. We went on to Kanab and lived awhile with friends, then went to Gunnison and stayed a week at the Bishop’s place.’


I, Victoria Jackson, resume my narrative:


One day while father sat and dozed by the fire, he saw, in some sort of a vision, a man take his ropes and put them in the back of [59] his own wagon. Father jumped up and told his folks about it, then ran some distance before he could overtake the traveler, who denied knowledge of the ropes. Yet father looked and found them in the back of the wagon. My folks went on to Spanish Fork. Grandfather had married an Iceland lady who had a little boy. She was quite good to us, but as mother now had children to make a noise, grandfather’s home was not as it had been. Yet we stayed there until spring, then went to Manti, where father did carpenter work on the Temple which was then being built. We lived in a couple of rooms of a long row of houses built for Temple workers and called “Temple Row.” We didn’t get much money, but drew provisions from the “Temple Store.” We fared quite well while staying there. Mother’s daughter, Martha, and Aunt Esther’s son Wilford were born while we were there. I used to carry father’s dinner to him up that big Temple wall. Patriarch Works, living at Manti, gave each of us our patriarchal blessings.


I got diphtheria and was almost gone, but revived when father and others administered to me.


The next spring father quit the Temple carpenter work, and he and mother took up some land at Birch Creek Utah. Mother homesteaded it, as father had already used his homestead right, and I stayed with Aunt Esther in Manti until weeks later, when father moved us to Birch Creek. While we were traveling, I found fun in taking hold of an iron rod that held the furniture, etc., in the wagon and then swinging outward. Father happened to look back and chided me. I watched my chance and repeated the act. The next thing I realized, I was lying flat on my back on the hard ground and the rear wagon wheel was running over my right leg near the thigh. That was the last I could remember about it for weeks. My leg bone was terribly crushed. Doctors were scarce for even those people with much money. Folks marveled at the fact that my leg mended so well, even with priesthood administration. Father was an expert at setting bones. A stretcher was made for me to finish the trip, I being six then. At Birch Creek mother kept warm poultices of elderberry and flaxseed upon my leg, which healed in due time.


Father sold some goods, clothing, groceries, etc., he’d brought from Manti and bought lumber, with which he started a three room house. But it was never finished, for although they raised a good garden when they got water–after digging a large ditch a mile long–they had much trouble with a neighbor–an apostate Mormon who kept stealing their water. But that was not their worst grief; the officers who had not bothered father in Manti were again on his trail. But he did manage to teach school there that next winter. The bones of my leg not being very strong, I had to walk a mile to school through deep snow and tall sage brush. And I had to wear big heavy wooden shoes. As that was mostly a Danish community, quite a number of the people wore them. Mine were too large so I’d take them and my stockings off and hurry as best I could barefooted, [60] for the snow would almost freeze my toes; I’d put on my “woodies” before reaching the school house.


In those days drawing pictures in school was not allowed. School teachers had the right to whip children for that as well as other offences. I remember some teachers beating their pupils unmercifully for even minor offences.


One day a boy sitting in a desk behind me raised his hand and said, “Brother Hancock, Tora has made a picture of a little boy on her slate.” I was called up front and the one whack that father gave me on the hand with his heavy ruler was awful I was thankful that he didn’t hit me more than once.


Father feared the law would molest him unless he had mother and Aunt Esther at separate places. So the next spring he moved mother to Bennie Creek Canyon, twenty-five miles south of Spanish Fork, where he put up a lumber room. Aunt Esther remained at Birch Creek for awhile, and after her Esther Caroline was born, father moved her to Orderville, Utah. Mother’s Clarissa Elizabeth was born at Bennie Creek, July 28, 1887. The folks raised some garden there that summer. One time George fell from a high-chair, throwing his neck out of joint. Both father and mother declared it was broken, yet people then thought there was no hope for broken necks or broken backs. His head when he was picked up after this accident, hung rather loosely–like that of a dead chicken and not like that of an unconscious person. Father got him between his knees and worked the vertebrae of his neck gradually into place. Then they fixed a sort of “stay” around his neck, and he got all right.


Father was away most of the time–mainly in out-of-way places. But, as there was much grass at Bennie Creek, he left mother the team. Sometimes we would go to Spanish Fork to visit grandfather; sometimes grandmother was there with us. But one time while only mother and we children were there the horses strayed away. Mother went to look for them I became more and more worried. We were alone night and day, and Indians and sheep herders were about. But the biggest worry was that she was gone so long we didn’t know what had happened to her. And we were hungry also. Our nearest neighbors were a mile away. So after two days, I decided to get the children ready and walk to grandfather’s in Spanish Fork, about twenty-five miles away. I thought we might catch some rides at the highway over a mile away. David and I would take turns carrying Clarissa. As we were about ready to go Mother returned, tired and nearly ill. She had had nothing to eat while gone but choke-cherries. But she had the team which we harnessed and were soon on our way to visit grandfather.


Mother said that one night while near asleep, she heard grandpa Levi’s voice singing about little George, who was an exceptionally [61] bright child. She instantly felt that her boy was marked for death, that grandfather wanted him. She had thrilled, as had many others in the past years, when hearing grandfather’s fine melodious voice; but now it made her cry. She pleaded with the Lord also with grandfather to spare her boy at least awhile longer. She had wanted for some time, to get material to make him a nice suit to replace the dresses, used in those days by small boys. Soon afterwards she was able to make a suit for each of her two boys. But she noticed that George was being troubled more than usual with worms. Many children in those days were troubled with worms. There seemed to be no sure cure for such; although mother tried various medicines.


Returning to Birch Creek we sensed a lonesomeness in the house from which Aunt Esther had moved. Father came while we were there. As he had to be careful about coming out in the open, he had mother go to Provo and attend to business for him. But she had to walk or catch rides as best she could while carrying her year old baby, Clarissa, who was very sick and this from summer complaint. She had to leave us children alone; as father usually hid out in the cedars and other places, and disguised himself while working. We had only potatoes to eat. We made sage-brush fires in the stove and cut the potatoes in slices to fry them on the stove. Some neighbors would give us some skimmed milk. Mother was gone for several days. Father came one day; I cried and told him we were afraid to stay there alone at nights. He said that he came and stayed there at nights and got away before daylight so the officers would not see him although I didn’t see how he could do that. I felt better at his concern for us. Then one day that fall when father had dared to come to see us–sure enough–there came an officer right after him. Knowing how hundreds of his brethren in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and other places had been caught in the Government net, he had managed to escape. But at last they had him. He and mother were subpoenied to appear in Provo Court the next February. The officer started to write down my name; but father ridiculed him and talked him out of subpoening an eight-year-old girl.


But father did not appear in court. He and other men went into hiding. Mother with us children went by team to Provo and stopped with George T. Peay in his home near the lake west of Provo. Father and Peay had been fast friends through Indian troubles, etc.


Many subpoenaed men, women and older children were at Provo at the time for trial; many who had come from quite a distance and had scant means with which to travel and to buy food and lodgings, these mostly women, suffered mental as well as physical hardships, due to the severe treatments to their loved ones, their bread winners, because of that trial.


It seemed that those polygamists hunters were upon a joyous passtime; for they delighted in it as do fox-hunters and others seeking animals for sport. Those well-paid partly human wolves [62] floated and joked over the distress of their victims. Many men hid in potato pits and straw stacks out in the cold hills, suffering from severe cold, hunger and fear, many became sick, some died from such sufferings. President of the Latter Day Saints Church, John Taylor, was one of such victims. That was how the Government in those days protected some of its citizens. Considering the various hardships that accompany plural marriage, many people–I was also a skeptic–wondered why others would live that law.


Well might we heed the words of my good brother-in-law Reuben Perkins, who many years ago, said to me, in words to this effect, could one wife family affairs be publicized as were those of polygamists, you’d probably see as much trouble.” I now agree with him, just how many educational phases of life’s great school do we like?


We naturally shrink temporarily at least, from those whose words and acts conflict with ours, whether they be marital companions, blood relatives, or others. For our advancement, this shrinking we should avoid. Ostracism does not promote spiritual growth. Contention, quick tempers, provoking habits, etc., are not readily overcome. But intelligent association with each other, in plural marriage or otherwise, reveals the danger signals and affords the would-be followers of Christ a chance to govern and help others to govern their reactions to threatened strife. Those following the plural marriage law, believed that God gave it for other reasons also.


Returning to the trial, I quote my mother:


“I left the children with Peay’s and went in time for the session and waited in the small room where they questioned many women who were there for the same reason that I was. About twenty officers sat at the table and would have those who were soon to be questioned sit at the far end of the table; and the awful things they would ask were sickening. For women were more reserved about such things in those days. They were asked if they were with child. If so, who was the father, and other things to offend and shock them. Most of the women questioned before I was, came away crying. But I felt prepared. I had dreamed that I should not know too much about my husband’s affairs, especially things I was not sure of, or that was none of their business. I got through that room sooner than most of the others and was not crying when I came out. They paid the women only ten dollars each after that hard trip. I was glad to get away from there. After a few more days at Peay’s place I went and stayed with Mosiah’s brother Marion, and family, who lived just out of Payson. He fixed the wagon and fed and cared for us for two months. He said he would do all he could to help me and the children but that he didn’t want Mosiah coming around there with any of his “Mormon dope.” Marion had previously left the Church.”


* * * * * *


[63]  We returned to Bennie Creek; and while there the great fear that mother had over loosing George in death became a reality. He passed away March 8, 1889. Father was away, mother tried to feel that Grandfather Levi wanted her boy; yet I can never forget seeing her sitting out upon the hill, back of the house, yielding to severe grief. While I, not understanding God’s laws, knelt behind a tree and prayed earnestly that my brother be restored to life.


In August we went up to Mill Creek Canyon; there grandmother waited upon mother when Laura Levina was born September 4, 1889. My parents thinking that father may be less molested in southern Utah, planned to go to Mammoth Ward, a small town near Hatch and now extinct because of floods. Being in such poor circumstances, they left little Martha, then four years old, and me with George and Amy Hancock at Payson where we remained until later, after father had started a three roomed house at the Mammoth.


After I went to the Mammoth I helped mother pick many hopps that we sold for money with which we bought a few necessities. The year before while I was yet at Payson, mother was bitten by a rattlesnake while picking hopps. After much pain and suffering she conquered the poison by poultices which she understood considerable about.


A selfish man “jumped” mother’s homestead while we had to be away from Birch Creek; so she took up another homestead two miles above Mammoth Ward where the soil was rich. From the side of the gulch on her homestead, where the creek ran, flowed an exceedingly large spring of water, adding much to the size of Sevier River. With one horse, upon which the small children rode, we went often to our land where we raised some garden. Neighbors helped us out a bit. Milk from a cow that father brought was greatly appreciated.


Father, who sometimes, for disguise dyed his grey beard black, had to sneak into the house on very short visits, and be on the alert there in that neighborhood the same as elsewhere.


In the early winter of 1891 mother dreamed that she should have a son and should name him “Joseph,” February 1, 1892, Joseph Heber was born. Father came later from Spanish Fork and said that as Grandfather Myers was getting so along in years he wanted his children near him in order to divide up his property. So we sold some things, then taking a few belongings, mother took us children on the trip in the one horse cart. On arriving at Grandfather’s home we found that his Iceland wife would not let him divide the property or would not allow us in the house. Grandfather especially wanted and wished to favor mother and Aunt Esther, whose lot was hard. So we stayed for a few days with mother’s brother Samuel. We children were all there except little Martha, who was living for the time being with a Panguitch lady.


[64]  Father bought a cow. Uncle Sam helped to beef her; so we enjoyed meat for a while. That winter, with father away as usual, we stayed with Grandmother in a room at Mt. Pleasant.


The next spring we returned to Mammoth Ward; but in our absence a man “jumped” this new parcel of mother’s land.


It would not have been safe for my Father in his life time for anyone knowing the case to mention the burning of the Beaver Jail.


Father was finally arrested and sent to jail, where many other men were sent for living in polygamy, their hair was cut closely to their heads. They suffered many indignations and humiliations in captivity. Some had been imprisoned for a long time. I remember hearing father, who in talking with some of those former prisoners, tell of a narrative to the satisfaction and enjoyment of his listeners: how shortly after he was thrown into jail he indulged in thoughts of the blessings that would surely come to him and the other poor fellows, there for a just cause, could some miracle happen to free them, to return them to their own fireside, thus enabling them to support their poverty-stricken families for awhile at least. It happened that he thoughtfully looked at the coal-oil lamp and studied awhile upon its inflammable possibilities. He never told what he did. Anyone knowing the lamp’s make-up would understand, but presently he yelled out to the guard: “Your lamp’s exploding.” There could have been danger that the guardsman would not heed him and terrible tragedy follow, but he opened the doors letting the men all out. No telling when they were again rounded up; but the jail was burned down.


My parents had been hounded so much by the officers and forced to move here and there until they seemed to have formed the habit of moving and were on the go sometimes when it was evidently unnecessary. And there was much missmanagement sometimes on both sides, resulting mainly, from the upheaval in which they were compelled to live.


Father who with his first wife kept a small store at Leeds was from habit and nature one who preferred to buy goods by the gross, the dozen or the box, and cloth by the bolt, etc. But mother was free-hearted to the extent that she would divide with those who did not have, of whom there were many in those days, thus sometimes shortening necessities for her own family.


My father now getting along in years and suffering from kidneystones could not do heavy work as in his younger days. He had fought in the Black Hawk and Walker Indian Wars. Although he was not one to endeavor to get his name recorded as a veteran of such; he had a medal given to him for his part in those wars. He later gave the medal to his eldest son, Lyman. Also Indian war veterans of Springville and Provo told me that they knew of him fighting in [65] such wars and did not see why he failed to have it in record. Anyway apostle, Senator Reed Smoot some years before father’s death inserted a small article in the Deseret News trying to find “Mosiah Lyman Hancock” for the purpose of getting him a pension. But the business was prolonged until too late and father passed away.


We read from the little book “John Hancock” in the series “Our American Statesmen” that the two John Hancocks, father and grandfather of the Statesman John Hancock; also of his brother–our ancestor Thomas, were ministers of the Congregational Church as was also Reverend Clark the father of the wife of John Hancock, the first. The second John Hancock herein named was said to have been possessed of more than ordinary talents and was noted for his diligence, prudence and piety.


Many fine and noble characteristics were handed down that line, as also from the Reeds, Bearses and our other ancestors, and may yet be extended for many generations to come by those who will cultivate the same. But of course there are also faults among which, is the dangerous tendency towards egotism and self praise. Should we not, as descendants watch our steps regarding such? For history reveals that there is danger in mankind thinking themselves infallible and believing that the wrong powers cannot give us dreams and promptings. Even though when inclined to be fine and upstanding in early life, we may when surely tried, grasp at what could be “negative straws,” in following after the wrong powers and thus invite Divine chastisement. Many writers laud their ancestors to the extreme and thus they make flaws look large when discovered.


Father used to tell of his second wife, Sarah Tew whom he met while acting on the stage in various settlements while he lived in Payson. Tired of hardships during Indian fighting troubles and other discouragements she left him. But he declared, more than once, that she appeared to him in a dream–or near dream–and asked to be resealed to him. He was much concerned in wanting everyone of his wives and children for the next life.


My mother also, had more trials than she was scarcely able to bare. Her folks offered to help her if she would leave father; for they declared him an inadequate provider for his family. I did not then realize, nor could I tell them of how in his younger days’ even between fighting Indians one time and preaching to them another then out to fight the Johnston’s Army who were sent to kill off the Mormons. I could not tell them that he had been a good manager and economical provider for his family in younger days; and before his trouble with Government officials and other hardships had broken him down.


Mother declared she would stay with him. Finally while father was away mother decided to go to Uncle Sam’s for a few days, hoping that father would soon find another place for us to settle. He had brought her a team and wagon but Uncle Sam was provoked at her for not leaving father so when she arrived there he said to her, “Go to [66] Father’s.” But now she realized that the home of her father that had always been open to her and her husband, and her increasing family in all her former struggles, was now not for her. The Iceland woman had closed and locked the door against her.


In describing her mental suffering at that time mother said that: everything seemed dark; there seemed no ray of hope, and that Satan whispered in her mind: “Kill yourself.” She said that evil prompting awoke her benummed spirit and she declared: “Never will I give way to such a crime.” Then she went and stayed awhile with her mother, whose own means were also scant, but who was very ready to divide with her hungry children the last food that she had.


I became tired of traveling about with my parents so much that I went to Orderville to visit my sister Clarissa Fackerel. Then I worked at the woolen mills and in various homes. Girls in those days worked very hard for cheap wages. I managed to raise enough money to help me through a couple of years of much needed schooling. After four years at Orderville I went with my brother, Levi Hancock, and family to Arizona where father’s first family lived. After another year had passed I married Jonathan Jackson on October 5, 1898. I took into my care my sister Laura, who had stayed awhile with other folks.


In the meantime mother had rented a little house in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. She was determined to settle down and went to working at house work, etc. But wages were scant for her hard work. Then she began making payments on a small home.


As Aunt Esther had left the family temporarily–although sealed to father–and mother being father’s only Utah wife near him, father did not need to be so much in hiding; but from force of habit he was much on the move, taking David with him most of the time. Mother grieved considerable for her children who were away from her. She did not get to see her father and mother for some time. Finally her father, George Myers, who was able to get about and take care of his bees, orchards, and garden at the age of 94 years became ill with ptomaine poisoning and soon passes from this life. Father attended the funeral and sang a song, composed by himself, honoring grandfather.


After mother and David had lived a few years at Mt. Pleasant father went with them to the Salt Lake Temple and earned some money, as many others did at that time, doing Temple work. Clarissa also went to Salt Lake where she did housework for other people. Father suffered very much with the gravel-stones and other ailments of old age while in Salt Lake City.


While they were in Salt Lake Jessie Jackson, my husband’s brother and wife Annie, who is the youngest child of father and Aunt Margaret, went with their two little children to have their temple [67] work done. But soon their baby boy became seriously ill with diphtheria. Father and mother worked hard and spent freely of their scant means to help the frantic parents save the baby’s life. But in spite of all they could do or the Elders administration did, he passed away; was buried in a Salt Lake cemetery and the sad parents returned home with their little girl only. Mother burned much of their bedding and other things to prevent the spread of the disease. But they were thankful they had helped in the case what they could.


Mother needed to keep up their payments on their home so she left father with David and returned to Mt. Pleasant to work. As she had to work out so much of it, it was difficult for her to care for Joseph as she should, and she let him stay for awhile with relatives who worked at Tintic. When father heard of it he became very angry because of Joseph’s being there among fellows who drank and smoked, etc. Then ill as he was, he hurried over to Tintic, got Joseph, who was but seven years of age, and started on foot with him on the long journey from northern Utah to Taylor Arizona. Of course, he knew from past experience that they could get rides from travelers going that way; but they had to do very much walking which was hard for both of them. Father brought Joseph to my place and although John and I were struggling to make a livelihood, and yet had Laura with us, we also took Joseph. Father told us that another reason he had for taking Joseph from Utah was to try and get mother out to Arizona. She had repeatedly refused to go. Mother was so provoked about it that she at first planned to have Joseph returned to her. But realizing father’s condition and other circumstances she did nothing about it.


In the spring of 1901 John and I with our first child Irene, also Laura and Joseph Heber moved to Woodruff, Arizona. Not meeting with expected farming success–thus shortening our means,–I let Laura live with Cecilia Owens, an invalid.


Having returned to Salt Lake from his Arizona trip with Joseph Heber, my father accompanied by mother and David resumed their work in the Salt Lake Temple. In 1904 father, David and Clarissa furnished the railroad fare for mother to hasten to Arizona, and doctor Laura, who was ill. Father finally became too ill for Temple work so his son, John, of his first family, got him from Salt Lake, and took him down to Arizona’s Gila. He was there cared for by John and father’s daughter Mary Butler.


With mother’s permission, David sold her home in Mt. Pleasant and with the proceeds bought a team and wagon, also some provisions which he took to Arizona. In the winter of 1906-7, father still on the Gila, became very ill, and passed from life, January 14, 1907. His wife Margaret, after much illness, passed away May 4, 1908. While Aunt Margaret was ill, she dreamed of a beautiful mansion being prepared for her by father and their deceased son, Joseph.


[68]                             * * * * * *


Amy E. Baird, daughter of Mosiah Lyman and Margaret McCleve Hancock, gives the following events concerning her parents:


“About the first event that I can remember was when I saw my mother crying.” I inquired the reason of my sister Sarah, who told me that our mother’s mother had died.


My mother, who was born in Belfast, Ireland, Sept. 17, 1834, pulled a handcart all the way across the plains to Salt Lake Valley, arriving in 1856 in company no. 2. Certainly young men would have liked her for a wife. But she said that in her patriarchal blessing it had been stated that she would go to Zion and get a husband according to the desire of her heart. We lived for awhile in the United Order in Orderville where we ate at the long tables. We had a pretty good home and a small store in Leeds, Utah, also cattle, considerable land, an orchard, etc.


Father had a carpenter shop; mother had a sewing machine, a luxury in those days–also other furniture. It was a trial for mother to leave there when they had a pretty good start; but father said that they were called to Arizona. So we moved down there in the winter of 1879 in company with Uncle Joseph Hancock. Father met us at Lee’s Ferry at the big Colorado River. He had been at Moien-copie for awhile. I heard that he had accomplished the development of certain species of peaches while there.


As father was a carpenter by trade he had many tools at the home that he and my brother, Levi, had made of sawed logs for mother at Taylor, Arizona. Also he built a house of adobe east of Uncle Joseph’s for Aunt Martha and her sister Esther. I have a chest today and did have a bedstead, I let Levi have, made by father and Levi before we left Utah. When father was away mother earned money at midwifery. And with the help of us children we raised a garden, fruit and berries. Mother and I kept a small store. The boys worked hard to support the family; father as did mother, had confidence that they would do all right.


Dear Brother Jode (Joseph) as he was getting ready to haul freight would examine the family’s shoes, and looked into the flour bin to see what was needed in such lines; he would also have us make out a list of the things we wanted. Sometimes mother would say to me, with tears in her eyes: “He’s just like a father to this family.


Jode was ready to marry Maggie Jensen, November 5, 1894. While riding a horse, it became frightened and reared over backwards, crushing my brother Jode’s skull. He died within a few hours and his funeral was the same day his marriage was to have taken place. When a child he had fallen from a rock fence and had broken his arm.


[69]  When father was at home he used to gather the little ones around him and teach us how to sing. When my little brother wandered away he would bring him back and try to interest him in singing. One night when father came home John hid behind the door then jumped out and laughed; father jumped and grabbed him and they both laughed heartily.


Mary when small, was afraid of the dark; father wanted to break her of that fear and hid himself while mother took her out after dark. Father watched his chance and jumped at Mary, then said, “Now don’t be scared! It’s only Pa.”


Although father was not with us much I noticed that he had many good ways about him. He had such a light step and would be close by you before you knew he was anywhere around. He was a good public speaker and a splendid dancer, in fact he was called “Fancy Dancing Hancock” as was John Hancock, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and who was a brother of father’s great grandfather.


Father also had an excellent melodious voice for singing. He led the Payson choir. He was very neat yet economical about his food and cooking, about his garden and premises, also about his personal appearance. He bathed frequently, sometimes in icy water. When his daughter, Jane Perkins’ small boys passed by Taylor’s reservoir they saw him, after breaking the ice, refreshing himself in a cold water bath. He was not very affectionate but was very fond of his family. Father was versatile, and not a mere amateur. He was naturally gifted in many ways, as a carpenter, brick layer, mortar masonry, surveyor, nurseryman and mercantile manager. He was a pioneer scout and school teacher and was gifted in doctoring people and animals, also in setting broken bones and sprained parts.


Father was humorous and a good conversationalist; he could mix well in company of high dignitaries of church or state, or could sit in a wigwam preaching and making peace with the Indians. He was disgusted with those who worshipped fashionable society, in following after what “The Jones Do!” He was quick tempered and sarcastic at times, yet he was ready with words of praise and comfort when needed. He was quick and agile in his movements and a great walker, noted for walking long distances. He arose at daybreak and took a short nap during the day; he had no patience with late sleepers. He said that many a time in Pioneer Days, when hungry, while riding upon a horse he would dismount to pick up a kernel of corn or an apple peeling to eat.


And when his rawhide moccasins wore out he burned the hair from them, scraped, washed, soaked and cooked them over night in the coals, then ate them. When I heard of father having been so hungry I thought: “No wonder he was so saving,” for he didn’t want to see even a kernel of corn, a teaspoonful of bran, or any food wasted.


At the age of 12 two men were required to pull an arrow from his knee, shot there by an Indian. This knee troubled him much in later life.


[70]  He told us that after he had been beaten unconscious by the mob and driven from Missouri when yet very small he saw the mob set his parent’s home on fire. His mother was carrying out their feather bed. It was snatched from her arms and thrown into the fire with their other belongings.


When father had been away from us for some time and mother heard some things she hardly knew what to do. Father would patiently reply, “Sometime my first family will understand me and they’ll be mine.” When mother was dying she said that father, with my brother Jode, who also had passed away came to her and wanted her to go to them, and also wanted her to look at the beautiful home they had prepared for her. She said that she saw her home and that it was lovely beyond description. All the misunderstandings that had been between her and father had been swept away, and she was anxious to go to him.


Although it was hard to give mother up, it was a great satisfaction to her children to know that father’s words wore fulfilled and that there was a reconciliation between them. When John came to see mother during her last sickness, after father’s death, John said that father told him that he dreamed he had died and went into the spirit-world. They asked him what he was doing there; he told them that his earthly work was done and he desired to enter into his rest. But they said, “Well you have made some mistakes in your life, and in order for you to attain the place you desire you must go back to earth and suffer awhile longer.” “And you must do so without complaining.” Then father turned to John and asked, “Now John have you heard me complain?” John answered, “No, I haven’t.” And John told us that in all father’s sufferings he had not heard him utter one word of complaint.


Mother’s children felt that father’s soul had been purified and made fit to enter the place he desired; because of his sufferings and willingness to suffer for past mistakes and we believed that mother felt repaid for what she went through. To have a son stricken so suddenly as was Jode, was a great grief to mother as well as the whole family. But when on mother’s death bed father and Jode showed her the beautiful mansion they had prepared for her, she said that Jode and two Robinson girls who had died, were standing by her bed pleading for their temple work to be done.


Mother wanted me to promise that I would have the work done. I did not know how I could go to the temple, but she could not rest until I promised, which I did. Two months after mother’s death I met Samuel W. Baird. And about three months after that we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. There we had our work done and the two Robinson girls sealed to my brother Joseph Smith Hancock.


The End




[71]                               ADDENDUM




When about twenty-one years of age, I was permitted by the power of God, to go into His presence and into my former abode. I saw the Eternal Father on His throne and His wives on His left side, all shining in glory; I saw the Savior and knew Him. It takes the power of the Holy Ghost to tell the difference between the Father and the Son, they look so much alike. Jesus said: “Mosiah, I have brought you here to show you how it was before you went to the earth.” I had been to the earth; everything looked so natural and familiar. I seemed to have been a companion of the Savior and talked with him like a friend. Again, He spoke to me and said: “Look and see man as he came forth.” I looked in the direction indicated and saw an innumerable line of God’s children extending further than I could see. They were arranged in pairs, male and female, and passed in front of the Eternal Father who named them; and they were clad in long white robes with girdles tied around the waists; each pair seemed to have been created mates. (Note 1)


When thus clothed, they were arranged in classes of about two hundred; the males sitting in front and the females behind them. They were taught in the arts and sciences, and everything necessary to make the heart happy. The teachers of the classes received the instruction they imparted from certain notable ones, who in turn got their directions from the Father and the Son. I thought I was one to overlook the classes; I also saw Joseph, Brigham, and many others engaged in this work of education. I thought as some became more efficient than others they were advanced from class to class. I thought my name was Mosiah, and the names of the other brethren there were the same as upon the earth. All at once there was a gathering of these spirits and the voice of the Great Eternal (for that is what we called God there) spoke: “Oh, ye my children,” and His voice penetrated throughout space, so countless were His offspring. “We have an earth prepared for you, on which you can dwell and have a chance to come up, thru obeying our Heavenly laws.”


I there heard the question asked: “Who will go down and set an example of humility and faithfulness to these my children, that they may be brought, thru obedience to our laws, back into our presence?”


I thought I saw one in the express image of the Father say, “Father, I will go down and set a pattern of humility and patience that your children, thru my example, may be brought back again.” How noble, I thought, He looked when He offered Himself so patient before the children of our Father.


I saw another, who seemed to be a very high military officer who arose and said: “I will go down to yonder earth and surely I will bring all your children back to you so none of them shall be lost.”


The plan of the first was accepted as being the only sure plan for an exaltation. The plan of the second was rejected with great kindness; but the second was not satisfied; and while the first stood [72] in great humility by the side of the Father, the second with many who stood in with him, went about among the Heavenly hosts to advocate the plan, that was put forth as the rights of the second. This one was Lucifer, a son of the morning, for many had been with the Father for countless ages, and learned their lessons well, and he had been no dull scholar. Finally Lucifer openly rebelled against the Father and the Son, and six other mighty ones who stood faithful with them and declared, “I will have it my way.” I saw the faithful ones gather around the Father and the Son, and Lucifer’s workers gathered around him, when one of the notable ones, who was called Michael, arose and said, “We will decide the contest.” It seemed that a platform was extended into space, upon which we could operate, by what power I could not tell. We who were faithful to the Father and the Son, had a white star upon us, and the others chose a red star; about one third of the males and females would not accept of either star, but withdrew from the conflict, the females taking the males by the arm, said, “Come, let us not take part with either side. Let us retire.” (Note 2) (When they were cast out after the manner of spiritual warfare,) they had no power to return. When they were all cleared from the platform and Satan and his followers were all cast down, their female companions wept, and we all wept.


No females took part against the Father and the Son, but all took sides in their favor, except the neutral ones already mentioned. After the tears were dried, from our eyes, the voice of the Great Eternal, spoke again and said, “Hear, O ye my children;” His voice penetrating the imensity of space so that all could hear it; It is decreed by the Great Eternal that the females shall not follow their males in their banishment, but for every male that has kept his first estate and fought valiantly for the Father and the Son, there are two females. Again it is decreed that those males who have taken no part in this great conflict shall keep their females and a race of servants shall they be.” I then saw that the notable ones who had taken such an interest in the rights of the Father and the Son, were appointed to gather up those lone females whose companions had been cast down. They were again placed in classes, each man having two females in the ranks behind him. I there saw that they were again taught in their classes, which now contained about three hundred. I next saw Michael and his companion proceed a long way off, to people the earth where Lucifer and his FOLLOWERS HAD BEEN CAST. As time passed, other notable ones followed as they were appointed. During all this time the classes met frequently, being taught by instructors appointed. Each member knew his or her own place, and took it each time, and the best of order prevailed. They were asked, first the males, and then the females behind them, “Will you obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when you go to that earth?” Some would answer, Yes, but not all. Some would be asked, Will you obey that law which placed the Gods on high? And in very few cases I would hear the females say, “I want my own mate.” Sometimes the question would be asked of a male, “Will you obey that higher law? and he would answer, I wish to enjoy myself with the females.” Sometimes when the question would be asked of the female, she would reply, “I wish to enjoy myself with the males.” Again the question would be asked of the males, “If you will not [73] join the Church of Christ, what do you wish to be? He would sometimes say, “I wish to be a judge, or an officer of high rank among the people.” Then he would be asked, “Will you sustain the laws of God and also the rights of all mankind?” and the answer in every instance was, “yes.” I saw there that those who were proficient in their classes were advanced more rapidly until they became most perfect in those heavenly teachings, but some males, even there in Heaven would neglect their females and their classes and not meet with them. They would go off, arm in arm, as men now go, not having any desire for their duties, I never saw a female leave her place in the class assigned her by the Heavenly powers. I saw Abraham, when he came back from the earth, and many of the notable ones, when they came back to be crowned. I saw them step upon the platform of the Gods and receive their crowns, and enter into their exaltations. At last I saw the time when Joseph was to go forth, and the voice of the Great Eternal said, “Oh, my neglected daughters, gather around these my faithful servants who have been faithful in teaching you the principles of righteousness and of our kingdom, that others may come up and have the chance to be glorified.” I saw many of them gather around Joseph and form a ring with him and the Savior in the center. They made a covenant with him that they would meet him on the earth and help him establish that great work upon the earth. I saw many of them gather around Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and many other notable ones, and around many who have not become so notable. They formed rings around each of them with Christ in the Center each time, for He rehearsed to them the Covenant. They would take each other by the hand, in the circle, and bow their faces down to Him, in the center, and in the most solemn manner agree to meet them here, until every one of those neglected daughters was provided for; and they were filled with such joy that their songs made a paradise of the realm.


At last the time came for me to go to the earth. The Savior came to me and said, “Mosiah, it is time for you to prepare to go. You have been faithful so long here it is time for you to go, that you may return and be as we are.” As I beheld Him, I thought, “How is it that I am not as you are now? For it seemed, that I knew nothing of the earth of the changes a probation there would make in me. However, I said, “who will go down to that earth, and be my father, and help me that I may be brought in the ways of truth and righteousness?” A male by the name of Levi stepped forth, in the presence of the Son, and said “I will go down to yonder earth, and by the help of the Great Eternal, I will try to do as well by you as you have done for me, for I am grateful to you for all your kindness to me.” He returned to his place, being an instructor of a class. I was one among others who was appointed to instruct him and the other teachers of classes. A female came out of the class and bowing before the Savior and me, said, “I will go down and be your mother.” In a short time the man disappeared and was immediately followed by the woman. I knew my departure was near at hand and I asked, “If on my return I could have the same position I then held.” Then the Savior said, Yes, and greater, but you have to go down to the earth, and take a lowly position and be misunderstood [74] by man, even your brethren and endure many hardships and set many examples of humility and patience, that you may return and enter the glory, even such as I have.” He then added, “Your time is now come to take your mission to the earth,” and He laid His hands on my head, as He had done to others, and set me apart for that important mission. He again said to me, “I will see you safely thru until you return again. I fully believe on that promise. (Note 3) It seemed as though a way was opened before me, and I dived down toward the earth with the speed of lightening and awoke while sailing thru space. The End.


Note 1. One sentence placed here was left out because it was not readable.

Note 2. This sentence was changed to clarify its meaning, although the meaning was not changed in any way.

Note 3. Same.