My grandfather, Jonathan Shurtliff, shared largely in the Revolutionary War, also my father, Noah Shurtliff. He served one draft for his father and then served another for himself. The day he was sixteen he was a guard at Croton Fort where the American army was then stationed.
My father was born August 13, 1765; mother was born on the twenth (10th) of May, 1765. In 1788 they were married, and soon after moved to Montgomery, Hampden County, Massachusetts, which was then a new country and land could be obtained cheap, although rough and mountainous. These hardy sons of revolutionary fathers, undaunted by trifles, cleared the forest, walled their farms, and soon found themselves in the midst of plenty.
My father was a stout, well-built, healthy man; he had dark eyes, black hair, and had double teeth before as well as on each side of his mouth. He was about six feet, one inch in height, had square shoulders and usually weighed about 207 pounds.
My mother was rather above the common size, well-built, sandy complexion, quite healthy, and lived very agreeably with father.
I was the fifth and last child of my parents. The family consisted of four boys and one girl. Their names were: Selah, Ruel, Elizabeth, Timothy, Wales and myself, Luman Andros.
Prior to my birth, my father had obtained sufficient land to make a small farm, put out an orchard and built a dwelling sufficient for his family, raising his provisions and most of their clothing, their wants at that time being small. Through much hard labor and toil, he added to his farm until he had as much land as he and the boys could take care of and farm, also as much stock as was beneficial and profitable. He then turned his attention to reading and that mostly to medical works and to practicing medicine in his own family and some among his friends.
In 1805, the Methodist doctrine was preached in their neighborhood and father and mother united with them.
At this time my mother had reason to believe she was past the time of child bearing. Notwithstanding this, she had anxious desire to have another child, and that a daughter, if she could have her choice.
On the 13th of March, 1807, I was born, a poor, weak, feeble child. The anxiety of my mother for a daughter and her disappointment made a lasting impression upon my life. I was named Luman Andros, after a Methodist minister. It was with the best of care and nursing that they raised me. For many months it was thought that I could not be raised. Yet I lived and have been as healthy as most boys and men.
About the first thing I can remember was the roofing of our home in which we lived.
My oldest brother, Selah, was now married and was a man of good habits and respected by all who knew him. He and his wife both joined the Baptist church about four years after they were married. He was a clothier by trade and a good mechanic.
By this time my father had an extensive trade as a physician and surgeon, and was away from home a good deal of the time. My brother Ruel and my brother Wales carried on the farm work.
I was put to school very young. Being a steady turn of mind, I progressed faster than my school mates, which encouraged my parents and they spared no pains in giving me such instructions as they thought would be for my good. They taught me not to steal, cheat, lie or deceive and to choose those playmates who were honorable. I tried to observe this yet some of my school mates did curse and swear. When about nine or ten years old, while in company with several of my mates who were jovial and spoke some big words, I got a little excited and in trying to keep up with them, I tried to swear as they did; and whether I got it off so awkward or so wicked I never knew, for my companions appeared surprised, and I was scared, and with the reproof they gave me, I resolved never to swear again which resolution I have faithfully kept.
My mother taught me to pray when very young, which thing I have always attended to. It has been like an anchor to my wandering soul. This also had a tendency to keep me steady and religiously inclined.
When I was about seven years old, my brother Ruel married into a Presbyterian family. In 1817 he and his wife’s people sold their property and moved into Franklin, Portage County, Ohio, a distance of six hundred miles. It was a journey which in that day was considered almost intolerable, and but few had the courage to undertake it.
This left my brother Wales and myself to take care of the farm and stock, which was quite an undertaking for two boys so young. I was ten and Wales was seventeen. Wales chose to be a farmer and I could get the cows and drive the oxen, ride the horses and do many things. He thought he could manage the affairs of hiring some help in haying and harvesting. We did so and labored excessively for two summers.
In February, 1816, my sister, Elizabeth, married Horace Hatch, who was a blacksmith. While working at his trade he met with an accident which caused him blindness. He afterward opened up a tavern and worked many years at his trade, in which business he acquired property.
He heard many favorable reports from our brother in Ohio which caused some excitement in our minds and especially in father’s. He felt anxious to see that country; it was then called “The Far West.”
In January, 1819, father went to Ohio; he was well pleased with the country, and returned in May. Soon he traded part of his land and property with two men who owned land adjoining my brother’s in Ohio. My father thought these men were honest. They deeded 250 acres of land to him, and were to pay him seven or eight hundred dollars in money when he was ready to move to Ohio.
My oldest brother Selah and family, consisting of his wife and two girls, concluded to sell and go with us.
My father now began to prepare to move to Ohio, and when he called on the men he had traded property with, one of them had gone to Ohio, and when father asked for the money they agreed to pay him, the man said the partner in Ohio must pay the money and he would give father an order on the partner for the money and asked father to sign the order. At first he refused, but was persuaded to so do.
We started in September for the “Far West.” Neither father nor Selah had moved before, and did not know what was wanted. The wagon was too light and the teams too weak. Father’s wagon broke down the first hundred miles. He bought another horse and hitched it before the other two. This horse I had to ride. The horse’s shoulder soon got sore, and we changed horses, and put the one I rode on the tongue. Then when we sent down the hill the one I rode on would try to hold the wagon back. The other one would go fast, and drag us all down the hill together. This scared me, and I thought it was dangerous, and it made my journey disagreeable.
When we came to Buffalo, our team was worn down so much, father thought it best to send part of our loading across by boat to Cleveland, Ohio. It was raining, the roads were muddy, and getting worse every day, and we had two hundred miles yet to travel. As we drove down the landing, we met a man carrying an umbrella. Father inquired if he knew of any vessel that would sail soon for Cleveland. He said his vessel would sail in the morning for that port. Father took a large box of medicine, and another containing our most valuable goods. This man took these boxes into his possession, and receipted them, and we went on our way as best we could.
The last two hundred miles of our journey lay through a new country, and much of the way through a forest, and the roads, where there were any, were very bad. Rain and snow were our constant companions. The hills were slippery, and we made slow progress while traveling over pole bridges and mud. I heard father say it was the “cussedest” road he had ever traveled. This was the first and only profane word I ever heard him speak. One of our horses died on the way.
We arrived in Franklin, Portage County, Ohio, the first of October .
Father never heard of the man or goods after we left Buffalo, and we concluded he was one of those land sharks who throng cities, and get their living by deceiving the honest. This was a heavy loss to us. We could not find any person who knew either the man or the vessel, and on writing back to Buffalo, it was the same there.
Now as father’s most valuable medicine and instruments and our most valuable clothing were gone, and we in a wilderness, things looked gloomy. Clothing was dear and had to be found, but this was a pleasant and fruitful county. In the forest we found plums, grapes, crab-apples, a small green apple, very hard and sour, which made an excellent preserve. There were strawberries, cranberries and briar berries in abundance. In the forest were a great variety of nuts such as beechnuts, chestnuts and walnuts. The streams, ponds, and lakes abounded with a great variety of fish. In the forest were bear, beaver, otter, muskrat, and mink were plentiful in the streams. In the spring the forest resounded with the gobble of the turkey, the drum of the partridge, quacking of the duck, squalling of the geese, the singing of the quail and other birds. This had a tendency to make a new country pleasant and delightful, especially to a person who had any inclination for hunting.
Farms were scattered here and there through the forest. My father hired a man to work with Ruel part of the time, which entitled us to a part of the crop raised on the place. They had sowed one acre of turnips from which we gathered over three hundred bushels of good turnips. Those we used in place of apples to pass the long lonesome evenings through the winter and to treat our neighbors with when they called in to see us.
The first winter we lived in the same house with Ruel’s family. Selah’s land lay one mile and a half south of Ruel’s farm, in the midst of the forest.
This winter I went three miles to school at Prises Mills where there were only five or six houses. My road was through the wilderness and but two houses to pass. I often saw deer crossing the road before me as I went to or from school. But the winter passed off very agreeable to me.
This winter Wales cleared a piece of ground for an orchard which we set out in the spring. We had to go one day’s travel to get the trees.
In February we rolled up a log house, and the last of the month we moved into it. We chinked and finished it nights by firelight. We were then about one mile south of Ruel’s place, and one half mile north of Selah’s. They were our nearest neighbors.
The last of February we opened our sugar camp, and this spring made two or three hundred pounds of maple sugar. Father divided the land that had maple trees growing on it so all the boys could make their own sugar.
Although my parents were Methodists, they did not unite with the Methodists in Ohio, yet father prayed in his family occasionally, commonly on Sunday morning. Selah was a Baptist, Ruel made no profession, yet was a moral man. Wales was very profane, which grieved me much. Secretly I was a Christian as far as I knew, but kept it entirely to myself, yet went by myself and prayed continually, hoping the time would come soon when I could join some church and have young people for my brothers and sisters.
I was so zealous that I would walk in Selah’s tracks in preference to others, when I was walking to and from our sugar camp in snow, because he was a Christian.
In going to our camp we had to cross a river, and sometimes when the water was high, we had to go 80 or 100 rods in a canoe, and that among the brush, under and over fallen trees. In places the water was deep and I thought there was danger, and especially if Selah was not with us. If he was with us, I felt as though he could save us. When we were in these bad places, I used to pray earnestly to the Lord to save us from drowning. Thus was my faith and feelings when thirteen years old.
The summer following I worked with Wales, clearing land, plowing, hoeing, and fencing lands. In the winter I walked two and a half miles to school, and I enjoyed myself well.
Father had an extensive practice and was from home most of the time.
Wales and I labored hard building log buildings and improving our farms and making things comfortable about us. What father earned was at our disposal, and as a family we had but one thing to mar or destroy our happiness and peace. That was that my dear mother had left her only daughter in a far-off land, and was the most homesick person I ever saw. It was heart-rending to hear our old mother weep and lament for her dear girl, forever separated from her. This was a grief to our family.
This country settled fast, and most of the inhabitants were from the New England states, and soon built schoolhouses and established schools. One schoolhouse was built on our farm and Wales was hired to teach the school. Two winters I had the privilege of school near home.
About this time father advised me to go to college and obtain a good education and go into practice with him. Having seen the hardships of a physician and surgeon of extensive practice, I refused, thinking if I went to college and got my education, father would feel that I was bound to be a doctor, to which I could not consent. But oh how often I have regretted this; if I had only an education, it would have been of great importance to me. No occupation suited my mind as did farming so I resolved to be a farmer. Consequently, my calculations and anticipations were in that channel. Father had divided his land, so we had land to make each as good a farm as any in that country. All we did was for ourselves, so we felt ambitious and spared no pains in making farms as good as any other man’s.
When I was fifteen years old, while returning from hunting squirrels, a pleasant sensation came over me and a verse of a hymn came to my mind:
I’ll praise my maker while I breathe,
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
While life or thought or being last
Or immortality endures.
This was so impressed upon my mind that I have never forgotten it. At that time I did not know that such a verse existed anywhere.
I went to the house with a light and cheerful heart. Sometime in the day we heard that a man who called a second Dow was to preach at the village three miles from father’s. At four o’clock that day I started for the meeting at the time appointed. Judge my surprise when I stepped into the door of the house, the minister arose, read and sang the same verse as was made known to me several hours before, three miles from here. This appeared singular to me, but has always been a comfort to me.
Three years had now passed away since we came to this country. We received a letter from my sister in Massachusetts, stating the men (Farnum and Douglass) with whom father traded his property there, had attached a small farm which father did not trade to them, but intended to sell for money to build with when he was prepared for it in Ohio. My sister stated in her letter that Douglass said that father owed them several hundred dollars, which thing was surprising to us. However, father asked Wales to go and defend his case in Massachusetts. Accordingly, Wales started on the 5th of October, 1822. This was the fall before I was sixteen years old.
I was left to take care of the crops, stock, and farm, and we were building a large farm house. This added to my care. I had 12 acres of corn to gather, one of potatoes to dig and bury, six acres of wheat to fence (most of the rails were split but had to be drawn and laid up), thrashing to be done with a flail, wood to get and chop, hogs to fatten and kill. In thrashing the wheat, I hired a hand to help me. My work kept me busy almost night and day.
I had a great anxiety to become a good hunter, and as game was plentiful about our fields, it was a great inducement for work nights and hunt a little each day, and I improved every opportunity. My father bought me an old rifle of which I felt proud. I would get up in the morning sometimes before daylight and go out to the wheat fields, skulk down behind a log or fence and wait until I could see to shoot. In this way I often killed a fat deer, then I felt proud, for but few eastern men killed deer or turkeys. This course of things pleased my parents and they encouraged me. I knew I had work to do and the earlier I was at work in the morning, and the later I worked at nights or in the nights, the more time I could get to hunt.
Wales returned about the first of June, having accomplished nothing with Farnum and Douglass. I had gotten my crops and they looked well, and I was much pleased to have him come home and take charge of the business and liberate me.
About this time I found an acquaintance with a young lady of English descent, about fourteen years of age. Her father’s name was John Ensell and her name was Anne Ensell. She was well built, light skin, blue eyes, curly brown hair that hung in ringlets to her shoulders. To each other we became much attached. No company was as agreeable to us as each other, consequently we spent much of our spare time together for two or three years, or more.
At this time our parents and friends began to speak of our marriage, and occasionally a joke was passed at our expense which brought me to reflection. Anne was handsome, at least I thought so, and raised a lady–which was the cause of our separation.
As before stated, I had designed to spend my life a farmer. So I needed a wife who could spin, weave, knit, milk cows, feed calves and pigs, make butter and cheese, cook and wash and iron. Anne could do none of these things. She was raised to sing, play, knit edging, dress and behave genteel, and many other things calculated to attract attention and appear well in society. And what could I do with her in the kitchen or with a family? Although she was young, smart, and active, I did not realize that she could learn to cook, keep house and would be a good wife for a farmer.
Notwithstanding my feelings and love, I was determined to withdraw my affection from her that I might place them on another when a suitable opportunity should offer, who would make a wife more suitable to my circumstances. We saw each other less frequently through the summer. In the fall, Anne’s father prepared to move his family to Pennsylvania. In the winter of 1828, Anne and her father came to the meeting where I was attending. At the close of the meeting, they made their intended departure known. It was cutting to my feelings, but being firm in my purpose, I was immovable to action but not in feelings. Anne and I had a few words, and at our parting we kissed each other for the last time (a foolish move on my part) and this parting has since caused me much sorrow and even now while I write, it is hard for me to refrain from acting the part of a child and giving vent to my feelings, but it is passed.
Forty-four years have passed since that parting scene. The last I heard of her, she was married and was living near Bethany, Brooks County, Virginia. I hope my sons will learn a lesson by my folly and not turn away a lovely, virtuous and affectionate girl they love, because she is not perfect or cannot do anything they think they will wish her to do, and that before she learns how.
When I was about seventeen years of age, my brother Wales was elected ensign and I third sergeant in the militia company organized in Franklin. This inspired me with a military spirit and most of my time was spent for a while in studying military discipline and tactics, that I might be able to fill my office with honor to which I might be elected. The next year I was raised to second sergeant. The next year as a company we agreed to enlist and become a light infantry company. In this move, Wales was elected captain and I first sergeant. The officers and some of the soldiers sent to New York and bought our equipment and uniforms, and the next spring we came out in full uniform, armed and equipped as the law required. No time or money was spared to make this the best company in the country. A military life was my joy and pride. Thus I continued in my glory until I commanded the best company in the circle of my acquaintance.
I had the offer of a major’s commission, but refused, having gone as far in military affairs as I wished. At 25 years of age, I had held a commission, five years uniformed and equipped, also seven years in light troops, uniformed, armed and equipped, each of which entitled me to a certificate which clears one from military duty in time of peace through life. I sold my uniform and equipment and never expected to muster another day in my life.
In the spring of 1824, my brother-in-law rented his tavern in Massachusetts, and with my sister came to Ohio to make us a visit and stay with us a year. Although he is blind he is smart and active, opened-hearted and kind and helped us hoe, mow, reap, and haul hay and grain.
In November there was a quilting in the neighborhood to which the ladies were invited to quilt in the afternoon and the men to chop wood. At evening we had a good supper and then a dance. I was one of the guests. There were more ladies than gents and I danced most of the night, took a bad cold which settled in both ankles, and I was unable to do a day’s work until next April.
I took the school to teach in my district for three months and it was with difficulty I could walk to the schoolhouse and back. This winter a cousin of mine, about 30 years old, was teaching school in an adjoining town. He felt smart and occasionally visited our neighborhood. One evening I hobbled out to a neighbor’s where a number of young people were gathered for an evening chat. This cousin was there and was somewhat rude in his manners, naturally, and especially with the girls, a thing I despised. Although I was extremely fond of their company, I could not bear to see anything unvirtuous or disrespectful carried on in their presence. Nothing would raise my indignation higher or quicker. While we were enjoying our evening’s visit, I discovered some things and heard some conversation from this cousin, contrary to my raising and, as I thought, unbecoming in such society. My ire was kindled and as lame as I was I seized him by the collar and made him agree to behave himself the rest of the evening, which he did, at least in my presence. School teaching proved to be a business I liked well and I made up my mind to follow it winters, for the present.
The next fall I was engaged to teach a winter school at the center of an adjoining town where there were several scholars older than myself that expected to attend school, and lest I should be incompetent to teach these large scholars, I thought best to go to school at the village of Franklin a few weeks before I began my school. I did so and studied grammar days and arithmetic nights and went through my arithmetic in two weeks. This and my other studies made me sick and brought on a nervous complaint which followed me for several years.
In the fall of 1826 after months of court proceedings concerning our land, the decision was made against us; this was surprising to many yet it was so and all the land deeded to father in 1817 was attached by John King, sheriff, and appraised by William King, his brother, very low, and bid off at sale by William King.
Thus, they got the property in Massachusetts worth, when father traded, 2,100 dollars, and the farms in Ohio which at the time they commenced suit were worth 2,000 dollars. Thus they got all the land father had in Massachusetts and all the land they sold him in Ohio with all the improvements we all made in seven years of hard labor, and this hardly satisfied their demands.
Wales was now 27 years old and all he saved out of his hard labor was 120 dollars in property. I was 20 and worth 40 dollars. My two oldest brothers were men of property and my old father and mother now had to depend on them mostly for a home. Father was 62 years old, stripped of all, not even a horse to ride. He was broken and discouraged, his energy and ambition seemed to cease. Thus with all our hard labor for years, we were forced to begin anew.
In the summer of 1827, a revival of religion took place in the village. In the fall, meetings were held in different neighborhoods. With this I was pleased as I was in hopes that some of the young people would unite with some church that I could have good company, for I intended to join some church as soon as I could get an excuse and have company.
In the forepart of September  the people began to hold evening meetings in different parts of the town. I invited Selah’s two daughters, Lydia and Desire, to go to church with me which they did. Several young persons had come out and made public profession of religion, and when I heard them telling what joy they had, it rejoined my heart, for I wanted to step forward in religious matters. We were all stirred up in this reformation and all got religion.
On the 20th of October, 1827, Lydia and I walked arm in arm to the river, went down into the river and were baptized by a Baptist minister. A short time after, I had the privilege of seeing my niece, Desire, baptized also.
Ruel and his wife joined the Presbyterians. Some joined one church and some another. Selah hunted up the Baptists that were scattered about, and Sidney Rigdon came and organized us, and Elder Sturdevant was set apart to preach and take care of us.
I made up my mind to speak every opportunity, but I suffered for I couldn’t think what to say, but I continued to speak in most of the meetings, and we enjoyed ourselves well through the winter. Several new converts met with us and in praying, speaking and singing we became much attached to one another.
In another neighborhood there was a family by the name of Burt. The father, Martin Burt, and the mother were Presbyterians and very set in the religion. I had my eye on the oldest daughter, Doreas, whom I intended to make my wife. I began to pay my attentions to her. The son, Warren, paid his attentions to my niece Lydia, and on attending our meetings, made up his mind to join the church.
When the news that Warren intended to join the Baptists came to the ears of the pious old deacon, unfortunately for me, by appointment, I was there. I waited upon Doreus home after meeting and called in to spend a few hours with her. I soon discovered that the old man’s soul was vexed. While we sat conversing merrily, I discovered indignation gathering on the old gentleman’s reverent brow. At length he said, “Let us have prayers.” We all knelt down and he prayed about one hour, but not very interestingly to me for I dreaded the storm I saw approaching.
At the close of the prayer, he turned to Warren and said, “It is time to go to bed.” Warren was of age and did not obey. He then turned to Doreus and commanded her to go to bed. As she went out of the room, and if I understood her right, she said, “If I cannot have him, I will have no other man and you shall support me.” Her conduct showed I was not mistaken for she lived at home until her father died, and when she was 41 years old, married Selah, my oldest brother, 67 years old.
When Doreus was out of the room, I rose and walked toward the door, Warren following me. As I opened the door, Mr. Burt said, “You have ruined one of my children and shall not ruin another,” meaning I had led Warren astray and caused him to join the Baptists. In this thing I was too stubborn, for which I am sorry. I never saw Doreus again.
Now in the fall of 1827, as we had lost our land and nearly all our property, it was necessary for us to look up another place to make a beginning. Wales bought 40 acres back of the old farm and I took over a farm of my brother-in-law’s. This was swampy and the river ran through it. I did not like it but it was the best I could do at that time.
That winter I cleared one and a half acres and in the spring I burned the logs and brush, drew some of the logs, split the rails, fenced it in and set out 100 apple trees, pear trees, and peach trees. I put up a log barn 38 by 25 feet and covered it with shingles which I split off a log.
This summer I fenced in about ten acres of land, sowed some grass seed for meadow, sowed some turnips, planted potatoes and little corn. I had no team or any way to hire one, only with my labor.
I had mended my folk’s shoes for several years, and had made more or less for one or two years past. I now found this business was an advantage to me, for I could mend or make shoes when I could not work outdoors, and in one evening, pay for a team for one day. After a year or two, I worked at shoemaking fall and winter, night and day and made it profitable.
I was poor and had nothing to begin with. I felt that I had a hard, hard row to hoe and had begun to hoe it. I would hoe it as hard as others who had something to begin with. I had a cow and a calf that were worth 12 dollars. I owned a good watch worth 15 dollars, a rifle worth ten dollars, and a small nursery of apple and pear trees and a few dollars in money.
I traded my watch for a yoke of yearling steers. I sold deerskins enough with three dollars extra to get me a good coat. I was then well clothed. I now had four head of stock and had but hay enough on shares, and with the turnips I raised on my land, had feed enough to winter my stock.
The second winter I cut timber in the upland; I cut them into saw logs and in the spring when the water was high, I drew those logs, rolled them into the river, got into my canoe and followed them down the river, getting them loose when they were fast, thus following them to the sawmillwhere I had them sawed and the lumber put in piles, for one half the lumber. I bought a poor, shabby-looking mare colt valued at 15 dollars for 2,500 feet of lumber.
Now soon after the organization of our Baptist Church, on attending a meeting at Stow, I saw a young lady by the name of Luremey Thomas and as she was a member of the church, about 20 years old, good looking and active, I took a fancy to her at once, although I had not seen her until now. I thought I would inquire into her circumstances and character, and if she was single and respectable, I would make her a visit. On inquiring, I found she was a farmer’s daughter, single and respectable. I made her acquaintance and resolved to make her a visit. If she suited me, which I thought she surely would, I would make her my wife.
When I visited my intended, no pains were spared to make my visit agreeable and more fully attract my attention, but it had a contrary effect. I returned thinking less of her than before and concluded she would not be an agreeable companion for me. I visited her the second time and when I was about to leave, she very politely asked me when she could expect another visit. I replied, as the roads were getting muddy and the distance considerable, ten miles, I thought I would not call again at the present. She made no reply. I thought I saw her eyes fill with tears, but I could not love her.
My niece Desire was my constant companion and we took much pleasure in each other’s company. If we had an errand to the neighbor’s, it was put off until evening and we both went together.
About this time Alexander Campbell, Philip Scot, and Sidney Rigdon commenced preaching baptism for the remission of sins. I then became a believer and an advocate of that doctrine called Campbellism. We preached faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance of sin, and baptism for the remission of sin.
About the middle of October, 1828, a man and his family, John Gaylord by name and his wife, Joanne Bagg Gaylord, moved into our neighborhood. They had a large family of children, among them four young persons, two young men and two young women.
One Sabbath evening as I was returning from a Methodist meeting, while passing the Presbyterian meetinghouse, the meeting dismissed and three young ladies came out, followed by two young men. As I was going the same road, I soon fell in company with the young men and found them to be the Mr. Clapps, and one of the young ladies, Miss Clapp. Who the other ladies were, I did not know as they were strangers. I asked Mr. Clapp who the young ladies were and he said they were Mr. Gaylord’s girls who had lately come in from the east and with whom he had some acquaintance.
This seemed somewhat novel to me, as he was acquainted and let the ladies walk alone and he followed along behind like some dog. As for myself, I felt very awkward as I had made it a rule for me to let no good young lady, if respectable, walk alone in the evening where I was, if they would accept my company. But here I was in a dilemma, an entire stranger, had never spoken with the Misses Gaylord, and they might consider it an insult if I offered them my company. And there was a young man with whom they were acquainted and came to meeting with his sister, if not with him, and he did not offer his arm, why should I? But we were soon to pass Mr. Clapp’s, perhaps they would stay with Miss Clapp overnight. If so, all right with me, but if they passed, they would go one mile on my road and I would consider it my duty to offer to see them safely home.
When we came to Clapp’s, the Misses Gaylord bid Miss Clapp good evening. As they separated, one of the Mr. Clapps stepped forward and offered his arm to the youngest of the ladies. I then stepped up and asked the other for her company home. This was the first word I spoke to my wife, as she afterward proved to be. She politely accepted my arm and we walked cheerfully home together, little thinking we were forming an acquaintance for time and eternity as it after appeared.
When at their father’s house, I stepped in and sat a few minutes and formed a slight acquaintance with her and a part of the family. In all, I spent the evening very pleasantly.
In the spring of 1829, about the 10th of April, on Sunday evening, I was at my brother Selah’s in company with Desire. As the sun was about setting I felt unusually lonesome, a thing I was unaccustomed to when in Desire’s company. A thought came into my mind to go and see the Misses Gaylord. I immediately said to Desire, “I think I will go to see Eunice and Joanna.” She laughed and said, “Oh, you will not go there.”
I turned around, took my hat and started, and lest some person should get some news to carry, I walked out in an unfrequented road for some distance then turned to the Gaylord house. On arriving at the house, I learned Joanna was from home.
Eunice was a smart, active, well-built girl, quiet and not such inclined to talk, and especially with company. Joanna was not as handsome built, but more talkative and attractive, she looked rather better in the face, but what was that to me as I never expected to marry either of them. I only wished their company a few evenings to pass off a lonely hour now and then. Eunice and I took a walk up the street and spent most of the evening at a cousins of mine.
From that time, I visited Eunice regularly until the first Sunday in July.
Near the close of our last visit, she told me that a young gentleman, living in an adjoining town had invited her and Joanna to go with him to the Fourth of July party. As I did not attend such places, she would like to know how I felt about her going. She said she would like to go if I was willing. I told her we were under no particular obligations to each other, and she could go if she chose. And when we parted I told her I should not visit her again. So we parted.
I never intended to pay her another visit. The more I saw of Joanna, the less I thought of her. They were no smarter than many other girls. The family had just come into the country, were poor, and I thought I might well have some girl of more influence and wealthy parents. Still I saw no one I wanted. Desire was my friend and companion.
As the evenings lengthened in the fall, I felt uneasy and my mind was rather wandering. I had no permanent home and saw no girl I wanted or thought I wanted for a wife. Desire and I spent much of our spare time together. She was a true friend and an affectionate companion for me. She was like a sister to me more than a niece. I loved her but knew I could not marry her, supposing it was unlawful, unscriptural, for a man to marry his brother’s daughter, and tradition forbade such, I thought.
I became more lonely and felt it would add to my comfort and happiness to have the privilege to spend a part of my time in Eunice’s company. I resolved to pay her a visit and tell her my feelings. Accordingly, one pleasant Sabbath evening, I found myself in front of Mr. Gaylord’s house. Eunice was standing in the door and as I came up, her countenance brightened and she seemed to be pleased to see me and was unusually cheerful, as also all of the family.
I told her I was lonesome and had come to spend a short time with her if agreeable. She readily agreed to the visit. Then I told her I had no thought of marrying her or anyone else at present, that I was not engaged to anyone, and if she was not, I would like to visit her for the present and perhaps until one or the other should become engaged to another person, and we would be at liberty to keep company or become engaged to any other person by notifying the other immediately. This seemed satisfactory to her. We then kept each other’s company until the last of February without mentioning the subject of marriage to each other.
I had built a good log house without knowing who I should put in it or when I should occupy it. The last of February I indirectly introduced the subject of marriage and ascertained that she had made up her mind to marry me if she could get the privilege. I had now learned her mind but had not revealed mine to her.
I went home and spent a week in constant study. I needed a wife; I was 23 years old, had a house ready to move into, had plenty of provisions to last us until more grew, and had a cow that gave milk. Eunice appeared to be the woman to take hold with me and help perform the duties of life with me. Furthermore, conscience said, “She is the wife for me and I should not leave her.”
The next time I visited her, I told her I had made up my mind to marry in the fall if it was agreeable to all partners concerned; this was yet to be ascertained. It was the custom of the country that when a man wanted a daughter, he must obtain the consent of the parents and it was considered a delicate matter for a young man to ask the parents for their daughter to wife.
This was done out of respect to the parents more than otherwise, for by law a man had a right to marry any single woman over 18 years of age, with her consent.
Eunice’s father was very deaf and unless I could get him far away from home or other persons, others would hear as well as he and tattlers would have the news to carry through the town. To please the tattler was what I disdained, also it would make some sport and many a joke would be cast at the old gentleman’s and my expense. This I would not like.
Mr. Gaylord was at work at the village building a house, as he was a carpenter, so I wrote a letter as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord:
It being the custom of the people of our country to ask the consent of the parents when the daughter is requested in marriage, I would therefore elicit your consent that your daughter, Eunice, may become my lawful wedded wife.
If you see fit to give your consent, please do it by signing your names and return this letter to me.
With due respect,
Lyman A. Shurtliff
This letter I handed to Mr. Gaylord and the next time I saw Eunice, she handed me the letter signed as above.
Now it developed to me to get the consent of my parents. This I dreaded worse than the former as I had heard mother say she never wished to see any of her children married and I knew she would rather I would not marry, at least at present.
One evening as we three were sitting at the fire, I introduced the subject of marriage and asked them if they were willing that I should marry Eunice Gaylord. Father readily gave his consent but mother kept silent. Knowing her feelings, I did not press an answer.
About the middle of June, Eunice informed me that her mother and several of the talking women of the neighborhood, who by the way were our relatives, had gotten together and made arrangements for our wedding, picked out the guests, gotten up our apparel, picked upon the time, sometime in October, I think.
I was so much opposed to women taking the lead and going ahead of the men and planning my business without even asking my council or consent, I felt vexed and chagrined. I was wroth and made up my mind, with Eunice’s consent, they should have nothing to do with our wedding, neither should they have the unspeakable joy of carrying the news of our marriage until it was so long gone that they would be ashamed.
Accordingly, I spoke to Eunice on the subject of being married privately. She was willing and would rather be married in private than make a great wedding if we could, but thought it almost impossible as there were so many watching us. I told her if she would say nothing to anyone concerning the matter, directly or indirectly, and do as I told her, we could get married and only a few know it, and those would keep it as long as we wished.
The Fourth of July was at hand, and it came on a Sunday. Elder Sturdavent was expected in town to come to Selah’s to preach. I told Eunice to come to meeting as usual and I would manage the rest. My brother Wales was going to Ravenna on business so I sent him to get a marriage license from the county clerk. Wales did so and nothing was thought of it.
On Sunday he asked the elder home with him to supper. Sunday as usual in hot weather, I put on my linen shirt, pants, shoes without socks, palm leaf hat, without any handkerchief or cravat about my neck and went to meeting. No one but Wales and Desire knew anything of our intention. After meeting, the elder went home with Wales and his wife. To them, Wales revealed the matter.
Eunice walked to father’s with me, took supper and after sitting awhile, in father’s and mother’s presence, I asked Eunice to take a walk with me. We took an old road that led to Wales’ without passing any house. We came to Wales’ and stepped in. All was ready; we stood up and were married on July 4, 1830. We took a drink of cherry whiskey and returned to father’s. We were gone from father’s about one hour. About sunset we started and went to father Gaylord’s, but I did not stay.
The next Sunday morning, I went early to wait upon Eunice to the Methodist meeting.
In the village, Wales and his wife met us and we took supper at father Gaylord’s. In the evening in a joking way, I told Joanna we were married. She took it as a joke and thought no more of it. I sat with the two girls awhile and invited Eunice to make a visit at Wales’ next Friday and I would meet her there, and wait upon her to my father’s where she would stay until we went to keeping house.
We did not tell my parents we were married; it would be more likely to make feelings if my folks knew it and Eunice’s did not.
When Eunice and I went to father Gaylord’s on Monday, the 19th [July, 1830] and they found we were married, we found mother very wroth, and she said they had prepared some things for Eunice but she did not think that her father would let her have them.
We sat awhile and chatted until father Gaylord came in. He was as pleasant as a summer’s morn, was glad to see us and said he had gotten all of Eunice’s things ready except her bedstead and that was not done. I told him that was all right as I had a good one and he said he would finish it soon and let her have it. After dinner he brought on the things cheerfully. We put them in the wagon and separated cheerfully and all things went off friendly afterwards. The next day, July 20  we moved into our house and began life.
About a year previous to this, on Sunday between meetings, while Wales and myself were at father’s, one of us took up a newspaper and read a piece that stated that a man by the name of Joe Smith had found some gold plates in the state of New York which he said was a record of the ancient inhabitants of America. This news gave me the most singular feelings I have ever experienced. It took the attention of those present, and we had some talk of the strange circumstances, and it made a lasting impression on me. I heard nothing more concerning it until the fall of 1831.
Noah Packard and a Mr. Umphry came to Franklin and into our neighborhood preaching. They were Mormon elders. I went to the schoolhouse to hear them speak. Mr. Umphry had been a Methodist preacher and his discourse was so mixed with Methodist, I could learn but little. Mr. Packard little more than bore his testimony to what had been said. They were new beginners in Mormonism and went on west. I was affected in a curious manner when in company with these men; I loved them, but knew not why.
When they returned from the west it was Sunday and we were in meeting. I was speaking. When they came in and were seated, soon the sacrament was passed and they were skipped the bread, it not being offered them. This hurt my feelings although they were strangers and Mormons. I did not feel satisfied and arose and told the people my feelings pointedly. When I sat down, one of them arose and said they had no hard feelings as they should not have accepted it had it been offered them.
I talked with them after and they told me I need not oppose the gospel for I would yet blow the gospel trump. On making inquiry for the truth of the Book of Mormon, they said to me, “Ask God and he will show you.”
When these men left, I wept like a child without knowing why or the cause of it. After they were gone, their teachings and sayings lay with weight upon my mind and I had a great desire to see the Book of Mormon or the Golden Bible, but where it could be found, I knew not; neither did I know which way to turn.
Mormonism troubled me and my wife continually. While talking of these things, I remembered that Mr. Packard and Mr. Umphry said if we would ask God in faith, he would show us the truth and so we agreed to pray to God to show us the truth. Accordingly, at our evening prayer, we unitedly asked the Lord to show us if the Mormon book was true, and show us the truth of the work called Mormonism.
Soon after we laid down, I dreamed. I thought I was standing in the northeast corner of my room. It was as light as day but not daylight. I could see plain and clear. I stood facing the east. I stooped forward and had a large-sized hog by the nose and was examining it. It was a white hog but dirty. One ear was close to the head. There was off one inch from the head and the tail was also gone. The hair was long and very rough looking. It had a well-built frame but was very poor. When I was through looking at this hog I looked a little to the northeast and there stood another white hog, perfect in every part. Its beauty exceeded in every part any hog I ever saw. This hog stood, its head up and looking toward Kirtland.
In the morning when we awoke, I told Eunice I had dreamed a rather singular dream and this dream seemed to show that the Book of Mormon was quite inferior to the Bible. I told her of my dream. “Why,” said Eunice, “I should think it was the Bible that was inferior.” As quick as though the scene changed and the two hogs represented the two books. The Bible, poor, lean, disfigured, and robbed by translators of many of its precious parts. The Book of Mormon, white and pure from the hand of the Almighty and perfect in all its parts like all the work of God.
In a short time I began to think it was a dream, and could I rest my salvation on a dream? I should be ashamed to have people know I had left my religion and embraced another because I had dreamed about a couple of hogs. And so the devil reasoned with me until I became so confused, I concluded to wait and see what further evidence I could get before I joined the Mormons.
Some time in February, 1832, one of the neighbors informed me that Joe Smith and Sidney Rigdon were to preach at Ravenna, the county seat of Portage County, the next day and if I would go he would take me with him in his sleigh as I was lame and could not walk. I gladly accepted the offer and we rode there together.
Sidney Rigdon preached, talking about the prophecy which read: “And they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint; they shall mount up as on eagle’s wings.” Mr. Smith bore testimony to what Mr. Rigdon had said. I did not get much information by this meeting. I thought I had heard Sidney Rigdon preach, when a Baptist, much better, but I had seen the Prophet, not such a looking man as I expected to see. He looked green and not very intelligent. I felt disappointed and returned home rather cast down.
In June 1832, while I was still searching after the principles of eternal life, I thought I would humble myself, and with my wife, again ask God to show us our situation and enlighten our minds in relation to Mormonism.
We did as well as we could. In a dream that night I thought I was standing on a platform with a bunch of bushes before me which were laden with the most delicious beautiful-looking fruit I ever saw and much of it was in my reach. I picked none of it. A little lower down and on my side stood my brother Wales. He was in reach of some of the fruit but not of the best quality. Under the bushes standing on the ground, was my brother Selah, the Campbellite elder. He was trying to reach some of the fruit, but could get only some of the smallest and most inferior quality.
When I awoke the interpretation was thus: I had been seeking earnestly the principles of eternal life which this fruit represented. I was in reach of it and in a fair way to obtain it. Wales was less believing and less anxious and was making, or trying to make but little proficiency. Selah, who was unbelieving was gaining nothing or but little in the principles of eternal life.
This was also a dream and soon wore off or lost its weight on my mind. I was left in darkness and doubt as before. I was damned and truly afflicted in mind night and day and saw no light path to walk into.
I again tried to turn my attention to the Campbell doctrine.
In the fall of 1832, I asked God to give me knowledge of my condition and that night I dreamed the earth was covered with snow, about six inches of snow. I was riding horseback around a small circle, with Selah and Mr. Haden, our preacher, on horseback also. Mr. Haden’s horse had but two legs, one behind and one before and it made very awkward work of traveling. Selah’s horse had but three legs, two behind and one before and made very little or no headway in traveling. I then examined my horse. It was a good horse in all his parts, but he was standing still.
In the morning I understood that the horse of William Haden and Selah represented the Campbell religion and my horse represented the Mormon religion and showed the perfect state of the religion I was investigating.
But, alas, again I was troubled; sorrow and affliction were my lot. I had spoken in public for five or six years and the people seemed pleased with my instruction. Now I had received some of the Mormon principles and when I spoke I could not help presenting something of the Mormon faith. This would excite Selah or some others and they would oppose me. This I saw was likely to divide our church for about one-third was leaning to Mormonism.
About this time a cousin of Wale’s wife brought a Book of Mormon to his house for us to read. They read it but it did not make much impression on their minds. Wales let me have the book and I read it carefully and with great anxiety to know of its truth. When through reading, my mother asked me what I thought of the Mormon book. I told her that I was satisfied that the Book of Mormon was not made by man and I did not believe any man living by his knowledge of the Bible could do it and have it harmonize and agree with prophets, revelations and teachings of Christ and the apostles as that book did.
This appeared to surprise her.
I believed this book was gotten up by God or the devil; that no man could of himself do that, for I knew it was a great work. I now felt worse than before and did not believe in any church as far as I was acquainted and I resolved to leave that place the first opportunity.
In July 1833, I swapped my little farm for 120 acres of wild land in Sullivan, Lorain County, Ohio, 60 miles west of Franklin. Wales also traded his land for 130 acres of land joining mine in Sullivan. In the month of August we started to build each of us a house.
This land was covered with heavy timber, mostly beach and maple or sugar trees. The ample trees grew very tall, measuring 120 to 150 feet high. I started to build my house on a beautiful elevation near the road, by chopping the trees for logs. I cut and split shingles six or seven inches wide, one half inch thick and three and a half feet long. Then I chopped logs to put on the shingles to hold the shingles on the roof. When I got all this ready, I got a gallon of whiskey and invited 15 or 20 men who put up the house and roof on in one afternoon.
The next morning I cut out three logs the width of the door, put in a few boards and the next morning we started out on foot for home, reaching there about midnight.
I sold off my property and on the 13th of October , Wales and I started with our families and on the 17th got to our new home. I took one cow, two pigs, one pet sheep, a few chickens, furniture and goods and my family which consisted of my wife and two small children, Elremina and Mary Eliza.
By the time we got there, it was snowing hard and the snow was about four inches deep. I put my goods into the house and kindled a fire which did but little good as the wind blew the snow through the cracks into our things that were piled upon boards. We made a bed down on the floor, hanging up sheets and quilts around it, then one above the top and so made our bedroom and laid down and had a cold dismal night.
The next night we went to a neighbor’s and stayed all night. In the morning I went back and worked on the house and at night brought home Eunice and the children. The weather was more moderate and I worked on the 18 feet square inside, a good cellar under and a porch on the west side. I now started my winter’s chopping; the timber was thick and it cost about 12 dollars to clear off and fence an acre of land.
As I began to chop around my house to let in the sun, sap from the maple trees ran so freely that Eunice made all the sugar we needed and some to sell in the spring. We made over 300 pounds of good sugar and sold some of it for ten cents a pound.
I should have enjoyed myself well if my mind had been at ease about religion. Alas! I carried a hell in my heart. One of my neighbors, a Mr. James Durfey, was an elder in the Mormon profession. He visited me; I tried to hide my feelings and reasoned against him, but all in vain.
That winter and spring I had chopped and cleared three and one half acres of land, split rails and fenced it, and put it into crop. I could not plow one rod of it on account of the stumps and roots. I planted two acres of corn by making a place with the corner of my hoe and putting in the corn and covering with anything I could get that corn would come up through. I put in one acre of grass seed, two bushels of potatoes, and a few beans. I put in a garden and 100 apple trees and 12 pear trees; also some peach, plum and currants. In all this Eunice was a great help.
In June I dug a well ten feet deep and got plenty of water. The water was good looking water, but when used, it seemed to be impregnated with mineral substance and one pint was equal to a portion of physis [feces?] and operated as such.
July 23, 1835, our first son was born. We called him Lewis Warren.
A few hours before the birth of this child, I went down to Wales’ with my two little girls. As I returned, the shadows of night were fast falling around me, and millions of insects were bidding a lonely farewell to the passing day and hailing with joyful songs the approaching night. Meditating upon the pleasant scenery around me, the thoughts of my soul arose to the God of the universe. A pleasant feeling was upon me and my mind turned toward my wife. The sweet whisperings of the Spirit to me was, “The child about to be born is a son, chosen and faithful, and shall be a great man in Israel.” I have kept this saying mostly to myself.
In the summer of 1836 I saw I was fast approaching a state of infidelity and had but little confidence in anything and believed nothing. I was sick of living so but what could I do? I knew not what to do. I knew not where to go. I had been in torment for four long years and grew more miserable every year. I saw nothing but darkness before me and surrounded with evil influences. If I prayed it availed nothing. If I went to meeting I was in fear I should be called on to preach and would sit and shake like a man who was very cold.
I read the Bible much and was well acquainted with the contents so far as the letter was concerned, but as to the spirit, I knew nothing. I meditated by day and by night came to no conclusions that I could trust. I feared I would soon be a ruined man.
On talking with my wife on this subject, we made up our minds to humble ourselves and again lay our case before the Lord and plead mightily with the Lord to convince us of the truth or the falsity of the Mormon doctrine.
Accordingly, we took a sack of dry wool and in the evening laid it out in the yard and called on the Lord with all the faith and energy we could obtain that if Mormonism was true and of God that the wool might be wet in the morning and this should be a sign unto us.
Early in the morning I went out and found the wool as dry as when put there. It then came into my mind that we had tempted the Lord our God in this thing. If the work was of God, he had shown us three times and we had rejected his testimony. This circumstance had a tendency to make us feel worse than before.
Two Mormon elders had prophesied that I should yet preach the Mormon doctrine. At times the spirit in me manifested that when about 30 years old I should begin to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as prophesied on my head, yet four years had passed away since that prophecy was given, and to me there was not as much prospect of it now as when delivered.
About 20 years ago, when I was a little boy at school, my cousin Vincent, much older than myself, caught me playfully and threw me headfirst into a snowdrift. I crawled out, when he got me again and threw me in the second time, I scrambled out and again he threw me into the snow. As I came out I said, “Three times you have baptized me and yet I don’t believe.” He replied, “Why Luman, what did you say?” This observation of his impressed the affair on my mind so that I did not forget the circumstance but seldom thought of it until now.
I had been twice baptized, once by the Baptists, and once by the Campbellites and now if I joined the Mormons and this proved false, I should yet be an unbeliever.
As to the church I left in Franklin, the members that were fond of hearing me speak soon dropped off and moved away, and Selah sold his property and moved out of town. Thus the church broke up. My brother, Wales, moved his family from Sullivan back to Franklin and set up a grocery on the canal. I remained about the same, only my trouble increased and unless my hands were employed and my mind occupied, I was miserable.
I promised the Lord if he would show me the way and give me knowledge of the true gospel, I would preach it as long as I lived. In the sincerity of my heart, I made this covenant time and again.
One morning in August, 1836, I told my wife I thought I would make a trip to Kirtland, the seat of Mormonism and see if I could find out the truth or falsity of this doctrine from there.
I started on my journey on foot, and when I called on my folks in Franklin and told my relatives that I was going to Kirtland, my folks were silent, except father, and he said he was glad I was going, for Mormonism had troubled me for a long time and he hoped I would be satisfied. This somewhat encouraged me. After I had spent a few days in Franklin, I went to Kirtland.
I was a stranger there except for a Mr. Packard who had been at my house in Franklin, but I knew nothing of where he lived. As I passed the Kirtland Temple, I inquired of some boys for Noah Packard. They said they were his boys and would go with me to their home.
Mr. Packard was gone on a mission. Mrs. Packard was a cousin of mine by marriage, but I had never seen her. She received me very kindly, but as soon as I sat down in the house, I began to feel miserable. A fear or dread came upon me. We had some conversation, and at bedtime she called on me to pray. I had made it my practice not to excuse myself when called upon to perform any act of Christianity. We knelt down and I tried to pray but that prayer I could not finish and could think of nothing. My pride was humbled; this made me feel horrible in the extreme.
Sleep did not trouble me much that night. This was Friday evening.
The next morning I was up early and looked over the city of the Mormons. In the afternoon a funeral sermon was delivered in the temple by Jared Carter, a smart speaker, but I learned nothing in particular. The fact was the horizon of my mind was so obscured by clouds of darkness and doubt of long standing that I could see nothing as I ought.
The evil spirit came upon me and had that power over me that at times I would shake like a man with the ague. At another time I would be standing on some emenance [?] weeping like a whipped child, and knew no reason why; then lost in meditation, wandering about the city like a man of little sense.
While in this situation, my tormentor whispered in my mind and said my little boy Lewis was dead and if I did not go home immediately he would be buried and I would not see him more. I then called to mind that the babe was not quite well the morning I left as usual. This strengthened or confirmed the whispering of that spirit and in spite of all my effort to the contrary, it much troubled my mind.
My leg had been crippled for four years now, and began to trouble me more than common. I stated previously that I did much hunting and killed many deer. In the fall of 1832, one morning when the first snows fell, I walked out to kill a deer and had not walked far when I saw a splendid buck. I shot him and when skinning one of his legs, my knife which was sharp pointed, slipped and the point stuck in the joint of my left knee. Then I thought nothing of it, and when through dressing the deer, I went home in considerable pain.
When I got home my wife said, “You have killed a deer, but I was afraid something had happened to you.” I replied, “I killed a deer and crippled myself.” Why I said this I did not know; I did not think it would injure me. After this I suffered a great deal and sometimes I would be confined to my bed for weeks together. Every effort to cure it was made but it did no good. Surgeons had decided the knife had tapped the joint and the oil oozed out. At best, I could walk with difficulty.
Well, I was in Kirtland with this leg and it was getting worse fast, and it appeared if I stayed a day or so, I might be obliged to stay some time, and if my boy was dead, I might see him no more.
Thus, Saturday night found me a poor miserable man. Sunday I went to meeting. There I found a man by the name of Hyrum Daton [Hiram Dayton] with whom I had a slight acquaintance some years before. I told him I had come to Kirtland to learn the truth of Mormonism, and I had learned nothing new. I should return tomorrow and trouble my head no more about Mormonism. Yet, I would like to see and have a chat with some of the leading men before I left. Mr. Daton [Dayton] kindly offered to go with me to Brother David Whitmer and give me an introduction to him. As all of the higher officers were absent, I thought this would be my best way of learning what I wanted to know, and as Mr. Whitmer was one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, I thought I could learn something.
We walked to Mr. Whitmer’s. I got the necessary introduction and took dinner and spent the afternoon in hearing him relate things about the angel showing him the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. I also asked him all the questions I had a wish to ask. I had read and heard it all and learned nothing new.
When tired of sitting, we walked out to where we could overlook the flats, where I told him briefly in as few words as possible, my belief and unbelief. I said I did believe the gospel they preached as far as I read it in the Bible, but I could not say that I believed that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a true prophet of God for I did not. Neither did I believe the Book of Mormon to be a revelation from God for I did not. Then facing him I said, “Now you know what I believe and what I do not believe, and if you think I am a fit subject for baptism, I am ready to go to the water; if not, I intend to start home tomorrow and never trouble my head any more about Mormonism.”
Mr. Whitmer was silent a few seconds and then replied, “I will go to the water and baptize you or get one of my quorum to do it.” On the way to the river, he called on Sylvester Smith and at sunset Sunday, August 21, 1836, I was baptized a member of the Church. David Whitmer confirmed me.
I felt very comfortable and at ease. I slept well that night and in the morning I went to the office and bought a Book of Mormon and started home. I had not traveled far when my leg became worse and the pain severe. I had to walk slow. Upon reflection I saw it must be three or four days before I could get home, and if my boy was sick, he might die.
I knew my neighbors would ask me questions a soon as I got home, and what could I tell them? I could tell them I had been baptized and confirmed a member of the Church and what evidence have I obtained more than I had years ago? Not any. Have I received the Holy Ghost since I was baptized? No. No more than when I was baptized before. Did I believe the Book of Mormon? No. No more than I did four years ago. Do I believe that Joseph Smith, Jr. is a prophet of God? No, I do not. At this I was shocked at my situation and began to call on the Lord in earnest.
While I was praying, something came on my head resembling cold water and passed gradually down through my whole system, removing all pain, and made me a sound man from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.
As soon as this was passed, I heard a sweet melodious voice about me say, “Joseph Smith, Jr. is a prophet of the Most High God, raised up for the restoration of Israel in these last days, and the Book of Mormon which you hold under your arm is true and brought forth for the restoration of the scattered remnants of Jacob.”
As this passed off, I cast my eyes to the south. A little way from me I saw my wife standing with my little boy sitting on her left arm with the right arm on her left shoulder and with her right hand pointing to me as if she was saying, “See father, there is father.” They both were well and all right. This passed, I was in the road, a sound man, praising God.
After a few miles I began to think what I would say to my neighbors when I got home. I would tell them I knew the Mormon doctrine was true and I had seen and knew much and could do something great. I did not look to God for his aid and help but was boasting in my knowledge and strength. A disagreeable feeling began to come over me and when I comprehended the boasting spirit I had received, I humbled myself before God and after some time, obtained forgiveness and by this learned a useful lesson.
On arriving home, I found all well and I thanked God continually for his forbearance and great mercy and long suffering in sparing my life to the present time, even after I had rejected the testimony that I had asked of him and at last, after four years, condescended to make known to me the trust of that great work, healed my body that I might labor in this great work. Thanks be to God for his goodness to me!
My neighbors were as still as a summer’s morning. I had been a cripple there with them three years and they knew and saw it. I was now among them, sound and a healthy man. I was weighed down with sorrow and fettered with affliction. I now rejoiced in the Lord and my soul was full of joy, and my neighbors seemed to mourn.
The middle of September , myself and family went to Franklin on a visit. While there, Brother Noah Packard came and my wife, Eunice was baptized on the 20th of September, 1836, and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the forepart of December  I felt anxious to go to Kirtland. For several days, it bore heavily on my mind. About the 10th of December, I started and when I arrived, I found there was to be a conference of elders on the 15th. On the 14th I was in the temple and had some conversation with Father Smith, the Prophet’s father.
On the 15th of December  I attended the elder’s conference. In the evening, my name was called for an ordination. Father Smith asked if the candidate was a brother he conversed with in the [Kirtland] temple the day before, if so ordain him. I replied, “I saw him in the temple yesterday.” Joseph, the Prophet said, “Ordain him, and send him home to preach in his neighborhood.” I was ordained an elder about 10 o’clock that night by the presidency of the elder’s quorum.
On my return home I called at my brother Selah’s. I tried to teach him Mormonism but he forbade it. I then called on my wife’s brother, Lester Gaylord, and gave them instructions which were gladly received. After a few hours, I left them and before I saw them again, they were baptized.
That evening I took supper at a cousin’s of mine, had a cup of tea which I drank freely. The next morning I was quite unwell but started home. I grew worse fast and had a sick day but did not know the cause. Near night it came to my mind that I should keep the Word of Wisdom, which I had not done and that was the cause of my sickness. When I understood this, I humbled myself before God and asked his forgiveness. I soon got well and resolved in my mind I would keep the Word of Wisdom henceforth, which I have done strictly since.
On the 8th of January, 1837, I started out to preach the gospel in my neighborhood in Sullivan, Lorain County. This I did on every occasion possible. I conversed with and taught the principles of the gospel of my friends, neighbors, and relatives. I attended religious gatherings called by ministers of other churches and called some meetings myself. On these occasions, I frequently got an opportunity to speak on Mormonism. I converted and baptized many persons.
In the spring of 1837, I felt the spirit of gathering, but not to Kirtland, for I did not wish to go there, but my mind was to gather with the Saints in Missouri. I offered my farm for sale and soon found that by dividing it and selling it to three different men and dividing the amount into three yearly payments, I could sell immediately, which I did, and sold my stock and other property at auction on a credit of six months. My object in selling on credit was that I could sell for more, and so could go to Missouri and make a permanent home. After I settled up my affairs I bought a village lot with a house on it and some fruit trees, for which I was to lay brick. I moved into it with the intention of working at brick laying summers, and in the winters make boots and shoes and trade in any property I could make a profit on to support my family, and when my money was collected for my farm and stock, move my family to Missouri.
I planted my lot to garden vegetables, hired my cow pastured and went to work laying brick.
There were no brick layers in town except myself so I had most of the work to do. There was plenty of lumber, but no rock in this country and good facilities for making brick. Men wishing to build good houses would dig into the earth about six feet, and the size of the house, then put in one story of brick, using this story for kitchens, cellars, butries, etc., raising it two or three feet above the top of the earth, then putting on a frame at any height they chose, beginning their chimneys on the bottom of the cellar and running up 40 or 50 feet with two or three tiers of fireplaces in one chimney. I had all the work I could do and was very happy.
In the forepart of August  my little boy, Lewis, was taken violently sick. In a few days he was quite low. The weather was very warm and there were many sick with dysentery. My wife called me in before sunset and said the neighbor woman thought we should send for a doctor or else Lewis would die. I did not feel so. I felt the Lord would heal him. The Lord had said he would be a great man in Israel. When I looked at him, the Spirit said he is all right, and I went back to work. At evening as we were about to lie down to rest, we unitedly asked the God of the Saints to heal our little son. The next morning Lewis was well.
Our youngest child, Lydia Ann, was taken sick. We used all our faith, but to no avail. The Spirit said, “It is enough, this child must die.” We sent for the best doctor; he did all he could for two or three days, but the child died on the 31st of August, 1837, at 11 in the evening.
September 1st  in the afternoon, our girl was buried about 40 rods west of the center of Sullivan, Lorain County, Ohio, and on the north side of the road in the burying ground near the center.
At this time the Prophet sent out word for the Saints to gather at Kirtland. A few days after, I found my team and packed up all our things, and on the 1st of December, 1837, I moved my family to Kirtland. I was instructed to buy out some apostates, and let them go away out of Kirtland. So I bought out Harping Higgs [Harpin Riggs], paid him 200 dollars down and the balance in the spring, when I was to take possession of the property on the 1st of April.
On the 6th of December, 1837, my wife and myself met at a blessing meeting in the temple where I received a patriarchal blessing.
When the patriarch took his hands off my head and stepped back, he turned to me and said, “Brother Shurtliff, how do you expect to go to your field of labor?” I replied, “I do not know.” “I will tell you. You will baptize a sea captain and he will carry you to the uttermost parts of the earth.” We had an interesting time and after the meeting was over, I made the patriarch a present of four or five dollars with which he was well pleased.
We then viewed the temple from the bottom to top. We examined the mummies, five in number, looked at the parchment or papyrus, as called in Egyptian language. The parchment appeared to be made of fine linen cloth, starched or sized with some kind of gum, then ironed smooth and written in charter, figures, hieroglyphics, and conveying the Egyptian language. These sheets were about eight by 12 inches. They were rolled, put in a gum case and laid on the breast of the leading men of the Egyptians. When the mummies were found, this record was on his breast. Their bodies seemed to be wound up each limb by itself, with several thicknesses of very fine cloth dipped in gum or pitch like thick tar or rosin and wound on when warm. It was from this record that the Pearl of Great Price was translated by the Prophet.
My family was now comfortably located, and I helped the Church printing office to a little money to get the Book of Mormon printed.
I now felt like it was my duty to take a short mission to preach the gospel and fulfill my covenant with God. “That is he would make it known to me, I would preach it while I had breath.” God has complied on his part, and left me to fulfill mine.
I bought a new valise and packed my things and on the 26th of December, 1837, in the company of Brother Thomas Butterfield, left Kirtland for the west, intending to preach where we could get a hearing.
The first day passed off with much meditation; we agreed that each should do his part in obtaining food and lodging.
We passed Cleveland and on through the dark swamp 40 miles, where there were taverns all along the way, filled with drunken loafers. We were abused and mistreated. Tar and feathers were prepared for our backs but the Lord delivered us. After we got out of the black swamp, we came to Perrysburg on the east side of Maumee City and from there traveled west about five miles. Here we held meetings.
Early in the morning we were awakened by the report of a cannon on the opposite bank of the river in the city Maumee.
On the 1st of January, 1838, we visited old Fort Meigs, then across the river into Maumee city and from there traveled west about five miles and stayed all night at Brother Herrick’s place.
On the 3rd of January,  we traveled 13 miles in the rain and held an evening meeting. The next day we traveled ten miles and went to Arnold’s. The next day we went three miles and held a meeting and went to Adrian, Michigan the day following. From there we went west 13 miles. On the 27th we traveled seven miles to Rome, Michigan and on the 8th, 21 miles past a lake called Devil Lake, a very lonesome place. We left; the evil spirits had possession here. I was dark and gloomy; we had been refused at 12 houses.
We then passed the lake and came to a village and then south through a forest. We were solitary and lonely for several miles until it began to get dark. Our minds were gloomy. We came to a small lake at the west end of which there was a cabin. Such poverty I have never seen, but we were made welcome and comfortable and stayed the night, and as we left the next morning, we blessed them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We were trying to find a settlement in which we thought we would find a good place to raise up a branch. Being a faster walker than Brother Butterfield, I was a few rods forward of him and found myself stopped in the road. The spirit said to me, “Go to Kirtland.” I turned about and Brother Butterfield was standing looking at the ground. I said to him, “What is the matter?” He said, “I do not feel like going any further this way; I would rather go back.”
I then told him what the spirit said to me. He said, “That is right.” We turned around, went back several miles and inquired our way.
We started at four o’clock. As it began to grow dark the snow began to fall. Our road was an Indian trail running near a lake part of the way. When it was dark, we could see nothing but snow and trees. The trail had been long traveled by Indians and was deep but full of light snow. One of us walked about 30 feet before the other, feeling the trail with his feet, the hind one keeping into the trail; and if the first one lost the trail he spoke, and the hind one stopped in the trail until the front one found the trail again, and then moved out together. It was a long and lonesome road.
At length we came to a rail fence and were thankful we had to go where white men had been.
We now could hear a cow bell at a distance and soon came to a house. It was now eight o’clock. We knocked at the door and told the people who we were and our business. The man of the house, a Mr. Russel, invited us in. He asked us to preach that night. Although weary and tired, we accepted the invitation and at nine o’clock we began to speak and spoke one hour upon the principles of our religion. They seemed well pleased.
It was late when we got to bed and several men slept in the same room and by asking questions, kept me awake until the roosters crowed for day. I then dropped to sleep and at six was called for breakfast. The fatigue of the past day and the sleepless night so overcame me that I could not eat.
At daylight we started for the next house, three miles distant, with the intention of getting something to take with us for dinner. The spirit dictated that we should stop but we resolved not to and then foolishly kept on our way. A wilderness of 27 miles lay before us. The snow was five or six inches deep, muddy and thawing many streams and no bridges. The St. Joseph River was full. We tried to cross; the water ran over our boots.
About two o’clock, Brother Butterfield began to complain of hunger and began to eat moose wood, buds and when moose wood was not handy, took base wood. At first I was inclined to laugh at him, but in about two hours, I became faint and hungry and took to eating buds also. At night it seemed that I had eaten nothing for several days and could eat anything that would stop my raging hunger. I ate buds, herbs and bark, but it did no good.
I now began to think what we had done. The spirit manifested unto us that we should stop at the last house we passed and get some food for dinner. We had not harkened unto the spirit and were now suffering. How did I know but some person in that house was sick and had faith to be healed? How did we know but some of the family believed and would lead to great good? We had done wrong and were now suffering the penalty. This was no common hunger for want of food. I had been without food much longer than now. But oh the gnawing hunger that was now weakening me, I never felt before.
As the shades of night began to rest down upon the forest, it was a lonesome time for me. We knew nothing, how far it was to a house or what streams were before us to prevent us reaching a house that night. We could see nothing but the power of God, unless roosting on a tree all night, that would save us from the jaws of the large black wolf that was in this country. I prayed to the Lord to forgive me of this folly or neglect for which we were suffering, and promised I would try to do better in the future and harken better than I had done this day.
We were passing through a low spot of land. I turned my eyes to the right and saw a nice bundle of grass sticking up through the snow. I pulled it off, and picked off the moss from the roots, picked off the dry spurs of grass and asked God in the name of Jesus Christ to bless that green grass unto me that I might be strengthened and able to continue my journey. I ate it and it was sweet to my taste and it seemed good to me like a good meal of victuals. We traveled on until nine o’clock when we came in sight of the first house.
We were received and treated with respect. The good lady soon prepared us supper, and we felt to give God thanks. This was in Seneca, Lenawee County, Michigan.
The next day we traveled 16 miles, and the next day 13 miles. This was Sunday and we stopped over and held meetings but had much opposition by mobs and accomplished little.
In the morning we traveled 22 miles. At night we came in sight of the Maumee River. The ice was gone and a ferry boat running, but we had no money and knew it was hard for a Mormon to travel on boat without money. So we sold a Book of Mormon for a dollar, went to the river just as the boat was starting, and we jumped on.
When we landed in Perrysburg, we told the captain we were traveling ministers, and he said all right.
We now reached Perrysburg, and we had 40 miles to travel through the black swamp again. We dreaded the journey through the swamp because of the experiences we had before.
We commended ourselves to God and traveled on. We had eaten nothing since morning and were hungry. We walked a few rods; I picked up a horseshoe and said, “If you will take this shoe and this poor 18 cent bill and go into that shop and ask for crackers, we will get them.” My companion did so and soon came with a large quantity of good crackers in his handkerchief. We thanked God and went on our way eating crackers.
When we stopped at a tavern that night, and paid the landlord with the dollar we had sold the Book of Mormon for, we found the dollar was no good. We told him that was all we had to travel several days to get home. He said it was a damned shame to take all the money a man had and leave him so far from home. He took the poor dollar bill and gave us back 25 cents. That night we traveled 31 miles, and were undisturbed and got lodging that night and breakfast.
The next day we traveled 25 miles. In the afternoon it began to snow. Near night it snowed fast. We were among strangers, wet, tired, and no money. We felt lonely and thought of home and friends. We were not there so we asked God to lead us to a comfortable place for the night. We were led to the home of Mormons. The spirit of the Lord was there and joy filled my heart. We were given milk and mush for supper and I think I never ate a better supper in my life or one that I relished better; it was sweetened by friendship and the spirit of God. May God bless him and his.
On the 18th and 19th [January, 1838 ?] we traveled 49 miles and stayed one mile north of Cleveland, Ohio. Here we learned that the printing office at Kirtland had fallen into the hands of our enemies, and was burned down with its contents of 700 or 800 Books of Mormon partly finished. Our enemies had combined their forces against the Saints, driven off many of our leading men and they were on the way to Missouri and all was confusion at Kirtland. Until now we knew nothing of why the spirit bade us return to Kirtland. In the morning we gave the landlady a pocket knife and a hymnbook to pay for our lodging.
That night we got to Kirtland. I found my wife well but much concerned, for they saw no way to get out of Kirtland which was now a hell to all Saints, but to pray for my return. Brother Williams and Brother Gaylord were also praying for my return so I could help them get out and they knew nothing where to find me. Their hearts leaped with joy when they saw my face.
Well, I had been on a mission; I traveled nearly 500 miles in the winter and walked most of the way without money. Much interest was manifest in some places, and mobs tormented us in others. I think we could have done more good had we had wisdom and experience sufficient to accomplish the work.
The apostates and mobocrats had control of the law in Kirtland, and many of our good Saints were accused of crimes and thefts that they never committed, were tried and convicted and had to pay a big sum of money or get out of town.
This was the method of breaking the homes in Kirtland; fires were laid by the dozens in the basements and windows of the Saints; articles of clothing of the mob would be found in the stables, and the Saints would be arrested because the clothing was found there.
On a window of the [Kirtland] temple which was broken, shavings were put through the window onto the floor and branches and fire brands were thrown on the shavings but it did not burn.
I was now at a loss to know what course to take in getting my family away. All my property was in notes; one-third was due in April, the next one-third due one year from that, and the rest two years from next April. As to my city lot in Sullivan, it was uncertain whether I could dispose of it to help me west or not. This property was about 90 miles west of Kirtland.
It will be remembered when I moved to Kirtland, I bought a house and lot from an apostate and paid him 200 dollars and agreed to pay him 200 when I took possession of the place, the first of next April. The apostate, Riggs, lived in the house, and I had paid him 200 dollars. The Mormons had to leave and that property would not sell for more than I had paid for it, and if I stayed until April, I knew I would have to pay 200 more and then have to leave it to Riggs or some other scamp. I did not wish this property to go to the mob, but to help on the work in building houses to build up Kirtland according to the revelations of God and to help the poor Saints who had spent all they had to build the temple. Nearly all the Saints had nothing but a poor house and that they could not sell.
While I was gone on my mission, the poor that had but little or no property formed in a company, put into the company what they had to buy teams, wagons, etc., to carry their baggage and food and carry those who could not walk. They expected to start on their journey in June. They invited me to take hold with them which I felt inclined to do, but I thought best to get counsel on this matter, and went to see Brother Hyrum Smith, and when he knew of my circumstances, he told me to settle with Riggs and get something back if I could for I had paid him more than the property was worth to me. If I could not settle without paying him, let him have the property and take my family and go ahead before the first of April for fear Riggs would make trouble for me. I went to Riggs and reasoned with him, but to no avail. I said he could have the property and 40 dollars, but he said no. I told him he would get no more and that ended that.
But how was I going to move away before the first of April? I had no means on hand or stuff to move my family.
About the first of February,  I started back to Sullivan where my property was. I found the people well and friendly. I told those who were owing me if they would pay me all my dues by the first of April, I would take one-third in money and the rest in good serviceable horses, wagons and harnesses. They were much pleased with this offer and said they would do their best. I told them I wanted two wagons ready the middle of March. They said they would try and I returned to Kirtland rejoicing. I had a large quantity of maple sugar and this I sold for old axes. I hired a brother to repair them and about the middle of March, Brother Gaylord and myself went to Sullivan and found two teams and wagons prepared for use. We immediately returned with them to Kirtland.
On the 20th of March, 1838, I with my family left Kirtland for Missouri. We traveled until toward night when it began to storm and became bad traveling. We came to a respectable tavern and stayed all night. We pursued our journey the next morning and in a few days arrived in Sullivan. Here we settled upon my business, prepared wagons, harnesses, bows, covers, and provisions of all kinds to last us to the Far West, Missouri. The blessings of the Lord attended us in our preparations to move. We were now prepared to leave the country and go with the Mormons. I had lived here four years in all good faith and feelings with the people. And so on the 12th of April, 1838, we left Sullivan and started for Zion, in company with some others. When we had gone but a short distance, the hind team took fright at the wagon cover and ran away and ran into the next wagon where I stopped them.
In about three days our horses’ shoulders got sore and we had trouble getting our teams to start in the mornings. Travel was slow, and roads were badly cut up because of much travel, and the ground was soft and muddy.
Near Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, we overtook several families of Saints. Among them were Hyrum Smith and his brother-in-law, Robert Thompson. We could obtain but little hay for our teams and fed them grain; one bushel of grain to each span, yet they failed.
We camped at Tarriehout [Terre Haute] a few days, then crossed the Wabash River and soon came to 24 miles of prairie. These prairies were low and soft, and in many places, covered with water. Sometimes our teams would mire down and also the wagons. We would have to carry out the wives and children on our backs, then wade in, unharness and get out our horses, then hitch a chain to the tongue, put two or three span of horses, and draw the wagon out.
The first night on this prairie we camped out of sight of any house, tree, brush or inhabitation that we could see, and we could see as far as the sight of man could reach. I and all of the menfolks were wet and cold and we had nothing to make a fire with. We could see at a distance to the west of us a fire burning the grass. We were camped in a spot where the grass had been burned. We fed our horses grain and when nearly ready for bed, the grass fire came so near that we came to it and warmed and practically dried our clothes; we followed up the fire until it passed our wagon, then we laid down and slept nicely and awoke in the morning by the cooing of prairie hens and croaking of frogs, bull snakes and many things that make the noises the like I had never heard before. When we looked to the south to see what made the strange noises, we saw a speck on the prairie at a distance. Some of the men went to see what it was and returned with a good log of wood which made us a good fire by which was cooked a good warm breakfast, before partaking of which, we bowed upon the earth and thanked God for our comfortable situation and implored his blessings upon us and our horses, wagons and everything with which we had to do. We then ate our breakfast, hitched up our teams and traveled on.
Spring had now come and the grass was growing and all nature began to look gay and cheerful. As we came to the Illinois River, the grass was green. Our horses needed rest so we camped and pitched our tent in a small grove at the west edge of a large prairie where the feed for the horses was good.
In a few days we resumed our journey and nothing worthy of note occurred. On the 2nd of June  we reached Far West, Missouri.
I thought this the most beautiful country I ever saw and felt to rejoice that I and my family had been permitted to gather with the Saints in such a good land where I expected to live until the Saints went to Jackson County.
Soon after I got into Far West, I met Bishop Partridge. I told him what property I had and what kind, also the number of my family and that all was at his disposal. He thought a few minutes and said I had better make a place for my family so that I could travel and preach the gospel. This was the first time we had ever met to my knowledge, and how he should know I could preach or even thought of preaching was a confirmation to me of modern revelation.
I soon found fifty acres of land that I lived well for a farm; forty acres of good prairie land in sight of Far West, and the other ten acres of good timber but a short distance from the prairie land. I moved into a log house, chinked and mudded, but no floor, door, window, or chimney. This house was near my land. I plowed a piece that was fenced and nearby. I put in early corn, beans and garden. About one mile from me was a horse mill owned by Brother Snodgrass. When not otherwise engaged, I took my team and ground for him, receiving flour and meal for pay. I paid the last money I had for a cow and calf which cost me 24 dollars.
It cost me 200 dollars for expenses between Kirtland and Far West exclusive of provisions with which I started. I was now without money or food. A cooperative firm was organized which I joined with all I possessed. Isaac Morley was appointed president. The company was organized into companies of ten men. One was captain of ten, or more if necessary, to such work and it was soon done. If we needed clothing or food we called on the captain and obtained what was needed.
On the 3rd of July , I, with several others of my company, went into the timber of Goose Creek, got the largest tree we could and made a liberty pole, and on the 4th of July, 1838, the brethren and their families assembled in Far West to celebrate the day and to lay the cornerstone of our temple in the city of Far West.
Early in the morning we raised the pole, raised the Stars and Stripes and then laid the cornerstone of our temple. We then assembled under the flag of our nation and had an oration delivered by Sidney Rigdon. This orator became quite excited and proclaimed loudly our freedom and liberty in Missouri. Although Sidney was a great orator and one of the leading brethren, his oration brought sorrow and gloom over my mind, and spoiled my further enjoyment of the day.
After the services, the multitude dispersed. This was on Saturday. On Sunday a cloud came over Far West, charged with electricity, and lightning fell upon our liberty pole and shivered it to the ground. When the news reached me, I involuntarily proclaimed, “Farewell to our liberty in Missouri.”
On the 1st day of August  my fifth child was born. It was a girl and we named her Lydia Amanda.
On the first Monday in August  an election [at Gallatin] was held. It was the lawful right of the Mormons to vote, but the Missourians swore the Mormons should not vote, saying they had no more right to vote than a “nigger.” This was trying to free born American citizens.
The ballot box was guarded but the brethren thought to claim our rights and maintain them, so they voted, walked up and offered their votes; a fight ensued and six or seven brethren cleared out all those who opposed them. Thus was the starting of the shedding of blood in the Mormon war of 1838.
About this time I was invited to unite with a society called the Danite society. It was gotten up for our personal defense, also for the protection of our families, property and religion. Signs and passwords were given by which members could know the other wherever they met, night or day. All members must mend difficulties if he had any with a member of the society, before he could be received.
The forepart of October, the brethren at Far West were called to Adam-ondi-Ahman, Daviess County, Missouri, to protect the rights of the Saints there. I among others marched to Adam-ondi-Ahman and camped in a grove near Colonial Heights. It was late when we halted in this grove. I was tired and when we had our supper, I laid down my blanket and laid my rifle on it. I rolled up in my blanket and slept well until about midnight. Snow falling from the trees onto me awakened me. That morning it was six inches deep. We built a camp here and had 16 in a mess. We pitched our tents here and made a fire in front of the open flaps.
The next day we spent searching the country to find where the mob was located. They were in small bands scattered about the country plundering and stealing all they could find that they wanted. When the Saints would come, they would get on their horses and ride away.
A short distance from our camp stood a large tree. Here I was stationed with orders to let no one pass except he give the countersign. About 9 o’clock I heard two men approaching from toward camp. I knew by their voices it was our Prophet and his brother Hyrum. When they came in hearing distance, I hailed them, inquiring who they were. The answer was, “Friends.” I bade them advance and give the countersign which they did over the muzzle of my rifle in true military style.
About two hours after this, I heard footsteps coming down the road. When in suitable distance, standing with my thumb on the cock of my rifle, muzzle of my rifle up, I called out, “Who comes there.” All was silent; I stood there peering into the darkened road, expecting every instant to see the flare of some rifle. The sound began to move toward me. Then in a tone of authority, I ordered, “Halt!” Then I saw it was a cow. I stepped out of the road and let her pass without giving the countersign, thus giving the cow more leniency than I did the Prophet of God.
A day or two after this, word was brought to us that one of our military men had been caught and made to ride astride a cannon for several miles. A company of Saints was sent on horseback to the rescue. They went unpursued and surprised the mob. The mob fled and all that was left was a hog coming down nearby. It stopped and rooted a little in the road and walked on. One of the men who was near stepped to the place where the hog rooted and saw something unusual. On examining, we found it to be the cannon of the mob, buried in the street. Nearby is the prairie ridge. This ridge is as high as the timbers. Here we fired the cannon and the report could be heard from a distance.
On this ridge is a pile of rock about two feet high and ten or 12 feet broad. This is said to be the altar where Adam offered up his sacrifice at the time he called all his sons together and blessed them and prophesied what should befall them in the latter days. And the Holy Ghost rested upon them and they rose up and called him Michael and he offered sacrifice to the Most High, as it is recorded in the first Book of Mormon.
The people were all in great commotion because of the mobs threatening to drive the Mormons out and burn their property, which they did in many occasions. This mob was the remnants of what was left of the Haun’s Mill massacre.
I was placed on guard with Apostle John Taylor to receive the teams from the brethren when they came in. It was dark and we had to depend upon our signs and countersigns to know each other. We went into some dry weeds, close to the roadside, and made ourselves as comfortable as we could.
We stayed on guard several days, helped to scatter the mob and returned to our homes in Far West and learned that several of the mob had been killed. Upon hearing this, the Prophet ordered us all to move into Far West. Word was now sent from the mob that if some of the leading Mormons would come to their camp the next day, the war could be stopped. Our brethren went out but found no one there. They rested and ate, and when returning to Far West, they saw a large company of enemies marching toward Far West.
I with some of the other brethren were on the public square [at Far West] when the army marched into the city, formed a line of battle and advanced toward us. When we saw this, we sent our wives and children up to the public square while the men, old and young, formed a line at the lower side of the city, expecting in a few minutes to meet our foes, unless the Lord turned away their wrath. When the mob came up to within rifle shot they halted, and we stood looking at each other for a couple of hours. Our Saints, most of them, were firm and undaunted, though our numbers were few when compared with our enemy. They were well-armed and we were poorly armed. After looking at each other for nearly two hours, the enemy retired to the timber and camped. We went to our homes, except the guards and could hear the mob giving orders to parade.
At daylight we repaired to meet the foe. When they advanced as the day before, within rifle shot, they were ordered to halt and in that situation remained until near night. After parlaying with our officers some time, our colonel and commander, George Hinkle, agreed to deliver our leading men into their hands. When Hinkle had agreed to this, he returned to our camp and told Brother Joseph, Sidney and Lyman, and others that the commanding officers of the militia, as they called themselves, wished to treat with them if they would come out and talk with them, all matters could be settled without the shedding of blood. The brethren, thinking no harm would grow out of a council with them, went out to the enemies’ lines. When they got there, Hinkle said, “Here they are.” They took our brethren prisoners and marched them into camp. At this time, the mob raised a shout or yell surpassing anything of the kind I had never heard.
We kept up a strong guard that night. The next day they marched up face to face with us and remained most of the day. At evening, we understood they had held a court martial and sentenced our brethren to be shot. We expected a fight. Accordingly, we spent the night making a breastwork of wagons, house logs, wood barrels, and anything that would prevent the enemy from riding on to us, while we could shoot them. I worked all night in a blacksmith shop making and handling the spears. We worked up all the steel we could get in the city and all the hoop handles for handles. At daylight we were prepared our line at our breastworks with strict orders to reserve our fire if the enemy advanced until we could see the whites of the eye and then do the best we could, which I intended to do, and fight out on the spot, and I think this was the mind of most present. The mob came up within rifle shot and halted. This was a moment of great anxiety. I expected they would make a charge and hundreds be made to bite the dust. Although our members were small, I felt confident the vicinity would be ours, and the Lord work our escape with our lives, and the kingdom of God can roll on.
While we were gazing at each other, filled with meditation and reflection, not knowing what our situation would be the next moment, a messenger passed up our line, informing us to surrender and give up our arms and become their prisoners. This was on November 1, 1838. This made many faces turn pale, but all was silent as the house of death.
The mob formed a hollow square and we soon, with muffled drums, marched into the place prepared for us. While on our way, each man who had a spear stuck the blade into the ground and broke off and then dropped the handle. We formed a square within the square the mob had formed for us. We were faced inward, our backs toward our enemies, they being about 60 feet in our rear. We occupied this position for several hours which gave us time for sober reflection. A short time since, we expected by this time that many of the mob, and perhaps some of us would be in eternity. We had laid our arms down and were sitting or lying on them.
In the rear of me I could hear the mob swear to God they would shoot us dead and could hear them talk against us, while saying, “It is enough, the Mormons are our prisoners.” I felt very indifferent about the matter as the first fire was a signal for a fight. I knew, too, that all the balls that missed us would take good effect on the mob beyond us, about 30 yards away, most of whom were on horses. Many thoughts ran through my mind while sitting on the ground on that long-remembered spot of earth.
About noon we were marched away from our arms, and I have not seen my rifle since. We were taken into the city and put under a heavy guard and kept until night without food or drink. At night I was permitted to lodge with my family under the penalty of death if I left the city.
The next morning we were gathered together and compelled to sign a deed conveying our property, personal and real, to pay the expenses of the war; and we were commanded to leave the state forthwith. We were all day guarded by a strong guard as though we were a herd of animals waiting to be shot down. At night we had not all signed the deed. A table had stood in the ring all day and at the head sat one who had been a leading man in our church, sitting as an officer in questioning us as to whether we did this as a free set and deed. If any of us had refused to sign this deed, from all appearances, we would have been shot down or taken to prison or share a worse fate, if possible.
Again that night we were allowed to go to our families, if in the city, but were to go out and assemble on this ground in the morning at the beat of a drum. I went home and ate my boiled corn. The drum beat the next morning after I had prayed with my wife and four children. I went out to see what was to be done with us this day. On arriving at the place appointed, we found General Clark, commander in chief of all the forces who had been called, or came, to put down a little band of Mormons, supposed to be about 1500 in the state of Missouri. The forces under General Clark were supposed to number at least 7,000. I sat about six feet from General Clark. This was the day General Clark’s celebrated speech was delivered at which time he said we need never think of seeing the Prophet and brethren again for the die had been cast, their doom was fixed and we would never see their faces more.
Far West was searched for arms and ammunitions, they said, but when they found anything they wanted, they took it. During this time we were insulted and abused, both old and young, male and female. We had no peace or safety night or day. This continued for eight days. In this time we had but little to eat and that mostly boiled corn. Many who had been our brethren turned against us and became our worst enemies and tried to do us all the hurt in their power. We knew the Lord our God was very merciful to his people notwithstanding this chastisement. We were suffering extremely by the mob picking up every hog or pig fit to eat; every swarm of bees, or chickens, and their 6,000 or 7,000 horses were fast destroying our grain and feed. They never stopped to ask for it, but took all they wished and wasted all they could.
The seventh day after our surrender, heavy black clouds began to rise in the west. In the afternoon the snow began to fall. At night the storm increased and near morning the wind blew from the west and from the north and was very cold. In the morning the snow on my bed and on my children’s was several inches deep. When I looked up and saw my children all wet in their beds and our beds covered with snow, I thought of the many who were in poor tents, some under a blanket hung up on a few sticks and others were under a few boards and shelter. I could hardly help weeping like a child. But when I went out and saw the mob hovering over their little fires with nothing to break the keen wind, I then saw a blessing in the cold storm and when I heard them swear they would go home, for this was the coldest storm they ever saw in Missouri, and they would not stay here any longer, I felt glad for the storm.
About noon the word came that the army was about to leave and go home. They had some provisions they left which the Mormons could have. I felt indignant toward the mob, yet hunger and parental feeling for my family compelled me to go to their camp and humble myself sufficiently to ask them for flour. They said they didn’t have any flour but I could have some shorts. I took some and went home.
My wife soon wet up some with water, put a little salt in and baked it and we had a good meal which was relished well. Before night most of the mob had gone home. The cold was severe a few days and then moderated. I suffered with cold, having lost my coat at Adam-ondi-Ahman and was compelled to wear my wife’s circle, which was light.
The mob forbade us from holding any meetings while in the state so if we held any religious meetings, it was on the sly. There was a schoolhouse near where I now lived and Brother Elias Smith taught a day school there. This house was in the thick timber and in a good place for a winter school. I went there at night to a spelling school. It was here one night that I first saw George A. Smith.
It was in this house on the 6th of December, 1838, that I was ordained a seventy.
All the Saints made preparations now to move. The council to the Saints was to put all their heavy articles in the hands of a committee to be sold for the benefit of helping away the poor. I had a good set of farming tools, some joiner’s tools and carpentry tools which I turned over to the committee.
Although I went to Missouri the spring before, with six horses and three wagons I was now starting back with one yoke of oxen on the poorest kind of wagon. I started out with a company of 24, on the 5th of February, 1839. The ground was frozen hard, and at night we camped at a log house left by some of the brethren, and made some of our beds in the house. Some of them slept on the frozen ground. It hurt me to see Sister Durfey, a good woman of her age, lying upon the frozen ground, with 15 of her children lying around her, just driven from a comfortable home, the father and husband chased from everything that was dear on earth and now among strangers and wholely because he dared to take his sword to defend his family and religion. These thoughts filled my whole soul with indignation against such an order of things in a free government.
But alas! It is written, “He that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Verily so it is.
The third or fourth night we camped in the timber, built a good fire, and things looked pleasant around us. We heard a carriage coming from the west which stopped in the road. Soon one of the brethren came to our fire, looked about and asked me who I had with me. I told him no one, but Brother Durfey’s family and mine. He looked pleased and said if we had no objections he thought he would drive up and camp with us. We heard steps behind us and on looking, we saw our beloved president, Sidney Rigdon, whom we thought was with the Prophet and others in Liberty Jail. We had a time of rejoicing to hear from our brethren once more. He was clothed in a Missouri suit of buckskin, and there was Sidney Rigdon, as I had known him for 12 years.
We traveled for 11 days and camped on the west bank of the Mississippi River, opposite Quincy. The weather was cold and the wind blew down the river all night which made us very uncomfortable. Early the next morning the boat came over and ferried us across to Quincy. We traveled all day in the wind, and at night came to Lima. About one mile out from Lima we saw a light and called out and found Mr. Durfey. To our joy and satisfaction he had plenty for us and our teams.
Here Brother Durfey said I might build me a house and take up all the land I wanted. I built a log house, sold my corn for 60 dollars and my horse for 60 dollars, to be paid next fall. We had one good cow and I cleared off a large garden, plowed and planted it.
I felt anxious to fulfill my covenant with the Lord, that was to preach the gospel as long as I lived. I had volunteered to go on a mission when in Far West but the war prevented one, so I knew it was my duty to go when I could. I had a great anxiety to go to Franklin, Ohio, and preach to my parents and acquaintances. I chose for my companion, Walter Cox, who was a good singer. I felt that I could do all the preaching if he would do the singing for I was no singer.
We started on the 17th of May, 1839, from Lima. On the 18th we got to Quincy and on the 19th attended a seventies conference. At this conference we found Brothers Joseph and Hyrum and rejoiced in once more shaking hands with them and bidding them welcome to a land of liberty. While at this conference it had been voted that all the seventies should put all their property into the hands of a committee as a common stock association. Joseph Young was selected president. As I was a member of the first quorum of seventies, I gave order for all I had if the society wanted it.
We took the boat on the afternoon of the 19th [May, 1839] at Quincy and at two o’clock on the 20th we landed at Alton, a distance of 135 miles and took a southeast direction, not knowing where we were going or where we should stay. We had no money or anything to pay our expenses.
We started across the prairie and held a meeting on the 25th [May, 1839]. The next day we held another meeting and enjoyed a good deal of liberty. We went to Jackson and on the 29th filled an appointment at Mr. Crow’s. On June 2 , we again preached at Mr. Crow’s and testified to the Book of Mormon. We traveled about two weeks when we baptized Brother Robert Crow and Nimrod Price.
About one week after this, thinking it no wisdom to remain together, I proposed to my companions that I would fill the appointments we had out and they might go to Randolph County and if they found an opening, leave appointments and I would go with them and help them fill them. They left and I remained in Perry, having an appointment at Brother Crow’s on Sunday, the 16th of June . I went there Saturday evening. On arriving in the neighborhood, we found an excitement. Brother Price’s father-in-law, Mr. Daniels, had come from Randolph County to see his daughter on the evening that his son-in-law had joined the Mormons and his daughter was about to join. He was wickedly angry and swore he would kill me if he could get to see me; that I had baptized one of his children but never should another. He said he was glad there was one place the damned Mormons could never preach and that was in his neighborhood and he raved like a crazy man, swearing he would kill the first damn Mormon preacher he could find.
After hearing this, I saw Brother Price on his way home and told him to be very mild with the old man and in the morning invite him to go with him to the meeting.
The next morning, early, my companions called in at Price’s, and found Mr. Daniels there but he said little. Soon however four of the mob came in to whip the Mormon elders, bringing with them a black whip and two hickory whips, expecting Mr. Daniels would help them. The mob became so very rough it turned Mr. Daniels against them and he made up his mind if they whipped the Mormons, they would have to whip him too. The mob, not liking the appearance of things, left and the brethren met at Brother Crow’s. When the congregation came together, Mr. Daniels came with them. He had been described to me so exactly that I knew him as soon as he came in. We gazed at each other a few seconds and he took his seat directly in front of me. When the meeting was out he invited me to preach in his settlement. I informed him that I already had an appointment there.
On the 21st of June  we traveled 11 miles, and preached in the courthouse in Georgetown, Randolph County. The day following we preached in the schoolhouse near Mr. Daniels’. He was at the meeting. We spoke on the first principles, dwelling at length on the signs as in the apostles’ days, now following all those who believe and obey. At the dismissal of the meeting, I saw a young woman weeping like a child. At this time Mr. Daniels came up and asked me to go and stay with him all night. This girl was his daughter.
We went home with them and were well treated. Eight days ago this man was swearing by all that was good and great that he would kill me. He was now as kind and friendly as I wished any man to be.
The next day we traveled sixteen miles and preached at Brother Crow’s. On the 26th [June, 1839] we traveled 19 miles and preached in the courthouse in Pickneyville, Perry County. On the 30th we preached at Brother Crow’s again and two women requested baptism. A few days later I baptized them. On July 1  we preached at a Mr. Williams’.
Williams had a sick child but as they were Campbellites we did not think it wisdom to administer to the child in their presence. The child was very sick and we felt to pity the little one, so we watched the opportunity. When the father was gone and the mother went to a neighbor’s for medicine, we stepped into the sick room and laid hand on the child and rebuked the fever and stepped out and took our books and sat down to read as we were doing when the parents left the house. The child was soon off the bed and came into the room where we were sitting and was playing on the floor when the mother came in. She was much surprised at seeing the child well and at play. We left without giving any information concerning the matter. These people afterward joined the Church.
Brother Price was very sick and sent for a doctor. We knew the people were watching us and if Brother Price had not faith to be healed and we administered, the mob would soon be upon us. However, we resolved to call and give him some instruction on the subject of healing. We did so and started on our journey. We walked about one mile and found ourselves standing in the road, stopped as if by some irresistible power. We had lost all inclination to go any further. We stepped one side into a secreted place and laid our case before the Lord. We were instructed to return and administer unto Brother Price. We obeyed and returned. After some instruction, we laid our hands on him and blessed him. The next day Brother Price was well.
We went to Georgetown to fill an appointment. After filling the appointment we were returning to Brother Crow’s for the night; as we walked along the road we were confronted with a mob who had met to do us harm. When we approached, fear seemed to come upon them and they stepped back from our path. I felt as composed and indifferent as if they were small boys. They then started their demand that we should leave the country and cease preaching. I asked what law I had broken; they reply was, “I don’t know that you have broken any, but we are damned afraid you will.” I replied, “My father served many years in the Revolutionary War, fighting for liberty and freedom — he is yet living. I am his youngest son; I came here to preach the gospel which I intend to do until I see fit to leave and not be guilty of yielding to a mob and not disgrace the name of blood of my father while he lives.” Taking out my watch, I said, “It is time we were at our appointment; good morning, gentleman.” We walked away leaving the mob on the grass. This was on the 8th of July, 1839.
On the 14th of July , we held the last meeting and preached the last discourse at Brother Crow’s in Perry County, not thinking it was the last or having an intention of leaving this field of labor for months.
On the 21st [July, 1839] we held a meeting in Randolph at Mr. Daniels’ home. The way opened before us here and it seemed as though our field of labor had changed. A Baptist minister who partly believed directed us to the home of a widow who lived with her son-in-law and his wife who was her oldest daughter, and another daughter who was about 22 years old. The girl’s name was Polly Turner. She had been sick and confined to her bed most of the time for this last year. The flesh was wasted away and she looked as though her days were numbered and were very few. This family was Methodist. The brother-in-law who lived with them and supported the family had occasion to pass a house where I was speaking on the gifts of the gospel following those that believed. It was a new doctrine to him and upon his return home told his family what he had heard. His sister-in-law, Polly, immediately proposed to believe and said if we would come and administer she should be healed and get well. The mother opposed and said the Mormons should not come into their house. This Baptist minister heard of it and went and reasoned with them, to give their consent to let us pay them a visit.
At first the old lady declined; no Mormon should come under her roof. We held a meeting at the minister’s home. Polly’s brother-in-law was there. We stayed all night and part of the next day and was much taken up with our teaching. He went home and told what he had learned and when the minister visited Mrs. Turner again, she consented to have us come and visit them.
The old lady seemed better satisfied. I had some talk with Polly and found she still believed or professed to. I saw a New Testament lying on the shelf within her reach. I took down the book and turned to several passages of scripture which I thought would enlighten her mind and increase her faith. I turned down the leaves to those passages and laid up the book and told her we would call the next Thursday and see her again. We bid them good day and left, but before we were out of sight the son-in-law came after us with a request from the old lady that we should leave an appointment and hold meeting at her house. Accordingly, we left an appointment to preach there the next Saturday at four o’clock.
On Thursday we preached at the McDaniel’s and baptized his daughter Ann McDaniels.
The Saturday following we preached at the widow Turner’s to an attentive congregation, in the room where Polly lay sick.
We took up the first principles of the gospel and endeavored to prepare her mind with faith to be healed. After meeting they invited us to stay with them overnight, which invitation we gladly accepted, as it would give us a better opportunity to administer to Polly, as that was her wish.
In the evening we called the family into the room where the sick girl lay and explained the principles of faith and told them it was by faith she would be healed, if at all. If what she believed to be faith was merely an anxiety to get well she might not be benefitted by our administration. On the other hand, if faith was pure, she would be healed. We told them that if we administered we should enjoin secrecy upon them and they must agree to tell no person. Let the result be what it might. To this they all agreed. When we stepped to the bed, we both kneeled down by the side of the bed and prayed. When through prayer we laid our hands on Polly in the name of the Lord as usual. When through, we arose to our feet and unthinkingly, I took her hand and commanded her, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and walk. While I held her hand she threw her feet off the bed and sat up a few seconds, then got off the bed and walked across the room, got a drink of water, and then came back to the bed and sat down. We took our hats and walked out a little distance to some bushes where we knelt down and gave God thanks, went into our room and lay down. This was the 27th of July, 1839.
It was a pleasant night and I could have slept sweetly had not the bed bugs disturbed us so that I did not sleep an hour. Our room was adjoining Polly’s room. She slept as little as I did. Soon after day dawned I heard her door open and she appeared to have gone out. She went out and walked about the yard. In the morning Polly said she was going with us to meeting if we would let her. We told her it was two miles and that was too far for her to walk. She insisted on going until we told her we would not consent to her walking two miles that day. She would have gone if we had let her. After breakfast we left them. I felt very sick.
That night after supper we went out to the water and my companion baptized Daniel McDaniel. Forty days before this man was swearing by all the highest oaths we could think of that he would kill me or the first Mormon elder he saw. He is now a humble, faithful Latter-day Saint.
On Monday morning we started for Brother Crow’s. When we had walked about eight miles we met Dr. Black with whom we had formed some acquaintance at Georgetown. After we had passed the usual salutations he said, “I understand you have healed Polly Turner. I have been her physician for a year and know she was past cure with medicine and know that no physician could save her. If you will call at my house, I will give you a certificate of the facts. Another doctor being 30 miles from here who had attended her with me will also certify the same. I will get this certificate for you.” I thanked him and went on our way, somewhat astonished that the news of Polly’s being healed should have gone ten miles in 36 hours when her family agreed not to tell anyone concerning the matter.
I had a sick day and lay down on the ground and rested several times. On arriving at Brother Crow’s, we found Sister Crow on the bed sick and they had been praying for our return. We prayed for her and administered to her; she got up and went about her work well. I continued sick a few days and began to shake with the ague severely. Brother Cox took Brother Crow’s best horse and went about 30 miles to where Brother Benjamin Clapp was preaching and got him to come and administer to me. He stayed two days, anointed and laid hands on me but I was very little benefited, if at all. A few days after this Brother Cox was taken sick with chills and fever, thus the devil had gotten power over us and here in this place where we have preached the gifts and the power of the gospel, we were sick and could not help ourselves. We have called in an elder of faith, we have administered to each other and yet we are here at Brother Crow’s and cannot help ourselves.
When at our best we got a few rods from the house into the cornfield, sat down in the sun, prayed, anointed, and laid hands on each other; as long as we stayed there we feel well but when we got back to the house we were the same as before we went out and saw no prospect of getting well. I shake powerfully every day and a raging fever follows each shake. Brother Cox is the same. Our flesh is gone, our sight is very dim, our enemies laugh at our affliction. We dare not apply to a physician for the people have threatened our lives and would rejoice for the opportunity of trying the power of their poison on a Mormon elder who had preached faith in Christ. Brother Crow and family were very kind and able and willing to take care of us and hired a girl to wait upon us.
After a few weeks, she was taken sick and had two or three severe shakes of ague. One evening she called us from another room and inquired if we could get to her bed and administer to her. We got on our feet and by holding onto our bedsteads and the side of the room, we succeeded in getting to her bed. We laid hands on her and rebuked the fever in the name of the Lord and commanded the disease to depart from her; it was done. The next morning she went to her work as usual.
While we laid here sick, Polly Turner’s married sister came to see us, she having heard much said about us. She came to see us and said Polly was well and healthy and that she had never seen Polly looking better. She called us brothers but we had never seen each other until now.
We were continually failing; we were doing no good here and growing weaker every day and say plainly that we must lie here until winter and do nothing, or we must do something to obtain a cure. On inquiring I found some quinine and resolved to take of it until it cured the ague. In the morning I had a chair placed at the side of my bed with the quinine and my watch hung up behind my bed. Every 15 minutes I took a portion of the quinine with soft peaches until three o’clock. I shook severely with high fever through the night. In the morning at sunrise, I commenced taking quinine as the day before, and at 12 o’clock, I took the last I had and if it had not failed, I might have killed myself with it. Although I had no shakes it seemed as though I could not live. I was in severe pain for several days and could take no food. I felt stupid and indifferent as to what was passing. In a few days I began to gain. I soon felt so much better, I thought I could ride on horseback a short distance.
I rode to Mr. Harris’. While there the two girls wished me to baptize them if I could. I walked out to the creek and found a suitable place but when I got back to the house, I was so weakened and exhausted, I thought it not wisdom to attempt to baptize them.
I had now laid at Brother Crow’s sick about eight weeks and began to think of going home. Brother Crow told us to make out how much money would pay our expenses home and he would give it to us, and fit us out for home and take us to the river anytime we thought wisdom. We made out our expenses. Brother Crow furnished the amount and gave us a straw bed and plenty of provisions.
On the 28th of September , we bid all of our friends in that place farewell and left them forever. Brother Crow sent his son with us to Chester, a little town on the bank of the beautiful Mississippi River and put us into a tavern, well furnished. We went early to bed, being weak and weary. At 11 o’clock the landlord awoke us and said a boat had come up and was at the landing and, if we wished, he would assist in getting us on board the boat. I felt as though it was almost impossible for us to get up and walk forty rods to the boat. We found the boat crowded and with beds made down and occupied. As we were weak and had but little resolution we dropped down in the first place we could find unoccupied and that was a small chest large enough for us to sit on and lean against a post. Our baggage was out we knew not where so we spent the remainder of the night on the box in the cold wind.
In the morning we could hardly stand on our feet. The next day as the boat was steaming on the Mississippi, the steward called for our passage money. To our surprise, it was twice as much as we expected, boats having raised their fare in consequence of low water. After we had paid our passage to St. Louis we made our bed and laid down to rest our bones, bare and weary. The next evening we landed at St. Louis and stayed two or three days and then got aboard the “Detroit” on the first of October . As before observed, we had paid out two-thirds of our money to get one-third of the distance. Our provisions were dry and nearly gone and we dared not pay out one dollar for food knowing we had only enough money to pay only two-thirds for our passage to Quincy. However we resolved to do the best we could and trust the event with God.
We left St. Louis at one o’clock on the first of October, 1839. The steward called for our passage money. We handed him all we had and told him it was all the money we had, that we were both sick as he could see, and had little provisions but we must go home. He replied that we could go. The river was so low that we should be three times as long going up as we were going down and of necessity suffer for food. We ate but little. We were detained much in getting the boat over the bars. I became very hungry and weak and no appetite for the dry bread we had. The day before we landed I was walking from one room to the other and I saw on the floor a cooked potato; I slipped my hand with it into my pocket and went out of sight and ate it. I felt thankful that I was thus blessed.
We landed at Quincy in the evening about eight o’clock. We had been wondering how we should get up the hill with our things, as weak as we were, and where we could stay overnight. When the boat landed many of the citizens came on board and among them was Brother Cox’s brother-in-law and two companions. This gave us much joy as we had heard nothing from home or our wives since we left home. Our letters were destroyed by the mob at the post office.
These brethren took our things and helped us off the boat and up the hill and with their assistance and by sitting down and resting several times we got to Lyman Wight’s. Brother Wight had gone to Commerce to conference. Sister Wight received us kindly and told us they had one horse, a double harness and a wagon and we could have the use of them to get home to Limy, a distance of 21 miles. The brethren gave us 50 cents a piece to help us home. I saw the old miser, for so she proved to be, a Sister Pinkham, whom Sister Wight said we could get a horse and wagon from, she thought. I told her our sorry tale which did not reach her hard heart. Neither could I until I told her the brethren had given us 50 cents each to help get some dinner and help us home. She said if we would give her two dollars, we could have her wagon. I told her I had but one dollar and 50 cents. After a long time she thought, seeing as we were missionaries and sick we might take her wagon for the dollar and a half. I gave her the money and was glad to get out of her sight. We soon managed to harness and get into the wagon, faced homeward, blessing Sister Wight but feeling in our hearts to curse the old miser, although a professed sister.
At noon we stopped and begged dinner and fed our horses and at sunset drove up to my door. I found my family well although they had lived the last week on potatoes and salt. I was pleased to get once more to my family, thankful that my life and that of my family had been preserved in our separation on this mission.
I traveled over 1,000 miles, preached 26 times, administered to six persons, all of whom were immediately healed, and was home four months and a half and was sick ten weeks of that time. We baptized many and taught many the gospel. We have been despised, threatened, cursed, damned, belied, misrepresented, slandered, hunted and mobbed and out of it all, the Lord has delivered me, thanks to his holy name.
In the winter we understood that the gathering places for the Saints was at Commerce, since called Nauvoo. Accordingly I went to Nauvoo and told the agent I had come up to see if I could get a lot. I was poor and had lost all in Missouri and I, a traveling elder, and if I was kept traveling to pay for a lot and support my family was out of the question. I would like to live with the Saints in Nauvoo and if he would let me have a lot and I could stay at home, I would pay for it. If I have to pay for a lot and travel too, I had better stay where I am. “Oh,” said the agent, “I think we can let you have a lot. We will go and see if we can find something to suit you.”
He led the way into the bench and went onto the southwest corner of the fourth block north of where the temple has since been built, on Wells Street. He then turned to me and said, “This corner lot you can have.” I told him I would take it. He then put a record of it in his memorandum book and I lived on that lot six years.
I moved my family onto the lot the 1st of April, 1840.
In the early rise of this Church, it seemed that some of the elders believed that the second coming of Christ was near at hand, and in a few years the Savior would come to his people and take vengeance and the nations be wasted away and be destroyed and especially this nation. Some prophesied that in ten years there would not be an unbeliever in some of our large cities. At the April conference, 1840, the Prophet Joseph, while speaking of some of the elders on this matter said they were mistaken; the Lord would not come in ten years; no, nor in twenty years; no, nor in thirty years; no, nor in forty years, and it will be almost fifty years before the Lord will come.
On the 15th of April, 1840, I baptized my oldest daughter and confirmed her a member of the Church.
I fenced my lot, put it into crop and made my family comfortable.
On the 1st of June  I left home on a short mission in Iowa and crossed the Mississippi at Fort Madison. I stayed at Lyman Wight’s in Augusta. From there I traveled northwest until I came to a man who owned a barn. He opened his barn for a meeting and on the 7th I preached to a respectable congregation. When I was about half through with my discourse, two men came in. After meeting, one of them came to me and asked me if this was Mormonism. He said, “I have believed Mormonism for years. I believe all I have heard you preach today and a great deal more,” said one. I had some more conversations with him in which I learned his name is Ephraim Roberts. I afterwards baptized him.
On the 19th [June, 1840] I went to my brother Selah but found no opening to present the gospel so I thought it best to return to Nauvoo. On the 22nd I returned to Nauvoo and found my family well. I was absent 22 days, preached four times, traveled 193 miles and baptized one person.
On the 27th of July  with Brother Jones, I went out again. We crossed the Illinois River east and stayed that night in Pekin.
On the 8th [August 1840] as we were traveling we came to the last house before we crossed a large prairie and we must stay there or lie out on the ground or travel all night. This house was a tavern. We advanced to the landlady who was sitting at the front door when Brother Jones introduced us as Mormon elders, traveling without money, to preach the gospel, and asked her if she would keep us over night. When she replied, with emphasis, “No, I will not. I — have kept Mormon elders all I will and I will not have another one into my house or under my roof, and you may go along as soon as you please.” Brother Jones turned to me with despair on his countenance, saying, “What shall we do, Brother Shurtliff?”
At this a singular spirit came upon me, and I advanced saying, “We are strangers and would not like to lie on yonder cold prairie, and I cannot think you nearly mean what you say.” When she replied, “I do, and you shall not step into my house.” I told her I had a wife at home who would feel disagreeable if she knew I was lying on the cold ground among a civilized people. “Fancy to yourself your feelings if your husband was to lie out on yonder prairie this night in sight of my house. You are well situated here and well respected by your neighbors and I cannot think you wish us to sleep out of doors when you are in a comfortable bed.” She hesitated a little and I said, “Your cheeks are lightened up with the flush of tender feelings, showing your heart is tender and full of sympathy for strangers and you cannot resist our entreaties. “Well,” said she, “you may stay in the house and lie on the floor but I will not feed you or give you a bed for I am no friend to Mormons.” We went in and found the table set and waiting for her husband.
I felt unusually cheerful and talkative. Although we had met with such powerful resistance, I still believed we should get supper and a bed to sleep on. I continued cheerful and talked interestingly upon any subject that suited them. The man had come in, the family sat down to supper; I continued conversation as interestingly as possible for I felt the need of a supper and expected to get it.
When the family was through, as I expected, the man left the room; the woman was confused, walked across the floor, went to the table as if she would clear up, took up a plate, set it down on the other side, then moved another and another without accomplishing anything. I saw she was confused and could hold out but a little longer before she would ask us to eat. I kept the conversation lively that I might get my supper. At length she turned to us saying, “I expect you would like supper. We have eaten ours and there is plenty yet on the table; if you wish to set up and eat you can and be welcome.”
With an air of indifference, I turned to Brother Jones saying, “Perhaps we had better take a bite as we may get faint before we got across the prairie in the morning.” Knowing that Brother Jones, as well as myself, was as hungry as wolves, we reluctantly sat up to the table, which was well furnished and we soon satisfied our craving appetites. Supper over, our next thought was a bed, as we were very tired and knew that a hard floor would rest us but little. I still thought if I could make my conversation agreeable, we would get a bed to sleep on, so I taxed in ingenuity and turned my conversation to the best possible advantage to accomplish the object. Our landlady became more settled and went to preparing the children for bed and in good time escorted us to the best bed in the house where we slept sweetly. She and her husband slept in the same room to keep us from stealing anything. I have said little of the landlord as he was a knob by the side of his wife.
In the morning, quite refreshed, we pursued our journey. We traveled about 35 miles and about sunset came to several houses at which we asked to stay but were turned off. Coming to a tavern we found the landlord sitting on his porch in front of his house. We addressed him and applied for lodging. We were invited in, given a good supper, free use of the house and a good bed. The next day we took up our journey and went to a Colonel Shebby’s who lived on the east side of the Wabash River in Indiana. We held several good meetings and then went to Covington, Fountain County and then on to Warren County. I baptized Levi Murdock. My partner, Brother Roberson, had now come down with ague.
One day while sitting in our room reading at Colonel Shebby’s home, the third shake was coming upon him. I told him to go out to the grove and I would come. He passed out of the room where Mr. and Mrs. Shebby were sitting. In a few minutes I followed him to the grove and found Brother Roberson on his back in the sun, shaking severely. I dropped on my knees and laid my hands on him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and rebuked the ague and commanded the disease to depart from him and trouble him no more. When I took off my hands his shake had ceased and sweat was starting freely. He rose up and went to the house. In a short time I went to the house and found Brother Roberson well.
The next day we traveled 14 miles and had a meeting at Turkey Run. The next day we went nine miles to Pleasant Hill. Then we went ten miles to Grenville, Tipacanoe County. Here we held several public meetings, then traveled ten miles to visit a Brother Hewett’s family. My shoes were getting rather worn and in the morning before we left he took me to the store and gave me a good pair of shoes. We parted with my blessings on him.
We baptized three converts in the Wabash River. One, Mother Murdock, had a fever sore or white swelling on one of her legs which had troubled her for some years and she was likely to be a cripple all her life. When we confirmed them, which we did on the water’s edge, we also administered to her. Her sore dried up and she was healed. On the 20th of September  we baptized another member.
I was expecting my wife would need me at home about the first of October . I promised her I should be home by the time I was needed.
Brother Rodger’s was ready to start with his family to Nauvoo. We had a hard time as we had to sleep on the ground most of the way.
On the 5th of October, 1840, I arrived home and found my wife had been confined one week with a daughter.
On this mission I had been absent two months and eight days. I held 26 public meetings, baptized five or six persons, and traveled 864 miles.
I was now employed to teach the school which helped me to school my children and at the same time to procure wood and provisions. I had a large school and taught widows and orphans free. The Lord blessed me and I got through the winter very well.
I was preparing to preach the gospel to my relatives and friends in Ohio which I had been trying to do for two years.
On the 6th of April, 1841, with several others, I was called upon to take a mission east. I went home feeling a desire to comply with the requirements but I was short of clothing. My coat was threadbare and my pants patched on the knee and other clothes scarcely suitable to appear among the Saints at home and to go into the congregations of the gentiles with patched clothing, I would have but little influence.
It had been three years since I had an opportunity of laboring for the benefit of my family and have traveled most of the time. I have spent much in moving my family from place to place, and buying a house and lot in Kirtland and farm in Missouri besides assisting many others in building up the kingdom of God. All this I rejoice in and am thankful that I had something to do with. Neither am I sorry I have done as I have in this thing, although I am in low circumstances. While thus engaged in thought, two young brethren from Nashville, Iowa came in to stay with me overnight. In the evening in speaking of my going on a mission, I observed my pants were rather worn but I would do the best I could. One of them, David Sela, said to me, “If you will come over to Nashville and preach to us, I will give you a pair of pants.” I told him I knew of no other way to get them and I would go. On the 18th [April, 1841] I went, stayed over Sunday, preached twice and on Monday morning bought me cloth for a pair of pants. My wife made them and I was well pleased.
On the 30th of April  I started in company with Horace S. Eldredge for my mission. We traveled about 90 miles in three days to Mason County where Brother Eldredge’s wives’ people were living. Here we stayed six or seven days, preached twice and baptized Benjamin Chase, Brother Eldredge’s father-in-law. We then pursued our journey eastward.
When we came onto the road leading from Kirtland to Far West where the Saints had traveled, we found some difficulty in obtaining food and lodging as the people were very hard toward the Mormons. We crossed the east line of the state of Illinois and overtook an ox team. The teamsters were sociable and we traveled together until night. About four o’clock we came to a deep stream of water where it was necessary for the oxen to swim. We climbed on top of the wagon and kept dry. We traveled 30 miles today and were somewhat weary. There were about four houses between the river and a 16 mile prairie. We thought best to sell at the first house and see if they would keep us overnight. The team raised on and we called at the first house and were refused. Each house in succession refused to keep us. When refused at the last house, we saw the team and teamsters camped a short distance from the house. They had kindled a fire and were preparing for the night. We went to them and told them our situation. They said we could eat with them but they had no extra bed clothes. Supper was ready and we sat up and ate. It was now sunset, clear, no clouds to be seen, no wind to move a leaf or a sound to salute our ears, except the tinkling here and there of a distant bell or the occasional chatter arising from some of the members of those families who had turned us away as unworthy of their hospitality.
It was such an evening as is not known except on the wide spreading prairies of the west, while surrounded with this scenery it was suggested to my mind that if Brother Eldredge would sing two or three of the songs of Zion, the people would come out of the house to the gate. I told Brother Eldredge and he soon sang a hymn which brought several of the inmates of the nearest house to the gate. I told Brother Eldredge that the next would fetch them to the camp, and the next would fetch the invitation to go in and sleep. The second song brought them to the camp but after the third song the family returned to the house but the landlord stayed as in deep thought. At length he walked a little way toward his house, then returned and gave us a polite invitation to walk with him to the house and sleep.
We cheerfully accepted the invitation. We were put into a room in which were two beds, we in one bed and two men in the other bed to watch us and see that we did not steal the house and carry it off before morning.
On the 19th of May  we crossed the Wabash and took dinner in Terre Haute. Then a man gave us a ride in his carriage for several miles on our way. This night we called at six houses before we got lodging.
On the 26th [May 1841] we went to Brother Eldredge’s father’s family and here we tarried several days. While here a carriage came up with two women in it. One was a sister in the Church; the other had come ten miles to be baptized. I baptized and confirmed her and they went home rejoicing. A few days afterwards she sent us each a nice stock to wear on our necks. While here we baptized several other people.
On the 25th [May 1841] we were in Indianapolis. On the 10th of June, father Eldredge, having business in Cleveland, Ohio, took us with him in his carriage. We had a pleasant time and a prosperous journey.
One of my neighbors lived on a farm near my old farm. There we spent several days, held a number of meetings, but met with opposition.
We then went to Homer and stayed at Brother Judson’s. He was not home until we were in bed. His wife told him I was in there in bed in the next room. He said he must see me before he could sleep. He lit a candle and came in and we had a time of rejoicing. We had not seen each other since I had baptized him three years before.
On the 21st of June  we got to Franklin, Portage County, Ohio. Here I had lived from 1819 to 1833. Here I married my wife, Eunice. Here my two oldest children were born. Here I first read the Book of Mormon. Here I heard the first Mormon elder. Here I first saw the Prophet Joseph and heard his voice. Here I spent my youthful days. Here, like Nimrod of old, I became a great hunter and shot many a nimble deer in the forest, which long since has been turned into a fruitful field. Here I early gloried in a military life and at the age of 22 I held three military commissions and would up my military career for life as I then supposed. Here my father, mother, and brother live, also, all my wife’s people. Here I have come to preach the gospel of salvation to my numerous relatives for whom I am anxious.
My old acquaintances were pleased to see me and my aged parents were much elated at my return. My mother had prayed to have me come that she might hear me preach before she died.
On Sunday, the 27th of June, 1841, I met at the schoolhouse where I had gone to school. A large congregation of friends and relatives who were desirous of seeing and hearing me speak were there. Brother Eldredge sang and opened the meeting by prayer. As I arose to speak every eye was eagerly upon me. My feelings were such that no man can describe. This was the time I long had desired and prayed for. Before me sat my aged father and mother, my brothers, sisters-in-law, cousins and friends. On my left and near the stand sat an infidel with long beard and rusty clothing, who had not been to meeting for years, but out of curiosity came to hear what I could say for Mormonism. I was full of the spirit and took up the first principles of the gospel and spoke for one hour and a half and dismissed for one hour, and spoke again in the afternoon, showing the continuation of the gifts of the gospel as anciently. After some remarks by Brother Eldredge, we gave out an appointment to preach on the next Thursday.
I came early to the house and found the old infidel here ready to shake my hand. He was now shaved and clothed clean and good in apparel. He said he had long ago locked up his Bible that his family might not read it because of the differences of opinions of all the other churches but he heard more good from Mormonism than at any other place and he and his family were going to their meetings.
On the 5th of July  we went to see my oldest brother, Selah. He did not care to hear anything about Mormonism and there was no unity of feelings and we felt lonely and glad when the time came for us to leave. We did so and rejoiced in a purer atmosphere. My brother Ruel is in good circumstances as to property but is opposed to Mormons. Wales keeps a tavern on the canal nearby. He is a friend to all Mormons and keeps all free, attends all our meetings and makes a good home for Brother Eldredge and myself. He is a good man and has a good family.
We continued our preaching in Franklin and adjoining towns until the 25th. This night we spoke on the Book of Mormon. The infidel was converted and on the Wednesday following was baptized with several other converts.
An opposing spirit began to show itself and the adversary began to stir up the people. My parents were about 73 years of age. My wife’s were 62 and upwards. My father had been a Methodist but for the last 25 years had belonged to no church. My mother was a Campbellite. My wife’s parents had been very strict Presbyterians until we began to preach.
My mother was in very poor health having had two strokes and felt the third one was near upon her, through which a person seldom lives.
The four parents received our teaching and requested baptism. Two o’clock on the 4th of August  was the time appointed to attend to this ordinance. They chose not to be baptized in public but in a stream near father’s house. The day arrived and my mother was worse than she had been for some weeks. When we got together she was quite sick and had given up being baptized that day; still she was anxious and asked me if I thought she had better be baptized. I told her to do as she thought proper. She said she could not stand going into the water and thought she would not go, but says she, “Do encourage your father to go if I do not for he thinks of waiting for me.” She went into the next room where father was and soon came back and said to me, “I cannot bear to wait. I can ride in my rocking chair and I think it won’t hurt me.” They were soon ready and we put her into the wagon in her chair and the wagon started on.
I stepped into the house to see if all was right and seeing mother’s camphor bottle, I put it in my pocket. Why I took it, I did not know; it caused a singular sensation in me.
Our company consisted of our four candidates, myself and Brother Eldredge and some we had baptized. When at the water my reflections were such as I had never experienced. To see four persons as old as those candidates were at once at the water was what I had never seen and that they were my parents for whose conversion I had long prayed, it was almost overwhelming. I felt that I could do nothing toward performing the ordinance and requested Brother Eldredge to go ahead and I would do what I could. When all seated at the bank of the stream, Brother Eldredge went to prayer saying, “Oh, God, the esteemed father, let this day be a day long remembered by thy servants and those present.” At these words a general feeling seemed to rest upon all present. As for myself, I was overcome. My nerves were seemingly unstrung and I could not, for some time, control my feelings. When the prayer was over and the candidates were ready, we both assisted them into the water and when my mother stepped into the water, she was immediately taken in a stroke.
We took her in our arms and carried her senseless to her chair. We made use of the camphor I brought with me but no life appeared. We took her in her chair and carried her toward home. When we had carried her about six rods she sneezed. This was the first signs of recovery but she did not recover her reason. A council of doctors was called and it was their decision that it was a stroke and there was no chance for her recovery. It would soon have come on if she had not gone into the water, but it might have come on a little sooner by her going into the water, but in either case, there was no remedy. On the 6th of August  at ten in the evening, mother died. Her prayer was heard and answered. She had the privilege of seeing me and hearing me preach but was deprived of obeying the gospel I preached. This was a trying time for me. We were aware that the enemy of all righteousness would take advantage of this occurrence.
The question was soon asked who should preach mother’s funeral sermon? My father was a Mormon but said he would leave that to the boys. It was agreed on an old friend of the family, a Methodist, should preach. The minister applied the lash to us because under the circumstances we were bound.
A mob spirit was now manifest. Mobs gathered in meetings to make plans for us. One suggested accompanying us out on a rail, others to arrest us for drowning my mother, others that we should be tarred and feathered. But after spending three nights in wrangling, they gave it up.
We stayed here some weeks but met with great opposition. On the 24th of August , we went to Kirtland. We visited the temple and my house and lot and had a pleasant time. Then we went to Cleveland. This city has doubled its population since I was first here.
On the 27th [August 1841] we returned to Franklin and found the Saints rejoicing in the truth lately received, twelve of whom we had just baptized.
On the 6th of September  we filled an appointment at Stow and held meetings for several days.
On the 8th [September 1841] we traveled 43 miles to Sullivan, and visited with my old neighbors until Sunday, the 12th, of whom we had just little success with our meetings. We called at New Portage and from here to North Hampton, where we held meetings. On the 19th we went back to Franklin. We now prepared to return home. Our shoes were worn and the brethren wished to help us to such things as we needed and got some leather to make each of us a pair of boots. The bootmakers were so busy we made our own boots.
On the 22nd of September , we organized a branch at Franklin. I stayed at Father Gaylord’s. Altamira, my wife’s sister, made me a pair of pants.
On the 26th of September 1841, we gave the parting hand to the Saints and friends in Franklin. Here were my parents, relatives, and those whom I grew up with to manhood, here the habitations, the streams, the lakes, the fields and forests were all endeared to me, and I was now about to leave them for the west, whether to see them again in this life or not was unknown to me. My life, my time, my labor, was not my own nor at my disposal. I am under the control of the priesthood and may be sent to some far land to preach the gospel for years to come and no more see this land or the inhabitants thereof. All is uncertain in this world to an elder in Israel. Yet in the west is something more attracting. There reside my wife and children, also my brothers and sisters in the new and everlasting covenant, a thousand times dearer to my soul by the trials we have gone through together and my duty now calls me to visit them.
On the 29th [September 1841] we left Sullivan for the west. Mr. Whitcomb was going to take us in his wagon. Four of us in a good wagon started our journey with a good team and plenty to eat. We went on our way rejoicing, thankful that we were delivered from a great mob and on our way home, having discharged our duty faithfully in all things having a conscience void of offense toward all men.
We had a safe journey home and arrived in Nauvoo on the 20th of October 1841. On this mission we traveled about 2,000 miles, held 58 public meetings and baptized 15 or 16 persons and were absent from home five months and 21 days.
I was now in Nauvoo, without money, provisions, team or anything to winter my family on, or my two cows. My family consisted of a wife and five children, with very little clothing and no fuel. My firewood had to be hauled three miles from the island of the Mississippi River. It looked rather dark and doubtful how I was going to get through the winter. I had cloth for a pair of pants left my wife by her brother for his board. I needed this cloth but saw no way but to sell it to help me through the winter.
I took the cloth and went to Esquire Wells, an old resident and traded it for an acre of corn and fodder, cut and bundled up well. This fodder wintered my two cows and made my bread. I rented a log house and took a school. Thus I taught my own children, got my firewood and some other things for our comfort. I had a large school this winter. I attended Sabbath meetings and debates one night each week. I engaged to teach this school three months for three dollars per head and hired my house and furnished it and for one-third of my scholars I got no pay as I made it my rule to teach all children free who were too poor to pay. Thus at the end of the quarter I had but little due me.
In the spring I was in too strained circumstances to volunteer to travel and preach. My clothes were worn and my family was so destitute I thought best to stay home and labor at something beforehand that I could leave my family comfortable in the fall.
I had helped lay the foundation of our temple in Nauvoo and now wished to do something more towards the building of it. Accordingly I went to the temple committee and hired them to work on a boat to boat rock, timber and wood. I here got provisions to keep my family alive and that was all I expected. The committee did the best they could but they had nothing better in their hands to give us. We labored ten hours a day, and got something to take to our families for supper and breakfast. Many times we got nothing; at other times we got a half pound of butter or three pounds of fish, beef, and nothing to cook it with. Sometimes we got a peck of cornmeal or a few records of flour and before any more provisions would come into the office, the hands that worked steadily would sometimes be entirely out of provisions and have to live on herbs, boiled, without any seasoning except salt, or on parched corn or anything we could get to sustain us. I had some milk from my cows and by putting it half water and, if we could get corn or meal, we could live well for these times. For breakfast we would eat a little of this mush and then take a pint of milk in a bottle and some mush in a cup for dinner, go to the boat at six and at noon eat dinner and thank God that I and my family were thus blessed. And often I worked until dark before I could get home. Then if our cows did not come home, we had to take our mush alone and thank God that we were thus blessed.
The reader may think the above-mentioned scarcity of provisions was confined to my family. Not so; my family was as well off as the majority of my neighbors. I have seen those that cut stone by the year eat nothing but parched or browned corn for breakfast and take some in their pockets for their dinner and go to work singing the songs of Zion. I mention this not to find fault or to complain, but to let my children know how the temple of Nauvoo was built, and how their parents as well as hundreds of others suffered to lay a foundation on which they could build and be accepted of God.
The citizens of Nauvoo, when this temple was begun, was most of them who had been driven from Missouri and stripped of all they then possessed. Most of the Saints paid tithing but the best of the property was of necessity taken to buy nails, glass, paints, and such things as our labor would not produce. We would rather live poor and keep the commandments of God in building a temple than to live better and be rejected with our dead.
A great portion of the time, sickness or death was in nearly every habitation and some of the time in addition, we had to gird our arms at night and guard the temple, our streets, landings and our authorities to keep the enemy from destroying our brethren and our buildings and works and thus break us up or frustrate the work and establishment of this place. I worked on the river until the water got low on the rapids, then I went to work laying brick and building several stacks of chimneys and took the job of putting in a brick house for a tailor. Before I finished this job, I was called to take a mission east.
This call was made at a special conference on the 22nd of August, 1842. Many were called who had not traveled and preached but little. One brother came to me and asked me if I was going. I told him I was as soon as I could get a coat to wear. He pulled off his coat directly, saying, “I will give you this if you will let me go with you.” I put it on but it was too small.
I finished my job building the house. One of the brethren proposed taking a team and carrying a load of brethren 400 to 500 miles east as he had some business there. An evening was set to meet at his house, of all who wished to ride with him.
I met with some others. In conversation I observed I wished I could find a man with two coats and would give me one. A Brother Abbott stepped up before me and looked at my size, saying, “Try this on, if it will fit you, you may have it.” It fit me well and he gave it to me. It was suitable to wear into my congregation.
Brother Titus Billings and Daniel Allen and myself agreed to fit up a horse and wagon and go together. For some reason, Brother Abbott did not go. Brother Billings was my partner and Brother Allen was going to Kirtland.
When we were mostly ready to start, Brother Noah Packard said he must go with us. We told him the wagon was small and loaded and one small horse was to draw it. He insisted on going, saying he would not trouble us any further than to carry his things; we would furnish his lodgings and walk and furnish the horse food.
On the 19th of September, 1842, we started from Nauvoo. We designed going to Massachusetts and Vermont, as Massachusetts was my birthplace and Vermont was Brother Dilling’s native place. We expected to be absent through the winter at least.
I had something due me from the temple office and some for putting up the brick house and some small debts for school teaching. Out of these small debts my family was to live until my return. To collect this would keep one of my children or my wife constantly on the street, as they could collect little at a time.
It was trying to my feelings to leave my family in such circumstances. In order to winter my cow I had to sell one cow to get hay to winter the other. I never left my family in worse circumstances before. I was much troubled at leaving my family under such circumstances; yet, it was the best I could do. I must go. I had promised the Lord I would go as long as I lived and preached his gospel; if he would let me know what his gospel was. He had done so and I dare not stay at home. My salvation depended upon my keeping this covenant.
The morning I started I could not have eaten my breakfast if I had had any to eat, but we had none and my wife had to go borrow before she could get any for herself and the children. Sickness and death were common and when I left I did not know how many would be living and whether my family would be laid low in death before my return. Life was uncertain. These things harrowed up my mind continually and when I left home it was like in one sense burying some of my family. When about 80 rods from my house, I looked back and saw my wife and children taking their last farewell for the present. My whole soul was moved with compassion. I turned around and dedicated them to God and asked him to protect them until my return. This satisfied my mind and I went on my way rejoicing, confident we should meet once more in this life.
Nothing of importance occurred for two or three days when Brother Packard was taken sick and was sick several days in which time he called on us to administer to him, which we did with all the faith we could raise. He had forced himself on to us in this journey and was now confined to the wagon and we had to walk. He had not seemed to have much faith in accomplishing when he had promised and even tantalized us of not having faith to heal him when sick.
On the 26th [September 1842] we came to Camden. Here we held a meeting and held a council about Brother Packard. He was a little better so we left him here to preach on Sundays and to work on the book he was writing. We thought this as suitable as any place for him to stop. He consented and we left him. We went back and came to Colonel Shelby’s.
When he saw us coming he came out to meet us and was very glad to see me once more and said we should not leave until an elder he had sick in his house was either better or buried for he was very sick and very desirous of seeing some of his brethren. On going in, behold, there lay one of my neighbors called to go the same time I was. He started first and came there sick and was much rejoiced to see us. We administered to him and then was sent to go three miles and administer to a daughter of Colonel Shelby’s. The next night I started, with one of the Colonel’s sons, on horseback. The Wabash River was high, more than halfway up the sides of our horses and rising fast. It was dark and to me it looked dangerous; however, we got over safely and I administered to the sick daughter.
On our return that night the river had risen and it was a very dark night. It looked doubtful, our getting on the other shore without swimming. The young man was well acquainted with the river and so were the horses. The young man took the lead and said if I would let my horse come as he had a mind to and I would stick to him, he would carry me across safely. I pulled myself up on the saddle as high as I could and in we plunged. I could see neither much of the horse or water and nothing on the other shore. If I could have seen the opposite shore, I would have felt safer to have done my own swimming and let the horse do his. However, when I discovered the water was getting shallower, I thanked God for my deliverance.
The next day we spent with the sick elder. He gained fast and was now walking about the house. We intended leaving the next morning but Mrs. Shelby detained us. She told her husband there was no use in their doctoring anymore as the Mormons could cure two men to their one. The Shelbys were doctors of the best skill.
October 1  we made ready our horse and hitched her to the wagon and was about to take our leave when Mrs. Shelby said she could not think of our leaving and she was not baptized and asked me if I would baptize her. “Oh, certainly,” I said, “that is my business.” Mr. Shelby soon drove his team to the door and we got in and went to the Wabash and when I had baptized her we all stood silent some time. Mr. Shelby stood looking at the baptismal water. At length I broke the silence and asked him if he wanted to be baptized. He seemed deep in thought or overwhelmed with grief and spoke not a word. After some time he turned and prepared his team and we rode to his house. We gave them our parting hand, and continued our journey.
He lived on a few years; disease took hold of him and soon laid him low. He then sent out to find an elder to baptize him but found none and he died out of the Church. Truly, delays are dangerous.
When we reached Franklin, Ohio we found the brethren in good spirits and were well except my father. He was sick and was living at my brother Ruel’s, who was my enemy the last time I was preaching there. This was a grief to me as I had but little opportunity with father. I visited him several times, however, thinking it was the last time I should see him before he passed through the veil to associate with my mother in whose company he delighted.
I tarried here five days and then went on to Kirtland. On the 22nd of October, 1842, we went to Fairport and took a boat to Buffalo. A very bad thunderstorm came up and a strong west wind. I was dreadfully seasick and we had a stormy trip and were not able to land until 11 o’clock the next day.
On the 23rd of October  we took the road to Rochester and traveled on as fast as we could, and on the 26th we reached our destination. It was now late in the season and the roads were muddy, the days short and the weather was getting cold. We thought we had better get on a canal boat and work our passage and travel 40 miles in 24 hours and get our board and lodging, than to walk 25 miles and beg for our food and lodging and there was no chance for preaching or doing much good in either case. Accordingly, we went to the boats in Rochester but could find none that would take us so we started praying the Lord would open up the way for us.
We had walked but a few miles when we came to the canal and looking, we saw a boat coming towards us. While waiting on the bridge, Brother Billings said he would drive the boat half of the way if he could have his board and ride the other half of the time. When the boat came under the bridge, Brother Billings asked if they wanted to take a couple of passengers to work for their passage. The boatman said he would take one if he would drive half of the time but they had no use for the other man. At that Brother Billings jumped on and I following, not knowing how I would pay as I had but 70 cents and Brother Billings nothing. We were on the boat and must make the best of it. We soon found that the boat left Rochester the evening before with 500 barrels of flour and stopped at night. During the night the boat had sunk and the water had risen halfway up the sides of the bottom tier of barrels. In the morning they had unloaded 50 barrels and raised the boat and came on their way. The captain had lately brought and was taking the flour to Albany, the second load of a large contract and was responsible for any flour in his possession. About one-fourth of this load had laid six or eight hours, one-half under water. The captain said the damage would be put at least $250.00 and the news of his loading being damaged would hurt the reputation of his boat and he would very likely lose his contract.
The captain felt very badly and I felt that if I could help him out, I would get my passage to Albany. I examined the barrels and it was suggested to my mind that by taking up the barrels and washing them so that the part that had not been wet would look like those that had been wet no person could tell anything of the conditions. I spoke to the captain about the matter and he and I went to work and rolled out the top barrels until we got out one of the bottom barrels and took the end out and found no damage done by the water. Then we washed all signs of damage and when this was obliterated, we handled the whole load over and replaced them, which was quite a job. We traveled night and day and enjoyed our journey. On November 3 , about the middle of the afternoon, we landed in the city of Albany, and the north river about 63 miles from our destination. When the captain saw us making preparations to go he said we must stay until morning and get our breakfasts and then we could go. We consented and in the morning when about to leave, I asked the captain what his demands were upon me. He said, “Nothing.” If I was willing to call it even, he was and so we parted in friendship, the Lord having opened the way for us.
Early in the morning we crossed the north river and traveled 28 miles and stopped at a tavern and got supper and lodging. We were now in my native state, Massachusetts, and felt somewhat at home, although I had been absent some 23 years. I still had 70 cents in money.
On November 5,  we took breakfast with an acquaintance of Brother Billings. As we came onto the mountains in sight of the place of my childhood, a buoyant feeling was made manifest. A few miles below us lived my only sister, Elizabeth Hatch, whom I had not seen for 18 years.
She was a Methodist and wrote me on leaving that I was a Mormon elder, reproaching me for taking such a step and cautioned me against neglecting my family to preach Mormon doctrine and said, “We do not think much of Mormonism here.”
As I was not expected there, I thought I would call as a stranger for supper and lodging and gratify my curiosity a little before they knew who I was.
We went to the barr room and knocked. Mr. Hatch hollered, “Come in.” As I opened the door, my sister opened the kitchen door and bade us to walk into the kitchen as there was no fire in the barr room. We went into the kitchen. I asked if they would keep us overnight and give us some supper. Elizabeth replied they could.
We conversed some and then sat up to the table to eat. Little was said while at the table; I had many reflections. When through supper we took our chairs and seated ourselves before the fire to warm our feet. Conversation was resumed. As my sister was passing, Brother Billings said, referring to me, “Have you ever seen this gentleman before?” Elizabeth replied, “I think not,” and passed on into the pantry. As she returned he said, “I guess you have; he has been here before.” She stepped before me with her candle, looking me full in the face and said, “I think I do not recollect his countenance at all.” Horace, my brother-in-law, raised his sightless eyes, “I believe this man is Luman.” Elizabeth said, “This is not Luman.” Brother Billings replied, “I guess it is.” She shook her head. And Horace repeated, “It is Luman.” At that, I said that Luman was my name.
It was some time before she could consent to acknowledge in me any likeness to her brother. The morning after we got to my sister’s, we agreed to rest ourselves and visit two weeks among our relatives. Brother Billings was to go to Vermont, his native place and I was to stay here in Montgomery. I walked a mile with Brother Billings and expected to be separated but two weeks, yet I could not refrain from weeping when I committed the good man to God, in whom we all trusted. I stayed at my sister’s until Wednesday. On Wednesday, I went up onto the mountain to the town of Montgomery where I was born and lived until 13 years of age. Many of my old schoolmates were still living here. I visited the old schoolhouse from which I had been absent 23 years.
The same trees we used to play under were still standing. The west side of the street is now a field. In vain, I tried to trace the path my little childish feet used to travel to the spring to quench my youthful thirst. Having gratified my feelings partially, I took the road that led the way to my nearest school fellows and visited the house and farm where I was born 35 years ago. I drew my first breath in this house. Here were the first tracks my feet made on this earth. I spent several hours in visiting the house, barn, stone walls, apple trees, fields, woodlands, and rocks about which I used to spend my youthful moments. I cannot describe my feelings or meditations on this occasion and I leave them to the imagination of those who may read this simple narrative.
My sister, Elizabeth, accompanied me to visit our only Uncle Amassa, and sister Elizabeth and I then went to Russell where we had six cousins and their families. We called first at our cousin Vincent Shurtliff’s. We were treated kindly and spent the evening in social chit chat. I stayed in this vicinity for some time and held a successful meeting with many interested ministers attending.
On the 24th of November  I kept Thanksgiving with my sister. We had a good time. I brought to my mind former years when my father used to invite all his children home to have a day together of rejoicing and of thanks to God for sparing our lives another year. We used to go to meeting in the forenoon and have a feast in the afternoon of all the good things the family could afford.
Brother Billings had come to see how I was getting along and to visit some of our relatives. Accordingly, on the 29th [November 1842] we went to East Springfield and visited Justin Baggs, my wife’s uncle. Also, her grandfather was there living with Uncle Justin. We stayed all night.
December 1  we went to Cabotville to see two cousins of mine, Polly Herrick and Polly Moore. The next day we went back to Russell to hold meeting in response to an invitation. From here I went to Westfield, East and West Springfield, and Cabotville and visited some of my relations.
On the 6th of December  I went to speak in my old schoolhouse in Montgomery. The next day I received a letter from my father-in-law living in Ohio, stating that my father died the day after Thanksgiving.
On the 17th [December 1842] I went to Middlefield and preached a sermon. I was given a piece of blue cloth to make me a pair of pants made at the woolen mills here.
By now the snow was about four feet deep and the roads not traveled very much so it was difficult for me to keep my appointments. I went to Westfield to hear Brother E. D. Wooley preach and then on the 14th of January, 1843, took the cars back to Middlefield. On the 22nd, I held two meetings at Russell and then went back to Westfield. At this time I received a letter from my wife bearing the date of December 24, 1842, which read as follows:
I take this opportunity to inform you of our health which is as good as we could reasonably expect and has been ever since you left. I have gotten the letter you wrote while in Kirtland. I thought it strange that you did not write sooner and almost thought you had forgotten us and me in my trouble. I cannot tell you all now. I had all our potatoes to dig and bury (30 bushels) and debts to collect which keeps me on the run most of the time. I have worn out one pair of shoes. Sometimes I get something or a promise of it and would wait a week or two and go again and again. Brother Williams paid me 87 cents. He promised me flour about a month ago in a few days and I have not gotten it yet. Brother Winn paid all but a dollar. Butler paid his school bill. Brother Smith paid all but a peck of meal. I went enough to pay for it. The temple committee owes me $6.25. I shall get half of a hog from them if they will let me have it. I killed my hog eight weeks ago. He weighed 200 pounds. Brother Empy has paid for the cow. Brother Roberts has paid $1.41, he paid Elcemina’s and Mary’s school bill. Lewis went two weeks; he reads at home. I cannot spare him to go to school as I have to travel so much to get my debts and dare not leave the two youngest alone. I have to keep Lewis home to stay with them when I am away.
Elcemina ciphers and writes. Mary writes. I shall send them a quarter and more if I can pay. Brother Wilber paid some flour and one bushel of apples. Lester paid 58 cents in calico for a quilt. Sister Williams is to pay the rest. I was obliged to get a pair of shoes of him or go barefooted like those you got me. Brother Hagerson, he who you let have the cloth, works in a shop near the temple, but his boss would not let him have the leather to make a pair of shoes. Luman, you wished to know how I got along for clothing. I have gotten more since you left. I was obliged to wear out my best black dress. Brother Roberts said he would pay me in store goods when he burnt his kiln of potter’s ware. As for wood I have been short and had to cut and burn rails and shingles. Brother Billings’ boys who were to get me wood for the watch, got over one boat load. Brother Miner drew one load. Brother Chitester drew two loads. John has been onto the island and chopped two days. Brother Lane has drawn one load and Brother Littlefield another. John will probably stay with me most of the winter.
I think you would like to know my situation. I am four months on my journey. For three months I have been so sick that I could not eat a full meal of victuals. That is now stopped and I have the heartburn very bad and I have no husband to talk with or comfort me these long nights. Luman, I do want you to come home as soon as the water courses are open in the spring. You know I cannot get anything out of the store and what am I to do? You know when Jane was born you were gone from home and I had to get along the best I could. Luman, I do not think it is your duty to stay and leave me in such circumstances. Come without fail. Write when you get this. It is now 12 o’clock. May God bless you–Eunice B. Shurtliff.
I have copied the above letter that the reader might have a faint view or a small understanding of the trials, labors, sufferings, and hardships of the sisters, and especially the wives of the traveling elders. They were persecuted, driven, robbed, insulted, and abused, and for many months, yea, for years, deprived the society of their husbands, even in poverty, sickness and death in their families, often bearing children without their husband to comfort them, console, or bear a part of their sorrow, sickness, and affliction, often short of food, clothing, furniture in their houses and bedding to lie upon comfortably with all the cares of a family upon them.
On the 29th of January  I preached twice in Russell and notwithstanding the deep snow and cold there were some who wished to be baptized. At the close of the forenoon meeting, I gave an invitation to all those who wished to be baptized to rise up. Four females arose. This caused my soul to rejoice in seeing the fruit of my labor. We cut the ice and prepared a place to baptize where a large assemblage gathered. At the water I made such remarks as I thought necessary. I went into the water and baptized those four women. I felt heartsick that there was not a man baptized to preside over the branch. I stepped out of the water onto the ice and on turning my eyes toward the congregation, I saw cousin Vincent Shurtliff and I said, “Do you not feel like going into the water today?” He said nothing, but began to unbutton his vest. Seeing this my heart leaped for joy. He laid off his coat and vest and I took him into the water of baptism. At evening we held a meeting and I confirmed them members of the Church and gave them such instructions as the spirit dictated and we had a first-rate time. I baptized several and preached a great many times.
After the 25th of March , Brother Billings returned from Vermont. Soon after this the snow fell so deep it was difficult traveling. On the 3rd of April, Brother Billings and I went to Little River and organized a branch of the Church. On the 16th of April, I baptized two more of the cousins. On the 25th, Brother Billings left me and went again to Vermont. I felt lonesome and after we parted I went to the burying ground nearby, and after looking at the epitaphs, dates, and names, I got on the wall and while sitting there, a verse of poetry came into my mind which I wrote:
My duty calls me to return
In western climes to dwell
And cheer the hearts of those I love
Yes, those I love so well.
My tender wife and children too
I’ve left in western wiles
And must return unto them now
And teach them to be wise.
My dear companion of my youth
For full six years has been
A partner with me in the work
That God’s revealed to men.
And much affliction we’ve passed through
Yes, mobs and sickness too
And by the power of God we’ve been
Preserved and carried through.
When last we took the parting hand
And dropped the parting tear
I consecrated them to God
And prayed He’d hold them dear.
Now, long I’ve called upon you here
On these New England Mounts
The voice of warning you have heard
And God has kept accounts.
O now prepare to meet the Lord
For soon in clouds He’ll come
The trump of God we soon shall hear
He’ll call the righteous home.
Soon I shall bid these lofty mounts
And crooked roads farewell
Also the place that gave me birth
Far to the west to dwell.
Soon I shall take the parting hand
With these my friends so dear
To whom I’ve preached the word of God
Which did their spirits cheer.
And leave you all before that God
Who hears and answers prayers
To stand and answer in that day
To what I have declared.
For unto you I long have called
Repent and be baptized
The Holy Ghost you shall receive
And gifts shall realize.
The Book of Mormon also true
I have declared to you
The Book of Covenants ever new
I here present as true.
And when before God’s throne I stand
And you all there appear
The truth that I have here declared
Will in your faces stare.
And I a witness there shall be
And testify with grief
The truth that God did send me with
You did not all receive.
On the 11th of May , I baptized my Aunt Susanna Shurtliff. I then went to the field where my cousin Luther Shurtliff was plowing, to baptize him and found he had made up his mind to be baptized the first opportunity. I told him that was as good an opportunity as any so we went down into a canyon, and there I baptized him and confirmed him. This man received the word as soon as he heard it but his wife was opposed to the gospel and he dared not openly embrace it so he was under the necessity of keeping his baptism private.
On the 23rd [May 1843], I baptized Elisha Shurtliff, and on the 27th, I baptized his wife, Cynthia, and a cousin, Marvilla Riggs. This week I had baptized eight persons and on the 28th of May, we organized the branch called Russell Branch. I ordained Vincent Shurtliff, elder and David Palmer, teacher. I broke bread to them and blessed the little children and the Holy Ghost was with us.
At the close of the meeting, the Saints sang the farewell song that I had composed a short time before. The Reverend M. Daton stood up and sang with the Saints, looking like an old patriarch. While doing so, tears flowed profusely from his dim eyes and fell from his face. The scene to me was heartrending. This was a day ever to be remembered in parting with those of my acquaintances who had received me as a minister parting with those to whom God had sent me and who had harkened to my council in all things and thereby showing their confidence in me and integrity in the works of God. Could I but unlock the fountains of my eyes and cause the tears to flow then with gratitude to God for his abundant mercy. Although Mr. Daton did not obey the gospel, I understood that upon his deathbed, he requested baptism, but there was no one there to perform the ordinance.
After parting with the Saints here, I walked to my sister’s, eight miles, and was expecting to take the morning train for the west. Before we retired to rest, my sister expressed a wish to obey the gospel before we parted. I told her we would attend to that in the morning. Accordingly we walked to the river at daylight and I baptized and confirmed Elizabeth, my only sister, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 29, 1843. I took the morning train and I saw her no more. We corresponded often. She lived as faithfully as could be expected with her unbelieving husband, but could not gather with the Saints. She lived about ten years and died in the faith of the gospel.
At 11 o’clock, we stopped in Albany, New York and found my cousins, Elisha Shurtliff and Hyrum Daton, grandson of the old reverend. We engaged our passage to Buffalo on a canal boat, took the parting hand with Vincent and wife, who had come to see us off and moved out at four o’clock.
On the morning of the 7th of June  we awoke in Buffalo. At ten a.m., we took the United States, another boat, and went on until six p.m. and came to Erie, and at two the next morning came to Grand River on Lake Erie. We had traveled 600 miles and had a pleasant trip, holding many meetings on the boats. At six o’clock we landed at Cleveland. We were now thirty miles from my brothers in Franklin, Portage County, Ohio.
We hired a man with his team to take the load to Franklin. He had a good team and a strong wagon. His wagon was full of boxed goods and on that was 11 of us in all. The road was rough and we had a hard day’s work to keep each other on top of the boxes, but we got to my brother’s safe in good time. I spent most of my time while there in helping father Gaylord’s family in getting ready to go with me to Nauvoo. June 17  we left Franklin for the west. Father Gaylord’s family consisted of himself, his wife, one son, Linas, and their youngest daughter, Altamira. My brother, Wales, came was far as Akron with us and here for the last time in this life I parted with Wales. At Akron we got on board a boat and started once more on our journey to the west.
On the 20th of June  we visited at Newark. On the 23rd, we landed at Portsmouth on the Ohio River. Here we took a steamboat bound for Cincinnati where we stopped at 12 o’clock at night. The boat was going down the river no further so we had to change boats and had to stay with her all night and had breakfast and took the boat again at six p.m. We started down the river at nine a.m. the next morning, and stopped at Louisville, Kentucky.
It was Sunday and I had an occasion to speak and bear my testimony. Although it was short, it was the only discourse that was ever delivered by a Mormon elder in this city so far as I could learn, up to this time.
On leaving Louisville, we ran over to the Ohio Falls which was quite interesting to me.
On the 27th [June 1843] while steaming the current of the Mississippi, I received an invitation to meet with them in the cabin that afternoon and preach them a gospel sermon, which I did.
At St. Louis, we changed boats and at 11 p.m. left by another boat for Nauvoo.
My great anxiety to see my family after an absence of nearly ten months, and the thoughts of being so near the city of the Saints where all my hopes and anticipations of a future glory existed made me so I could not sleep but sat up in my bunk and watched the banks of the father of waters, the Mississippi, until we landed in Nauvoo.
July 1, 1843, at three o’clock in the morning, I found my family as comfortable as could be expected. My wife had a daughter one month old and we called her name Elizabeth Hatch after my sister in Massachusetts.
We were glad to meet in a family capacity. My wife, Eunice, had not seen her parents or sister for six years and now as they were Saints, they had much joy in meeting.
During this mission, I had been gone from home nine months and eleven days. I had traveled 4,560 miles. I had baptized 27 persons and delivered 66 public discourses besides holding prayer meetings, organizing one branch and assisting in organizing another. I have ordained several men to the priesthood. The Lord has blessed me. Although alone most of the time, I have had good health and been able to discharge the duty of my mission as faithful as could be expected by a man in my circumstances. My relatives in the east were very kind and gave me many presents in clothing for which we were very thankful.
Father Gaylord bought a brick house and two lots across the street from my house. Altamira lived most of her time with my wife.
I will here state that in the summer of 1843, I received from the governor of the state of Illinois, a first lieutenant’s commission in the Nauvoo Legion, which was a well drilled body of men.
Nauvoo had now grown to be a city of 20,000 inhabitants and promised to be one of the largest cities of the west.
I was now in Nauvoo and must do something for the support of my family. I had four children old enough to go to school and as I had no way to pay their school bill I thought it best to take up a school and teach my own scholars and get something for teaching others, and would take firewood and provisions as pay. I hired a house in which to teach winter school as well as a summer term and had a good number of scholars. All things looked prosperous but when I had kept school about six weeks, the measles broke out and I thought it best to dismiss for the present. Many died at this time and many were left fatherless and motherless.
My cousin Elisha Shurtliff, Jr. had moved his family to Nauvoo. He was possessed with a great fear of the measles and said if his children took them he knew he would get them and die. His children at this time became ill with the disease and Elisha came down with them and died on October 11, 1843, and was buried in Nauvoo.
After the measles subsided I finished my quarter school. After having made some arrangements for winter, I commenced winter school. I had a large school but only got paid for only half of my scholars. We were all poor as to property but some were very poor. Many were widows and orphans who needed an education.
I received all those who wished to attend school whether they could pay or not. I think no scholar was rejected or kept from my school because of means to pay. I made but little above my expense but had this consolation, I was schooling my neighbors and my own children and doing good in building up the kingdom of God on the earth.
In the spring conference in 1844, I was called and ordained under the hands of Joshua Grant, a president of the seventh quorum and enjoyed the work of the Lord.
Nauvoo prospered and the Church grew but the periods of peace were not many.
In the forepart of June 1844, I was commissioned by the governor of the state of Illinois, a captain of a rifle company.
Mobs began to threaten again but the Nauvoo Legion was ready to defend the city.
On the 19th of June, 1844, the Nauvoo Legion was called out in the defense of the city as the mob threatened the city and the Mormons with speedy destruction.
At the word, we would gladly have marched and met the mob in battle but that was not Joseph’s way.
We were kept under arms until June 24 , when the legion was dismissed. That morning the public demanded our arms and they were taken from us. Joseph, the Prophet, and Hyrum, the patriarch, and several of our leading men were taken to Carthage.
These were trying days for us. I cannot express my feelings.
On the 27th [June, 1844] Joseph and Hyrum were shot and killed. The news soon came to Nauvoo. The next day the bodies were brought into Nauvoo. The whole city was in mourning and nearly all the inhabitants came out to see the bodies of these men they loved and to drop a tear of affection for those men of God and sorrow for each other.
On viewing the remains of these men, I could not help but think of the many thousands of prophets and wise men that had been slain to gratify the jealousy and hatred of an assumed priesthood.
My feelings as I gazed on the lifeless bodies of those men were that these men were at the head of the legion. I would much rather, at the head of my company, have marched into the prairie of Illinois and fought the whole mob of the states until one party or the other became extinct, than to tamely have these great men murdered as they were. But the authorities who were left said, “Be still and see the salvation of God.” On the 16th of July , the sheriff of the county, not a Mormon, called the Mormons to assist him in quelling the mob who was after him on account of their jealousy, thinking he was favorable to the Mormons.
About this time, I baptized several persons, among them Altamira Gaylord, and my eldest son, Lewis W. Shurtliff.
That spring my wife and her mother went back to Ohio to visit. They had a good trip and returned in safety.
Father Gaylord was taken sick in September, and on the 28th of October, 1844, he died and was buried on the 30th, age, nearly 69.
Soon after Father Gaylord died, my wife was taken sick with quick consumption as decided by the doctor who did what he could for her and gave her up as past cure. She failed very fast until her flesh was off her bones and when she could lie in bed no longer for want of breath, we bolstered her up in her chair where she sat for several days and nights. About midnight she began to whisper. Her eyes were set in her head. She appeared as if dead except on close examination we could ascertain that she very faintly breathed. We called in several of our neighbors, not expecting she could live until morning. Toward morning, she seemed to revive a little. She continued through the next day and seemed to think she could live until morning. We had done all we could both in faith and works and were watching to see her last feeble breath when the spirit said, “Administer to her.” I said to Brother Allen, “Let us lay our hands on her.” We stepped up and administered and we soon saw she breathed stronger and soon after saw that she moved her eyes.
In the morning she whispered to me and said, “I want to lie down.” I took her in my arms and laid her on her bed. From this time she continued to gain, but slow at first. Soon after her appetite came and in three weeks she could sit in her chair and in a short time could attend to her family.
I now found myself in debt and saw no way to pay. Teaching school while at home seemed to be the best business that I could follow. I hired a house and started a school and had between 50 and 60 scholars. For about 20 of these I got a pay and had my house rent to pay and my wood to buy for my family and my schoolhouse. Nearly every family that sent children were as poor as myself. When I was nearly out of wood, I would tell the scholars to ask their parents to get me some and if it didn’t come, the next day I would renew the request and rather than have the school stop, they would fetch some on their shoulders.
I write this that the reader may form a faint, but a very faint idea, of the poverty and suffering of the Saints in Nauvoo, especially those driven from Missouri.
I got along very well, though, considering our circumstances. In the spring of 1845, I had neighbor land, team, and tools to farm with. I could see no better way to support my family than to take up a summer school, so I hired a house and lot. I took up school and planted the lot in potatoes and corn and garden vegetables. I spent nearly six hours in school and the rest tending my lot, hoeing and pulling weeds.
This summer my family had good health and we were happy, but in September  the mob spirit was manifest in all the adjoining counties and they began to drive men, women, and children into the woods and burn their houses.
This fall a company was organized to go west and look up a place for the Saints to rest. I was chosen captain of the families and took account of their members, property, ages, etc. We were under arms most of the time.
At this time my wife was taken sick with chills and fever and on October 5 , she was very sick and we called in the elders to administer but she got no help. She was in great distress and when asked where she was sick, the answer was, all over. I called in a midwife but she failed to help her or ascertain what was the matter. The next day she was no easier and no one could tell what the cause of the pain was. She rolled from side to side in her bed, groaning and screaming, apparently in as great pain as a human being could endure. I called in two of the most skilled female doctors in the city but they could do nothing for her. She was in such distress that she could not tell us where it was the worst. About 10 o’clock am. on the 7th of October , her child was born dead. Still she was no better. About 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we saw she was dying in as much pain as ever. I said to her, “Eunice, I am afraid you are going to leave us.” She replied readily, “No, I’m not.” This was the last word she spoke and in a short time breathed her last. Thus, on the 7th of October, 1845, I buried my wife Eunice and daughter Lucy Amarilla (her child) in one grave and in one coffin.
About this time it was proposed that the Mormons would leave the state if the mobs would leave us until spring.
We organized and soon went to building wagon shops, cutting and hauling timber for wagons. I was in Samuel Bent’s company. We put up a shop and I went to work as a steady hand. I assisted in getting timber prepared until near mid-winter when I went to work putting up a wagon for myself.
On the 25th of November  I married Altamira Gaylord, my first wife’s sister. Brother Samuel Bent married us. Mother Gaylord, being unable to take care of herself, we moved into her house and bargained with her that we should have all of her property and take her with us wherever we went and take care of her as long as she lived. She had good household furniture and clothing, a cow, brick house, two lots, carpenter tools.
The temple now was nearly finished. On the 25th of December, 1845, Christmas, my wife and I received our endowments. On the 20th of January, 1846, my wife and I were called to labor in the temple in giving endowments and labored three weeks. On the 27th we received our sealings, my second wife acting as proxy for my first wife.
I worked hard this winter in order to get my family away, but how I should accomplish it I did not know. Most of the authorities left Nauvoo in February.
We were left to carry on the wagon shop and get away the best we could.
This spring, Thomas Gaylord, my wife’s brother, not a member of the church, came to Nauvoo and persuaded his mother to go east with him instead of west with us and took her things with her. She soon died and her children had to bury her at their expense.
My company was ready to start but I had no oxen or provisions. I went early one morning to my cousin Vincent’s and told him how things were. He bought me some groceries and counted me out nearly 70 dollars which he said would buy me a yoke of oxen. I started home, thanking God and Vincent for what he had given me.
I bought a fine yoke of oxen for 50 dollars and proceeded to leave Nauvoo.
On the 6th of May, 1846, we crossed the Mississippi and camped on Devil Creek. Here we organized our company by choosing John Murdock, captain, and Levi Murdock and myself, counselors. From here we took a westerly direction without regard to road or path. Our way led through a prairie county and as we passed along I carried a heavy heart.
I had now been a member of this Church nearly ten years and had been compelled to move my family four times and start anew. I had lived in Nauvoo the longest by half of any other place since I belonged to the Church. This place was endeared to me for the sweet association I had enjoyed with the Prophet, patriarch and the apostles of the most high. Here I was leaving the body of my dear wife and child, never to behold those places again in the flesh. I turned my back to the west and took a last look at the Nauvoo Temple and its surroundings and bade them goodbye forever. Nothing of importance occurred on the journey and we arrived in Garden Grove, June 6, 1846. This is 170 miles west of Nauvoo and is the first stopping place of the Saints.
We stopped in the edge of the timber land and here we agreed to put in a crop and if any of the company went west before the crop matured, the crop should fall to those that were left behind. We prepared our plows and harrows and planted part of our seeds. We cut and drew out the trees and made a tree fence around our field.
While here, my wife, being somewhat out of health, thought they could not eat victuals cooked by my girls and wanted to eat with me alone, so I had to eat part of the time with her and part with my children.
At this time Brothers Murdock and Nebeker thought they would go on to the Missouri River and join our brethren. They soon moved out and bequeathed unto us their part of the crop. Before Brother Levi Murdock left he gave me leather to fix up my family’s shoes for the winter and a rifle. For this and many other favors I felt to bless him.
Our camp appeared to be breaking up and I thought it best for me to build a house and prepare for winter. Accordingly, I went into the timber and commenced building a house. This was the month of August, the second day . I built my house of rough split logs. We had no lumber, glass, or nails. I had for my floor the earth, for carpet, hay and bark, for a door, split wood, for windows, holes between the logs, and for a partition, a wagon cover.
Just as I finished my home, we got a letter from Brigham Young asking us to go back and bring away the poor Saints on the west bank of the Mississippi, having been driven from Nauvoo at the point of bayonets across the river in September.
We furnished 18 yoke of oxen and wagons and teamsters. I was chosen to go as captain. A horse was furnished me to ride. The next morning when we came together to start, 75 cents was all the expense money raised to accomplish a journey of 340 miles. This was the best we could do so we loaded in some squashes and pumpkins for the teams and rolled out, thus equipped to gather home the poor Saints. This was the 18th of October, 1846. We traveled on cheerfully as though we had been rich and plenty of money at our command. All things prospered with us. We cut and stacked three small stacks of hay to feed our teams on our return. When we had gone 150 miles, we had fed our squashes and eaten our provisions. We were 20 miles from Nauvoo but there were some Saints living here. They gave us some food. I sent the teamsters to take a short cut into the highlands and try to find some farmer who would hire them until the last of the month and then come to the river and I would be at Montrose to meet them. I went to Montrose and as I came onto the highland, in sight of the river and once again saw our lovely city, Nauvoo, I could not help weeping aloud with joy. Not that I wished my family living in Nauvoo, no, but thankful that my life was spared to me that I might again behold the city of the prophets.
I turned from Montrose up the river. I came to the camp of the poor, sick and persecuted Saints. Many places where there had been camps were now desolate and without inhabitants. In others, a ragged blanket or quilt laid over a few sticks or brush comprised all the house a whole family owned on earth.
Among the occupants lay stretched on the ground either sick or dying, others perhaps a little better off had a few boards laid up on something and had more sick than well. Others not well ones, took care of the sick. While looking about among these poor helpless people, I was not a little surprised to hear them relate the blessings of God in the deliverance from disease, death and starvation.
I spent the first day in learning their circumstances and ascertaining who it was my duty to take away as I could not take them all and I learned that we were the last company that could be there this fall. I made up my mind to take the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick and only take well ones enough to care for the sick and cook for the company.
Early the next day I crossed the river into Nauvoo, walked up through the thickest part of town, saw but few inhabitants. I went to the temple and took a view of the beautiful homes of the Saints, but are now a desolation. From here I walked to my former place of residence, viewing the premises, shed a few tears over the grave of the partner of my youth and mother of all my children, and bore my testimony that she was a good woman and a kind wife and mother.
From here I walked east on Main Street to the east part of the city where the last battle had been fought and viewed the destruction of the mobs and the desolate, deserted village.
When I had satisfied my feelings, I crossed the river into Iowa, and spent the next day helping those families I intended to take west.
On the 30th of October , while I was in Montrose, my teamsters came in. I learned that one of them by accident had shot one of his oxen, and had dressed the beef but didn’t know what to do for another oxen for a team. While talking it over, a steamboat landed at the landing near us. I told the teamster to go and sell three-quarters of the beef and get money enough to buy another ox and we would have the other quarter to eat on the return for our sick. He went to the boat and sold three-quarters for money and the next day bought another ox. We sold the hide for a barrel to put the meat in and salted it down.
On the last day of October, 1846, we loaded in our loads, nearly 60 persons and all they owned in this world, and most of them sick. All the provisions put together would have made only one good meal and we were now about to start in November with this poor sick company on a journey of 170 miles through an uncivilized and mostly uninhabited wilderness. I felt like crying, “O, God, help us” as we left. I looked back and saw a few weeping Saints left behind; how to live through the winter I knew not, but God knew.
The first night in camp our souls actually rejoiced like the children of Israel after their deliverance from the Egyptians. We had prayers morning and evening, and the Lord blessed us, and a flock of quail was sent like manna from heaven for food, which saved our lives.
We arrived in Garden Grove, November 15, 1846. In 30 days we had accomplished a journey of 340 miles without means, except the Lord had furnished almost without exertion on our part. Our teams looked well and the teamsters had no sickness and the sick we brought were on the gain except one sister who died soon after we arrived.
My wife Altamira gave birth to a son on the 25th of November, 1846, while I was away bringing in the poor Saints. My house was not comfortable for a sick woman and it took more of my time and attention than otherwise.
Brother Bent, president of Garden Grove, died; he who had married my cousin Elisha Shurtliff’s widow, Cynthia, and had four children by him and all living with their mother. Shortly before Brother Bent’s death, his wife asked him what he wished her to do. He told Cynthia that his request was for me, Luman A. Shurtliff, to take care of her family and do the best I could for them and when we got to the authorities, for her, Cynthia, to be sealed to me for time, this life, and give her oldest daughter, Mellissa, to me for time and eternity if we could agree to marry.
I went to work and with the help of Cynthia’s boy about 16 years old, put up a log house and moved the family into it.
On examination we found that our numbers in the grove amounted to between 500 and 600 and only provisions enough to last until April as prudent as we could possibly be and clothing very scant.
From April to July we should be in suffering conditions.
It was in every mind–what should we do? While thinking of this matter it came into my mind like this, if I had suitable recommends with Brigham Young’s name attached, I could go into those and visit those places where churches had been raised up and a part of the brethren had remained and many of them had property. I thought I could get them to help the poor ones of Garden Grove.
A meeting was called on January 25, 1847, and I was chosen with Daniel S. Hunt to carry out this plan. A subscription petition was written up and signed by committee to use as our introduction. The following is the petition we took with us:
“Be it known to all persons to whom this instrument shall be presented that we about 600 persons (Latter-day Saints), late citizens of Hancock County, Illinois, were driven from our houses and farms by the hands of our enemies and compelled to leave most of the necessaries of life, driven across the Mississippi River at the point of the bayonet into Iowa and are now encamped on the Pottawattamie lands, Iowa Territory.
Most of our brethren who had teams and provisions have gone further west. We are poor, many of our number are widows and orphans, made such by our late exposure. Most of us are nearly destitute of clothing; in fact, we have scarcely sufficient to cover our nakedness in such circumstances with only a scant supply of corn for the winter and remote from settlement that unless we receive assistance from some source, many of us must assuredly perish. We are therefore induced to appeal to the sympathy of the free and benevolent part of the community for assistance. We therefore invite you to stretch forth your hands with liberality and give to our agents such things as you have which will make the poor widows’ and orphans’ hearts rejoice and thank God of heaven and his blessings will rest upon you with fourfold for all you give to the poor persecuted but honest, virtuous and industrious people. On motion, Luman A. Shurtliff and Daniel D. Hunt were unanimously appointed to present this petition to the people and receive such things as may be denoted and forward the same to said encampment as soon as possible for the relief of those in distress. John Topham, William Storrel, Lorenzo Johnson, Thomas McChan, William Carson, Committee.”
When at Nauvoo we presented the above petition to the trustees in trust who graciously added the following:
“To whom the above petition may come. We the subscribers hereby certify that we are personally acquainted with the bearers Luman A. Shurtliff and Daniel D. Hunt, and can vouch that any contributions placed at their disposal will be faithfully and judiciously applied. Babit Haywood and Fulmer, Trustees in Trust, Nauvoo, February 18, 1847.”
I now went to work preparing to leave, knowing nothing where I should go, how long I should be gone, or what might take place in my absence.
The families now in my care were in log houses, rolled up, rough and chunked, mudded on the outside, no floors, no windows, no doors, only what was made of split timber. Each one had a sort of fireplace and there was plenty of wood standing over and around the houses, but they would have it to prepare for burning. As for food, they had but little. Well, those who never parted with a family in such circumstances can have but a feeble idea of the feelings of a man’s heart when he turns his back upon his family, not knowing but he had looked on some of their drawn faces the last time on this earth. I can endure pain, cold, hunger, scoffs, insults, and persecutions, if I know all is right with the dear ones at home.
In company with Brother Hunt, we left the Grove for the east on the 8th of February, 1847, with Brother Clinging Smith in his wagon as he was going on business to the Mississippi.
The snow was about one foot deep the day we started. The next day was warmer and the third day the roads and creeks were flooded with water and it was very slow traveling. We had but one dollar and that was expense money and were obliged to do the best we could and was to beg, which thing I had done traveling many thousand miles.
On the 17th we got to the river and on the 18th, we went and visited the Mormon committee and they added their certificate to our petition and gave us 13 girl’s bonnets. This was our beginning. When we returned to Montrose, we went into a small store, told our business and the merchant gave us two dollars.
The next day we went to Keokuk. We learned here that there was a wealthy gentile living there who had two Mormon girls living with him under rather suspicious circumstances, he professing to be on very friendly terms with the Saints. We thought it best to try his integrity by soliciting a donation, which we did, and he donated eight dollars. We also learned that there was a merchant who it was said was hard on the Mormons. We felt like trying him.
The next morning early we repaired to his store. We had agreed that I should do the talking and Brother Hunt should pray for the Lord to open the old man’s heart that he might feel to give something. When we reached the store, the old gentleman had made a good fire and was enjoying the warming influence of it. We passed the time and was pointed to a seat. I soon entered into a familiar conversation while Brother Hunt prayed. I soon informed him where I was from and our business by handing him our petition. He took it and while he read it, I prayed. When he handed it back to me he said he had nothing to give the “damned Mormons.” “Well,” I said, “if you do not believe as they do, it would be very kind of you to give the little children something to keep them warm while their mothers are picking up sticks to bake a corn cake for breakfast, if they had got the meal.” All this time I had my eye on a piece of cloth, called hard-time, which lay on the counter and I saw him cast several glances at the same. I saw the old man’s heart was softening. I arose, stepped to the counter, gave the piece of cloth a slap with my hand saying, “How a pair of pants off that piece of cloth would make their little bright eyes shine.” “Well,” says the old man, “I can let them have some of that,” and he measured off four dollars worth.
I then spoke in favor of the little girls. Then he measured off four dollars worth of check. Thus we obtained eight dollars in the very kind of cloth needed.
The next day Brother Smith started home and we sent what we had obtained.
On the 21st [February 1847], we started south. The ground was frozen, the wind blew from the north, we knew nothing of the road we should travel and no inhabitants of whom we could inquire the way. When we had gone about five miles, we came to the Des Moines River as we supposed was near the Mississippi River. We knew nothing of this water, how wide or how deep. We waited for some time for some one to cross but no one came so we prepared to cross the water. It proved to be waist deep, about 60 rods wide and ice cold. We were benumbed when we reached the other shore but started on and soon got more comfortable.
We traveled until nearly night and then came in sight of a few buildings in the distance.
We turned our thoughts seriously to a bed and warm fire and something to eat, none of which we had had all day. We turned out of the road into a hollow, where there was a little shelter from the chilly wind and here we bowed upon the frozen ground and asked the Lord to have mercy on his servants and direct them to a kind family where we would be comfortable.
We pursued our journey but had not gone over one mile when the road forked. We were inclined to take the left fork and soon came to a comfortable looking house. We felt that that was the place for us to stay and so it proved. We sat before a warm fire in the grate and had a good supper and a comfortable bed and a good night’s rest.
We were up early, and after breakfast, by the direction of our hostess, we took a trail which soon took us into the main road to Quincy.
We traveled all day and at night the landlord of a tavern took us in on the promise that we would tell no one that we were Mormons.
We had a pleasant day the next day and got to Quincy in good time. Here I found Brother Pine whom I knew when I lived in Kirtland. He was the patriarch’s (father of Joseph Smith) scribe and had taken down my blessing ten years ago.
The next morning we called on the mayor of Quincy and informed him of our petition and vouchers. After examining them we asked his advice as to the best policy for us to pursue. He advised us to get up a subscription and pass it among the citizens for signers.
We did this and the mayor signed five dollars. We then went to the ex-mayor who signed five dollars. We took this around and when we were through, we had obtained about 75 dollars and goods at their value. We packed our goods and left them at a storekeeper’s to await our order.
We did some preaching and administering along the way and were blessed.
On March 2  we started down on the riverboat. This was the first boat down the river this spring and there were great cakes of ice floating on the river which made the trip rough. On the 3rd, we landed at St. Louis. On the 4th, we went to the mayor’s office but he was not there. We found him the next day and he read our petition and looked over our subscription list for Quincy. All this time we prayed that his heart would be softened and direct his mind and pen for our best good.
I think he was directed as he wrote a very good newspaper article asking the citizens of St. Louis to respond liberally to our call. He then wrote us two subscriptions and got us each a partner to go with us, then divided the city. My partner and I took the upper part and Brother Hunt and his partner took the lower part. The mayor also signed five dollars.
The next day was Sunday. Monday we started from door to door. Sometimes we got curses and sometimes we got money and sometimes we got clothing.
Thus we continued through the week and took anything we were offered and placed the value on it on our lists.
On the 13th [March 1847] I was 40 years old and on this day I wrote a letter to my family.
The next day I felt uneasy and told Brother Hunt of my feelings. He replied that he felt the same way. We retired to a private room and talked things over but could come to no conclusion and I knew not what was the matter. We then laid our case before the Lord. My mind was lit up by the Holy Ghost and our duty was made plain before my mind.
It was that I should give all my affairs to Brother Hunt in St. Louis and go immediately to Louisville, Kentucky, only taking what money would pay my passage and that Brother Hunt should finish collecting in St. Louis and take the means collected in St. Louis and Quincy and go to camp for the Saints needed the means collected.
When we arose I asked Brother Hunt if he had obtained any satisfaction. He replied, “It is manifest to me that you shall go south and I finish here and take the means home.”
This was cutting news to me. I had formed an attachment to Brother Hunt and we had collected about $200 in goods and everything.
I then went to the editors of the two papers and received letters of introduction to some of the most respectable editors of Louisville and Cincinnati.
These letters proved to be of great benefit to me.
On the morning of March 16, 1847, Brother Hunt came to the landing with me and about nine o’clock we parted. I stood on the deck and watched this good man and wept like a child.
I reviewed in my mind all the events of the Saints and prophets and knew that I would be cast into all kinds of company, many of whom would hate the Mormons, and I felt like no other man could feel unless in similar circumstances. I felt lonely and alone.