I think about the 20th of April three Indians early in the morning crept up behind a fodder stack ten or twelve rods in front of the door, and when my brother Athe got out of bed and passed out of the house and turned the corner with his back towards them, they all fired at him. One ball passed through his knee cap, another ball passed through his arm, about half way from his elbow to his wrist. Another ball passed through the leg of his pants doing no injury. The ball tore out a bunch of leaders out of his arm as long as my finger. They cut it off with a case knife. Meanwhile father jumped out of bed, ran to the door to see what was up, and met an Indian right at the door who shot him right through the heart. He turned on his heels and tried to say something and fell dead under the edge of the bedstead. One Indian tried to kill Athe by flinging his tomahawk at him. It seemed like he was practicing by his not holding to the handle. He seemed to miss and the hatchet would go past and the Indian would run ahead to pick it up and brother would run out of the way, and the Indian would try it again, and they played that game for some time. Mother seeing what was going on outdoors and they shut up and Athe could not get in, and the Indian trying to tomahawk him, she broke out of the house to help Athe; and Indian drew an axe on her and as she hurried back, she picked up one of the loaded shot guns that was lying in the yard and told brother William, ‘Run up to the yard fence and knock the Indian down,’ which drew the attention of the one who was trying to tomahawk Athe, while the one who was trying to burst open the door to get in where mother and the two girls were, who had snapped an empty gun at the Indian several times but it happened to be empty. The Indians then took the dead one under their arms and started off with him. William followed them for another shot but the Indians would drop the dead one and flank each way in order to get William between them, so he had to back out to save himself.
Athe had hidden himself behind a high bank a few rods from the house where he stayed till the Indians went away. William immediately took his family and started for the settlement bare headed and in his shirt tail and all his family in a similar situation, not knowing the consequences of delaying time. That morning I had started from the settlements to go home and met William and his family about half way in. He took the horse I had and pushed for the settlement and I took his place with the family. All being still at the time; now Athe came to the house and father was found dead and mother crippled, probably with the axe the Indian drew on her in the yard, but she could not remember it. She and the two girls thought all were killed but they, until Athe came to the house. He told mother and the girls to take the trail and try to reach the settlement if they could. ‘I never can get there, I shall have to die here. I will hide if the Indians come. I will kill one before they kill me. I shall have to die anyway.’ Mother said, ‘if you die, I’ll die with you. I will not leave you.’ So they all started on the trail and went on a mile or so. Athe wanted to lay down and the rest go on. Mother said, ‘I will not leave you as long as you are alive.’ He thoughtthey might save themselves by going and let him die, for he could not travel. She protested she would stay with him as long as he was alive. Well, said he, ‘there is a nearer way through the forest and webl take that way, and if the Indians do follow us they will keep the trail and not notice our trail where we turn off.
They did so and went a mile or two and came on to two of our horses on the range that were always very hard to get hold of, on the range. He said, ‘I think I can catch those horses.’ Mother said, ‘go,’ and he hobbled along till he got his hands on them, and they never moved out of their tracks. They made bridles of hickory bark, and Athe rode one horse and the youngest girl the other, and carried a gun. The other two women walked and carried each of them a gun and reached the settlement in due time. But not without Athe wanting to get off the horse to lay down and die. But mother would not let him get off the horse, believing he never would of got in if he had got off the horse. But he got in and got over his wounds and made a very active man without any show of impediment whatever. All three of the Indians were killed before they got out of the country by the people who were scouring the country in search of them.
The family then moved down to French Island settlement on the Ohio River. At this time I think I was about seventeen years old; here in my twentieth year, 1815, I married Polly Bartlett; who lived to have four children, two boys and two girls, and then she died. I lived single three years, and married Sarah Smith, a widow woman with one child; her maiden name was Mahurin. She is yet living and has had five children by me, four girls and one boy. All died young except one girl, which is a-living. I married Sarah at her father’s, Steven Mahurin, in Grayson County, Kentucky, some fifty miles from where I lived in Indiana. I took her home and brought home my children, and she made a splendid stepmother.
I don’t know the date when we left Indiana, not having kept any records; but we moved to Illinois, and settled in the outsettlements of the country, being sixty miles to the nearest inhabitants west of us, a town called Vandalia. Here I had splendid hunting for honey and wild
game. Here I built a horse-mill to grind corn. I owned two farms and was a-doing well. I had plenty of horses, cattle, hogs and sheep. Polly Peterson, a neighboring young woman, said to me one day, Mr. Meeks, I wish you would give me that colt. (It was a choice colt, too.) I said, If you will give me the next thing I ask for, I will. In about two or three days after that, the colt laid down and died, and from that time forth my horses, cattle and hogs died so fast I scarcely had time to take the hides off as fast as they died, until I saw that I should be totally broke up, and I had better get away from there while I could; and just one month from that day I started; had the awfulest time I ever saw. I bought a pair of three-year-old bulls; one was spiteful. I had to get help to get them in a ten-foot pen, with a partition to keep them from fighting, with their heads chained in front, and their tails tied to the pen behind; then took out a space of the partition between their necks sufficient to get the yoke on their necks and fastened it so tight that I never took it off until we had traveled some two hundred miles. I stopped on the Illinois River five or six miles above Meridocia, a town on the river, a sicklier place I never want to see. Here I bought me a nice little farm, and established a wood yard. Here I lost Huldah with the whooping cough; or in other words she was killed by the doctors, whom I was opposed to having anything to do with her, only the folks over-persuaded me, and I am convinced that his medicine killed her. Here when the sickly season of the year came on I visited many of the sick and was very successful in relieving them with roots and herbs, so much so that the community insisted I should quit work and go to doctering. Such an idea had never entered my mind. I said to them that I knew nothing about doctoring; they said, You beat all the doctors.
That expression brought me to my studies and I saw that it was a fact, and I could not deny it. I studied much to know what was my duty to God and to mankind and myself and family. I saw my weakness and want of education, being raised in the backwoods, without learning but little only what I learned in the backwoods with my gun on my shoulder, having no correspondence with the bulk of the community and knew nothing of the ways of the world. Here was a trial you may be sure, for me to come in contact with learned doctors; I would not know what to say and would appear as a dunce. About this time I had a letter from my brother-in-law, stating that he had important business and wanted to see me, and I must come immediately. He lived about a hundred miles off in Macon County, Illinois. I went and left my wife sick, who had been sick for two years. Her case was so complicated that I did not know what to do; neither did the doctors that had exhausted their skill without benefit, know what to do next. When I saw my brother-in-law, whose name was Priddy Mahurin, he said that he only wanted a visit of me, that was all; but the Lord was in the whole affair, for I met a man there by the name of James Miller, whom I previously knew in Kentucky. He had gotten to be a Thomsonian doctor. He told me I could cure my wife myself if I had Thomson’s New Guide to Health.
I traveled thirty miles with him a-going home. I learned more from him that day than I ever knew before about doctoring. Arriving at home I told my wife of the interview I had with Miller, and was a-going to buy the books that he recommended. She replied, You had better keep the money to raise the children with; for if the skill that has been exhausted by experienced doctors could not cure me, it is not reasonable to think that you could do any better.: But I could
See Addenda E, this issue of the Quarterly, p. 44.
not rest satisfied until I got the books; and just two weeks to the day from the day I got the books I put out into the woods to collect the medicine and by following the directions of the books I made a sound woman of her. This gave such an impetus to the anxiety of the people about my success that it seemed like going against wind and tide to withstand their influence, for me to go into doctoring. And from that time henceforth my labors began with the sick. I lived on the south side of the Illinois River. Shortly after this I bought land at the Bluffs on the north side, half a mile from the river and moved over to it. Three miles west of us a new town was laid off called ‘Versailles,’ right on the public road. I purchased a lot and built on it a good log house under the Bluffs. There was a good sugar orchard on the land. Then I gave $100 for a second lot and moved up there with the prospect of abundance of sickness. Here we heard of the Mormons being lawless in Missouri and so full of witchcraft that they could get your money in spite of your lock and key. The tales were so big about what they could do we thought them supernatural beings, so we felt a little doubtful about it. About this time I went to Quincy to enter land. Being too late in the evening to do business in the land office that night, I stopped over night six miles short of Quincy where there were several families of Mormons had just come from the expulsion of the Mormons out of Missouri. I thought if they stayed there all night they would have my money before morning, just as sure as shooting, so I made up my mind to put my money in my bosom and lay awake all night and if they did undertake to get it I would fight like a wild cat, but no one came. On my way back I stopped over night with Captain James Brown, who had joined the Mormons. Here I left nothing unturned as regards to information about Mormonism. Both of us being baptized and old acquaintances he told me he would be there soon with a Mormon preacher. I went home, and the time being set for meeting I had everything ready when they came, it being a mile and a half from my place to where the meeting was held. Some trembled with fear while others were anxious to hear. Some were very shy and wouldn’t come a -nigh, and as much caucusing was done as ought to be done at a Presidential election. Now the first Mormon meeting was going to be held in the vicinity of Versailles, Brown County, Ill., where I then lived. I went to the meeting on foot, that I might have no incumbrance, intended to stick to the turf as long as meeting lasted both night and day which would give me ample time to show their cloven foot, which I thought I was perfectly able to do. I felt like the milk maid bragging in my mind what a victory I was going to gain over those poor deluded Mormons; not was I any less disappointed than the milk maid was when she let fall her pail of milk and with it all her imaginary happiness. For Jacob Houtz who was the Preacher had not got half through his sermon before I saw that I used the Scripture like yarn that had never been knit into a stocking at all. I need not try to describe the emotion of my mind while at that meeting. Finally when I went home my wife was very anxious to hear about the meeting. I paused, hardly knew what to say, but to cut matters short I replied, ‘Sally, if the Scriptures are right the Mormons are right; and if the Scriptures are right we are wrong. This of course threw us into an awkward position and she was very much opposed to Mormonism from reports. The Mormons held meetings very frequently in the vicinity afterwards and I was very much in favor of their doctrines and attended their meetings very much against my wifebfeelings. She would try to reason me out of it and would shed tears over it which touched my tender spot, so I told her one day, ‘Cheer up and not cry,’ and we would fix up and go to Kentucky where her father lived and see all her folks and get away from Mormonism. It did not take long to get ready, the distance being about six hundred miles by water. We took our two
youngest children and started on the steamboat, and arrived at her fatherba few days before a two-day Baptist meeting. We were all Baptists by profession. Two of their biggest preachers were there who lived about thirty miles off. After meeting I tackled the largest preacher with a Scripture. I took the side of Mormonism and the preacher denied the Scripture before the whole congregation. I turned to the Scripture and read it. He was so badly beaten he took sick and had to quit, he having an appointment on Monday seven miles on his way home, he did not know that he would be able to fill it. I told him I would go with him to his appointment, and I had medicine with me and did all I could to help him out. I listened to him trying to preach but he appeared very different from a smart preacher. Having finished our visit to my wifebfather we returned to Indiana where my people lived, where I had lived in that vicinity for twenty-four years before I moved to Illinois. Here I converted every one of my relatives to Mormonism. My older brother Athe Meeks was a preacher in the order of the United Brethren, and had the reputation of whipping out every sectarian preacher that would meet him on an argument. After hearing the principles of Mormonism explained as well as I knew how, my brother John said he would go ten miles to hear us argue, for he said he was convinced that I was right and would be the first man ever found that could beat him on Scripture; he being a United Brethren and John a Baptist; and when we met he would hear me first; and when I was through he would not argue but acknowledged. According to Scripture I had the truth and from that time forth, while I stayed, and for some time after I left, his whole influence was in favor of Mormonism. But, poor man; after a length of time he was overcome by the evil one and fought the work until he died which was not very long. And Brother John did the same way. My Mother and brother-in-law Thomas Carter, with a large family, obeyed the gospel. So did my brother Charles with a large family and all gathered to Nauvoo. After a trip to Kentucky to see her folks we returned to Versailles in Brown County, Illinois, where our home was. We found considerable sickness among the people. One a widow woman who had dyspepsia, was so bad she was given up to die by the doctor who had attended her for near a year and said she could not be cured. She sent for me to come to see her which I did. She told me to try to cure her if possible; to do my best anyway, and if I killed her it would only be death anyhow for she knew she could not live long if she did not get help. So I went home to prepare for doctoring her and Dr. Vandeventer, who had given her out, hearing I was going to undertake her case came to see me. ‘Mr. Meeks,’ says he, ‘you had better not undertake that womanbcase; that complaint cannot be cured and you will fail and you will lose practice by it; the remedy for that complaint is not known; search had been made for it as far as ships have sailed on the ocean, and human feet have trod the soil and the remedy is not found yet.’
I paid the woman five visits and made a sound woman of her; and what did I do, nothing more or less than gave her a thorough course of Thomsonian medicine each time. I knew no way to doctor at that time but to follow the letter of directions. I had nothing but cayenne pepper and ginger for my composition powder, and lobelia; and as I went along I gathered green sumac leaves off the bush, which answered well for canker medicine; and to make a tea to put the medicine in for her to drink. I mention this to show that we can get along without so many kinds of medicines as some would suppose. This circumstance being noised abroad brought me as much business with the sick as I could attend to.
There were several young ladies in the vicinity that the doctor had given out, which were now ready for me, and with thorough Thomsonian courses of medicine they were cured. One case I will mention for the novelty of it: A Mrs. Perry had a daughter with the green sickness who the doctor had spent nine months on without benefit. Her mother being very anxious about her daughterbsituation, having heard of Dr. Meeks living at Versailles who cured everything he tried, she thought he must be one of the greatest men in the world. He was so far ahead of Dr. Vandeventer, she did not know whether she would know how to talk to him or not but resolved to try. So she rode up one day to my gate and inquired if Dr. Meeks lived there. I said, ‘yes mab; light and come in. I had been at work in the garden but it being hot weather I was sitting between the two doors where I might be cool being in my shirt sleeves, bare headed and bare footed. She finally came in and took a chair. She says, Is Dr. Meeks at home’ Yes, mab, I replied; she says, Where is he, I would like to see him; he is not far off I presume. I replied What would you have Doctor Meeks’ She then gave the history of her daughterbcase. By this time I thought I ought to let her know that I was the man that she was after. I said to her, I am Dr. Meeks’. It struck her dumb for awhile. She came very nearly jumping out of the chair into the fire; she turned red in the face and it was quite a time before she could speak. I was truly sorry for her but when she recovered so she could speak she said, Well I do not care how a man looks so he can only cure the sick. And with five regular courses of Thomsonian Medicine she was made a sound woman much to the joy of all of her friends. This shows what courses of medicine can do without anything else. From the time I became conspicuous among the sick something like half of the sickness fell to my charge and I was so successful to what Dr. Vandeventer was that if I had stopped there the next year I should have had probably more than I could attend to; but the time came for me to gather with the Saints to Nauvoo, so I left. But before I left, Lyman Wight, one of the committee for building the Nauvoo House called me, and I bought four shares in the Nauvoo House. I have the papers yet and I expect in the future days me or my children will possess it. In April 1842 I moved to Nauvoo, and lived there till 1846, and then moved across the plains in 1847 in the great exodus of the Saints to the Rocky Mountains. While living at Nauvoo I suffered many inconveniences and persecutions and deprivations of life. Once in 1845 I was returning home from a business trip; while passing through Carthage a mob took me and put me in jail where the blood of Joseph and Hyrum Smith was to be seen, and kept me there till the sheriff, who was my friend, said he knew they could not hurt my by the law but only wanted to persecute me because I was a Mormon; ‘but they may bother you and so you cannot get off to go West this season.’ I had sent for Edmunds, a friendly lawyer who attended to the difficulties necessary to help us get off. The sheriff went to Nauvoo and filed a bond for my release, signed as security by Charles Price. John Vanbeck came with the sheriff from Nauvoo and bought me a horse to ride home on. When we started from the jail the jailor and the sheriff said, ‘Donb you look back until you reach the timber or they might suspicion you. It was a task for me to keep my head straight but I did accomplish it; then we did not spare horse flesh much until we got home. I then had to wheel and cut to the best advantage to get away from my persecutors across the river. I had been working with William McCleary, brother-in-law to the Prophet, making each of us a wagon to
cross the plains in. Mine was probably half done but I hat do drop everything to get away and give a one-horse wagon for a two-horse wagon that looked like falling to pieces having no iron about it but the tire. I wedged and wet it with water, then put a light load in it. It was thought I might go twenty miles to a blacksmith shop. Supposed that twenty dollarsbworth would fix it so I could get to the Bluffs with it, having to leave part of my family in Nauvoo, with my house and lot and all my furniture and stock and books, in fact everything that I had, –and never got anything for it. I gave my interest in the wagon shop for a barrel of flour at a certain price, the overplus coming to me. I left instructions to turn it over to the ferrymen to pay the ferry for some poor brother that had not the money to pay with. I crossed the river with my frail wagon and a pair of young bulls under the tongue. Their principal gift was in kicking which they could do without taking sight or a rest and could hit almost anything aimed at. If I had not an old pair of oxen in the lead that could not get away, or if they could they did not want to I could never have managed the bulls so well. I started for Sugar Creek. There was the first camping ground for the Saints. While crossing over a ridge seven miles from Nauvoo we looked back and took a last sight of the Temple we ever expected to see. We were sad and sorrowful. The emotions of our mind at that time I cannot describe. The thoughts of it almost disqualify me for writing, although so many years have passed away since that time. We got to Sugar Creek after night and found plenty of Saints there for they were scattered all along like sheep without a shepherd. This tried our faith, to start on a journey with such a poor fit-out and part of my family left behind. Here now I must pay a tribute of praise to my better half. She never left anything unturned that would contribute to our comfort either in body or mind. She neither murmured nor scolded. She bore everything in patience like a Saint of God. She truly proved a help-meet to me. We left Sugar Creek next morning intending to go as far as we could before we should break down. It being a very we Spring and a great quantity of mud, my wagon got better instead of worse. So we kept rolling till we came to the ferry on the Des Moines river. I was astonished to see the number of wagons and teams waiting in their turn to cross the river. Now it looked like my turn would not come for two or three days and it was dark and gloomy weather for camping out. I as by inspiration took up the river as far as I could that night and found reasonable camping ground. It was a desperate wet, rainy time but all the better for my wagon. Next day we kept up the river. We overtook several wagons traveling up the river with the same spirit that we had. So we enjoyed ourselves the best kind, not knowing what we were going to come to and not making any particular calculations, trusting in the Lord to guide us; and not knowing whether we would ever find a boat or crossing above, the river being full. By this time we had about half a dozen in our company. It sometimes rained and sometimes the sun shone. In this kind of weather it seemed we took no thought for the morrow but felt to trust in the Lord for the result and was as joyful as spring birds. I had a fiddle along and we had a shindig as we called it, on the turf every once in awhile. The names of your company as far as I can remember were Jacob Hufines, Christian Houtz, Reading Allred, Thomas Hancock and myself and a lad that was with me. We had not traveling organization in particular among us. It seemed unnecessary as such a oneness existed among us. It seemed like we never enjoyed ourselves better although thus exposed. We traveled one day in the rain and camped at a little place called Utica where there was but one house. In the morning it was still raining and I thought I would rather travel in the rain than lay by in the rain. So we started without breakfast in the morning, expecting the rest to
follow as soon as breakfast was over, having to turn to the left to get back on the Des Moines river. The waters were on the rise very fast so we had to push ahead all day to cross a certain creek before it got too high. We came just in time to cross, for it soon became too high to cross. We camped in front of a big elm log close by the creek, placing our wagon some seven feet from the log and tried to keep a fire against the log. But it was hard work. It was raining and everything already wet. Now here was a trial of our faith; and did it falter’ No not one particle. I never felt better in spirit in my life, and my wife was just as faithful as she could be; not a word of murmuring did I hear from her lips. In the morning how that stream did foam from bank to bank, and it was still raining. Everything did look discouraging. I concluded that we would have to stay there till times changed some way. While meditating on our condition I saw a man come walking down to the creek, then speaking to me made some inquiries. We had quite a chat. He says, Come, harness up and go up to my house; it is but a little ways. I have just moved out of a comfortable house and you can go into it and welcome. Now surely the Lord was there and I did not know. It was not an hour until we were as comfortable as heart could wish. Now, says he, ‘I have plenty of everything; there is a crib of corn; feed your cattle all you wish and I will find you provisions as long as you stay.’ He said this after he had learned the cause of our troubles. He also said, If you will stop with me and go no further he would give me half of his farm. His name was Purger. God bless the man. We stopped with him till everything indicated to march forward. He urged us to take all the corn and breadstuff and bacon that we could possibly take. The whole family believed the Gospel as I taught it and his son Peter wanted to go with us to the mountains. I will now go back to Utica where we left the company the morning it rained; so to cross a certain creek before it got too high, the company instead of following me took another road which was considered nearer, but the creek was too high to cross when they came to it. They had to lay by, I think something like a week. This was a providence of God in my favor again, for if the company had been with us I should not have been blessed at Purgerbas I was. Finally the water assuaged, and the rain ceased, and they took up the line of march. They passed in sight where we could see the wagons, and we started out and all came together again. But before I met with the company I saw a man who told me if I would stop and doctor his daughter with a cancer he would give me fifty dollars in cash; but it was no temptation whatever. We finally got to the Des Moines river when it turned into raining again, so we had to lay by at the river three of four days, some of the time on each side of the river, where we found an old ferry boat then idle in the river, that was not then in use. Being no road crossing the river at or near that place, here was Providence again in our favor. We could hear of no crossing above or below this old boat, this being the out-skirts of a new settled country. But we did cross in that old boat after so long a time without any accident. Here we found ourselves without any road or trail. So when ready we struck out without square or compass into a country without any inhabitants except the spirit by which we were led. We took the divide between the Des Moines and Chariton. We traveled several days without any signs of humans or animals except some hogs. It was such a zig zag road we would scarcely be out of sight from where we camped before. Our members by this time had about doubled by others following our trail, after they had found it, who had put into the wilderness as we had done. Meeting with more company gave us fresh courage and more joy and we did rejoice greatly; it seemed we could not wish for a happier time, wood and water being plenty all along.
Having no record I do not know how long we were in the wilderness. Finally we came to a considerable stream that ran right across the divide and an ugly stream to cross besides. Here we had to pull our wagons across by hand which took two or three days. While we were working to get across I made a pair of shoes for George Dykesbyoungest wife. After everything was passed over without accident we struck the line of march. As usual nothing occurring past common except Dykes would give me groceries for shooting prairie chickens for him and his family. In a few days we struck Brigham Youngbcompany on their way from Garden Grove to Pisgah and followed them into Pisgah. Here was a providence of God again to hit the time right to get with President Young again. At Pisgah I met Daniel Allen whose wife had died on the road and left him with some little children. He was shoemaking in his wagon bed to get sustenance for himself and family. I was truly sorry for him; I turned in and helped him shoe-make; I do not know how long, but charged him nothing. I said to him one day, ‘You ought to get you a step -mother for your children; you cannot live this way. He replied, I do not know who would come into such a family as I have. Instantly an idea struck me, and I said: I know who you can get; she will make a good step-mother too and she is right here in Pisgah. Who is it’ says he. It is Eliza Berry, John Berrybsister. Oh! said he, she would not have me. I asked him if he would be willing for me to tell her if she would be willing for him to come and see her on the subject. Yes, he said. So I went and she said she had no objections and so he did get her for a wife and step-mother too and I believe she made a genuine good step-mother too. At any rate he made a good living with her help and had quite a posterity by her too. It was then thought that we would have to winter at Pisgah. So I with Christian Houtz found a good place of rich land, and fenced and put in four or five acres of corn, beans and squash, and built each one of us a very snug little winter house and covered it nice and tight with elm bark. Pisgah was a very sickly place. President Young then made a powerful appeal to the Saints for help to furnish the pioneers with wagons and teams to go West to find a resting place for the Saints to go to. He portrayed our situation in a very impressive manner showing the necessity of going immediately to find a place where the Saints could all gather to. Moses Daley, a man in the congregation who had three good strong wagons and teams, and no one seemed to respond to President Youngbcall, he looked at brother Daley and said, ‘Brother Daley, have you not got three wagons’ He hummed and hawed and at last drew out the word, Yes, but they are heavy loaded and I have no place to empty them,’ and I believe he scratched his head and twisted and screwed in his seat in an evasive manner. I was so chagrined at this that I arose up in the congregation and said, I have but one wagon and team and you shall have them; for it is better for me to stop back five years than to stop the Saints from going West as fast as possible.’ After meeting was dismissed Uncle John Smith, George A. Smithbfather, came and laid his hand on my head and I received a blessing. Said he, You shall get ready and cross the plains before Brother Daley. So when I presented my wagon and team to President Young, on examination he said the wagon was not stout enough to go on the trip, but he took the two yoke of cattle. Said he, Now, how do you want to let me have them; do you want a receipt for them and give them back to you again, or for me to pay you for them when we get to our stopping place or how’ No, I said, do as you think best with the oxen and make no account to me, hereafter; I let them go freely. Now, said he, Brother
Meeks, you may take your family down to Missouri and make fit- out by next Spring;’ although it was strictly forbidden for men to take their families down in Missouri. He also said, Keep your eye skinned down there and if it gets too hot, bring your family back to the Bluffs.
Shortly after this Colonel Allen came with a requisition from the Government for five hundred men to go to Mexico to help fight their battles. President Young put out a proclamation for the Saints to gather at Council Bluffs, preparatory to making up the five hundred men. Orson B. Adams, my son-in-law, had by this time joined me at Pisgah. He and I with our families went immediately up to the Bluffs, leaving my winter house and farm with instructions for it to be turned over to some poor brother that might come on too late to build and plant before winter set in. We arrived at the Bluffs on the 4th of July. We stopped three miles out from the place of rendezvous and walked into where we had to meet the Twelve Apostles with Brigham Young at their head. They made some of the most impressive calls for volunteers that I ever heard. Orson B. Adams was the second man to turn out to volunteer. President Young said to the brethren if the five hundred men could not be had without, he and The Twelve Apostles would go themselves, for it was the salvation of the Church. Here was a splendid chance to show who was willing to make a sacrifice for the Kingdom of God; but the five hundred were raised without among the Saints that was truly gratifying. So the Battalion was soon dispatched, while the aged and sick and cripples and all that was left of the men, had to take charge of the women and children. It fell to my lot to have charge of Adamsbeffects with two children, his wife going with him in the Battalion. Now I was fixing to take my family with me on to Missouri to make a fit-out; President said I might because I let him have my wagon and team at Pisgah. Who did I see come walking up but Samuel Clark (who kept a tan yard in Provo several years after he came to the mountains). He said, ‘I am the man that you saved the life of himself and family.’ In the early settlement of Nauvoo he came a total stranger and got into a house near the river in Nauvoo where it was very sickly. His family all took sick; one died and another was near dying and the rest not able to take care of each other. My daughter went down to the river to wash, and heard of the conditions of the family of strangers that lived there. She found it no less miserable than it was represented. The girl was so near dead she brought her home with her. She said they were all sick and had little or nothing to eat. I went straight way to the place and took two baskets of provisions with me, a little of most everything. I took medicine also, and all that I could I did for them and soon had them out of danger. The little girl went home to her father. I charged them nothing for all that I had done. Soon as he got able he moved off. I never heard from him any more until I saw him come walking up to me at the Bluffs. Two of his boys went into the Battalion, Joseph and Riley. When he came to my wagon at the Bluffs he said to me, If you have no objections I want to put my wagons by the side of yours.’ He had three good wagons and teams but no horses. So he came with his wagons and put them by my wagons. I told him I was going down to Missouri to winter with my family by permission from President Young. Says he, ‘If you will go too, for I intend to stay along with you. So we both went down in Missouri and wintered there. We stopped in the upper edge of Missouri at the Bluffs, six miles from the river, a most beautiful country, at a manbplace called Wilkinson. It was a smooth prairie country; excellent water and a set of hewed house logs that we might put up to winter in. The Bluffs here were lined with any amount of Chickasaw plums which were just getting ripe, and a large amount of
elder berries in right order for making wine; and we turned in and made eighty gallons of wine. We put a hundred and fifty pounds of sugar in it which made it splendid, and it proved the means of making a fit-out in the spring. There was a Gentile named William Slusher who lived square in on the river from where we were. He came to see us and told us to move down to the river to his place. Every facility would be greatly in our favor if we would, so we fixed up and moved down. It was not getting late in the season. ‘Now gentlemen,’ said he, ‘my corn is not all gathered yet; there is some quite good roasting ears among it and there are cucumbers in it. You are welcome to all you want. So we honored the invitation by helping ourselves. Close by was a grove of slim cottonwood timber just suitable for house logs. We would haul a whole tree at a time and we soon had house logs enough to put up each of us a room within a few rods of his dwelling. There was an island in the river close by which was full of rushes and but a little ways to swim the cattle in; and they come out fat in the Spring. I had the care of Orson Adamsbfamily and all his stock. John Henderson, a lad which I had raised from a child, whose parents were dead, was a good boy, both truthful and honest. I do not know how I could have gotten along without him. He caught all the fish we could use. Here brother Clark and myself lived as one family keeping no accounts between us whatever. Here we lived all winter although mixed up with as rough a set of people as I ever lived among. Slusherbhouse was ever open for gambling, drinking, horse racing, card playing, frolicking and gossipping which opened a good sale for our wine, which brought the money; although they were just as kind to us as they could be. They would trust us for anything we would name. They seemed to venerate us, than otherwise, but we kept on our watch, knowing what we were about. We did not mix in with them in their wickedness but were friendly with them. Finally springtime came and I took my wife and went away down into Missouri and traded off our feather beds and such things as we could, and got corn and came by a grist mill and got it ground. It being a very sickly season I helped to get a fit-out by doctering. My oldest son, Lovin Meeks, was living in Missouri at the time but we could not find exactly where he was at the first trip, he having no family. So after we returned home with our fit-out we went the second trip in search of him. When found he agreed to go with us up to the Bluffs to see the rest of the family. He having no idea of crossing the plains with us, left his business unsettled. He finally concluded to cross the plains with us, but the next spring returned to Missouri and died. Now my little old wooden wagon that I had come in from Nauvoo would not stand a trip across the plains. I started off to trade it off for a good wagon. I offered a large young horse for a little pony and a good wagon. I found a man named Richardson who offered me the very trade I wanted. But a monitory impulse struck me with such force I could not accept the offer; why I could not tell. When I got home my wife says, Have you found any trade today that suits you’ I answered: Yes, but I did not trade. ‘hy not’ said she. ‘Because something almost as plain as words instinctively said, No. I found out afterwards the cause, as I was told Beason Lewis took the same bargain from him and went to The Horn
with the property, and an officer followed him with a writ and took the property, and he had to wait until the next season. But I cut and wheeled around among the people until I found Jesse Harmon, a good Saint who I believe was counseled to wait until the next season. He let me have a wagon that was fitted up in Nauvoo on purpose for crossing the plains, with large projections on either side of the
5 Elkhorn River, eastern Nebraska.
top of the bed, with very high wagon bows. I did not want a better wagon and he took my little wagon and forty gallons of wine to boot. Now I was just fixed to my notion, in wagons and teams except one ox. When Brother Clark learned that I lacked an ox he says to me, Brother Meeks, I will give you an ox. He could not see how he could get off that Spring when there was nothing in the world in the way if he had just had the spirit of it. He had three good wagons and teams and was not enthralled anyway. Here was another providence of God in my favor in fulfillment of what Uncle John, as I called him, said to me in Pisgah when I gave up all the wagon and team that I owned to fit up the pioneers. Now I was ready to go to The Horn where we were organized to cross the plains. When I shook hands with brother Clark on starting he cried like a child and never would have pay for the ox he had let me have. With a glad heart and joyful spirit we moved off and reached The Horn in good time and when the time came we were organized into Jedediah Grantbhundred and Joseph Bates Noblebfifty and Josiah Millerbten. They were all three as good men as were to be had anywhere; my family comprising eight persons, myself and wife and two daughters, Elizabeth grown, Margaret Jane not grown, John Henderson, a lad I had raised, and a boy and girl belonging to Orson B. Adams, John Adams and Betsy Parson. Now our hearts swelled with the glorious expectation of leaving our persecutors behind. We started not knowing where we were going or what was ahead of us, trusting in the living God, and started like Abraham, not knowing wither we went and we did have a good time! Notwithstanding the hardships and trials and troubles and sickness many had to endure. The Lord did pour out his blessings upon us abundantly. The plains furnished an abundance of meat and the prairie grass abundance of milk. Now the incidents that took place crossing the plains are so complicated I will only mention a few in this connection. One case of Sister Edwin: the first I heard of her, she was about dying with what they called the Black Kanker in her mouth and throat. She did die in a few hours and we halted to bury her, and her daughter Rachel Edwin was found to have the same complaint and quite deep seated. I told them I thought I could cure her. My daughter Elizabeth waited on her while I doctored her and she was not long in getting well. The palate of the old ladybmouth was eat up and the fauces of her mouth partly gone. All was in a mortified state. I am convinced that it was the diphtheria they both had. The next case was Gilbert Summerbwife (he being with the pioneers). She was in a company two miles distant from me but they sent for me and when I got there I found her very low with a fever, and with all the faith and courage I could raise I broke the fever and she soon got up again. Another case was as I was standing guard one night close by Brother Noblebwagon, I heard some person groan like if they were nearly dead. In the morning I inquired of Brother Noble who it was; he said it was Richard Norwood the man who drove his team. On examination I found it to be Black Kanker as we called it; but it was undoubtedly the diphtheria in its worst form, for his whole palate and fossils of his throat appeared to be one solid mass of putrefaction. I told Brother Noble if he would look among the crowd and get such medicine as I would name I would try to do something for him; for without help he could not live but a very few days. I well recollect one medicine I used; it was rough elm bark, taken off a tree which stood close by. It is one of the best antiseptics in the compass of medicine. In the first settling of Kentucky and Indiana we used to put our hogblard and bearboil in large troughs. We would sometimes have maybe fifty gallons at a time. It would sometimes turn green going into a state of putrefaction. We would take the red or rough elm bark in long
strips and lay it lengthwise in troughs and it would take all the smell and color and taste of putrefaction out of it and render it as sweet as any other oil. I will just say that he was cured in a much shorter time than I could expect. So we all moved on in order again. The Lord had His eye on the end from the beginning. To illustrate I will relate an incident which took place on the plains, the blessings resulting from which are visible to this day and will be in all time and in eternity. We had a stampede on the plains and lost sixty-two head of cattle which we never did find. We laid there eight days not having team enough to travel; but knowing we must move on or perish we mustered up all the available teams possible and that was one ox! President John Young was minus one ox, he and I being entire strangers. He heard that I had a cow that would work and when he found me he said, Brother Meeks, Yes sir, I answered. Well we are now organized for traveling, if I had one more animal; Will you let me have that cow to fit me out’ I replied, No. At this his countenance fell like a blaze just put out, but says I, ‘I will tell you what I will do, I will let you have a good ox and will work the cow myself. As she is heavy with calf, I would rather work her myself. At this he brightened up like a fire in a stubble field, so we all took up the line of march full of the spirit of rejoicing; and while I am speaking on this line of Providence resulting from me letting President John Young have an ox, I will trace that line out far enough to show that a person will never lose his reward for doing good. So we left The Horn, I think in April, and took until the next Fall to get into the valley. I arrived in the valley on the first day of October, 1847. I have already mentioned some incidents that took place on the plains; I may mention some more hereafter. Now we felt good and happy with the idea of leaving our persecutors a thousand miles behind. Now the Salt Lake Valley had a beautiful rich soil and well supplied with good water. We went to work under the wise counsel of President Young and The Twelve Apostles, although they had returned to the States for their families, and I believe we did our best, generally speaking. Finally the crickets came so thick it made the earth black in places and it did look like they would take what little we had growing which looked nice and flourishing. Now this was another trial although my faith did not fail one particle, but felt very solemn on the occasion our provisions beginning to give out. My family went several months without a satisfying meal of victuals. I went sometimes a mile up Jordan to a patch of wild roses to get the berries to eat which I would eat as rapidly as a hog, stems and all. I shot hawks and crows and they ate well. I would go and search the mire holes and find cattle dead and fleece off what meat I could and eat it. We used wolf meat, which I thought was good. I made some wooden spades to dig seagoes
with, but we could not supply our wants. We had to exert ourselves to get something to eat. I would take a grubbing-hoe and a sack and start by sunrise in the morning and go, I thought six miles before coming to where the thistle roots grew, and in time to get home I would have a bushel and sometimes more thistle roots. And we would eat them raw. I would dig until I grew weak and faint and sit down and eat a root, and then begin again. I continued this until the roots began to fail; I then turned my attention to making horn combs out of horns. I got two five gallon kegs and a sack and threw it across the saddle and away I went peddling combs for buttermilk and clabber among those who were out with their stock for the milk. I continued this until I heard Capt. James Brown had bought out a mountaineer of a large herd of cattle some sixty (40b Ogden) miles north of the city. I went there and bought a horse-load of cheese which we ate without bread or meat.
6 Sego Lily, Utah State Flower.
Now everything did look gloomy, our provisions giving out and the crickets eating up what little we had growing, and we a thousand miles away from supplies. When Sunday came we had meeting. Apostle Rich stood in an open wagon and preached out-of-doors. It was a beautiful day and a very solemn one too. While preaching he says, ‘Brethren, we do not want you to part with your wagons and teams for we might need them,’ (intimating that he did not know but we might have to leave). That increased my solemnity. At that instant I heard the voice of fowls flying over head that I was not acquainted with. I looked up and saw a flock of seven gulls. In a few minutes there was another larger flock passed over. They came faster and more of them until the heavens were darkened with them and lit down in the valley till the earth was black with them; and they would eat crickets and throw them up again and fill themselves again and right away throw them up again. A little before sundown they left for Salt Lake, for they roosted on a sandbar; a little after the sunrise in the morning they came back again and continued that course until they had devoured the crickets and then left sine die and never returned. I guess this circumstance changed our feeling considerable for the better.
Hunting Wild Game
Although I could not tell what to do next, it all at once came into my mind to go into the mountains and hunt wild game. I told my wife of it. She said she rather I would not go. She said, You are unacquainted with the country and you may get lost or the Indians may kill you. I said, We cannot live this way, and I used to be a good hunter and I believe the Lord will bless me with good luck and I will trust in him like old Lehi and try it. I was not long in starting by myself without even a dog to go with me, on a three-year-old horse that I was unacquainted with, with almost nothing with me to eat. And as the proverb is, itbroot hog or die! I started alone; my family stood in the door and looked after me as long as they could see me, thinking they might never see me again; but I started and when I would look back and see my family standing in the door looking after me you may be sure it touched the tenderest spot in my heart; tears trickled down my cheeks, but the momentary impression urged me on, as much as to say, Go on; you will be blessed. Here, with a solemn feeling I pushed ahead some ten or fifteen miles and stopped at a spring for noon. While there I heard horses feet coming. I looked and beheld Brother Gustin, a neighbor of mine who had heard I had started in the mountains to hunt. He wished to go with me and took my track and overtook me, then I felt glad and received it as a providence of God. So we traveled some fifty or sixty miles until the second night and camped with a perpendicular wall of rock behind us and a little stream of water in front of us. I saw something walking right in the light of the red clouds. It looked to me just like a man walking straight towards me. By this time it was light enough to see to shoot but we never thought of shooting for we thought it was a man until it turned its head another way to look which threw it entirely out of shape for a man and behold it was an elk! You may be sure we were ready quick with our guns. It walked up in good gun shot of us and turned broad side and stopped and it happened so that we both fired at the same time. I did not know that he had shot, he did not know that I had shot, neither of us heard but one report, however the elk dropped in its tracks. We ran to it and shot it in the head to make sure of it. Now we did rejoice exceedingly believing with all our hearts that the Lord sent that elk right straight to us to furnish our wives and children with food, who we had left behind with little or nothing to eat. We fleeced all the flesh off from the bones and dried it on a scaffold. It was very
fat and weighed we thought about four hundred pounds. When well dried we sacked it up and had all we could well carry home. And while reclining on our elbows resting ourselves and taking a bite of our elk meat we discovered two men riding directly towards us. We were somewhat surprised to see two white men sixty miles, as we supposed it was, from the city. They rode up and spoke to us very gravely as we had no knowledge of each other but soon found out we were all brethren from the Salt Lake Valley. Their names were Amasa Russell and Morris Snedeker and they had been out hunting and killed nothing and were nearly starved. That morning they had boiled some weeds in water and ate what they could, the last they expected to eat till they could get home. I said, ‘Go with us to our camp; we have plenty of meat.’ Brother Snedeker said he thought it was the prettiest word he ever heard. So when we got to camp we feasted high, having the marrow of the bone for butter and the fleeced ribs broiled for bread. Now who cannot see the hand of the lord in all this narrative, for these two brethren as well as us. For we gave them some ten pounds of dried meat and told them to hunt longer and try to get some to take to their families. We went home rejoicing with plenty of food for our families. It was nothing short of the kind of providence of God that attended our steps through the whole trip and to this day my heart swells with gratitude to Him for it, although it took place thirty four years ago. Here the famine was so sore before I went in the mountains to hunt, my wife went to Sister Cessions, a very prominent woman among the sick women and a very good woman too. I think if it had not been for her husband, he was thought to be a great miser, they had an abundance of flour on hand and he buried it in the earth to hide it. My wife says, ‘Sister Cessions wonb you let me have a few pounds of flour; I will try and pay you for it’ Yes, she said, and appeared to be quite sorry for her destitution, and seemed to pity her very much. ‘How much a pound will I have to pay you” ‘Oh, I think about ten cents a pound. I am very thankful to get some and I am willing to pay that much.’ After some talk on the subject she says, ‘I think the flour should be about twelve and a half cents a pound seeing it is so scarce and hard to get. My wife said, If you think so I will pay it. And after a little more sanctimonious talk and pitying of my wifebsituation she says, I think I ought to have fifteen cents a pound. I do not know the answer my wife made to this; but one thing I do know, she let her keep her flour, it being buried in the ground; and they lost the whole of it and the old man lived but a year or two after and died. I do not know what became of the old woman; while my wife survived the hardships she had to suffer and is now (1882) alive and well and enjoying a clear conscience, which is worth more than all their flour.
The hardships and suffering of the Saints made it very sickly and while at home I had no rest scarcely day or night. Our provisions growing short I had to go again hunting. Brother Gustin heard of it and said he must go with me (I donb want to go with anyone else but you). So we started together keeping Emigration Road some fifteen or twenty miles., then turned to the right of the road through the breaks of the mountains. It was quite a brushy country and very likely for game to be in. I told him we must make no noise: I thought we would find some elk or bear in such a place as that. He had a fashion that he must go before. We had to lead our horses on account of the brush, expecting every moment to find elk or bear in such a likely place
for them to be. He suddenly dropped his bridle reins and slipped along a few yards; he up with his gun and fired. I made sure it was an elk or bear and was instantly by his side with my gun ready for another shot if needed, which is the rule in hunting. ‘Now,’ he says, ‘I guess we have got camp meat. I says, ‘what did you shoot at’ He said, ‘a hawk. Oh, I was vexed; I told him he had scared all the game out of the country for miles around and let the Indians know that we were in the country; but I never got sight of his hawk. So we passed on until we came to Weber River and it was quite full, but we found a place to cross without difficulty and camped for the night. In the morning we took down the river on an Indian trail; I got him to let me go ahead some. He could not see anything only as he looked straight at it. It seemed as if he had no reflection of the eye on each side. I had to show him mostly the game that we killed. Away down, not far from the river I discovered four antelope feeding very busy in a low place of ground. I showed them to Brother Gustin. I said, I will stay here with the horses and if they see me they wonb run when I am so far off, and you go down under the bank of the river under the bushes until you get even with them; they are near enough to shoot from the bank; then step back and load again. This program, it pleased him well and I watched the antelope till the gun fired. The antelope jumped a few times then stopped and looked all around but did not know which way the noise came from. I saw one antelope draw himself up, and down he dropped. There is one safe, thinks I. I thought the time long for the next shot but ‘bop’ it came, and down went another antelope. There are two safe now,’ thought I. In due time the third fire was heard with the same result. Now there were three safe. The fourth now felt like it was time for it to be getting away. It did not run but walked off stepping high and dry. He followed it and had three shots at it before giving it up. He said he did know that he had hit it, (certainly the Lord overruled this circumstance for we now had as much as we could well get home with). I took two on my horse and he took one on his and traveled down the river till we came to the Emigration Canyon, to the road and camped. Here we cut and dried our meat, having a very good load. The river was considerably up. While there a man named Singly who had goods and provisions plenty to sell in the city, (a good brother too probably, but his prices were so high but few were able to buy), he heard of my success in the mountains. He thought, now is my time to make my jack off from the destitute Saints who had little or nothing to eat. He hired some three or four men which he could easily do with a few pounds of flour to go into the mountains and kill game for him, which he thought with no mistake that he could accomplish. He would not give them shares in the hunt but would pay them in something that would keep would and body together. An hour or so before sundown he reached our camp. I invited him to stop and have something to eat; but no, he said he wanted to get out to killing game. He appeared very anxious to get his load so passed on. The next I heard form them was several weeks after I got home and they killed nothing; and he had his men to pay, and he finally apostatized and went to California. This is the report I had about the man; and this is another instance of the interposition of Godbprovidence in favor of them who are trying to do right and His displeasure with the covetous. We got home rejoicing without difficulty and found our families in very good condition for more food
The Third Hunt
Orson B. Adams, my son-in-law, came and said, Father, I want to go with you the next time you go hunting. I was pleased with the idea of his going, for he was a
good hand at almost anything he goes at, and I found it necessary to go again, for food was about gone, for I donb know how many we let have a little. For my wife had as much benevolence as I had, although I had but little rest from waiting on the sick day and night. I was like the old mule: always worked down, but never give out, for which I must thank the Lord for His blessings upon me, my hardships and sufferings notwithstanding. So Brother Adams and myself started on my third trip hunting. We took four available horses and pack saddles and equipage for packing, and John Henderson, a lad I had raised, to attend to camp duties. We three each rode a horse and had one extra for packing. Brother Adams says, Father, which way shall we go’ Said I, My mind seems to soar away over the mountains and drop down in the valley at the foot of a great mountain that I think is full of antelope. I then thought of Uinta Mountains. I had heard by some means that there was antelope in that country. I gave him a program of our journey until we came to antelope as I could see it in my mindbeye. We had but little to take with us to eat without robbing our families and we did not want to do that. I said, ‘We will keep the Emigration Road until we get to Weber River and then take up the river on the east side till we come to a good stout creek (it is now called Silver Creek); and take up that creek till it begins to be small, then pass up a left hand fork to the head and pass over and turn down into a valley where I think there is plenty of antelope. So when we got to the Weber, in a beautiful grassy plane, we saw a small antelope standing looking at us. It must have been three hundred yards off. We needed it badly for camp meat; Orson couldnb see how we could get it. Nothing between us and it but grass and it was wild. I can tell you how, said I. We will let the horses stay here feeding around with us, you take a gun in your hand and get on your hands and knees and travel like an animal feeding, but donb go straight towards it, but nearer all the time. He succeeded and brought it back with him when he came. So we fixed up and started rejoicing in the providence of God as manifest in this case. We took three or four days traveling before we found antelope according to the program I had made and we left the head waters of the Weber stream and turned over onto waters that ran the other way; we were in sight of a valley full of antelope; we could see them a mile off. Orson could hardly wait to get down there. We soon came to good water in the valley and struck camp, the sun about an hour high. We told John to attend to camp duties and we would take a round and see what we could see as late as it was. I told Orson to take his course and I will take the other way. We returned in due time; he had killed two antelope. I shot two but failed getting either of them. In the morning, as soon as it was light enough to see to try them, we started out saying we will keep together until it gets light enough to see to shoot. We went east about three quarters of a mile. We came right on an Indian lying right flat on his belly with his head the other way. We were close on him before he knew we were there. He was watching a herd of antelope not far off. He seemed to take it very cool and got up and appeared friendly, and must look at our guns; we looked at his which was a shot gun. It was now sun up and he pointed to the antelope, for us to go after them, and we pointed for him to go so we took our different courses for hunting that day. I got three antelope and were brought to camp. So it was thought wisdom for me to cut and dry the meat and Orson to do the balance of the hunting. He hunted two more days only and we had more meat than we could carry home and hung some up in the quaking asp sapling out of the wolves reach for some poor hunter or Indian to find that probably might be starving. We had at
least twelve hundred pounds of the best kind of meat. The hunting that was done was about four and a half days, all told. Orson Adams killed one black-tailed buck, the largest deer I ever saw. We both, together, took the second trial before we could get it on a horse to take to camp. We had a large Spanish blanket. I raveled thread out of it and made a needle out of a stick with my knife and made an eye in one end and threaded it with the raveled thread and sewed the blanket up all but about a foot in the center and filled it with dried meat as full as it would hold until it laid about straight on the pack saddle, and lashed it on with a lariat; then tying some to each side of the pack saddle and then loaded the other horses as much as we could to do justice, and then could not take it all, and started home, a due north course and struck the Emigration Road, east of the Cave-in-rock (Echo Canyon) at the head of the Emigration Canyon, intending to camp there overnight, but found no water there so we had to travel down the canyon until we found water, as we and our animals were famished for water. Now it began thundering and lightning, with dark heavy clouds rolling up and soon commenced raining and so dark we could see nothing only when it lightened. Our prospects did seem dismal. We were bound to have water before we camped if it took half the night. Our horses kept the road and as by inspiration walked very lively. Adams riding foremost came to a crossing of a branch; the horse suddenly stopped, bent down his head and went to drinking. He hollored, Here is water. The animals crowding in went to drinking; then came a flash of lightning that showed to us a cave in the rocks a few yards from the creek. He shouted out, I see a cave in the rocks close by. 7 I said, ‘Go right to it.’ It was raining and very dark but by a flash or two more he found the cave and we made all possible speed and turned our horses out foot-loose with the lariat dragging and pulled everything into the cave. The room being so small some of us had to set nearly straight to sleep, but we were out of the rain, thank the Lord for it. But, Oh, how did it rain that night but had ceased by morning and our animals were all in sight. Now we rejoiced exceedingly for now it seemed like everything worked out to our advantage; so we loaded up, started again and reached home in due time without further trouble, with plenty of food for our families who were in a splendid condition to receive it. Now there were so many without food it did not take long to eat the meat all up. So the time soon arrived that I agreed to go the fourth time hunting. So when President Young heard I was going again to the mountains to hunt he said to me, ‘Brother Meeks, keep your eyes skinned for fear of Indians.’ I replied, ‘I think I can see an Indian as quick as he can see me.’ ‘Yes, but they will have the advantage of you,’ he said; ‘they will know you are a white man, and you would not know whether they were friendly or not. There is Old Elk; he donb care who it is so it is a white man; he will kill them if he has a chance.’ So I went on the fourth trip; Gilbert Summer and his step-son, William Hyde, went with me, and John Henderson, a young man I had raised from a child. We took the same route and went to the same place that Adams and me went the previous trip, but found no antelope there and were almost out of anything to eat. The day we got there we hunted together. William Hyde shot a bear; drawed blood but we did not get it. Late in the evening, while going through the brush, I got separated from the other three. I was all alone, all being very anxious to find something for camp meat. I saw an elk and two young ones looking at me. I shot the old one, heard her run off, fall dead. I did not know where my company was. I followed the blood until I came where the elk lay dead. Now the sun was almost down and the brush so thick I had to lead my horse through it. It was a doleful looking place. Now
7 Cache Cave, Echo Canyon.
what shall I do; then I hollored as loud as I could and away off I heard an answer. I said, ‘Come here'; they had heard the gun but did not know but that I was killed by an Indian. They came with all speed you may be sure and rejoiced to find we had camp meat. But what shall we do now; here lay a great animal, and it nearly dark and we must get water and did not know how far off it was and had brush to pass through. However we all four went to butchering as fast as we could, took the hide off and got it quartered and slung it across the horses and got to water in the dark and was thankful it was no worse than it was. It rained some that night. We spread the elk skin on some poles over us in the morning. I did not feel right in my mind , somehow; in fact I had not felt on the whole trip as I did before, but thought I would tramp around the range and see if I could find track of any game. I came across a little back-tailed deer and killed it. It looked like a lost sheep that did not know where the herd was and I think it was the case with it, for there was but little sign of game to be seen. So next morning we started to go over the waters of Bear River and we struck the Emigration Road at the Cave-in-rock just in time to see The Twelve and their Company pass. So we passed on and happened to get in company with Dimick Huntington, Thomas Willis, Augustus Dodge and Al Huntington, who had come out to hunt. We all went on to the waters of Bear River and hunted until we were tired and made a pour out; game scarce and very wild but we all carried something home with us. While there I went on foot and alone some distance from camp and the first thing I saw then was a parcel of Indians coming through a gap in the ridge as hard as their horses could go. Seemingly I did not like it but stopped still until they came up. They did not quite run over me but their looks and gestures were hostile. They halted and took a look at me and said something I did not understand. I eyed them closely and thought they were the two I had seen in the valley. I tried to make them understand that I was a Mormon and from the Valley and was hunting antelope. After consultation they gave me to understand that I might hunt antelope. I do believe they intended killing me but the Lord changed their minds, so they did not harm me and I have always believed that I ought to have taken President Youngbcounsel he gave me about Indians before I started. They way they approached me is the way they do when they intend killing a person. So when we came to Weber River on our way home, we had to swim it. Here now was a dangerous job to get across, to sit on our horses and swim over not knowing whether our horses could swim or not, but it was all the chance. So we put in as high up as we could so as not to come out too low down the road slanting down the river which was in our favor. So we started in one at a time and all got through safe and the next day reached home alright. Now this whole trip was not characterized by the same feeling and everything else that the other three trips were, but the Lord preserved us and we all got home safely. When I got home from my fourth trip, John D. Lee had just arrived in the valley, and The Twelve and their company had just arrived. He had heard of my success in hunting and wanted me to go hunting with him. He said he would take a wagon and team and haul me and all that I would kill back if I would go. I refused, saying I could not leave the sick for I had neglected them too much already. So when I heard that Phineas Richards would arrive in the valley with his family that day, I met him before he stopped and said to him: ‘Brother Richards, I wish you would stop your wagon in some suitable space for your family, and turn right in with me and attend the sick. There is more than I can possibly do justice by. Like a faithful Saint, he did so.
We attended the sick both night and day and our success was marvelous, because the Lord blessed the medicine we used, it being such He had ordained for the benefit of His Saints, using no poison, no bleeding nor starving of our patients, but everything we used was in harmony with their food. At one time there was so much sickness that I was five days and nights that I never entered my own door. We worked hard against the power of death, who fooled me out of the lives of two very sick when I first visited them. I attended them with a good prospect of their recovery. They got quite smart. I visited them one morning as usual, and they were so smart they thought they were going to get well. The woman says to me, I ainb going to take any more medicine. Why’ said I because I had a vision last night, said she, ‘and was told that we both will get well now without medicine.’ I believed it as well as they did and left off, and they both died in a short time. I told Brother Richards the circumstances and he gave me a very brotherly rebuke, and said, Donb you ever believe in the contrary to the order of God. I have ever since been cautious on that subject. A woman may counsel her husband but not control him. Apostle Willard Richards had one of his wives die in childbed with symptoms they did not understand. She seemed to have smothering, suffocating, sinking spells. He requested us to make an examination by dissection, and we found it to be dropsy or water around the heart. Dandelion is a good remedy for it, but not so sure as a thorough course of Thomsonian medicine, as repeated until a cure is affected. Now I will inform the reader that I have promiscuously picked up several chips and recorded them in this book and will continue to do so all through this book as they occur to my mind (having no data to base my thoughts upon), and I shall call them chips although of different kinds. Some historical chips, some medical chips and some religious chips. Now the first winter that we were in the valley we had most glorious night meetings. The spirit of the Lord was much enjoyed. Preaching, praying, singing and speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues and prophesying was abundantly enjoyed among us. After enjoying one of these good meetings I laid myself down and fell into something of a trance or vision and lost all knowledge of time and sense. I thought the people were all busily engaged with their daily vocations in the valley, and there was a city in the sky right over the valley with a porch to it facing the west, and a ladder leaning against the porch and the foot of the ladder on the ground in the center of the valley. It was intuitively made known to me that the time had come for me and my wife to ascend the ladder up to the city. I spoke to my wife saying, Come Sally, it is our time now to go up the ladder. She willingly responded and we started up the ladder. I got on the first round and took her by the hand or arm and helped her up even with me and she stood there until I got on the second round and then I helped her up by my side on the second round, and that was the order until we got to the top of the ladder. And when on the last round the edge of the porch was even with my breast. I looked in by the fireplace and saw several men sitting by the fireplace all dressed alike in plain mixed jeans. Their countenances looked very pleasant and familiar. One of them got up and came out to me smiling and said: I know you canb come in; it is my place to come and take you over the edge of the place. And then I turned around and helped my wife up, for that was the order in getting into the city.
I thought we now could look down and see the thoughts and intents of the hearts of those down on the ground. I saw two hogs in shape, although they were ‘Mormons.’ One was a large sandy colored hog with large lopped ears which I thought represented or was Amasa Lyman, although I never would receive it in that light until I was obliged to. I had so much confidence in him. The other one was a small round-bodied, well made hog, more lively and quick motioned than the other, and not so sandy colored, yet I knew they were ‘Mormons.’ But who the little one represented I had no knowledge. I knew their thoughts and the intents of their hearts, and that was to get into the place of the First Presidency, whom I thought I saw lying on a blanket apparently asleep on the ground; I saw only two. Those two hogs went and tried to root them off their blankets so they could get in their places. They would start them with their snouts to roll out but before they could get them out their snouts would slip up and they would roll back again. The blankets being a little basining in the center the hogs would then make much of them and rub them first one side and then the other, like a cat by the way of reconciliation for fear they would be disturbed at their conduct. I could see their thoughts and the intents of their hearts which was nothing but deception. They tried it several times but failed every time till they gave it up and started off. They appeared to be disappointed and disheartened. In a little while they came to a small tree. I saw their minds change; I thought they had claws like a cat and they reared up against the tree and tried the strength of their nails, thinking they could get them off their blankets with their claws if they could not with their snouts so they turned back and tried it. Oh how they would rub their sides against them, first one side and then another, with the most powerful pretensions of friendship that was possible to use, but could not succeed. They finally gave it up and started off never to return. At that instant they began to get poor. The large one was the poorest hog I ever saw. His back was round like a rainbow and his ears lopped down almost to the ground. He was the ugliest hog I ever saw. In that condition they went off. And the first thing I knew I was at home. But the person that was represented by the little hog, I never did see anyone that suited the figure as well as William Godbe, but I donb know as he is the one. In this connection I will relate another visionary incident while living at Parowan. Simeon Houd got badly poisoned with strychnine, so that he had to have his thumb amputated, but that did not seem to stop the poison from ascending up his arm and going down into his vitals which would prove fatal. He sent for me and said to me: ‘Brother Meeks, if you cannot save me I am gone; for if the poison gets into my vitals it will kill me; it is now to my shoulder. Never knowing lobelia to fail in a case of poison, neither indeed in any other case, in full assurance of faith, I went to work and gave him several thorough courses of Thomsonian medicine, and in three or four days he was so much better that we all believed that nothing more was needed as the poison was checked; he felt about well. I thought the job was completed and I went home. The second night after this I went home; a strange young woman dressed in white appeared to me and said, ‘I am sent from the other world to tell you that if you do not double your diligence on Brother Houd he will die, for Satan is trying to kill him.’ I said, ‘Did you say that you came from the other world’ Yes, she replied. Do you know anything of Calvin (sic) Smith, who was President as Parowan and has been dead about a year” ‘Yes, I came from where he is.’ I said, ‘How is he getting along’ She said, ‘First rate; but he is mighty busy. What is your name’ said I. She said, Sally Ann. But the other part of her name I either
forgot or did not understand; I could not repeat it in the morning. She said she had two cousins here and wanted to visit with them while she was here. I asked her their names. She said, Julia Thompson and Sarah Smith, both daughters of Horace Smith Fish, who lived in Parowan. I said to her, ‘You must not be out of my presence while you are here; (that order was given to me by inspiration), but I will tell you how we can do. I will go with you and then you will be with me all the time.’ It was knows to me instinctively that I was responsible for her while she stayed here. So we both went to where each woman lived but did not get an interview with either of them, but the cause I did not know. There was something dark about, and we went back to my house. She said, ‘Now come with me; I want to show you a pretty building.’ We entered the beautifullest building that I ever saw. It was spotless white inside. It needed no candle to give light. It was unfurnished, no furniture or anything else in it. She said nothing about who would enjoy the building. She showed me several rooms or departments all exceedingly beautiful. Now said she, ‘I am ready to go,’ and I said, ‘Go.’ And soon as daylight I went to Brother Houd. I doctored him about as much as I had done, taking the same course I had done before and he was soon well and lived about twenty-five years afterwards. So when I told Sisters Thompson and Smith, what she told me about being cousins they said, We know who it was. It was Sally Ann Chamberlain who died fourteen years ago at their home not far from Nauvoo. I mentioned the interview we tried to have with them. They both said they were troubled that night and could not sleep and thought that there was someone there who wished to see them and got up and lit a candle and searched the house, and went out of doors and looked around but could see no person. Now from this woman I learned two important facts. One is when a messenger is sent to anyone they are responsible for them as long as they are with them. The other was that the principles I aim to doctor on is correct. If it had not been so she would have to change my course instead of telling me to double my diligence.
Lobelia the Marvelous
Sister Daniel Tyler while living in Nauvoo got desperately poisoned by rubbing red precipitated mercury on her skin for the itch, not knowing the danger. She put it on quite plentiful. He came for me about midnight. I just gave her a few courses of Thomsonian medicine, and it was not long before she was well. We need to know but little about the patient, only to know that they are sick; and but very little difference what the complaint will be, thorough courses of regular Thomsonian medicine will seldom if ever disappoint you in performing a cure. It will remove obstructions wherever found in the whole system and restore a healthy action wherever needed. It does act like intelligence, always in harmony with the living intention of the system which is to remove obstructions from the system of whatever name or nature it may be. I sometimes look upon lobelia as being supernatural although I have been using it for forty-six years. I do not know the extent of its power and virtues in restoring the sick and at the same time perfectly harmless. It is undoubtedly the best and purest relaxum in the compass of medicine. That is the reason it is so good in childbed cases; it puts the system exactly in the situation the laws of nature would have it be to perform that object. Those in the habit of using it in such cases look forward in pleasing anticipation of having a good time, without foreboding of trouble so common to women. Oh glorious medicine!
I will now give some items of my experience in Nauvoo. It was so desperately sickly. I run myself down and took sick myself. I took medicine that broke up my disease but I was so weak and feeble that the spirits of affliction or evil spirits or disembodied
spirits or the devil if you please, got possession of me and come near killing me. They would torment me nights so that I could not rest, let alone sleep; of a morning I was so tired I was almost dead. They would make me work in a horse mill. They would make me go around and around so heavily I could hardly step one foot before the other. Sometimes they would put a pack on my back so heavy I could scarcely stand up under it, and they would make me carry it. I do not know how long I was troubled this way but I was nearly dead and out of heart. They troubled me only nights. I dreaded the nights believing if they troubled me tonight as they did last night I could not live until morning, being so weak and feeble I had to lie down. Being quite late in the evening I do not know but it was best for me to go to bed for the night. So I had a trundle bed pulled out about the middle of the floor where I could be cool, it being hot weather. I lay down with a heavy heart, something seemed to say (though I heard nothing), Put the Doctrine and Covenants or the Book of Mormon under your head, and do not consent to them and they can have no power over you. Oh joy unspeakable. I did so and covered up my head and shut my eyes musing in my mind, thinking what will be next, and I saw the three devils coming that always come together to pester me. I thought they had knowledge that there was something up, past common, as they proceeded very slow, like as they were doubtful of disappointment, all three side by side hold of each otherbhands. The middle one was a large man, dark complexion, black eyes and hair and snaggle teeth, big nose and high cheek bones and an old black wool hat lopped down all around, nearly, and an old cloth coat nearly worn out, black but very much faded and hung slovenly over his shoulders like it might fall off. He was extremely ugly; he looked very vicious, he looked like a devil. The other two were smaller and better dressed and appeared bright and affable like men of education; one of them appeared to be a spokesman, one of them looked considerable like Orson Hyde, the other looked like James Simpson. They approached me with a great deal of caution for fear they would not get my consent. I laid still to hear what they would say, full of determination. They appeared to be about three feet of me when they stopped. The spokesman began to make bows to me and wave his hand in the most friendly and enticing manner that was possible and said, Here is Colonel (such a one) giving him a name (but I cannot remember it), wishing to have an interview with you, if you please, with fascinating and enticing words and gestures to make it look like an impossibility to refuse; but I did wait until he was done speaking. I drew back my fist and aimed to strike him right in the belly and said, Clear yourselves, you devils, I do not want anything to do with you.’ And I have never been troubled with them in that way since, but I have had considerable to do with them in working against their power over other people, but they have never captured me and made a slave of me; but many times come in my presence and trouble me like a drunken man would, which does not seem pleasant to my mind; but the best way to keep them off is to get the word of God in your head and heart instead of under it, and keep the commandments, which is far better than to depend on putting it under your head. It was likely it was the same three devils or evil spirits that troubled William Meeks while he lived in Nauvoo. They would trouble him in the day time. They came to trouble him one morning about ten oblock. He saw them coming and said to his wife, ‘Send for Uncle, for those devils are coming.’ She said, Uncle is far from home (doctoring) this time a day. Send for John Henderson (who lives close by). One of the devils said, ‘What good can he do, he chews tobacco (they told themselves). I do not remember whether they sent for me at that time, but they did frequently send for me and they would leave the house before I got there. So you can
see that those who do not keep the Word of Wisdom do not have the same power over evil spirits as those who keep it. We can therefore see the necessity of keeping the Word of Wisdom.
Council of Health 8
The second winter we were in the valley, Apostle Willard Richards wintered in a wagon by a foot (sic) stove alone. I frequently visited him for a social talk which was very interesting to me. I learned many interesting truths from him. Doctor William A. Morse was a faithful laborer among the sick with me, and a very good man. He and Brother Phineas Richards (was another good man) and myself was engaged among the sick. We had but little time for ourselves, viewing the situation of so much sickness, I proposed to my two partners in medicine, Brothers Morse and Richards, for us to form some kind of an association for giving information to the mass of the people in regard to doctoring themselves in sickness so as to help themselves and lighten our burdens. So we three went into the wagon to Apostle Richards and made known our wishes on the subject and he approved of it very readily and we formed a society. And Apostle Richards named it the Society of Health. We had a good deal of talk on the subject pro and con and the spirit of union was in our midst and we had a precious time of it. So much so that the spirit impelled Brother Richards to prophesy that those principles that we were about to publish to the world would never die out or cease until it had revolutionized the earth. That declaration was an impetus to me that is in my breast today. They saw fit to appoint my President of the Institution. We conducted everything by majority. They chose Doctor Morse and myself to scour the canyons every Wednesday in search of roots and herbs to present to the Council on the next day, Thursday, which was our meeting day for inspection and investigation of what we would bring in. It was a speedy way to become acquainted with the flora of the country and the virtues and properties of each plant for which Dr. Morse was the most famous. The masses of people then began to profit by it because of the knowledge they had gained to know what to do, as the prejudice of some people always goes in advance of every good work. It was so in this case. A certain woman made light of the meeting to another woman. So the second woman would not go to the meeting because the first woman spoke so lightly of it. One of her children took sick and died. After that she thought she would go to the Council of Health and see and hear for herself, and while there the case of her child was so plainly illustrated and how to cure such cases she remembered it and sometime after that she had another child taken with the same complaint the first child died with, and she cured it by following the directions she heard in the Council of Health. Now it was remarkable that no two canyons afforded the same kind of plants altogether for we found something new in each canyon. The institution was so beneficial and so successful that the public began to be universally interested in it. Old Dr. Cannon, a poison Doctor, and poisoned against the Mormons too, could get but little to do among the sick; said if we would give him all the surgery to do he would quit doctoring; and so we did and he joined the Council of Health and proved a great benefit to us, being a man of much experience and intelligence. I learned considerable by helping him to dissect the dead. And after I moved to Parowan in 1851, President Young visited Parowan. I asked him, Has the Council of Health died a natural death or what has become of it’ He said: It will never die, as long as you are living. I believe he had knowledge that I was born for that purpose.
8 See Addenda A, this issue of the Quarterly, p.37.
The fourth and last hunt I took in the mountains, the second year after we arrived in the valley, I took up the Weber River on the east side about a mile and a half from the road that goes up to Emigration Canyon from the Weber. I passed rather a flat piece of ground some two hundred yards wide between me and scattered over the ground; some embedded half under the ground. The ground looked broken as though it had some day been erupted and the smoke or rather steam or fog was promiscuously bursting forth out of the ground first one place then another and spread or vanished in the air like a cloud. I started to see if I could get sight of one while coming out of the earth but before I got to the place it would be gone and another would be coming out at another place. I would turn to that and before I could get there it would be gone. So give it up. It would burst forth in a body or column about the size of a hogs-head, and would curl around like a gimblet twist and would vanish gradually like a cloud. I did not understand the matter but supposed it must be a kin to an earthquake or volcano. I will now relate an incident that took place in Kentucky upward of fifty years ago. While traveling on the bank of the Ohio River through a town at the upper end of town was a nigger quarter; a wench stepped into the yard and called me. I stopped to know what she wanted. She said, ‘Massa there is a white lady in the house who wants to go about three miles up the river; will you be so good as to carry her baby for her’ At that instance a powerful impulse struck me to say no, and I did say, No; my animal is small and tired and it is late in the evening. So I pushed on. I have ever since believed it was a black child, and if I had taken it to carry I would have found no mother for it at night. She could have turned aside with a good excuse and not come back again. This was inspiration for my good.
b After I settled in Parowan some time, I went to the city. I inquired for some boy who needed a home, as I needed one, but did not make a raise of one. Sometime after I got home President Daniel H. Wells sent a boy to me by the name of Wm. Titt, some twelve or fourteen years of age. He was born of natural seer, but no knowledge of the fact was had until after he came to live with me, that I ever knew of. Seer stones, or peepstones, as they are more commonly called, was very plenty about Parowan, I rather being a gifted person in knowing a peepstone when seeing one altho I had never found one yet that I could see in. A seerbstone appears to me to be the connecting link between the visible and invisible worlds. I am not prepared to say to what extent discoveries may be made in the invisible world through these means, but I am prepared to say that truthful discoveries, (I am fully convinced), have been made by those means on certain conditions. It is not safe to depend on peepstone in any case where evil spirits have the power to put false appearances before them while looking in a peepstone. If evil influences will not interfere, the verdict will be as true as preaching. That is my experience in the matter; also the Patriarch, Hiram Smith, the brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, held the same idea, but stated that our faith was not strong enough to overcome the evil influences that might interfere, but seemed to think that time would come. I have seen peepstones as well polished as a fiddle with a nice hole through one end that belonged to the ancients. I asked Brother Smith the use for that hole; he said the same as a watch chain to keep from losing it. He said in time of war the Nephites had the advantage of their enemies by looking
9 This journal is one of the very few documents available to American history which faithfully reflects the American folklore of the early 19th century. Ideas on witchcraft and devil-possession, engagingly chronicled by Dr. Meeks, were widespread among the American folk of his time, and are by no means dead today.
in the seerstone which would reveal whatever they wished to know. (I believe a peepstone is of the same piece with the Urim and Thummim, if we understood it.) Now this Wm. Titt was the best seer in peepstones I ever was acquainted with. He was a good boy but was full of youthful peculiarities like other youngsters. No particular bad habits for a boy having a stepmother that he could not live with, and I believe that Satan and his gang saw the danger his kingdom would be in through Wm. Titt and the peepstone that they did their best to destroy him; and they told him if it had not been for that old Meeks they would have destroyed him, but told Wm. Titt that they could do nothing with old Meeks. (Wm. Titt told me what they said about me.) Now for those foul spirits and witches; what is the difference between them’ Foul spirits are disembodied witches living in the flesh. Do they have power over human beings’ They certainly do, every pain, ache or misery we endure is attended by a spirit of affliction and that spirit is intelligence; hence the propriety of laying on hands and rebuking it in the name of Jesus, which would be supreme foolishness if it were not intelligent. But those kind of spirits frequently retorts on them that tried to cast them out, by saying audibly through the one that is possessed; And what good can you do; you chew tobacco;’ and this very expression opens a field for influences which we should profit by, if we donb stand in our own light. If chewing tobacco weakened his power over that spirit why not every infringement on the Word of Wisdom, or every other evil committed against the principles of the gospel have the same effect’ It is certainly fair reasoning. Those kind of spirits work mostly on the mental functions instead of the physical functions but affect the physical system unto death sometimes by tormenting the spirit of the person. I have myself been victimized by those spirits tormenting my spirit; and today I believe I was in a few hours of being killed by them, had I not received instructions by a Heavenly messenger just in time to save my life. I had just lay down for the last time as I thought (and think so yet) had it not been for the instructions I just received of that messenger. He told me to put the Doctrine and Covenants or the Book of Mormon under my head, and not consent to them and they could have no power over you. They have never had power to afflict me in that way wince. Altho they came almost immediately on my receiving the instructions, but they went away faster than they came. Now a witch is a female and a wizard a male, a live human. But all of a piece with the disembodied foul spirits only in different conditions. I donb like to say much about witches as there is perhaps no subject that will agitate the public mind to the same degree of enthusiasm as that will, no doubt. But much innocent suffering has been inflicted upon persons who knew nothing of the art. But such do and will exist on the earth as long as Satan is not bound. As far back as 1814 in the state of Indiana I lived close neighbor to a woman who was said to be a witch; and lived neighbor to her for several years. In my acquaintance with her she was charged several times with witchery and it appeared that the people thought that I was gifted in working against witchery, whether the knowledge I had was innate or acquired I am hardly prepared to say. But the business seemed to come handy. I was engaged away from home. When I returned they said that Anna Meeks was bewitched by that woman. Anna was strangely worked upon without a doubt. She said that she could see the witch in the house and tried to show her to us, but we could see nothing of her. Anna said that the witch was trying to choke her to death with putting pins in her mouth. We could see no pins but the blood was seen oozing out of the holes where the pins would stick in the roof of her mouth.
She was desperately tormented in different ways. She would sometimes swoon away like asleep on her back with her hands extended each way. We would put a piece of silver easy in her hand and she would flounce like it was fire, but when we put lead in her hand the same way she would not notice it at all. Several other things pertaining to this circumstance might be related, but I donb like to XXXX about it. But we got the enchantment broke at the expense of several weeks confinement in bed of the witch, but she did not die and Anna got well also. Several years later I had a brother who loved to hunt racoons who had a dog that would track them up while the frost was melting in the day time where the coons had gone in the night. One morning he called up Drummer to go hunting. Drummer loved the business as well as his master, but before starting, the dog took a fit; he fell down, drew himself up and tumbled all over and rolled up his eyes and could not go. As soon as it was too late the dog was well as ever. My brother Charles told me the circumstances. I said to him the dog is bewitched and the next time he does you cut off his ear and throw it in the fire; and donb you let a thing go out of your house that day to anybody. So he did the next time the dog had a fit, and when the dogbear was burning, here comes the witch on a gallop on a stud horse to the gate and says to Charles, My husband is very sick and I want to get a little honey to make some medicine for him. Charles without thought gave her the honey and never thought once what he was doing until the woman was a good ways off going on the gallop. But it cured the dog and the woman was said to be at quilting next day with a blister on her seat as large as the palm of a hand, and she had to sit on a pillow. But she said that it was caused by her ride after the honey. Now it appears the witches work their craft through or in the blood of the one possessed, and by putting their blood in the fire it punishes the witch; and by putting their water into a vial or bottle and putting it where it will evaporate by the heat of the fire it is said that as long as that process is going on the witch canb make water; and I think it a very good practice for mothers to hold out their children to make water in the fire when convenient; and a word to the wise is sufficient; and I donb feel like trusting public sentiment with much more of my experience in combating the evil influence of evil spirits with the human family because of the enthusiasm they are likely to run into on such subjects, but hope they act wisely on what I have said. Now in 1848 the (Salt Lake) valley from a human standpoint presented nothing better than extreme suffering if not starvation. The Saints were scattered hither and thither. Some went back to the States and some to California while the mass of people were eating whatever they could get. Some eating hides off of cattle some eating blood, some eating wolf, hawk and crow. Some eating flesh of cattle that had been dead sometime. And all the while this was going on it looked like there was a splendid chance for going naked.
President Kimballb thirteen pounds. Many potatoes weighed three or four pounds a piece. The next Spring I put in an early patch for forward use. In due time I planted my Fall crop. My early patch was small but the grabbling them did not catch up with the growth. Every time we grabbled we generally found large potatoes. We were astonished at the way they turned out. And just about the time they were in condition to grabble, the gold diggers came in nearly perished for vegetables they said, and they having plenty of groceries, did not care for the price. But I tried to deal gentlemanly with them that would induce them to let back company know where to come to get potatoes. So I laid in goods, bacon, tea, coffee and sugar, besides many other articles which I needed. I got a scythe for three bits already hung for work; he said it was too soft and no account. I took the blade off and laid it in the City Creek until the next Spring in very cold water, and when I tried it, it cut grass the sweetest of any scythe that I ever used. The colder the water the more it hardens; and reverse the temper by laying it in the sun. Now my family was not only rich but well-to-lice as regards groceries. Now sickness was desperately bad among the gold diggers, so they had to stop here and make other arrangements and take a new start. The could take their wagons no further and could pack but little but what they must take with them to get there with; and they had goods of all kinds besides articles of almost every other kind. Now there was enough of every necessary of life in the valley that could not be packed away which was a sovereign remedy for the blues. So they pitched their tents all along City Creek in a row like so many geese. Now I had more calls to the sick than I could attend to, and when I could not attend them in a case of fever (the Mountain fever was very prevalent), I would tell them to jump all over in City Creek, and crawl back into their tent and cover up warm and they seemed to recover under that treatment as fast as any other, and by my services among them, and interest in their behalf. I picked up a considerable amount of money besides other articles they would let me have for almost no price as they could not take them away and had to pack the balance. And in all this opportunity to cheat and defraud them poor strangers in a strange land, I kept a clear conscience and had their well wishes when they left. Their mortality was very small considering their affluence, their ease and comfort at home and launching out in a country of hardships and suffering. Now the valley was full of everything that was needed by the poor Saints especially clothing, for I had proposed clothing our women in buckskin. 10 I saw no way of doing any better
10 Deseret News, July 6, 1850. (COMMUNICATED). In the arrangement of dress, too much is often sacrificed to fashionable appearance. The whims, or depraved taste of some reigning beauty, have often given laws to the world, and are often of more weight, in determining the nature of clothing worn by females, than all the arguments which might be drawn from the character of our climate, and the amount of exposure to which they submit their delicate frames. Many of the diseases, to which the delicate and youthful of the female sex are peculiarly liable, and by which so many of them have been hurried into the grace, in the spring-time of their existence, may be traced to improper dress; either in preventing, by its undue tightness and its inconvenient form, the proper growth of the body, and natural and free expansion, and motion of its various parts and organs, or to a want of caution in accommodating it to the temperature of the season, and to the various and rapid vicissitudes of the weather. One cause of the alarming prevalence of so much weakness, emaciation, nervous irritability, shortness of breath, headache, and faintings, may be traced to a general adoption of a style of dress which is entirely unadapted to the youthful developments of the human frame. The most baneful item is the corset; the injury done by it, though slow, is sure; years may pass before you perceive much of its ruinous effects, to which the muscles and the important organs of the chest are subject which gives rise to serious diseases and deformity.
at the time I proposed it; but when the emigrants had rested and recovered from their sickness and got right side up again they began to make ready for a new start. They had to buy pack animals and they had abundance of just what things we needed. I had an Indian pony mare with a colt; she was in splendid order, but the laziest animal I ever owned. I rode her two or three times but I could not get her out of a walk. I tried her with a switch and club and spurred her until the blood ran down her sides but all to no purpose. I tied up the colt and took her to the emigrants. The colt being absent made her act like a smart animal. They liked her looks well because she would hold her head high and show full of life. ‘What is your price” says the man. I said, ‘I have no price but I want clothing for my family, which was five in number. I believe his heart was softened for he handed out goods, some ready-made, and some not, until we all had two suits each from top to toe, both shoes and stockings and everything that was needed. He said, How much more’ I said, ‘Hand out and I will tell you when to stop. He handed out factory and calico until I was almost ashamed; even my conscience reminded me of stopping. I said, ‘Here is a great coat and a high pair of boots for winter, and he handed them out without a word. I had them priced as well as I could after he left. We thought that they amounted to about $80 or $100. I had then seen the fulfillment of Brother Kimballbprophesy. When I looked back I saw the providences of God as in this case in sustaining and providing for us in this way to keep us from suffering in so likely a manner as this, to keep us from suffering cold and hunger. The manner as this took place was all controlled by providence. Among the emigrants I made money enough to buy a stable horse and the best wagon I thought I ever saw, paying $60 for both, and I loaned out some of my money without interest and was honorably paid back again. Now I was a leading disciple in the practice of medicine and everything difficult was discovered. It seemed like they would not make a move without me. Brother Noblebwife, within about one month of her expected sickness, had the dropsy so bad he thought she could not live until that month was out, so that she could be doctored without injury to her offspring. The doctors in the valley had a consultation over her case, and President Young with them; they could devise no means to save the woman without destroying the infant and she could not live but a few days without help; but they would not make a move until they sent for me. When I came they told me they could not see how the woman could be saved without destroying the child. I told them there would be no difficulty in that I could take the water out of that woman and save both alive. I said, ‘Yes, I certainly can, and lobelia is the thing that will do it.’ I just gave her Thomsonian courses of medicine and soon had the water all out, and in due time she had a fine boy to be the joy of all who were watching to see what the result would be. I do not think the medicine is yet found and probably never will be that will act in accordance with the laws of life and the intention of nature like lobelia. No difference what the matter is or where the obstructions are, lobelia will find it and remove the obstructions and create
The motion of the body, as well as beautiful, erect position, depend upon the action of numerous masses of flesh, endowed with strong active muscle, should always be free from any artificial restraint; tight lacing, and corsets, and every form of dress, which compresses in the least degree any part of the trunk or limbs, and cramps the motion of the muscles, in the same proportion reduces their size and fullness, and destroys their tone, and the result is a shriveled, bony, emaciated appearance; I hope that mothers in Israel will remember the responsibility that rests on them, to instruct the rising generation to refrain from such pernicious customs.
a healthy action. Oh wonderful medicine that will act, so much like intelligence; but cayenne pepper and sweating ought always to accompany a course of medicine; and also an injection.
Now in the year 1851, I left Salt Lake to go to Parowan to live, to help strengthen the place against Indians; for they were very doubtful neighbors and committed some trespasses against us which was very hard to bear, such as killing our young calves on the range to eat and were otherwise very saucy and turbulent, especially among the women. One Indian struck John D. Leebwife over the head and cut a gash some three or four inches long and we like to had war over it; and if it had not been for the old Piede Captain we do not know what trouble we might have had. He truly was a good Indian; he said he would whip the Indian until Brother Lee said it was enough, if that would do. So Brother Lee agreed to that. So the Captain had him tied to a liberty pole (Community flag pole), and took the end of a short lariat and he did his duty to him, too. He made him rise and twist every lick he gave him, but he took it like a soldier, although his back was mangled considerable. The old captain seemed to get tired and would stop to rest, and would say, How much more’
They would say, More yet, until I thought the atonement was fully made. The last time he stopped he said, Will that do” Lee said, ‘Yes,’ and the white man and the red man was glad that the difficulty was settled. It was a great risk of trouble and bloodshed with the Indians that was now settled. While he was whipping the Indian we expected an outbreak with the Indians as we could see them passing to and fro. Some with their bows and arrows which was against the treaty we had previously made for all weapons to be left at home on that occasion, but some Indians seemed to approach with their weapons and we would go and meet them and have them leave their weapons. They left their weapons but appeared very lazy about it. If it had not been for our energy and watchful care we would have very likely had trouble, but it all worked right in the end. The Indians paid more respect to our rights after that. The more the Indians became acquainted with us the more they liked us. The Indians brought in Indian children that they had stolen to sell to us. I bought one girl, some three or four years old, and called her Lucy. I gave her about as good education as I gave my own children and she made a nice smart woman as anyone. She was the mother of Sylvia Meeks. She died at Harrisburg, I think in her twenty-sixth or seventh year of her age. An Indian man (Dick) came to live with me and continued with me about fifteen years, and I was never acquainted with a more honest man in my life. I never knew him to lie or steal in all that time. He and I were digging potatoes one evening and it was not time to quit work yet, an impulse struck me to look towards Cedar City; we could see the road five or six miles distance, and when I looked I saw the dust rising in the road. The impulse struck me again with force as much as to say, ‘There is someone from Cedar City wanting you to go there to doctor someone, and now cover up your potatoes with vines to keep the frost off.’ ‘Come Dick,’ I said, let us cover up our potatoes. We had just finished and met the messenger at the field gate, some two or three hundred yards from the house, saying, there was a woman at Cedar City that would die before morning without assistance, so I went. The woman had a rising in her breast which was expected to break inside any minute which would prove fatal; but by making an incision with a lancet two inches deep it reached the corruption and she was instantly relieved, and was soon well. My course in general has been an inspired course all through my life.
Exploring Expedition to Long Valley
I think it was in June in 1852. John C. L. Smith was president at Parowan and a good man he was too, and was much respected. He, together with John Steele, his counselor, and Francis T. Whitney, Solomon Chamberlain, John Dart, John D. Lee and myself went on an exploring expedition up the Sevier and over on the headwaters of the Rio Virgin and down through Long Valley to what is called the ‘Elephant’ where the creek is closed upon by impassable high rocks on each side. We passed on down in the bed of the creek we supposed six miles before a chance appeared for us to leave the creek which we gladly embraced. We then took a west course and went some seven or eight miles and came to an insurmountable crevice. (The present Orderville Gulch, Zion Park, Utah, above the Narrows.) To travel, the mountain presented a perpendicular jump-off clear away to the creek on the north and to the south it was no better. We could look down and see the beautiful clear water winding its way through the valley but could not get to it and we and our animals famishing for want of water and completely hemmed in and late in the day, too. The question was, what is best now. We unanimously agreed that it was best to call on our Heavenly Father who will answer the prayers of His children in trouble when they ask Him. So we all took it by turn in prayer till we had every one prayed individually, first the President and then his counselor and so on till we all prayed. After prayer was over the Spirit fell upon our President and he prophesied in the name of the Lord that we would find water within three miles of that place. Every man believed it would be so. You may be sure we were off in a hurry without observing much order, pushing our animals considerable. Thinking we would get to water we made a forced march till dusk before we stopped and found no water. We could go no farther south for the awful precipices that hindered and it was now night, too. We could do no better than turn our horses out and lay down till morning trusting to our Heavenly Father for the result. John Dart and myself, before we lay down, took our canteens and went in search of water we thought two miles, but I guess not so far. We came to such awful looking places that seemed to pitch right down out of sight, it scared us back and we were glad to get back safe. We all lay down with heavy hearts till morning when we arose at daylight. Through the blessings of our Heavenly Father our horses were all right and we started on our back track for we could go no other way, but we did not rush as we did the night before, being fagged and famished, not knowing what to think of the prophesy that water could be found in three miles. We traveled slow in Indian file. I was in the lead and probably about nine oblock we had reached within three miles from where we started out the night before. I cast my eyes under the glare of the sun on a large portion of solid rock but not steep but horses could go up by winding a little. I saw a bright streak, I thought looked like silver, it shone so bright. But soon discovered it was water issuing from the brow of the earth which sloped on the rock. The water had not yet reached the foot of the rock which was some twenty rods below and looked like it had started to run sometime that night. We had water sufficient for every purpose by digging holes in the ground by the edge of the rock and the horses would go up and down that rock with pleasure, having the water above and the grass below. Here we stayed several days not knowing the course to get out, being completely hemmed in. We sent out John Steele and John D. Lee to hunt a way out. They went on foot but did not get back that night and lay out in the mountains, but the Lord was merciful unto them in bringing them at camp time to a basin in a rock, full of good water. Here they fared well and thanked the Lord for it. And right here as the sun was going down in the west and tinted the tips of the
mountains in the east with golden colors, they stood on quite a mountain and with longing eyes and praying hearts wished to know how we could get out of that country. Inspiration seemed to burst forth as by vision. Look east see the lay of the country, that is the course to get out; and it proved to be our only and best chance to get out and we had no trouble in getting out. And I have been at that watering place where we were hemmed in once or twice since that time and looked at the place where we got the water and there was no signs of standing water ever being there. And today when I think about it my heart swells with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for His kindness and mercy over us on that trip.
A New Wife.
Several years after I moved to Parowan I went back to the city; I took my daughter, Peggy Jane, a young woman, with me, and when I started from home my wife said, ‘Donb you come back without another wife.’ That put me to studying for she never talked that way before; so the more I studied about it the more I was determined to try and get another wife. So when I arrived at Brother John Daltonbwho had charge of the Church Farm four miles south of the city, I left my team there so as to have no encumbrance at the city. We went to Brother Freebin the city, an old acquaintance of ours. I told them there that I intended to get a hand-cart girl to go home with me. They appeared very anxious that I should get one. Sister Free told me she knew of one who had no relations there and it would suit her the best kind. There was a woman then present said she knew her in England and said she was twenty-four years old and as good a woman as ever was. Now I was very much elated at the prospect. I would not have sold my chance for a considerable amount. I never felt more sure of anything in my life that I did not have hold of. I found out where she stayed and away I went as full of imagination as the milk-maid we read of in the spelling book. I found the place and stopped outside the gate and spoke to a young woman on the porch and asked her, Are you Hannah Virgil’ No, sir, she said; said I, Does she stop here’ Yes, sir, but she is not at home. I said, Are you a hand-cart girl’ Yes, sire, she said. Well, I am looking for a hand -cart girl to go home with me; maybe it will suit you to go home with me.’ She said, I am engaged or I would. That moment she said, Yonder comes Hannah Virgil now. And when she walked up and spoke to me and I saw her countenance, there was a monitory impulse struck me with such force it seemed as powerful on my feelings as the command of a superior officer when he would with a stern voice say No. Here now the fat was all in the fire; my feelings I cannot well describe, if I were to try. I left quickly, badly whipped without saying a word to the girl on the subject. I went straightway to President John Young where I was in high repute for letting him have that ox on the plains, he having taken Sarah McCleave to wife, oldest sister of Mary Jane two years previous to Mary Janebarrivel in the hand carts. She says to me, Brother Meeks go out to the Church Farm and get your team and harness it to Mr. Youngbcarriage, he himself not being at home, and Aunt Mary and I will go with you to see Mary Jane; it may be that she will go with you. I had told them that I was going to start home in the morning for I did not think it worth while to try any longer. I was ashamed to tell them anything about Hannah Virgil, I felt so mean. However I went to the Church Farm and got my team and harnessed it to the carriage. How far is it to where Mary Jane lives? I asked. I knew that the Warm Springs was only a mile and a half from Brother Youngb I thought we could soon get back. When we reached the Warm
Springs, I says, Where does Mary Jane live now? Oh, it is down by the Hot Springs, six miles farther. If I had known that in time, I never should have started. It was not late in the evening and I intended starting home in the morning; but as I had started I must stick with them, but felt disappointed. When we arrived at Hot Springs the sun was just going down. ‘Now, where is the house” said I. She pointed away down under the fading sun two miles farther to a little log cabin where she said her sister lived. I felt vexed but could not turn back now. We drove up close to the house and found Mary Jane on her all -fours scouring the floor. When the dog barked she looked up and saw and knew Brother Youngbcarriage, Sister Young, her sister, Sarah, with a strange man dressed precisely, as she saw all this in a vision shown to her about three nights before when she knelt down in the dark when all were in bed and asked the Lord what she ought to do, because she was teased so much about marrying. In the vision she was told that was the man she must go home with. So when she saw me in the carriage she knew that was the man for her. We went into the house of Brother Levi Gifford, where she lived. I was well acquainted with the whole family and good family of people, too. Sarah did not sit down but took Mary Jane out of doors and told her I had come for her, and sent a runner to tell me to come out there. I started and met Aunt Mary Young coming post haste after me. She spoke very animatedly saying: Mary Jane says she will go with you, and we had not spoken to each other yet, neither had we seen each otherbfaces. The trial I had when I met Hannah Virgil was nothing compared to what this was. They told her I had come for her and she said she would go. Now, if that monitory impulse strikes me with he same power saying No, what will I do. Can I stand it, or will I have to wilt and wither under this, the hardest trial I had ever met with in my life’ (O Lord help.) That instant it was manifest to me to just see her countenance and I would know what I ought to do. But that did not assure me that I would be inspired to take her, and to refuse, it would bring an everlasting stigma that would last through life and I thought very justly, too. I went out to where they were, the sun being down. The red clouds in the West were all that gave light. I thought if I could see her countenance by the light of the red clouds I would know what to do; and when I was introduced and shook hands with her I was right in the light. I stepped one side to let the light shine in her face. Peace sprung up in my troubled soul with a hearty relish for the words, Yes, take her. It put me in the mind of the poet when he said, No tongue can express the sweet comfort and peace of a soul in its e arliest love. I then told Mary Jane it was just right and we all went back in the house. And when Brother Gifford learned that she was going home with me he was out of humor and XXXXed very strongly against me by way of insinuations and said, ‘Mary Jane if you knew Brother Meeks as well as I do you would not be so willing to go with him; I know Meeks,’ he said. ‘Well,’ said Sister Gifford, ‘Old man, you donb know any harm of him, do you’ No, I donb, he said. The fact was he wanted Mary Jane himself and both his boys wanted her. The three were so disappointed that they were as cross to her as a wet hen. One of them said, ‘If you are going with that man I want that ring of mine you have. She pulled it off and gave it to him, saying, I donb want your ring. So we put out into the carriage, dark as it was, and went up to President Youngband in the morning she was sealed to me, it being the 12th day of November, 1856; and the next day we started home. Mary Jane was nearly seventeen years old and I was nearly sixty-two years old! People may say what they please about being mis-mated in age in marriage, but
the Lord knows best about these matters. And if there was ever a match consummated by the providences of God this was one; and she has borne me ten children, and if anything they were above the average of smartness, all well formed and intelligent. I have often said if I had picked the Territory I could not have suited myself as well as in Mary Jane. So I give God the glory while I receive the blessings and an exaltation through the lineage of her posterity; you can see how the Lord had his eye on Mary Jane from the beginning of this narrative; at any rate clear down until now. She has four grandchildren and a likelihood of having many more, and a nicer and smarter woman no man need to want.
In 1851 I moved from Salt Lake City to Parowan and remained there until 1862, then I moved to Harrisburg and while there I saw more trouble than I ever saw in all my life before. I went there well off and left there miserably broke up and through the rascality of the people. I had a good herd of cattle and was milking six or eight cows at a time, and some twelve or fifteen head of the best stock of horses I thought in the Territory. I raised some fine stallions and breed mares. I also had a good flock of sheep. I had two-and-half acre lot and built stone buildings on it, and ten acres of farming land in the field. I let Samuel Hamilton have an acre and a quarter of my farming land. Now the people of Harrisburg began to think they wanted more land; there being a good place for farming where Leeds now is situated, they got the privilege of taking up land there, and the enthusiasm ran so high as soon to give that place a majority which monopolized the water for that place. Now nothing would do but to turn the whole creek that way and so it was done. It was customary to relinquish our right to the water in the old field when we had our land given out to us in the new field. This I would not do, not knowing what might happen; but when I got my land and water bona fide in my possession I would relinquish my right in the old field. It was a right conceded by all, that a person could do as he pleased with his water claim. So I paid a wagon to John Adams to fence my land, I being sick could not do it. John Adams let the time pass without working at my fence until April before he let me know that he had given it up. Now it was in a bad fix. Now W______ S________, the little usurper, appeared to be the great man of the fence committee; I had to go to him to commute the sentence in my behalf. They made a law that every person that had not a good rock or substantial five foot fence done by a certain day should forfeit their land. It being a tremendous busy time and I sick, I knew I could not do it. I asked the privilege to haul in brush as a temporary fence and for me to stand accountable until I could build a substantial fence; but that unrighteous judge W________ S_______ would not do it, and so they took my land and gave it to Richard Ashby, who already had his portion of land, and gave him the privilege to fence with brush as I had wanted to do; and seven years afterwards I saw the fence and it looked like a safe fence. Now I was knocked out of my land in the new field but had not relinquished my right in the old field so I commenced putting in a crop in the old field. Then went Judge Lewis and Ephraim Ellsworth to Bishop Thomas Willis at Toquerville, who had charge of our Ward at that time, and told him that the consequence of my taking water in the old field would about break up the new field. Bishop Willis wrote me a letter advising me to give up work in the old field and try to get some land in the new field and make me a crop. The letter reached me while I was plowing. I
took his counsel and stopped the plow. I made a raise of some land in the new field, but only for one year. It being so very late now if I could not have a very good chance I should fail in getting a crop. John Harris was water-master; I said to Brother Harris, If I canb have water to go over my land the first time I canb make a crop. Will you extend the time until I can water all the land the first time’ He said, No. So I gave it up; so the public had the use of my water claim as long as I owned it without any remuneration. W______ S_______ was the controlling influence that kept me out of my rights and he did it by assuming rights that he never was elected or appointed to act in, and the people were too weak in their duties to oust him and give me my rights. President Young saw the situation and sent word to them to give me my rights. That word did stir up S______ a little. He said if I would furnish a hand to help fence my land he would give me my rights, which I did until he said the work was finished. He then gave out all the land that was worth anything; some to those who had their portion of land already, and left about for acres in the corner upon the side hill which was poor sandstone soil and too broken to cultivate. Brother Fuller said he would not give two cents for it. S_____ told me that it was that or nothing; when at the same time my recorded rights were eight acres and three-quarters of land, and water for the same. I never got my own until I sold out. When Brother Hogan was appointed as Bishop he did try to set things right. He had S_____ and myself come before him to arbitrate it, but S_____ told him plainly that he would not abide his own decision unless it suited him. He said he had it all in his own hands and intended to keep it there. The Bishop said it was not worth while to go further with it, as S____ had said he would not abide the decision. Now ten years had rolled away and I had to buy my bread-stuff and haul it from the North which was a great tax, besides paying out a great deal of my stock for it, and W______ S______ was the primary cause of the whole lot of it. Now a greater trouble commenced by Lucy, (Priddybadopted Indian Daughter), being found in the family-way, and she said it was John M., whom we all thought was going to marry her as it was no secret in the two families that such was the intention. John heard that Lucy said it was his and he came over to my house to find out if Lucy said so. I told him she had, and he said, It was a cursed lie,’ and appeared much agitated as though he could hardly control himself, and said, ‘Where is Lucy’ I want to see her, tell her to come here.’ At that moment an animal was seen in my corn. I told him an animal was in the corn and I must go but that I would be back in a minute, and John started immediately after me, and I never spoke to him again, for her went on and got Mosiahbgun and shot himself in the head which was the cause of the murder and thought that my blood ought to atone for it, and the plan was concocted to bring it about; but Mary Jane stood up for the truth like a faithful witness, or I donb know how far they would have missed proving me guilty according to their testimony, although there was not a particle of truth in it. Mary Jane had heard every word that had passed between John and myself, so there was no chance for their falsehood to have credit in the case. They went to Brother Snow and told him they thought my blood ought to atone for John killing himself and that I had threatened him and scared him which caused him to kill himself. The matter lay still for a little while until Judge Lewis told them that I was going to get the start of them and administer on Johnbproperty and agreed to see them through as a lawyer for $50.
At least M. H. told me so, but Judge Lewis denied it; although there was not a particle of truth in the story about my interfering with the property. Now in the height of their enthusiasm about Johnbproperty M. H. and Johnbmother administered on the estate, being sworn in and gave bond of a $1000 for faithful discharge of duty as administrators according to law and justice. They commenced their administration with the help of their lawyer by making bills against John for things that never existed. The whole family connection conspired together to absorb the whole property so that Lucy and her offspring should have nothing, although the law was very plain in her favor. They stumped the bills enough to absorb the property or very near it. Judge Mc. Every two or three weeks would come up and drive off from two to six head of Johnbcattle at a time.
Some months afterwards I asked Mosiah, What did Judge, Mc. Pay for those cattle of Johnb He answered, ‘I donb know. I felt a little chagrined at that and said, ‘Now you are a pretty administrator, ainb you; sworn to do according to law and justice and now you have let the property go and account for it. I said, Maybe your lady got goods for them.’ Margaret spoke up and said her mother never got but one dress of Mc. and she paid for that to her certain knowledge and told what she paid for it. After that I asked the old lady what Mc. paid for those cattle; she said, I donb know. I never was more surprised. I said to her, ‘You are a pretty administrator ainb you’ Sworn to do according to law and justice and you have let the property go and canb account for it. Now Joseph Mc. was the most active in the practical part of the administration and I thought he would certainly know what was paid for the cattle, but they said they went to pay Johnbtaxes and said he paid $9 out of his property to finish paying for it. I said, ‘Where is the property that requires so much taxes” He said, ‘I donb know, but that is what they told me.’ They paled in Johnbgrave with rough pickets and charged me $53 for it. The old ladybbill for washing three years was $48. Several other people put in bills. The most preposterous ones I ever heard of. They were put before Judge Mc. and sworn to. I asked Mc. why he suffered it when he knew the truth of the matter. He said it was their business and not his. It is not pleasant for me to XXXX upon the subject. I will just say that Mc. moved to Bullionville or Meadow Valley, and I happened to meet him there and called two witnesses to hear what he would say about what he paid for the cattle. He said he paid goods for them to the administrators. Who was right I will not say, for I do not know; but they all had a fat time over Johnbproperty. Mc. died soon after this, but I think their lawyer never got any pay. Brother Snow same and called us all together once night in order to find out the truth of the whole matter, as I was charged with Johnbmurder and Lucy charged with other men, and they said that they could prove it and some said they could swear that John was not the father of the child. I never saw a wiser plan taken to bring out the truth and find out who would lie. The proband conbare too tedious to mention all, but after all, the testimony was given. Now, said Brother Snow, If anyone thinks Lucy has lied, I want them to say so. Mosiah raised up but stood silent awhile as though he did not want to say, but finally said, I do, and undertook to prove by Judge L. that Lucy was seen with a good chance to be under suspicion, but it was proven to the satisfaction of all that Lucy was not there. Brother Snow wished for all to talk that had anything to say in the matter, but no one else did besides Mosiah. Brother Snow called upon Brother Lewis who wisely said, I have nothing to say.
Brother Snow had broken into their arrangement as their lawyer and if he had mingled with the rest he would have been caught in the same trap with them, for he was the same piece as the rest, against me in doing all he could to help them in their getting the property. So it looked to me, and I believe it is true. Now the time had come for Brother Snow to pass judgment. ‘Brethren,’ said he, every word that Lucy has said is the truth and I know that John M. is the father of that child just as well as though I had seen; and Brother Mosiah thought that Brother Meeksbblood ought to atone for John murdering himself. ‘No,’ said he, ‘you are the cause of it yourself, and you will have to meet that again.
What started them under headway about the property was that I had asked Brother Lewis if Lucy would swear that John was the father of the child, would that legalize it’ He said I had better ask the judge, as people placed different constructions upon the law, and that was all I ever said to him upon the subject; he took advantage of that, done as he did. Probably Brother Lewis was not so much to blame as some thought he was. Seeing that the property was all going the way it was I wanted the judge to take it out of their hands an appoint someone else. He asked me if I would like to take it; I told him no, I would not have it. Who, then’ said he. I told him any honest man would do, but he would not, and I was told that he went and told them that as long as they done as well as they had been doing they might continue to act. I was counseled by those who saw how things were going to arbitrate it and leave it to two men; in fact, Brother Snow told me how to proceed. They finally agreed to arbitrate and E.K. Fuller of Harrisburg and Benjamin Stringham of Leeds were chosen. I said, ‘Now will you agree to do everything on the principle of righteousness, justice and reason” They agreed to do so, and in the start the old lady came in with a bill that was so glaring that it seemed to beat everything. It seemed that she was determined to carry her point at all hazards.
The two men saw how matters were going and said to me, ‘Brother Meeks, you will have to go to law if you get anything. I told them they could have it all before I would go to law, for their evidence would be like their bills.
The arbitrators said, There was a house and lot you can have, but nothing else without going to law. So they gave me possession of the house and lot and Brother Snow counseled me to deed it to Sylvia and I did so; and I never got any of Johnbproperty except that house and lot.
Now after being kept out of my rights to land and water in the Leeds field and the troubles on Lucybaccount at Harrisburg, I felt like I wanted rest to my soul; but the silver mines began to open the avenues of trouble right among us again although it was hailed as a great advantage to the country. I never liked it. The wickedness of the miners and the love of money caused the love of many to wax cold although there was many honorable exceptions among the miners. Frank Taylor and his wife, I thought were good people. I rented a room to them, they being miners. Other miners would visit them that were drunken sots which annoyed me very much. Yet I received much benefit through the proceeds of the mines through the industry of my two boysbthey helped me very much. Joseph went right into mining and Hyrum engaged with Barbee as cook. Barbee having a store, Hyrum could get anything he wanted, which did help us very much. The boys could have any credit they wanted, but were cautious about going in debt. Barbee would let them have anything out of his store and take their labor, and it so happened they wanted to replenish themselves out of the store and took considerable more than was coming to
them and as the fates would have it Barbee he sold out entirely and wanted the money of the boys. As they had been good to me, I thought I ought to help them out. About this time I sent a note by John Earl and his father on Brother Starks for $142 in cash. They said they could bring the money as well as not as they were going there anyway. They betrayed their trust and bartered off the note for clothing, wheat, etc. I never got the money only between thirty and forty dollars. Now the tax collector had advertised for the taxes to be paid by a taxes and the boys in debt and a kind of shut down in mining about getting money for work; my family necessities preying upon us, and I owed some money myself that must be paid. Now what shall I do’ I made up my mind to sell out and leave the place and while looking at the situation, for ten years back to the present day people failing to pay me what they owed me threw me behind with them, I must pay, and the boys in debt and my taxes to pay, and having my bread and clothing to buy, it did look like a long shot and a narrow chance for me to ever get through. Right in the nick of the pinch here came a miner to buy my water in the Leeds field. I put him off the first day. I was in a quandary what to do. It was against the principles I believed in to sell to the Gentiles but if I donb take this chance I shall be broken up. Now what shall I do’
It now forcibly occurred to my mind to take the money from the Gentile, for the same reason that David eat the shew bread; although that was against the law it was to keep himself from starving and this was the sole reason that caused me to sell out to the Gentiles. Alma Angle and Joseph Wilkinson posted right off to St. George to tell President Young what I had done.
President Young said to them these words, ‘I donb blame Brother Meeks one particle.’ So that settled that question with them. The man paid me the $75 per acre which set me right again, and I moved to Orderville. I will now go back to Nauvoo. At a certain time the mob was threatening to come upon us. We had to stand guard night and day. We were every man counseled to prepare for the worst. I made me a spear out of an old table fork and put a handle to it six or seven feet long, as I gave up my gun to those that would probably need it more than I would. I lived near half a mile from the Temple but every man when he heard the drum beat must be at the Temple quick as possible night or day with their weapons of defense. Sometimes the alarm would be given in the darkest hour of the night. We were broken of our rest a great deal, having to jump up out of our beds half asleep and run to the Temple with our eyes hardly open. I donb remember how many days we expected the mob to come every day. It was once reported that the mob was in sight and that their approach was expected every minute. I was upstairs with a company of brethren. We could look out of a window along the road but could not see them coming. Brother Coulson prayed in our behalf and the mob did not come, but I understand that they turned and went down to the river to camp and come on us in the morning. An accident happened in their midst, although it was a providential accident; a gun went off and killed one of their men, so that prevented them from coming and that storm blew over. Another incident I will relate while I was cutting up the lap of an large oak tree, together with a man named Jackson, as it was our day to work tithing: We were strangers to each other. It was hot weather and very sickly. Some would take the fever and die before the news would get circulated. Early in the day he suddenly took a very high fever; it was a very serious case and he was very much alarmed about it. I told him that there was a little weed growing around I thought might do him good. He eagerly wished for it. It was lobelia of the first yearbgrowth. Some not much larger than a dollar and lay flat on the ground. I got some of it and told him to eat it, just
like a cow would eat grass and he did so, and in a few minutes it vomited him powerfully and broke the fever and he finished his daybwork. I mention this to show you what virtue there is in lobelia. About forty years ago in Versailles, Brown County, Illinois, there was a woman afflicted with what the doctors called prolapsus uteri in its worse form, but the plain English of it is the falling of the womb. She had been attended for a long time by the best doctors in the country and given up as incurable. The parts were tanned with stringents to such a degree there was but little or no sensibility in the parts. I think that she had been in this condition over a year. I never was acquainted with this complaint before but with great confidence in the botanic medicines I undertook her case. I just gave her regular Thomsonian courses of medicines with common tonics or strengthening medicines. I used some female injections of slippery elm and she soon got well. Not long from that time her husband ate an overdose of wild grapes and they proved so costive he had no passage for nine days. Dr. Vandeventer gave him up and said he could not be cured without cutting him open for his guts were tied in a knot, and untie the knot with his fingers. Thomas Harold would not agree to be cut open. They sent for the doctor again, and he said he would not go without he would be cut open. He said he might as well die one way as another, and he would live as long as he could, so I will send for Meeks, so they sent for me. I went with him. Mr. Brown, the messenger, said, ‘The doctor says his guts are tied in a knot. And do you think so’ said I. ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘The doctor ought to know.’ It was the first time that such a subject was ever brought to my mind. I paused a minute and saw the impossibility of such being the case. I said to Mr. Brown, ‘When you gut a hog and get the guts in your fingers, can you tie them in a knot without ridding them of the strifin a foot or so and then taking the guts in the shape of a bow knot and drawing it in double with your fingers’ He said, No, you are right. I treated him with lobelia in the form of regular courses of medicine and brought grape seeds from him both up and down until he was empty and soon well.
President Kimballboldest daughter was in the same condition as the preceding case by being unfortunate while crossing the plains; the best of her ability was to sit in her chair on a pillow while her bed was made then get back to bed again. She had been in that condition twelve or fifteen months when I first saw her. She was given up by everyone but her father, who thought she would be well sometime, but could not tell how. He asked his son-in-law, Horace Whitney one day, Have you ever asked Brother Meeks about your wife’ He said, No. Well, you go and see Brother Meeks, he may know more than you think he does, or words to that amount. He asked me about her; I told him I thought that I could do her good, if they would get a good nurse to do the practical part that I would undertake the case. She chose her own mother and made a good choice too, although she did not believe that I could cure her; but when the fourth course of medicine was administered then she believed that I could cure her, and I think from that time in about two or three weeks she was well; but did not adopt my policy in sending her husband on a mission for twelve months or at least nine, until nature could have time to recuperate and come to its constitutional condition of health and strength; for she had a miscarriage some six or eight months after she thought herself well. She probably took my counsel afterwards, for the last time I saw her she had six children after I had attended her. I told them that she would have to keep hands off for a year or so or she would be apt to meet with misfortunes, and she found it so.
I donb know what encomiums I could place on lobelia to be competent with its virtues, the extent of its theraputic action on the human system. I think there are but few if any who understand. I have been in the habitual use of it now for forty-seven years and I donb profess to know all about its operations on the system yet, neither do I ever expect to until I understand the physiology of the human system more than I do and the laws of which it is governed, for lobelia will act on the system in complete conformity with the laws of health; and when that law is obstructed and fails to fulfill the operations that nature intended it to fulfill while healthy, it will remove those obstructions wherever located, for lobelia will permeate the whole system until it finds where the obstruction is seated and there it will spend its influence and powers by relaxing the parts obstructed. There should always accompany the lobelia with cayenne pepper which is the purest and best stimulant that is known in the compass of medicine. It will increase the very life and vitality of the system and give the blood a greater velocity and power. Now the system being so relaxed with lobelia and the blood being so stimulated with such power it will act on the whole system like an increased flow of water turned into a muddy spring of water; it will soon run clear and although lobelia is set at naught and persecuted the way it is, it is for the same reason that the Latter-day Saints are persecuted; it is ordained by God to be used in wisdom. The world will not persecute them that are like them but hold them the same as their own. It is stated that Joseph Smith said that Thomson was as much inspired to bring forth his principle of practice according to the dignity and importance of it as he was to introduce the gospel. Then we should look on those principles as an appendix to the gospel as a temporal salvation. It was introduced nearly contemporary with the gospel and in its main features runs in sympathy with the gospel, even the ‘Word of Wisdom’ and Thomsonian runs together and strengthens each other instead of coming in collision with each other. Thomson was educated the same as Joseph Smith was; he had not much experience the same as Joseph Smith and was not of high parentage so thought by the world the same as Joseph Smith was. They tried to kill him the same as Joseph Smith, they lanced him the same as they did Joseph Smith and did everything in their power to stop its progress, but could not do it because it was of inspiration and of course of divine origin like Joseph Smithbmission, and has never lacked opposition ever since it was introduced, just like Mormonism; and that is one evidence of its being correct, for the Prophets have said there must needs be an opposition in all things, and they have also said it must needs be that offences come, but woe unto them by whom they come.
About the year 1857, William Titt, some ten or twelve years old, was sent by President Daniel H. Wells from Salt Lake City to me at Parowan for a home as he and his stepmother could not agree. So I took him in and he lived with me until he was quite a man. He was quite a good man; he was born a natural seer. He was the best hand to look in a seer stone that I was ever acquainted with. I believe the Lord overruled his coming to me, I having the knowledge of the science of seer stones and being some-what gifted in knowing one when I saw it. I used to find many and William could tell by looking in it who that stone was for, and I would give that stone to the one he said it was for and they would see in them.
I yet remember two menbnames, Isaac Grundy and James Rollands. They both could see in their stones when they got them, and if they were strangers he could describe the persons but could not tell their names. I told him that if he would be faithful he did not know the
eminence he would arrive at in consequence of his gift. I kept the seer stones under my immediate control and when needed I would bring them out. He did a great deal of good by finding lost property and by telling people how their kinfolks were getting along, even in England. He would satisfy them that he could see correct by describing things correctly, but when it came to things that the devil did not want the truth to come out the devil had power to make false appearances, and William would miss the truth. William being young and limited in experience he was not able to compete with the devil at all times, and they undertook to destroy him and they told him if it had not been for old Meeks they would have destroyed him. I think it was on account of his gift that made them try to destroy him. They commenced by coming in the house one evening, some an hour by sun, where William was sitting on the floor by the fire. There were three of them, and they caught him around the body and squeezed him nearly to death. I called on two of the brethren to lay hands on with me, and before they entered the door William began cursing them. They were so astonished at that, knowing that William did not swear, they stopped at the door. I urged them in quick saying, It is the devil talking through William. We had not hands on him but a little while until William says, There goes one devil out of the door; there goes another, and there goes another, says he. The three all went out at the door and William was rational again. After that my wife sent William down to Red Creek [Paragonah] on an errand; he rode my stallion, a fine horse but very gentle. In coming back he overtook three women (as he supposed) who would look back every once in a while as if they wanted him to come up with them and he did so, and they filed off into a little side path to give the road to him, and when he got even with them, one said, William, your father is dead. How do you know” says he. ‘I saw a man that saw him laid out.’ William burst into a flood of tears. She said, William get off of that horse and turn him out. She said, Come out a little way I want to show you the prettiest thing you ever saw.’ The news about his father being dead, and they otherwise bothered him so much, that he was almost crazy. He got off the horse and put the bridle rein over his arm and led the horse home. When he got home he was so exhausted he fell his whole length into the house and left the horse at the door. In getting our wood that season we took a single horse and snaked our wood to a certain place where we could throw it over a precipice which was perpendicular and thereby come to it with a wagon, and when we would get in about twenty rods of the wood those three devils would meet us and torment William so bad that one time I had to lay one hand on Williambhead and take the lines in the other and go home without wood. At another time they met us as usual; one says to William, Bo back, for little Joseph is nearly dead. William says, What is the matter’ He fell in the fire and nearly burned to death,’ (was the answer). William began to cry like his heart would break. I told him to tell them that they were liars and not to believe a word of it, and although I knew better, the skin would draw and crawl all over me and my hair would stand up like a scared hogbbristles. I knew they were there for I could feel their presence, and to this day I have the same feeling when they come in my presence. Although I cannot see them, I know they are there. At another time they gave him a book to read. Just as we got to the wood pile he held out his hand and said, Here it is. I could see nothing. I told him to read in it, and he did so. To my astonishment it was a passable discourse with language and words that he was not competent to use, but the subject was all chaff, no good principles in it. He got so fearful he must sleep with me at nights. I told him to put the Doctrine and Covenants under his head and never consent to
anything that they would propose to him, and they would have no power over him, and they never troubled any more in that way while I was acquainted with him. He got so he would sleep by himself without fear. The last time they came to trouble him he was upstairs in bed after night. He said he saw them all three coming slowly as though they were doubtful. They approached close by and one said, I know we cannot do anything with you now, but another said, I do not intend to have my trip for nothing. I will go and attack that yearling in the yard,’ and in the morning I found that yearling on the lift and it died, and I took the hide off and hung it on the pole. When William saw the hide off he said, Do you know what killed that yearling calf’ I said, Poverty, I guess. No, said he. It was one of those devils, for he told me he was going to attack that yearling last night. If he had not told me that, I should never have known what killed it. If I had known that in the morning, I believe I could have saved it. Some time after this circumstance they came to him and invited him to go and see where they lived. I will give it in his own words as near as I can remember. He said, I went and close by where we got our wood there was a hole in the ground with steps to go down to an underground room. They set me a stool to sit on and offered me a glass of beer, and appeared lively and jolly, and said, =there is the three you thought were women when you were coming from Red Creek, and if it had not been for old Meeks we would have had you, but we could not do anything with him.b’ William said they appeared very kind and friendly to him as though they had no desire to try to trouble him any more. A neighbor of mine persuaded William by fair promises to go and live with him. William went and soon became careless and used bad language and went to the city, and I understood after awhile married, and the last account I had was in the papers: he had a mining lawsuit and got beat. I believe the reason why the foul spirits showed no disposition to trouble William Titt anymore was because they were deprived of it by a higher power. Even the word of God, which is in the Doctrine and Covenants, which is sharper than a two-edged sword which cuts every way even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and the unadulterated word of God, which is in the book of Doctrine and Covenants and it being under his head it produced a halo of powerful influences, antagonistic to their influences and they could not help themselves. I never knew of them troubling the same person again after their power to afflict a person was broken off in that way. It may be like a receipt for all time, never can call on you again.
A New Theory on Consumption
Consumption has occupied the mind of the medical profession for some four thousand years with more uncertainty as regards its primary cause and radical cure than any other malady on record; and why it is so’ Because they do not understand its pathology. Therefore they work on effect and not the cause; remove the cause and the effect will cease. Volumes have been written pro and con on the subject and after all their elaborate works on consumption they generally come out with this one short answer (it is simply an ulcer on the lungs). Now it is estimated that there are seven millions of pores in the skin that let out the waste matter of the system when in health, just fast enough to give place for what is coming next; but when these little pores become closed by taking cold, the waste matter is checked in its progress out, and has to revert back into the system, and as the stomach is the center of sympathy for the whole system it mostly centers right there. Now the blood is the vehicle that carries everything and distributes it all over the system and is dependent on the stomach for its next load; such as the stomach has, it takes, and when
there is nothing in the stomach but filth it has to take that or nothing, and is like a honey bee, always taking a full load if they can get it. Then passes on slow, being heavy loaded, being dark colored almost black, it enters the lungs to meet with the air to become decarbonized and changes color and leaves its load right in the lungs instead of distributing it all through the system as it would have done in a healthy condition of the system; but the secretory vessels being already stuffed full of the waste matter there was no room for it to accept any more as it passes along to the dumping ground in the lungs. The blood being faithful to the law that governs it, carrying everything forward and nothing backward, it leaves the lungs with the color changed to a scarlet red with a brisk lively motion full of life and activity, just like a honey bee emerging from the hive after leaving its load behind and ready for another trip and thus the lungs are continually supplied with matter to cough up to get shut of it, which causes a vacuum in the lungs that invites a seep from the whole system to fill up that vacuum; besides what the blood deposits, which will cause coughing enough to consume the whole system in a short time. How do I know my theory to be correct’–by practical demonstration; for I have had but little trouble in curing every case of pulmonary consumption since I have adopted my new theory. How come I to adopt this new theory’ By helping to dissect a young man who died of consumption who had taken no medicine to cause his liver to decay, as the doctors say their liver decays and they cough and spit their liver up (but I never could believe that doctrine), and if nature did not form new liver they must die and of course incurable. Such was the argument of Doctor Pendleton whom I helped to dissect the young man. He said his liver was all gone, but when we came to his liver it was perfectly sound. That stumped the doctor. Well, said he, That half bushel of stuff they said he spit up we know come out of his lungs; they must be all gone, and when we come to the lungs, they were sound too. Now, said I, Doctor where did all that stuff come from that he spit up” He could not tell me, but was very much stumped.
There was no organ in the whole internal vicera that was decayed or any portion of it missing or gone. Many examinations have been made on patients dying of consumption under calomel treatment and they have invariably presented a decayed liver, hence their idea that that was the primary cause of their death; when at the same time it was the calomel they gave that caused the decay of the liver, calomel being acknowledged to be by the whole faculty their chief medicine in research into the mysteries of consumption I never found a case that the patient died without taking calomel but what their liver was sound (and vice versa.) It matters but little whether my theory is correct or not as long as my course of treatment is successful, and that is to cleanse and purify the whole system of the waste matter which ought to come out by relaxing the pores of the skin and stimulating them to a more vigorous action, and thus get shut of all the impure stagnated, acrimonious, yes, poisonous fluids that are in the system; then there is nothing left to feed the cough. Then the cure is certain. If people would let calomel alone, consumption of the liver would be rarely met with. Keep the pores of the skin open and your bowels free; you will do very well if you donb expose yourself too much.
A New Theory about Hysterics in Women and the Hypochondria in Men
Now the learned doctors of the day say that only women have hysterics while men have hypochondria. Now I am to show their mistake. It is the same complaint in both sexes; nothing different. What symptoms and characteristics are exactly the same in both sexes is not denied by anyone, and I say the same cause produces the complaint in both sexes alike, and I shall call it the hippo, or the
blues, which is caused by nothing less than the drying or shriveling up of the nerves, for there is an analogy in all Godbcreations pertaining to this earth, both animate and inanimate. When any order of animals or productions arrive at its climax of perfection it commences to go down to mingle with its native element; man has to abide the same law. He flourishes in youthful vigor, buds, blossoms and bears fruit, and when he has filled the measure of his creation he has to return to dust from whence he came; hence a decline commences, and that decline consists in drying up of the nerves just like a cornstock that has filled its measure. It commences to dry up and has to obey the law of decomposition until it returns to its native element; just so with man and this passing through the turn of life with both sexes. I have thought that women stood it better than men, and while in this condition he is different from what he used to be; his memory fails, his intellect is not so bright, his patience is short, he thinks that everyone is trying to put something in his way or at least take nothing out of his way, and no wonder he had the blues, for the whole man is perverted and everything seems to be wrong end foremost which throws the whole phenomenon of nature into confusion, double as bad on some individuals as others. Some have been transformed in their feelings and mind that they would actually look everything in a wrong light. Their organs of sense would be so deranged that they would see all sorts of forms which it does not see. The smell would detect odors which do not exist. The touch demonstrates to the brain objects with which it does not come in contact with. The taste is perverted and disordered to an extent which seems to an uninterested observer impossible, and the ears convey imaginary sounds of the most perplexing or terrific character; and this is not half the symptoms resulting from the shriveling up of the nervous system. Every authority I have examined very readily admits that such a state of things is the result of a deranged condition of the nerves, but holds that those symptoms are the cause of the derangement of the nerves; but I hold it as settled truth that the drying up or shriveling up of the nerves according to the law of old age is the primary cause of all those symptoms.
I will now give you a narrative of an incident given to me second-handed, by a close neighbor to the circumstance which took place in Daniel Clarkbfamily at Parowan, Iron County. The victim was a girl some twelve years old of D. Clarkb She was possessed of evil spirits to such a degree that her feet and legs, hands and arms were drawn up to her body so she could not help herself one particle, and they called it rheumatism. The spirits would rip and tear all over the house and make a terrible fuss so it could be heard by everyone in the house. Her mouth was drawn to one side so that she had to be fed with a spoon by the nurse. A surprise party among the little girls in the place was gotten up and they sent this little girl some of their dinner, more than a common man would eat. She desired to wait until morning before she ate; it was set by the bedside until morning; when morning did come there was not the least vestige of a crumb of anything to be found anywhere although it was well covered with a pan. One day while her mother was in the room alone with her, her hands came up as straight as ever; her mother stepped into the other room to have her father come and see, and when they came in her hands were drawn up as bad as ever. They then acknowledged it was not rheumatism. Her mother went in one day to cut her hair and something drew her attention for a moment and she laid the scissors on the table close by the bedside, and when she turned to pick up the scissors they were gone. She hunted for them until she was tired and gave up and turned to other business. When she did go in again, the girlbhair was all cut off in a ridiculous manner,
her hair piled on her breast below her chin and the scissors were gone, and they hunted high and low but could not find them, but when stirring the bed she turned up the upper bed; there were the scissors between the two beds right under where the girl lay. When they gave an apple to her they would find it scattered all over the floor in small pieces, some under the bed * * * The spirits would throw her out of the bed and she could not help herself. The man of the house and the boys thought it a trick played by someone just to devil them and swore vengeance or something else against the person if they could find them out. One of the boys swore he would make them get out of there quick and ventured in the dark among them when they were making quite a fuss and bawled out, ‘You — — –, get out of here or I will shoot you,’ and that seemed to make them worse instead of better which made him glad to get out of there himself, believing that it was not his neighbors playing tricks on him. They would leave prints of teeth where they had bitten her on the belly and arms. Her father tried to experiment by putting an apple in a tin can, and put buckskin over the mouth of the can and tied it on good with buckskin strings; in the morning it was just as he left it except the apple was gone. The girl had a china doll and wished it dressed differently. When the doll was brought to her it was all to pieces. She then saw a little girl dressed in green standing by the bedside dressing her doll, and when dressed it was entirely differently dressed to what it was before. After the doll was dressed there were two pins left and she stuck them in the pillow. One evening she told her mother she had been out all day playing with lots of little girls and had just come home. She said she got another little girl to lie in the bed in her place until she came back. Her mother was much alarmed for fear that they would take her entirely off and not bring her back. The visible world is controlled by the invisible world of spirits, although some have bodies of flesh while others are disembodied; and when the Lord designs to accomplish a work among the wicked for their destruction he generally employs disembodied spirits.
This narrative I received at the mouth of the girlbfather and mother after the girl had gotten well. She dreamed fourteen times what would cure her before she would tell her mother that it was Dr. Phelps Brownbherbal ointment and it did cure her and the leading ingredient in the ointment is lobelia. An incident took place in Parowan, Iron County, the same winter that Colonel Johnston came against Salt Lake City with the United States Army. There was a teamster by the name of James McCann, a young man, started to go back to the states by way of California. He reached Parowan with both feet frozen above his ankles. He was left with me to have both feet amputated as it was thought there was no possible chance to save his life without amputation. I was at my wits end to know what to do. I saw no possible chance for amputation. An impulse seemed to strike my mind as tho by inspiration that I would give him cayenne pepper inwardly and see what effect that would have on the frozen feet. I commenced by giving him rather small doses at first, about three times a day. It increased the warmth and power of action in the blood to such a degree that it gave him such pain and misery in his legs that he could not bear it. He lay down on his back and elevated his feet up against the wall for three or four days and then he could sit up in a chair. The frozen flesh would rot and rope down from his foot when it would be on his knee, clear down to the floor, just like a buck-wheat batter, and the new flesh would form as fast as the dead flesh would get out of the way. In fact the new flesh would seem to crowd the dead flesh out of the way to make room for the new flesh.
That was all the medical treatment he had and to my astonishment and to every one else that knew of the circumstances, the sixteenth day after I gave him the first dose of pepper he walked nine miles, or from Parowan to Red Creek and back, and said that he could have walked as far again. He lost but five toe nails all told. Now the healing power of nature is in the blood and to accelerate the healing power of nature and I am convinced that there is nothing will do this like cayenne pepper; you will find it applicable in all cases of sickness. It would be very appropriate for the incident I will now relate to immediately succeed the one on the preceding page as they have reference one to the other. Since I came to Orderville I have had a great many supernatural communications. In one instance I had a view of an angel in the form of a right white fowl like a swan, high up, flying very regular and steady across the firmament to the southeast. My feelings seemed to signify that it was a messenger with dispatches on important business. I felt both sweet and solemn about this time; if I recollect right the clock struck twelve. I donb know whether I was asleep or awake but it seemed to me that I was both asleep and awake; however, there was intelligence came to me in some form and talked with me.
I donb think I saw any personage or heard any vocal voice but it seemed to me just as tangible as if I had seen and heard both personage and voice. It talked with me until daylight began to appear and then it left me alone to muse over what had just passed. In conversing with it I could feel my tongue work as in the expressing of words in talkinging. I had a good time you may be sure, but have never revealed but one thing; in fact, I have, I believe, about forgotten what I learned at that time; but one thing he said to me: There is a responsibility on you that you have never discharged. (What is that’) You know how to cure frozen feet without amputation and you have not published it; donb you remember reading in the paper of a man with his big toe frozen and had it amputated” (I did remember it while he was talking with me.) ‘Well, there is no need of amputation,’ said he. So I hasted to have it published by sending to the editor of the Deseret News, and it got mislaid and was not published, and I did not know it till some months passed, and the intelligence came to me again, and said, You have not published that yet. Well, I thought I had, I said. Well, it is not done,’ said he. Well, I will do it, said I, and I did do it.
While I am speaking about this messenger it brings to my mind another circumstance similar to the preceding page for a good many years past; frequently I had spells that required a cup of coffee to check, and when I came to Orderville I was intending to do entirely without warm drinks; yet those spells did come on my once in awhile, and my family, (some of them), says to me, ‘You had better try a cup of coffee, you know it used to help you.’ I agreed to it and took a cup and it did help me, and I took another cup the next morning and that helped me also, but had not thoughts of continuing its use anymore till the second night after, intelligence came to me and say s, ‘That coffee was good for you.’ ‘On what principle” said I. ‘Your system is weak and feeble and your blood weak and languid and below a natural action and the coffee will only raise it to a natural action.’
This is reasonable, said I. But young folks, whose system is not below a natural action like your s is, it will injure.’ I said, That is reasonable too. Ever since that I tried to use coffee in wisdom only as medicines and it has proved good for me. I consider tea and coffee should be us ed only as medicine and not by everyone, for everyone donb need that kind of medicine often, until they get old.
Now my first wife has been dead about fifty-nine years and she came to me since I have been in the Territory of Utah and asked me how long I thought it would be before she could be with me. I told her I did not know, but that I had done all I knew in that line and would do all I could as fast as it will be made known to me what to do to get you with me. I says, Polly are you happy where you are” She says, Yes, but not as happy as I will be when I get to be with you. She looked the most pleasing I ever saw her, and I was overjoyed all the time she was with me. I will now relate a circumstance of the hardest temptation to overcome that I ever had in all my life. I never could XXXX about it without shedding tears. While living in Nauvoo I went away out into McDonough County to hunt an animal which had strayed from me. I had turned to come home and met a woman on horseback and a little boy riding on behind her. I had not passed her but a short distance when I came to a beautiful bunch of yarn thread, right in the road, that I thought I ever saw, a large bunch, some blue some yellow, some white, the deepest colors, I never saw better. I was almost made frantic at the thoughts of furnishing my family with what I knew they greatly needed, a bunch of thread to make them clothing. I eagerly picked it up and started home with it; instantly as strong as language (tho I heard nothing) something said ‘Whose thread have you got” That was the first I thought about it; ah yes, sure enough, whose thread have you got; well I know itbnot mine; it must belong to that woman I met; well who is she’ It may be she is a poor widow woman who has worked hard to get this thread to clothe her naked children in need of it more than your family. Itbnot yours anyway.
I was beset with such cutting arguments that it seemed almost like killing me when I come to my right mind. In the midst of all this a little son of mine that died in Illinois, he appeared in my mind and seemed like he said, ‘Father, I am depending on you to do the work for me that I canb do for myself, and will you take a course that will keep you from doing it’ How will you feel to do so.’ I never want a worse hell than I was in. I had taken the wrong road purposely to avoid a house I knew I ought to leave the thread at. But I could stand it no longer. I left the road I was in and went to that house and delivered the thread to them and told them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And never was I caught in such a circumstance before nor since and by the help of God I never will. Every person has an atmosphere of his own which is the result of electricity that is constantly generating in the system and passing off in a constant current through the animal system which we shall call animal magnetism, which has a powerful attracting influence over affinitive elements which surround it; the temperamental quality of that influence is signified by the spirit that predominates in the person and as the person is subject to any kind of a spirit that their free agency will permit as a matter of course the halo of influences that surrounds them will change also; hence the attracting influence of magnetism will draw everyone of like passion, right into its own ranks, and that principle doesnb stop with our fellow mortals but extends itself to the spirits which are unseen by the natural eye. If a person will give way to an evil influence it will contaminate the whole of the influences that were previously good which will permit or invite every evil spirit that was a mind to accept of the opportunity to come in and banquet in tormenting some person that may have yielded to their influences; thus when a person in a community will suffer themselves to be influenced to oppose those that are responsible for the good order in that community it opens a door for evil influences to enter into that community through the contaminated influence and power of attraction of the magnetism of the atmosphere that surrounds that person because the
evil spirits are permitted (yes invited) to come in and show a portion of their free agency, and I know of no better way to bring trouble into a family that for a man or his wife to cultivate a familiarity or friendship with evil spirits, whether in the flesh or disembodied. It makes no difference as to the principle so that they feel welcome by them that cultivate that friendship to come into the family circle and break up the peace and union of that family and great caution should be used in such cases, how we tolerate such spirits about us, that we are not acquainted with but use respectful prudence and civility to persons that enter in our circles so as not to give offence to any except they that are very offensive themselves. But treat them with common civility but not cultivate their feelings by showing an undue portion of friendship that will cause them to believe that they were really welcome to a great portion if not all the privileges of the circle to which they feel that they are made welcome even if a great portion of that community is greatly annoyed by them, especially those that are responsible for the good order and peace of that community. This principle applies to foul spirits with the same force of truth that it does to spirits in the flesh. May the 19 th, 1882. This morning a few thoughts forcibly suggested themselves to me before I got out of bed. Old people that have passed the turn of life should not eat much cold victuals nor take heavy draughts of anything that is cold because they are deficient in the warmth of the system and what little warmth there is in the system has to be assimilated into the cold that is in the system to bring the temperature of the whole system into an equilibrium; this instead of increasing the heat (which is one great object in eating), it decreases it. Heat is life or the residence of it and the more warmth until it comes to the maximum of health the more life is enjoyed and (vice versa). The more cold the more death, till warmth is overpowered and the life goes out with the warmth. All men and women are subject to this law because they all pass through the turn of life, similar (no difference) and that consists in passing down the stream of life to mingle with their native element and that turn of life consists in the drying up of the nervous system. The calves ofthe legs become flabby and loose like a cowbbag half milked and every muscle, leader and tendon in the whole system become weakened and relaxed. It certainly is supreme reasoning that the very life of man can be cultivated and improved and lengthened out on the same principles as other things and I believe that the improvement would be just as great in man as on Irish potato or the lower order of animals. Isaiah says in the last chapter, but one: That the days of man shall be as the days of a tree. And it is reasonable to suppose that his physical power will develop and increase according to his longevity. All this will be brought about upon common sense principles and when we learn common sense principles in taking care of ourselves and practice it and take common sense remedies and eat common sense food, eating nothing that will militate against our health, wear nothing that will militate against our present or future comfort, take no medicines that will poison the system and adhere to the Word of Wisdom that says, all wholesome herbs are ordained of God for the constitution and nature and use of man and then practice it, then will the human family begin to lengthen out their days, longer and longer as they practice those principles till the days of man will be as the days of a tree; not suffering the ravages of sickness and misery that now afflict the present generation in consequence of their not observing the laws of health and longevity and keeping the commandments of God. Then will the powers of the priesthood become more of a supreme fact in the eyes of the nations of the earth in controlling foul spirits and the spirits of disobedience. Although the devil
will be close on our heels as long as he can muster his forces to come up against the Saints of the most high God. But there must be an opposition in all things and let us prepare ourselves for it by dealing justly, and loving mercy and walking humbly before our God.
A Dream, or Manifestation.
The 10th of May, 1884. This morning after daylight at an unusual hour I fell into a very pleasant quiet slumber. I found myself at a meeting of elderly men and but few women. I knew no one there, but old Brother John Dalton. I shook hands with him and sat down in a chair that was set for me. I felt happy. I looked in one corner of the room and saw a little girl in a fit. I rose up and went to her and laid my hands on her head, together with John Dalton. I said, ‘Brethren I wish one or two more would come,’ which was promptly obeyed. I then cast my eyes around and asked, ‘Whose child is this” The answer was (‘Brother Sturdies’), a name I never heard before. I then asked: ‘How old is she” ‘Nine years old today,’ was the answer. We then administered to her in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I being mouth; and rebuked the foul spirit and it instantly left he girl calm, quiet and as much relaxed as any person; which brought to mind with great force what the Prophet Joseph Smith said; it was Satanbbusiness to draw up or bind up the bodies of the people and then take possession of them and control them.
A Short History of Dr. Meeksbbhorrence, not believing in bleeding, blistering, poisoning or starving the patients, and for a number of years he resorted to a regular Thomsonian course of medicine for every complaint which was the safest and surest plan for success that ever was devised by man, as he thought, and it proved to be true. But circumstances did not always admit of it and he had to do the best he could which brought him to his studies what he should do.
James McKann, teamster in General JohnstonbArmy that come to kill off the Mormons, he was brought to my house for me to amputate both feet which was froze as high as 2 or 3 inches above the ancles. I did not know what to do. It come into my mind as by inspiration to give him cayenne pepper inwardly, and nothing else. In 16 days he was well and walked 9 miles, and said he could of walked farther. He only lost 5 toenails from both feet.
The worst case of inflammatory rheumatism I think I ever saw was cured in one week by taking a little chew of Indian root and half that amount of yellow dock three times a day, swallowing it down every time. Jenette Clark was the woman cured.
Mary Smith, a young girl, had a bunch growing on her upper lip close to her nose protruding above her nose, which was entirely stopped. She could not breathe through it. All she took was equal quantities of burdock, yellow dock and dandelion in powders, and a snuff of yellow dock for her nose, and the tumor gradually vanished away and left her a smooth face. Some said it was a canker sore, while others said it was a cancer sore. Howbeit, it got well under the above treatment.
While living at Parowan a man by the name of Bishop was brought to me from Buttermilk Fort, Millard County, Utah, in a bad fix with his back half bent; could not straighten up. His kidneys and urinary organs were all affected, so that he could not walk a step. I have him nothing but burdock seeds and dandelion tea, and in twelve days he was well enough to go home rejoicing.
While I lived in the city, Andrew Love had been under Dr. Bernhiselbtreatment for a very bad case of kidney complaint and he was given up. I gave him nothing but burdock and dandelion, and he soon recovered to the joy of all.
In the first settling of the Salt Lake Valley Lorenzo D. Youngbwife had the phthisic 11 for twelve of fifteen years. She could not live in a crowded fort and had a house built some rods outside on higher ground. I gave her nothing but bitter root or Indian hemp root, and it cured her entirely. I think she had it no more. Ten or twelve years afterwards she said she never had it any more after taking that medicine.
Orson B. Adams got three fingers cut off of one hand within one-half inch of hand, leaving the bones sticking out naked. It was urged by some to cut the bones off close to his hand or it would never skin over. I would not agree to it, but took the case in hand. I gave him medicines that prevented inflammation or a fever from arising in the wound, and he got well in a very short time considering what a severe wound it was, done by a circular saw. The bones that stuck out grew over nicely and looks like short fingers with no nails on. Cayenne pepper was the agent that accomplished the object.
Barnabas Carter got struck with a piece of cast metal drum in a machine that was going a furious speed. It burst all to pieces, one piece went through the weather-boards of a house that stood some distance off. One piece or two struck Carter on the breast and side and knocked him down with dangerous wound. Being unconscious, he was carried home. There was a great excitement, very warm weather and a great crowd. There was no gash cut, but a terrible bruise and it was turning blue. I told them I wanted them to leave and give me a chance and I would promise them there should not be left a blue spot of bruised blood under the skin in a short time. In this case I gave lobelia as well as cayenne pepper to relax the system so that the bruised blood would assimilate with the warm uninjured blood and become equalized through the whole system. I donb know that I gave lobelia enough to puke him or not. If I did it was so much better. One main object I have in view is to turn the hearts of the Saints to the Word of Wisdom that the wisdom may be sanctified in the hearts of the Saints, to the exclusion of the popular physicians and their poison medicine of the present day, and simplify every one among the Saints to one name for each article, with one meaning to that name; that children may not err thereby ignoring all the customs and fashions and technicalities of the dead languages that has caused the death of thousands of our dear friend, and obey the word of the Lord by using these herbs that He says He has ordained for the Constitution, Nature, and Use of Man.
Also to simplify the practice of midwifery down to its natural wants; ‘And what are its natural wants” Nothing but to have the obstructions removed, and you cannot prevent delivery only at the expense of life because itbthe law of nature which is the law of life, which is the law of God, which is immutable. (Did you ever know a squaw die in childbed’) Then away with your pretended science of midwifery. There is more harm done by it than good. When the pains flats out and stops, just remove the obstructions and the pains will return, and come as a natural consequence, being a natural call the same as any other call of nature. Precisely there is no difference in the principle, and the Lord has ordained means among those anti-poison herbs adapted to that very purpose.
When the foregoing conditions are reached we then can raise all the medicines needful in our gardens which are well adapted to human culture, but as yet cannot furnish them all on account of climatic difference. Then will be the time when there is no danger of poisoning our families and bringing them to a premature grave. We then shall be delivered from the greatest curse that ever visited the human family since Adam first set his foot on this earth. May God help to speed on the time when the Saints may enjoy the blessings of such times and Israel gathered and Zion built up and Him on the throne where right it is to reign. When the foregoing condition takes place among the community there will be no more schools of midwifery. Having had an interview with a pupil of Mrs. Shippbschool in the city and also saw the announcement of that school in pamphlet form and learned their prescription for childbed sickness (chloroform) (opium) (quinine) (aconite) (ergot) and (strychnine), all of which is as poisonous a catalogue of articles as might be needed to kill a well man, I learned that Dr. Anderson was expected to lecture in her school. A remedy for diphtheria
I never knew to fail: Give a good thorough emetic of lobelia and bathe the throat from ear to ear, and gargle also with a liquid made by putting two teaspoonsful of finely pulverized lobelia seeds and the same amount of cayenne pepper into one quart of good keen vinegar, and go through the operation of bathing and gargling as often as the emergency of the case may require. This course will meet the poison both inside and out, and destroy its power, lobelia being the most powerful anti-poison that is known. You need not be afraid of it. It is perfectly harmless and operates exactly with the laws of life and health.
Lobelia Its principles, properties and effects upon the human system, etc. (A later writing.)
1 st .
Lobelia is the most powerful diffusive stimulant known in medicine. After taking a dose it instantly permeates the whole system, removing obstructions wherever found, and restoring a healthy action wherever needed, and is one of the most powerful relaxants known in the science of medicine, and yet perfectly harmless in all its operations upon the human system, being in perfect harmony with the laws of life and health, and a surer, quicker and more powerful anti-poison (I think), is not known, and probably never will be. As an instance, I attended a case of hydrophobia. A boy ten or twelve years of age, Philetus Davis, by name, having been bitten by a rabid dog, lobelia was administered. He recovered perfect health, and says he has never had a tremor of the complaint. He now lives at Toquerville, and has a large family.
2 nd .
Lobelia performs all of its cures by destroying the poisons in the system, caused by the vitiated and acrimonious fluids of the system that causes so much ill health. When taken inwardly, it acts like intelligence. No matter where the obstruction is found in the system, it concentrates its power and influence on that spot, and overcomes the complaint by relaxing the parts, and scattering the pain and misery, causing it to escape with perspiration and neutralizing the poison in the blood, while that portion of the poison that might escape through the pores of the skin should be met with the tincture of lobelia outwardly as a wash. (It does act like intelligence). The same dose that would deliver a dead foetus speedily, will prevent an abortion if the child were alive. No odds what effect is required to help the laws of life and health, it will 53 operate or work exactly to that end. I never knew any bad results to follow its operations, and I have used it nearly fifty years. You need not inquire of the patient where or what is the nature of the complaint. Give the lobelia and it will find the disease and assist nature to overcome it. You must never scald lobelia, or it will render it perfectly inert. It will not act upon a dying person.
From D. Horton Howardbqual teeth. Flowers scattered along the branches, small, pale blue; seeds many, very minute, brown, resembling tobacco seeds. Being biennial, it throws out the first year only a few radical roundish leaves lying close to the ground; the next year it produces the stem, branches and seeds. The leaves and roots of the first year are as powerful as the mature plant, excepting the seeds, which are the strongest. The lobelia is the most valuable and efficient emetic known; its full merits being scarcely appreciated even by those who are in the habit of making frequent use of it. It also acts as a sudorific, expectorant and diffusible stimulant, and for the relief and even cure of asthma, and as an antispasmodic, its equal has not yet come to the knowledge of the world. As a stimulant it extends its effects to every part of the system, removing obstructions and restoring a healthy action wherever one exists or the other is needed. Its action or effects may often be sensibly felt or known by a pricking sensation over the system, particularly in the fingers and toes. Professor Rafinesque says that some of the medicinal properties of lobelia were known to the Indians, it being used by them to clear the stomach and head in their great councils. As an antidote to poisons of all kinds whether animal or vegetable, the lobelia stands unrivalled, particularly in the cure of hydrophobia. The lobelia is used in powder, infusion or tincture, of the leaves and pods, or the seeds, either simply by itself or compounded with other articles. The best time to gather it is in the fall, when the leaves are beginning to turn yellow, as the seed is then ripe, and we have the advantage of the whole plant. Doctor Coffin, of England, says in his treatise on lobelia, that lobelia is the best midwife in the world, and I believe it, from actual knowledge, by experience, and if the general public would believe it, it would save a vast amount of suffering.
Orderville, July 13, 1882. The following catalogue of roots and herbs is prominently stimulant or astringent or bitter, or diuretic or emmenagogue, as under their appropriate head; but they all possess more properties than one, but these are their leading properties as under the appropriate head.
To relax any contraction of the system whatever: Take equal quantities of yellow dock, dandelion, burdock, and lobelia, all finely pulverized, and put at the rate of 8 ounces to one quart of the best alcohol. Let it stand ten days. Shake it frequently. Use as a wash, always rubbing it downward with the hands. —————
To cure swelled joints: Take two hen eggs beat fine. Put in one tablespoon each of table salt and black pepper in one pint of good vinegar. Mix it well together. Anoint with it, rubbing it downward with the hand several times a day. ————— To Color Turkey Red 2 ounces of cochineal; 1 lb. madder; 1 lb. red saunders; 2 ounces alum; 1 ounce red arsenic. Boil them three hours and leave five gallons of the dye in the kettle. Put in the dye one hour. Keep the dye warm. This quantity is for five pounds of deep turkey red in cotton and 4 lbs. of scarlet wool.
The Science of Midwifery Demonstrated
In Leeds, Washington County, Utah, some years since I was called to a case of a woman in childbed, and could not be delivered with all the best wisdom and talents that were to be had among the women of that section of country. When I met her husband at the gate he asked, ‘Do you think you can do her any good” I said, ‘I think I can.’ He said he had no faith in the world that I could do her any good, for, said he, ‘I have buried two women that died exactly in that situation and I thought there was no remedy in such cases.’ Well, she was in a deplorable condition. She had been five days in that condition without any progress whatever. All hands were disheartened and the case given up. There she lay in a cold, lifeless condition, her strength exhausted and her pains gone and little if any progress made. Well, I commenced a little before sunset and by 8:00 oblock next morning she was comfortable in bed with a twelve-pound boy by her side. But it was dead before I commenced. Treatment, I relaxed her system to the flexibility of a wet cloth with lobelia, which can be done if persevered in sufficiently, without any danger whatever. It is perfectly harmless. At the same time give freely of cayenne pepper with the lobelia in warm teas of some kind, and this medicine will diffuse itself through the whole system from the top of the head to the end of the toes, removing obstructions wherever found and restoring a healthy action wherever needed, increasing vitality and the power of life-giving strength and energy to the internal forces; and in that condition of the system you canb prevent her delivery according to the law of nature which is the law of God, and by letting her alone in this condition the pains will return just natural as the water will follow the ditch. When the obstructions are removed, it is the law of the internal forces which is the law of God. This case was a woman forty-three years old, and this as her first child which made her case much harder to bring her through safely, but she did well and soon was up and around again; (this case of treatment is a sample of all similar cases). In the summer of 1884, in Kane County, in Orderville, Utah, I was called to a young lady with her first child. She had been in hands two or three days and was given up by the midwives
for a surgeon who they wanted to send for right off, saying she was malformed and never could be delivered only by taking a bit at a time. They were much opposed to me and my medicines, but by the influence of friends they said I might try what I could do. I took the same course with the kind of medicines as in the preceding case, and in due time the child came away and no one knew it till she told them to come and take it away. They feared she would mortify, but it is a mistaken idea altogether; take good care of the woman; it being a foreign body and not having any connection with the living principle, itself will decay and mortify and lessen and come away by little, till it all comes without mortifying the woman, without medicine, by taking good care of the woman. I know a live woman today who went forty days before she got clear of what the midwives could not take away. She was controlled by my counsel. In October, 1884, at Mt. Carmel, Kane County, Utah, I was called to see a woman seventeen years old. She had been some sixty or seventy hours in hands of midwives who had given her out as being so malformed that there was no possible chance for a safe delivery. They had such opposition against my giving her lobelia, (one of the best evidences of its being ordained of God for the benefit of mankind, because the Devil never opposes only what is of God and His emissaries), was so visible to me that I could, it seemed to me, almost see them with my natural eyes and without the assistance of inspiration I would certainly have been overcome. But by the help of the Lord I succeeded in delivering the woman of a dead foetus. And in all three of these cases the foetus was dead before I was called. But the woman did well and had no relapse whatever, and the very same treatment will prevent abortion if the foetus is not dead or disorganized. But if alive it will remove the obstructions and restore a healthy action to both mother and child. Oh, what a wonderful medicine it must be, to work in complete conformity with the intentions of nature which are the laws of life and health which are the laws of the internal forces which are the laws of the Eternal God, which I believe is a portion of the Holy Ghost just suitable for this universe (less refined than for higher uses) and we call it electricity. What is the difference between electricity, oxygen, ether or rather ethereal and a suitable grade or degree of coarser or less refined portion of the Holy Ghost just adapted for the controlling agent of this universe in its present condition’ And when the earth becomes sanctified will it not be governed by the spirit of a higher law and a more refined spirit than that which governs it in its present condition’ Is not the spirit or mental powers of man as liable to be sick or diseased as the physical, or tabernacle of man’ If so the spirit of man needs doctoring as well as the body, as the principle of impurity is the cause of all our maladies. The principle of purity is as much above impurity as heaven is above the earth and God in the Word of Wisdom has told us that he has ordained all wholesome herbs for the constitution and nature and use of man and they are every one pure and holy and anti-poison in their effect on mankind and of equal virtue with the priesthood on the sick and when that which is pure and holy is applied to the tabernacle of man outwardly (which was the ancient order of using ointment) the absorbing principle of the system will invite the application through the whole tabernacle permeating every nook and corner in the whole system with the principle of purity which will supplant every principle of impurity and it will depart as though it was intelligent for they have no more communion than Christ and Belial, their element being diametrically opposite to each other like the tadpole and mountain trout; if they were to swap locations they would both die. The tadpole canb live in pure water. Neither can the fish live in poison water like the tadpole. The Lord told Moses to take four articles of different spices,
giving the amount of each kind and the name of the spices also and compound them together and anoint the priest with it and they would be holy (pure and holy are synonymous terms) and who ever should touch it should be holy. The 7th of October, 1884, in open daylight I had a vision. The first I knew I found myself in company with a number of Saints or angels in the Temple or some other sacred place. I knew no one but Apostle Woodruff and John Allen. I was told that John Allen was worthy.
Brother Woodruff said to me, ‘Brother Meeks, you have been trying to sanctify yourself and set your house in order and have failed. Your table is the nucleus for tea drinkers and the will of the Lord is that that should cease,’ I replied, ‘Sarah doesnb give milk enough for her baby and thinks that tea will help her give more milk.’ He replied, ‘Should she think that violating the will of the Lord would obtain more milk rather than doing His will and trust His mercy” He further said, ‘You have been thinking about having Mary Jane go into the practice of midwifery which is one of the most responsible positions that the mothers in Israel is called on to fill, for such a position. She as yet is not prepared. She must purge herself of some evils which she has not as yet overcome. She arrogates too much independence to herself regardless of the relationship she holds in the family circle. According to the law of the Lord she should study that and try to live up to it. I said, Giddy Hogan was spoken of as going into the practice too. What do you think of her” HE replied, ‘She needs preparation but not to the same extent.
I thought it wisdom not to write any more of the vision, although I had quite an interview.
A Short History of Dr. Meeksbsant and slow not interfering with any occupation you may be engaged in. It is at the same time specially necessary to observe the Word of Wisdom and adopt an hygienic course of diet. Two pills morning and night for an adult is a common dose. These female relief pills in their present combination and proportions are designed for common use and common complaints of every name and nature. But when serious cases of midwifery occur he takes a few articles of the same medicines that are in those pills and so proportions them together as to furnish strength and power to expel dead children without danger or bad results following. The women that have used those medicines before confinement as a preparatory means have received great benefit thereby both in speed and ease. One case three and a half hours from the time she first knew what was the matter till she was safely delivered of a fine boy and both did well. Two other cases only three hours, another case one-and-a-half hour after the midwife arrived, she having to go not over one hundred rods, and those that were miserable before confinement found relief by using those pills, two pills twice a day.
In midwifery these medicines do nothing less than remove the obstructions, and the pains will return as a natural consequence and delivery cannot be prevented only at the expense of life. It is a natural law that cannot be controlled any more than you can make water run up hill; clear out the ditch and you will not have trouble about the waters coming. So likewise remove the obstruction and the pains will come and the child with them. One is a principle that cannot be controlled as much as the other; it is the law of nature which is the law of life which is the law of God which is immutable. Never look after the pains, but look after the obstructions, till they are removed and the object will be obtained without any more of your help; and you canb prevent only by sacrificing life.
Orderville, Sept. 24, 1886b Inasmuch as the Lord has blest me with a portion of His spirit and enlightened my mind and quickened by the same spirit to see and understand some of the mysteries of His kingdom for myself and not for another, I, P. Meeks, on the 20th day of September, 1886, early in the morning of that day, was suddenly quickened by the spirit so that I could see and understand the things of God. In that condition I was made to understand that I had committed a grievous sin, had it not been done in ignorance, but knowing my determination at all hazards when I know what is right. I was then given to understand that I had no right to delegate to Brother Hogan any portion of that ministry or emoluments arising therefrom and make merchandise of the souls of men out of my Holy calling that I had covenanted to do myself before this world was made with all the sacred promises that I should have all the help needful in every emergency that I should get into without delegating any portion of that ministry to anyone else, especially when I had no authority, and all for filthy lucrebsake. That much of the demand is repudiated and detracted from by me, P. Meeks, as being unhallowed in principle. All other considerations, bargains, contracts, covenants and promises and damages I consider as common dealing between two citizens of Zion and should be noticed in the same as is customary between brethren.
 Priddy Meeks was born August 29, 1795, in the Greenville District, South Carolina. He died at Orderville, Utah, October 17, 1886.
This journal, in Priddy Meeks’ own handwriting, complete in one ledger volume, was furnished for publication by Dr. Meeks’ daughter, Mrs. Mary Ellen Hoyt, of Orderville, Utah, through his granddaughter, Mrs. Ida Meeks Balken, of Salt Lake City, Utah. This manuscript, much of it written in his later, less active years, contains in his own clear handwriting, such words as inhabiutance, Illinoise, Illanois, Illinois, Volenteers, Indianna, mooved, strenthen, whare, empted, Peigon, setlement, maden Name, keped (kept), sed (said), coalt, scarcley, totley, fassened, aposed, sickley, shortley, sucsessful, releaving, doctering, studyed, coraspondence, Sheri, darned, the hole afair, whome, previousley, relyed, rais, Versails, shugar. To reproduce the misspellings would be inconsistent with the many correct spellings of these same words elsewhere in Dr. Meeks’ manuscript, which shows unmistakable and abundant evidence of the writerbreal skill in spelling and writing good English. Dr. Meeks was very familiar with the spelling and the use of such words as the following selected at random, and correctly spelled in his manuscript: circumstance, dyspepsia, lobelia, noised abroad, sheriff, deprivations, inconveniences, persecutions, particular, Des Moines, murmuring, accident, considerable, prairie, Pisgah, sustenance, impressive, battalion, dispatched, Missouri, frolicking, venerate, diphtheria, phthisic, encumbrance, acquaintance, monitory, Virgil, stigma, impetus, vitiated, acrimonious. My own father and mother were well educated school teachers, and were prize winning spellers in their prime; but both in their later years, fell into the easy habit of phonetic spelling, frugal with punctuation marks, and spendthrifty with capital letters, just as Priddy Meeks has done. Tender memories and due respect for them all, prevent exposing these slips of the pen to the ridicule that might be aimed their way by literally following all forms of spelling found. No sentence in Dr. Meeks’ handwriting has been rephrased or omitted from these pages, except to condense the hunting narratives, and a nauseating sick-room description. Valuable advice and assistance have been rendered by Mrs. Mabel Harmer and Mr. Dale L. Morgan.-J.C.A.
 Site indicated by a Historical Marker on Indiana State Highway No. 161, near Richland, Spencer County, on the Ohio River. The Indian, Big Bones, who killed Athe Meeks, Sr., was in a few minutes shot to death himself, by William Meeks, according to a recent newspaper history of the fight. Vengeance soon overtook the Indians, and the leader, Chief Settedown (Set-te-tah), arrested and in a log jail awaiting trial, was shot through a chink hole at night. The Indians then vacated the region.