My health being very poor, many thought that I would not live to manhood. I often prayed to the Lord in secret to spare me life that I might one day become a preacher of the gospel. I could not believe in the gospel as taught by any of the sects. I often went to the Methodist revival meetings to see them jump and hear them shout and sing, and when they all got to praying, shouting and singing at once it was fun to me to hear them, I could not see any thing in such proceedings, like the gospel as taught by the ancient apostles of Christ. I read in their teachings that God was not the author of confusion, also that the house of God is the house of order etc.
In the year 1831 my Father sold his place in Dryden, and in March, 1832, moved with his family to Greenwood, Steuben County, New York, distant one hundred miles from Dryden. After we came to this place my health was much better and I got able to do considerable work. In the spring of 1833 I borrowed a Book of Mormon, of Uncle Josiah Richardson, and read it through. I had by this time read the Bible three times through by course, and could bring almost any passage of scripture to my mind. In the fall of the same year two men by the name of Landon and Orton who professed to be elders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, came to my Father’s house. I paid strict attention to their conversation with Father, setting forth the principles of the gospel as taught by the Latter Day Saints. Being familiar with the scriptures, I saw at once that these principles accorded with those taught by Christ and his apostles. On the following Sunday, Landon preached in our school house. While on the road to this meeting I had very serious reflections on the principles of the gospel. I believed that I was going to hear the truth from these men. Landon’s subject was the gathering of Israel in the last days. He seemed to have the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and other prophets, all on his tongue’s end, and proved conclusively that the children of Israel would be gathered back to the land of their forefathers in the last days. He said nothing about the first principles of the gospel. On their departure they invited Father and some others to visit them at Geneseo, Livingston County, distant from Greenwood 40 miles.
In November, Father and three of the neighbors went to Geneseo to learn more of the doctrine as taught by the Latter Day Saints. On arriving there, they found that Landon and Orton and several others had been excommunicated from the branch of the church at Geneseo; and Elder John Murdock was presiding there instead of Landon. Landon and others had been cut off from the church for rejecting the vision concerning the three glories etc, as recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. [D&C 76]
After being further instructed in the first principles of the gospel, Father was baptized and, procuring a Book of Mormon returned home. During the following winter I made the Bible and Book of Mormon my particular study; I could now begin to understand the words of the prophets with regard to Israel and the setting up of the Kingdom of God in the last days, and the preparatory work for the coming of our Savior. I could begin to comprehend these things in a very small degree. In the spring of 1834, Elders John Murdock, and Orson Pratt came to my father’s house, and taught the principles of the gospel more perfectly. In the evening after their arrival Elder Murdock gave a very interesting account of the peculiar manners and customs of the Missourians, which made a great deal of laughter amongst us young folks; and I remember that Elder Pratt in his evening prayer prayed the Lord to forgive us for our much laughter.
They preached a few times, and baptized one or two (who afterward apostatized) and then went on their journey. About Feb. 1835, Elders John Gould and Babcock came to Greenwood, and preached a short time. My Father having been oned an Elder had been preaching some during the winter, and some were believing. Elder Gould baptized a few, and a branch of the church was organized, and Father was appointed Presiding Elder. They now held regular meetings, which I generally attended. My brothers David and George attended occasionally but George soon became a convert to Methodism, and joined that sect. He became bitterly opposed to the Latter Day Saints, believing all the lies about Joseph Smith which were put in circulation by the ministers of his church. My brother-in-law who lived within a few rods of Father’s house, belonged to the Methodist and the Circuit preachers, generally put up with him. I have repeatedly heard one of them tell the stories then in circulation about Joe Smith, one especially with regard to his attempt to walk on the water, which story ran about like this: “On a certain occasion, J. Smith proclaimed that he would perform a miracle the next Sabbath, by walking on the water. Accordingly he went to work and fixed some planks on some posts, just under the water of a pond. After all things were arranged, some fellows went in the night, and sawed his plank nearly in two. When Sunday came, a multitude came to gather to witness the miracle. When the hour appointed arrived, `Joe Smith’ walked boldly into the water, and on reaching the middle of his last plank, down he went, and came nearly being drowned, before he could be got out.” I have heard that Methodist Priest relate that story to my brother-in-law, and sister, and chuckle over it, as though it was a splendid joke on “Joe Smith,” and that story was sufficient to burst up “Mormonism.”
I could relate other stories, but this will serve for a sample; to show what foolish lies the first members of the church had to contend with. My brother-in-law and sister, and brother George professed to believe these lies, for surely their pious “ministers could not lie.” My bother David had served his time learning the cabinet trade in Dryden, and when Father moved to Greenwood, he came as far as Bath, the county seat of Steuben County and worked at journeyman work. Here he became acquainted with Mary Bidwell whom he married. He soon after came to Greenwood and set up his trade. George and I worked in the shop with him. After George joined the Methodist he would sometimes get to talking to me about the “Mormons,” as they were called, rehearsing some of the lies he had heard. I would then quote scripture from the Bible and prove to him the truth of “Mormonism,” and by comparing Methodism with the gospel, as preached by the ancient apostles, showed to him the inconsistencies and foolishness of the creed of his church. He would sometimes get almost fighting mad. I had a great deal the advantage of him for I had studied the scriptures a great deal, but he had but little knowledge of what was in the Bible, having never read it much. Previous to his joining the Methodist he had cared very little about any book.
During our arguments David would sit and laugh, when he saw how nicely I would confound George with the scripture. At that time he cared nothing for religion of any kind. I was always a particular favorite of his. During the summer of 1835, several elders visited Greenwood, among whom was George A. Smith. The branch now numbered about twenty members, among whom were my sisters Almira and Clarissa. Not being able to labor much, I spent a good portion of my time reading the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. I was fully satisfied that the doctrine taught by the Latter Day Saints was in very deed the gospel of Christ. I prayed much in secret, and I believe that I was fully as firm in the fais any of the members of the church although I had not been baptized. In fact I had never had a doubt from the first time I read the Book of Mormon.
The following winter I spent my time in studying grammar and arithmetic at home. I mastered all the sums in Daybell’s Arithmetic. In the spring of 1836, the most of the Saints in Greenwood removed, some to Kirtland, and some to Missouri. My father and sister Almira went to Kirtland. George went to work for a man in Lima, Livingston County (N.Y.). This left but three of us at home. My mother, Clarissa, and myself. I spent the summer doing the chores, gardening etc. Father returned from Kirtland in the Fall, and I took him to Livingston County, where he intended to stay during the winter, and brought George home with me. We concluded to go to school this winter and accordingly went to work and got up our winter’s wood, and attended strictly to our studies.
Father had subscribed for the Messenger and Advocate, printed in Kirtland, and had them sent to this place, by which means we often got intelligence from that place. Father came home early in the spring of 1837, intending to visit Kirtland again. Being anxious to see that country, and especially the prophet Joseph Smith, I concluded to go with him. My brothers David and George, believing that they could find a better country than Greenwood, concluded to go and look at Michigan, and prepared to accompany us as far as we went. There were four other persons who were going west, who joined with us, in hiring a man to take us to Buffalo. I will here say, that after the school closed to which George and I went, the people wished to continue it a month longer, so they hired me to teach it, by which means I obtained money to bear my expenses on this journey.
On the 8th day of May 1837 we started on our journey in a snow storm which continued until about ten o’clock. It then cleared up and was very fine. We traveled 31 miles and stayed over night at K. Nous. Tavern, near Danville Livingston County. The next day it rained. We crossed the Genessee River at Jones’ Bridge and stayed over night in the town of Perry. I will now copy from my journal kept during the journey.
10th. We went westward through Wales Center, and from thence to Aurora where we stayed over night. This region looks like a poor country.
11th. At this place we heard that the ice was not out of the lake at Buffalo, and on learning that there was a steamboat 16 miles above the mouth of Cataraugus Creek, we turned our course for that place, where we arrived about six o’clock, and got on board of the steamer Michigan. It is a very large and handsome boat. There are about 400 passengers aboard. About nine o’clock they weighed anchor and started for Detroit. When entering the harbor of Dunkirk, they ran on a rock (about ten o’clock at night) and stuck fast and did not get off until one o’clock in the morning. They ran into the harbor, and stopped three hours.
12th. Left Dunkirk at four A.M. and arrived at Fairport at 8 P.M. Here our company all landed and put up at the tavern over night.
13th. The rest of our company being somewhat anxious to see the Prophet Joseph, and the Temple, concluded to accompany Father, and myself to Kirtland. We hired a man to take us to that place for $5.00-distant 12 miles. We arrived there about noon. In the afternoon we went into the [Kirtland] Temple, and saw the mummies and the records which were found with them (we went to the prophet’s house to see him. This is the first I saw him, and shook hands with him). Joseph Smith Sen. explained them to us, and said the records were the writings of Abraham & Joseph, Jacob’s son. Some of the writing was in black, and some in red. He said that the writing in red, was pertaining to the Priesthood. We were also shown through the Temple. I stayed over night at Lyman Johnson’s, where I found my sister Almira. She was working for Mrs. Johnson. I was glad to find her enjoying a good degree of health, as she had not been able to do but little for several years previous to leaving Greenwood. Oh how pleasant it is to meet with our kindred in distant lands, and among strangers. It cheers our hearts, and brings vividly to mind the pleasant associations, of our childhood, while under the parental roof.
14th. I felt quite unwell this morning, which made me think some of home. I took leave of my brothers, who continued their journey to Michigan. In the afternoon I went to the Temple, to meeting, and heard Hyram Smith preach. After meeting, Father and I went home with Uncle Josiah Richardson, who lives about five miles from Kirtland.
15th. We returned to Kirtland. It rained all day. I feel very homesick this afternoon. I stayed over night with my sister at L. Johnson’s.
16th. I felt sick at my stomach this morning. In the afternoon I tried to get employment, but could not. Times were very dull, and there was but little building going on. The Kirtland Bank was going down which made it still worse. Several were willing to hire if they could pay in those notes. I found that they were worth but little, and was getting more worthless every day. Father and I went to Elihu Allen’s and stayed over night. I will say here that after my sister Laura died in Dryden, my brother-in-law Elihu Allen married my cousin Loly Clawson, daughter of my father’s sister, Loly by her first husband Ebenezer Clawson. They joined the church in Greenwood.
17th. I went down to the village, and succeeded in getting work for 1 1/2 days on the frame of a house of Mr. Burgess. We finished the frame and raised it.
19th. I made a bargain with one Beaman to work on a house, weather boarding it.
20th. I commenced my job dressing up weatherboarding. It being Saturday the other workmen quit work at noon, but I continued on. About three o’clock my brother David came in where I was at work. I was very much astonished to see him. He informed me, that when he and George arrived at Detroit, he took sick. After he had recovered so as to get around a little and feeling that there would be no prospect of being able to do any thing soon, he concluded to return home, while he had the means to do so. He wanted mecompany him, which I was very willing to do, as it agreed very much with my feelings; and I had wished myself home many a time. His health was still very poor, and I could not think of his going alone.
21st. We went to meeting and heard Sidney Rigdon preach. After meeting we went home with Uncle Josiah Richardson.
22nd. We returned to Kirtland and prepared to return home.
23rd. We took leave of Father, and took passage in an extra stage for Fairport, our sister Almira accompanying us to that place. Here we found the steamer “Uncle Sam” bound for Buffalo. We bid adieu to our sister, and went on board, and left Fairport about two o’clock P.M. As we steamed out of the harbor, we met a steamer going in, which was also bound for Buffalo. As the ice in Lake Erie was just breaking up at Buffalo, “Uncle Sam” wanted to be the first boat of the season to reach that place, so the two boats concluded to have a race for it, but our boat kept about the same distance ahead, for we met them going in to every harbor along the lake, as we were going out.
24th. There was not a ripple on the lake this morning. The sky was clear and the sum seemed to rise out of the placid waters. On nearing Buffalo we met a great many vessels, which had been icebound through the winter, starting out on their first trip. We landed at Buffalo thirty minutes past eleven A.M. We had a beautiful passage. We immediately took passage aboard the canal boat “Thomas Jefferson” for Montezuma on the Erie Canal. From this place we went up the Cayuga canal to Geneva, and from thence by stage to Bath where we stayed over night with David’s father-in-law.
29th. Bath is 30 miles from Greenwood. We started out on foot this morning. The weather is very warm and our health poor, and not being accustomed to walking, it fatigued us very much. We traveled 20 miles, and stayed over night at Bennetts tavern on the Canisteo River.
30th. David was quite unwell this morning. We walked three miles and he was obliged to stop. We were now within seven miles of home, David stopped with one of our acquaintances. I got home about noon. Our folks were much surprised to see me return alone. I got William Ferguson to go after David with a wagon. He returned towards night. David was some better than he was when I left him in the morning but his health continued very poor nearly all summer. My health was very poor also, did but little work during the summer.
Father came home about the last of August and we concluded that we would move to Ohio. My brother David and brother-in-law, William Ferguson, came to the same conclusion, and we all set about making preparation to move. After we had sold out and fitted up a team, Father took David, and a load of our household goods to Buffalo, to go by water to Fairport. On his return we were ready for the journey.
October 5th, 1837. This is the day that we had set to start onurney. It began to rain in the morning, and continued until about the middle of the afternoon, when we started and drove five miles and stopped at Mr. Krusen’s tavern for the night. Many of our old neighbors assembled to give us the parting hand when we started.
6th. We were in fine spirits this morning and after breakfast started on our journey. We had a very rough road. We passed through the village of Andover and Wellsville. We traveled 27 miles and put up for the night in Philipsburgh. Our bill today for feed lodging etc. was $1.12.
7th. Went down the Genesee River about 14 miles, and then turned towards Rushford, where we arrived about sundown. Traveled 20 miles. Bill today $2.00.
8th. Rushford is a fine town situated in a very good country. In the afternoon we passed over a rough country, and had very bad roads until we came to Fredonia; here we found a level country and fine roads. We stayed over night at Crosby’s tavern on Cataraugus Creek it being 23 miles from Rushford. We paid out today $1.22.
9th. Today we found the country very hilly until we came to Springville. Here we took the north road to Lodi, and found it very muddy. We traveled 21 miles and stopped within two miles of Lodi. Bill today $1.81.
10th. Passed through Lodi and after crossing Cataraugus Creek we traveled over some very high land, from which we could see Lake Erie far away to the Northwest. We came to what is called the “Lake Road” a few miles east of Fredonia. It is a beautiful road. We stayed over night in the village of Fredonia. Traveled today 25 miles and paid out for feed, lodgings etc $3.00.
11th. Fredonia is quite a large village and is situated on a small stream which empties into Lake Erie to Dunkirk. We passed through a number of small villages today. Apples, and peaches, are plentiful. We traveled 23 miles, and put up in the town of Ripley, the last town in the State of New York (Bill $2.64).
12th. Passed into the state of Pennsylvania, and soon came to Northeast. It being very rainy we traveled 15 miles only, and stopped at Stillman’s Tavern. Bill today $2.08.
13th. It is quite cool this morning, and a few flakes of snow is falling. William, and I went down to the town of Erie, while the rest went on with the team. There were two steamboats at the docks, the “Sandusky”, and the “New England”. We went on board the Sandusky-it is a very large, and handsome boat-heavily laden, and bound for Detroit. The village of Erie contains some large, and handsome buildings. We overtook our team after some 5 or 6 miles travel. Traveled today 21 miles. Paid out $2.67.
14th. We traveled 22 miles-passed through Conneaut, a very pleasant village on the west side of Conneaut River. We stayed over night at the American Hotel, a new tavern wn had been raised that day. Our expenses today were $2.38.
15th. Passed through Ashtabula, situated on a river by the same name, and county seat of Ashtabula County, Ohio. After traveling 24 miles we stopped over night in Centerville. Our bill today is $1.56.
16th. We arrived at Painesville about noon, where we found David, who came with the goods by water. He was to work for a Mr. Johnson and had rented a house for his family, which we left with him. This is a very pleasant place, situated on the west side of Grand River, which empties into Lake Erie at Fairport and forms one of the best harbors along the lake. We arrived at Kirtland about sundown and stayed over night at Johnson’s tavern. Traveled 21 miles. Bill $2.75.
17th. Kirtland is situated on a branch of Chagrin River nine miles from Painesville. It is a rough, broken country. The buildings are generally small, and there is but one that can be called handsome that is the Temple. It is built of stone with a hard finish on the outside. It contains two rooms for worship, one above the other, and it is intended to have both finished in the same style. Besides these, there are some rooms in the attic for schools etc. We went from this place to Chester, (which place joins Kirtland on the south,) where we intended to stop for the winter; but we got disappointed in getting the house that Father had engaged for us before he went to Greenwood. Rodman Clark, a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints offered us a room in his house until we could find a place. We accepted of the offer.
18th. Went to Kirtland and bought some provision.
19th. I started for Fairport after our goods which we sent by water. I got there about three o’clock P.M. and loaded up and returned to Painesville and stayed over night with my brother David, who is doing “journeyman work”, at the cabinet trade, and is doing very well.
20th. I arrived at Chester about sundown, and spent on the trip $2.46.
23rd. We obtained an empty house in the southeast corner of Chester township, of Mr. Stephen Markham, and moved into it.
30th. William Ferguson, and myself, concluded that we would take a trip south to see the country, and to get a job of work if we could. Mr. Markham engaged us to move a woman by the name of Miner as far as the town of Nelson, Portage County.
31st. We started on our trip about eight o’clock A.M. and had a very bad road until we got to the center of Newbury. It is a new country through this region, and the roads are not much worked. At noon we stopped at the little village of Burton, and fed ourselves and team. This village is built on very high land, from which we could see a long distance in every direction, and reminded me of the saying of the Savior, “A city set on a hill cannot be hiis place we turned south, and crossed the Cuyahoga River, a very curious stream at this place. It spreads over a large surface of ground and looks more like a swamp than a river, but the bottom is hard and gravelly. We passed through the town of Parkman, the southeast corner town of Geauga County and arrived in Nelson, Portage County, the place of Mrs. Miners destination, about eight o’clock at night.
November 1st.  We unloaded Mrs. Miners goods, and started on our journey. Nelson is an older town than any we passed through yesterday, there being large orchards, and a great many cornfields. We passed Garretsville in the town of Freedom. At this place we took the road to Kevenna. The land here is more level and wet and has the appearance of a poor country. We drove to Shalersville and stopped to feed. We had considerable difficulty in paying our bill which was 12 1/2 cents. I had no money smaller than a five dollar bill. The landlady said that she could not change it, so I went to a store and got it changed. I offered a one dollar to her and she said that she could not change that. I told her that, that was the smallest change I had. “Well” said she “I cannot change it, for I have changed so much today that it has taken all the small change I have.” She then turned to go into another room, when a negro man came in to pay his bill which was the same as ours. He offered her a five dollar bill on some eastern bank. The old lady would not have that at all. He told her that he would be back in a day or two, and would call and pay her then. She did not like to do it, “for” said she “a great many had promised the same thing and that was the last I have seen of them.” But at last she concluded to trust him. I then went to the store again to see if I could get small change for the one dollar bill but could not. William told her that if she could not change it, we could not pay her, and we must be going, for we had spent a great deal of time with her already. She told him to bring in the dollar bill. I went in with it, when she gave me the change very readily. The fact was she did not want paper money at all, but wanted silver.
We again pursued our journey. The land becomes dryer, and more gravelly. We passed through Revenna, the county seat of Portage County. It is quite a village. From this place we turned west toward Franklin. The land is quite rolling here. Franklin is a very handsome place situated on the Cuyahoga River, and has some large flouring mills. We arrived at the Center of Talmage, in the evening where we stayed over night. William was taken sick in the night with the cramp colic which turned to vomiting and purging. I gave him some brandy and loaf sugar after which he soon went to sleep, and rested the remainder of the night.
Nov. 2nd. William is much better this morning. We arose very early and pursued our journey. Went through Middlebury, and a very fine region of country. We took a wrong road which led us south through a new country the timber consisting of oak shrubs and sassafras. The road running through the woods continually, made it lonesome traveling. The inhabitants are chiefly dutch, and have built their houses some distance from the road, as we could see an opening in the woods occasionally. Their houses, and barns are chiefly built of logs, and we observed, as a general thing, a large pile of wheat straw about their barns, showing that the raising of wheat was the principal pursuit of the farmer. While traveling through this country we enquired of a dutch woman whom we sawclothes outside of the house, if we were on the right road to New Portage. She answered, “No!”, appearing to be quite angry. We asked her if there was not a road on ahead that turned off towards New Portage. “No” she said “if you want to go to New Portage you will have to go back about a mile, and take another road”. I told William that we would not go back, but “go ahead” and if we came to a road that turned in the direction of New Portage, we would take it. We drove on and had went not more than fifty rods, when we came to a road that turned in the right direction. We took it and soon came to a guide board directing us to New Portage.
When we arrived there, I was somewhat disappointed. I had expected to find a large town from what I had heard of it, but we only found it a mere stopping place for canal boats on the Ohio, and Cleveland Canal. It contain two or three storehouses and a tavern. We now took the road to Wooster, Wayne County and found it very muddy and rough. After traveling on this road about two miles we met two dutch women. William asked them how far it was to a tavern. The youngest one replied, that it was about two miles. The old lady not being able to understand English asked the other what we said. On being told by her, she exclaimed in a very simple, honest, way “Ho, ho, its not much more as a mile.” We stopped at the tavern, and fed our team, and as we had not been able to get work any place yet, we concluded to turn our course homewards. But a man driving up soon after we did, who was going to Knox County wished us to go on with him. He said that he had traveled a great ways alone. He was from Vermont. We finally concluded to go on that afternoon at any rate, and see if we would meet with any better success in getting work. We went as far as Chipeway River, and put up for the night. During the evening we made up our minds to return home. On conversing with the landlord, we found that Mr. Saunders had stayed there the night previous. He left Greenwood a few days before we did. He was moving to Delaware County, about 100 miles distant from this place. The inhabitants through this region are mostly Pennsylvania Dutch, and mostly large farmers. Nearly all of them had good barns.
3rd. We turned homewards this morning, and retraced our steps as far as New Portage. Here we took a shorter route from the one we came. The road today was muddy and rough. We passed through Ackron about noon, and found it to be considerable of a place, situated on the Ohio State Canal, and almost surrounded with very curious hills. In going from this place to Cuyahoga Falls the road runs between two hills and very winding, and narrow, making it very difficult for wagons to pass each other. On arriving at Cuyahoga Falls, we stopped and fed our team. It is quite a place, and has some large flouring mills. After resting an hour, we continued our journey, and passed through Hudson, a fine place in a beautiful, and highly cultivated country. We stopped for the night at Streetsborough. Here they were making cider. We got some straws, and sucked from the barrel.
4th. Passed through Aurora, then through Bainbridge, and from thence to Rupel where we fed our team. This is a new country through these towns. Got home at 4 P.M. (Traveled 140 miles).
13th. Father, and I went to Mentor, to get a job husking corn. We worked 1 1/2 days and was obliged to quit on account of a s storm. We returned home the 15. Earned 3 3/4 bushels corn.
December 11th.  Went to Painesville with Father and Clarissa, to see David and returned the 12th.
31st. This closes the year of 1837. I have traveled this year 1600 miles. Chapter II
January 1st, 1838. The sun arose in a cloudless sky this beautiful morning, sending forth its glorious rays of light and heat, making all nature rejoice in the ushering in of a new year. I cannot but reflect upon the great changes which are yearly taking place with the inhabitants of this earth. What vast multitudes are daily ending their probation, while others are just beginning. Thousands, who on last New Year’s day, rejoiced and made merry in the dance were looking forward with fond anticipation, to behold this day. Where are they? Alas! disease and death has preyed upon them, and they are now moldering beneath the cold clods, and naught remains of them on earth except in the memories of their kindred and friends. What number are now this day dreaming, of some great exploit they shall have performed before the close of this year. The speculator, to the heaps of gold he shall have hoarded up, the politician, to the number of votes added to his party, the sectarian priest, to the number of proselytes he has made to his creed, the servant of God, to the success he shall have in declaring the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, and in fact, there are none, but what have some anticipated object in view, but before the close of the year, how many of them will have gone the way of all the earth–fallen through disease, the ravages of war, or by some fatal accident. O time! Thou which hast witnessed the rise and fall of mighty nations, and empires, and seen the heart rending scenes of many generations, not only collectively but individually yea thou hast witnessed many bitter lamentations, and groanings, and some of them thou hast borne on thy wings, to the ears of this generation, but the millionth part thou hast not revealed. O time! Thou, which art continually bringing thousands to their end, knowest thou not that thy end draweth nigh also? But O, what dreadful scenes thou hast yet to witness before thy end cometh. Scenes far more dreadful than thou hast hitherto beheld, for the prophets saith, “The great bay of the Lord cometh cruel both with wrath and fierce anger to lay the land desolate etc.
It continued very pleasant throughout the day. I spent the most of the day in writing a letter for my sister Clarissa to send to Greenwood. My brother David came to our house about sundown, and stayed over night.
2nd. David wished me to go home with him and stay awhile. I accordingly went. We arrived at his house in Painesville about dusk.
5th. I have spent my time in reading newspapers and going about town. David concluded to leave this place, and went to Willoughby, to get a job of work. He had good success and is now preparing to move there.
6th. I wrote a letter to my brother George, who is in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
7th. David, and I went to Fairport on foot. It was a very windy day, and I was tired enough when we got back. We went to see how the lake looked in a strong wind.
8th. I went with David, and his family to Willoughby. It is a small village situated on the west side of Chagrin River, Cuyahoga County, ten miles southwest of Painesville, and 20 miles from Cleveland.
9th. I started for home, where I arrived between two and three o’clock very much fatigued. The distance is 12 miles. I walked it on foot.
12th. I went down to the Chair Factory in Kirtland, to see if I could get a job painting chairs, but I could not, so I went on to Willoughby and stayed over night with David. I rode on horseback. I was very sick the most of the night, with a severe pain in my side, and shoulder. David and his wife succeeded in getting me into a profuse sweat, which relieved me before morning, so that I got some sleep.
13th. The pains have left me, and I concluded to return home, although David wanted me to stay another day, for fear that I was not able to ride home. But I felt inclined to go, as I was sure that Father and Mother would be worrying about me, not knowing where I was. I got home about two P.M. and did not feel any the worse for the ride.
16th. William Ferguson sent me word this morning, that the people in the northwest corner of this township wanted a school teacher to teach one and an half months. I went up to Chester Center and passed an examination as the law requires, and got my certificate, and then went down to the district which is five miles from the Center. The trustees called a school meeting at night. I found them somewhat divided. The teacher who was then teaching was a drinking man, and appeared very deficient in education. A few were for letting him teach his time out, but the majority were for dismissing him if they could agree with me in my wages. I agreed to teach for $11.00 per month and my board, so the old teacher was turned out, much against his will though.
17th. I commenced my school today, and got along very well.
March 2nd.  From the 17th of January to this date I was engaged in my school. I had no difficulty with the scholars and I think gave general satisfaction.
7th. I received a letter from my brother-in-law, Hiram McLean which brought the sad news of the death of my sister Melinda. (H. McLean was still living in Dryden, N.Y.) She died of the consumption on the 20th of February, 1837.
26th. I have been busily employed with Fathaking maple sugar. Today I went over to get my money for teaching school. Got $5.21.
27th. I went to Willoughby to see David. There is a Medical Institute in this place. It is now vacation, and David and I went into it to see the inside. We went into the dissecting room, saw the table on which the bodies were laid for dissecting. There were small fragments of flesh still sticking to it, which had a terrible stench. The seats were raised so that all the students could witness the dissection. The stink was so bad that we soon left the room. There were stories in circulation about the students robing the graveyard in Willoughby which no doubt was more or less true. I returned home the 29th.
April 1st.  It thundered off at a distance all night and this morning it commenced thundering over head, and began to snow. It fell about three inches deep.
16th. I went to a Mr. Judson’s and bought a pair of boots for which I paid $1.75.
19th. It snowed about all day and was very cold and blustering.
20th. It still continues cold. Snow is about three inches deep.
24th. We finished making sugar. The weather is getting some warmer.
26th. I went to get the balance of my pay for teaching school. Got 88 cts.
28th. My brother George arrived from Michigan, on a visit.
29th. I went to Chester Center with George to meeting. Mr. Worrello, a Methodist minister, preached. Not very interesting to me.
May 1st.  George started for his home in Michigan. I went with him to Willoughby, and stayed over night with David. I will here say that David, and his wife had both embraced Methodism in Willoughby. Although my brothers had had the gospel plainly taught to them, they rejected it, and took up with sectarianism, which was a cause of much sorrow to my father. George had persuaded David to move to Michigan this spring, and another great cause of sorrow was that my mother had concluded to go with him, instead of going to Missouri with Father. This caused me to feel very sorrowful also. She would not embrace the gospel.
2nd. I purchased a fur hat-price $4.00 and a palmleaf hat, 37 cts., and returned home.
7th. I went after the rest of my money–got $1.50 and went on to David’s.
8th. I traded some and retu Snowed some, roads muddy.
9th. Snowed again this morning and continues wet and cold.
10th. Cleared off very pleasant. In the afternoon I went and got the remainder of my money. I had earned it again in running after it.
20th. I went to Willoughby in company with my nephew, Harrison Ferguson to bid by Mother goodbye. She had gone to David’s to go with him to Michigan as has been stated. It makes me feel very sad, as I never expect to see her again in the flesh. Oh, that my mother, and brothers and sisters, could see as I see, and understand the scriptures as I do, that we might not be separated, but journey together in this probation–for I most assuredly believe the Book of Mormon to be authentic, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, although I have not yet been baptized. But we must all act upon our own agency. They choose to reject the gospel, and go to Michigan, but I choose to go with my Father to Missouri where God has commanded his people to gather together to serve him. I returned home in the afternoon, very thoughtful.
22nd. We began to pack up some of our goods, preparing to start for Missouri.
25th. Today we finished our preparations for our journey. I went to Chester Center to bid farewell to my brother-in-law William Ferguson and sister Irene, and their two children, Louisa, and Harrison. This was another sad parting. A parting to meet no more on earth.
26th. [May 1838] All being in readiness we started for far off Missouri about noon. Father’s family now consists of my sister Almira, myself and Sister Clarissa, and her husband George Gates. They were married I think in March or April. There are three other families in company with us, namely, Stephen Markham, Abel Lamb, and Jefferson Dimick. We have one team apiece, and we are all dependent on S. Markham for expenses, and teams. We met with some accidents this afternoon. In going up a little hill. Elder Lamb’s horses stopped, and let the wagon run backward off a dugway and upset the wagon, with his wife, and four children. She struck on a fence, and hurt her back, but not seriously. I was walking a short distance behind the wagon when the accident occurred. We soon got it righted up again, and had not gone far before the kingbolt of another wagon broke. They fixed it so as to get as far as Russell Center, where they got it mended. We drove a mile south of the village, and pitched our tents, and put on our wagon covers. Mr. Markham had some trouble with some fellows, who said that he owed them, but the truth is, they are persecuting him because he is a “Mormon”. Many who left Kirtland had to steal away privately because of persecution. Their persecutors would swear out writs of attachments, and follow them, and attach their teams or goods, they would then have to stop and have a trial or pay an unjust demand; and sometimes both. Samuel Smith, a brother of the Prophet Joseph, had to secrete himself at Father’s house a short time, to evade his pursuers. Mr. Markham put $116.00 into my hands for safe keeping, until he could get rid of his persecutors.
27th. I slept last night in a wagon for the first time, and found it much more comfortable, than I had expected. About midnight we were aroused by the footsteps of horses and people talking. We found that it was a constable with a man who said that Markham owed him. Mr. Markham had went to Kirtland the evening previous, to arrange some business, therefore they levied on some property, but as soon as Markham returned they settled it so that they went away satisfied. It rained the most of the day. We did not travel any today but waited for more families from Kirtland, who were going to join us in our journey.
28th. It rained the most of the night, and is quite cold this morning. We started on again about ten o’clock and drove as far as Streetsborough and stopped at what is called a “Mormon tavern.” There we were joined by the company from Kirtland, who had five teams. We now numbered 58 souls.
29th. This morning the company organized and chose three persons to preside over spiritual matters, and appointed S. Markham Commissary. They made an axeltree and fixed up some of their wagons. We started out about one o’clock and traveled twelve miles and camped in the woods, one mile from Cuyanoga Falls. This place is 36 miles from Chester Center.
30th. Traveled three miles, and broke an axletree, which hindered a half a day. We then went to Ackron, and unloaded some things to send by water.
31st. Passed through New Portage, which is 10 miles from Cuyahoga Falls. Soon after passing New Portage a skein of one of the wagons broke, which hindered us three hours. We traveled 14 miles and camped in the town of Chipaway.
June 1st.  We resumed our journey about ten o’clock. The roads are very muddy, and rough. Passed through Wooster, the county seat of Wayne County. It is a considerable place, and has some fine buildings, and is situated in a fertile country, 26 miles from New Portage. Traveled 16 miles.
2nd. Broke two kingbolts today. We passed through Loudenville towards night, and found it rather difficult to get pasture for our teams. Loudenville is in Richland County, 20 miles from Wooster. It is situated in a rough broken country, but the soil appears to be good. We camped one mile west of this place, after traveling 19 miles.
3rd. Traveled 11 miles, and camped at the National House, 10 miles north of Mt. Vernon. This is a hilly country, timber chiefly oak.
4th. Went through Amity, Knox County, and then through Mt. Vernon, the county seat of Knox County. It is a handsome place, 42 miles from Wooster. Today we saw corn and potatoes hood. Wheat looks well. Traveled 20 miles.
5th. Washed our clothes, and mended wagons. Did not travel any.
6th. We got started again about noon, and had very rough and muddy roads–broke an axletree, a skein, and two kingbolts, which hindered us three hours. We only traveled seven miles today.
7th. We passed through Sunbury, and Galena, Delaware County. Sunbury is 22 miles from Mt Vernon. At Galena we crossed the Big Walnut River and went down it a few miles and turned west. The land is very low and wet, and very bad roads. The timber is beach and maple. Traveled 20 miles.
8th. We got started about noon as usual, and soon passed through Columbus the capital of Ohio. It is a larger place than I had supposed it to be, and is 44 miles from Mt. Vernon. A beautiful country lies to the west of Columbus. Here we came on to the National Road which is McAdamized and very smooth. Traveled 19 miles and camped in a wet place.
9th. We went through Jefferson, a small village 14 miles west of Columbus. We traveled seven miles today when the spokes of one of Mr. Dert’s wagon wheels gave out, and we had to stop for the day. This is rather a poor country-very level and wet, with extensive barrens.
10th. Sunday. Our horses ran away last night, and it took the most of the forenoon to find them. We have thus far been cooking and eating all together, as one family, which has created much jealousy, strife and contention. They concluded to reorganize into three messes, or families, to make it more convenient for cooking.
11th. Today we passed through Lafayette, and a number of small villages in Madison County. There arose a very heavy thunder shower towards night, but by chance we got into an empty house where we stayed over night. Traveled 22 miles today.
12th. Passed Springfield the county seat of Clarke County. It is a fine place situated in a beautiful country, 43 miles west of Columbus. This appears to be a great grain country. Wheat is heading out. We traveled through Fairfield, Greene County, 15 miles from Springfield in a southwest course. Traveled 22 miles today.
13th. We got started about eleven o’clock. In the afternoon we went through Dayton, the county seat of Montgomery County. It is situated on the east side of the Miami River, 25 miles west of Springfield.
14th. Today they washed. In company with some others I went a fishing in the Miami River, but caught no fish. This is a beautiful stream, flowing through a rich and fertile country.
15th. In the afternoon had very rough, and stony roads, which caused the breaking of an axeltree. Traveled 11 miles today.
16th. Our roads continue very rough. Thehere is very level, with rather poor soil, beach, and Maple timber principally. In the afternoon we went through Eaton, the county seat of Prebble County, 25 miles from Dayton.
17th. Sunday again. Yesterday we got in company with four more teams from Kirtland. We all stopped in one place for the purpose of holding a meeting. They obtained a private house for the purpose, and Elder Sherwood preached. After meeting, they arranged some of the affairs in our camp. Instead of having three to preside, they chose Mr. David Dort and three to assist him as counselors. As there had been much envying, strife and contention in camp, they thought it best to have a general settling up, and confessions. There were considerable wrangling, but they succeeded in getting things fixed up by twelve o’clock at night. Not being a member of the church, of course I had nothing to say. I had tried to mind my own business thus far, and not meddle with theirs. But being a disinterested spectator I had many curious reflections. I thought some of them acted like children, in their pouting spells, and could not help to say in my heart, O! the folly and weakness of mankind, how full of selfishness.
18th. We again resumed our journey, at the late hour of eleven. We crossed the state’s line between Ohio, and Indiana, after which we went through New Boston, a small village in Wayne County, 11 miles west of Eaton. Traveled 14 miles.
19th. Went through Waterloo which is 16 miles from New Boston. After passing through Gonnersville, the county seat of Fayette County, we camped for the night. This place is 32 miles from Baton. Traveled 16 miles, went very slow, stopping often.
20th. We met with no accident today. Passed through Rushville, the county seat of Rush County. It is 16 miles to Connersville. This is a very wet country.
21st. Traveled 11 miles, and was hindered again about mending wagons.
22nd. They washed, and we did not travel any. In the afternoon Elder Lamb preached to quite a large and attentive congregation.
23rd. We have very bad roads today. We traveled 13 miles, when there came up a very heavy thunder shower. We obtained the privilege of going into a new barn where we stayed over night.
24th. This morning there was a sharp contention in camp among the head ones, some of whom are badly troubled with the “big head”. The lie was given several times, and the company was very near being broken up, but they finally succeeded in settling up their difficulties again, and we resumed our journey. It being Sunday we only traveled four miles, and camped, and held a meeting.
25th. We came onto the National Road two miles east of Indianapolis. It is very badly cut up into ruts. Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana, and is a town of considerable size, bes are generally small, and built of wood. It is situated on the east side of White River, 39 miles from Rushville. The situation is very beautiful, and would admit of a large city. We crossed White River on a beautiful covered bridge. Traveled 17 miles.
26th. They had to make an axletree which hindered us until eleven o’clock. Had very good roads today, and traveled 17 miles. The country here is rather more rolling, and dryer soil, and of a better quality.
27th. Traveled 16 miles and camped in Putnam County.
28th. Last night we had a shower, which swelled a small creek so that we had to wait about three hours for it to fall, so that we could cross it. We then traveled three miles, and came to Walnut Creek, which we had to ferry over. While waiting to be ferried, there came up a black cloud from which hailstones fell of the size of a goose egg but not very plentifully, as the most of the shower went north of us. We traveled 9 miles today.
29th. We had some showers today. Traveled 16 miles.
30th. This morning we passed through Terre Haute, situated on the east side of the Wabash River, which is a beautiful stream. The city is built on a beautiful prairie, of exceeding rich soil, and level surface, which presents a beautiful prospect to the eye of the traveler as he comes from the east. It is 71 miles from Indianapolis, and the county seat of Vigo County. We traveled 7 miles today.
July 1st.  In the forenoon they made another axeltree. Today we crossed the state line into Illinois. I here will make a short extract from a communication written by Sidney Rigdon who had passed through this country a short time previously going to Missouri. “As we passed through Indiana, I observed that there is a much greater uniformity of soil timber and surface than in Ohio. I mean in the parts through which we passed. From the time that we crossed the state line until say within 12 or 15 miles of Terre Haute there is a uniformity of soil timber and surface that amounts to a dull monotony in the eye of the Observer. The timber is principally beach and maple. The surface is very flat and the soil not above second quality if it would be considered of that quality. The prices of land on the National Road is astonishing. Take it at any point you will, and you will find the wild land from twenty to fifty dollars per acre while the improved land is from fifty to a hundred according to the situation and improvements.” The foregoing I found to be correct. This afternoon we passed through Paris, the county seat of Edgar County, Illinois. It is 20 miles from Terre Haute, and is situated on the east side of a very large prairie, which extends almost as far as the eye can reach. Traveled 16 miles and camped on the prairie.
2nd. We found some very bad mudholes, one of which some of the horses got down, and we had to take them loose from the wagons and draw them (the wagons) out by hand. Traveled 10 miles and camped.
3rd. Resumed our journey about eleven o’clock, and about four got across the prairie, and camped. It is about 18 miles across it.
4th. We had trouble in the camp again. After considerable talking in, tongues, and confessions, it was again settled. O the folly and weakness of man. Mr. Markham has been sick, but is now getting better.
5th. We started early this morning, and crossed Ambro River, on a ferry boat, and soon came to a prairie 17 miles across. We traveled very late at night, and found plenty of mudholes, where we had to double teams.
6th. We crossed the prairie, and ferried over Kaskaskie River, and came on to another prairie, where we found mudholes worse than ever. Traveled eight miles, and camped on the prairie.
7th. This prairie is very level and wet and is 14 miles across. We traveled 14 miles and camped in another prairie.
8th. We had very good roads today. Crossed the prairie, (which is 12 miles wide) and camped in Macon County. Here we saw wheat ripe.
9th. Washed their clothes. Traveled one mile and camped on a 2 mile prairie.
10th. We traveled occasionally on the prairie, and in the timber. Here the prairies are rolling, and of a very rich soil. Corn is about five feet high, and the crops are beginning to ripen. Traveled 22 miles.
11th. This is a fine try. Saw corn today 7 feet high. Traveled 20 miles.
12th. Today we passed through Springfield, the capital of Illinois. It is a small town situated on the west side of a prairie. The buildings are small, and appear to be old. The village however appears to be improving. They are now building a stone state house. This place is 111 miles from Paris. The surrounding country is quite thickly inhabited.
13th. Today we traveled 13 miles and stopped to noon. While nooning they heard of a man, who wanted to hire hands to cut his wheat. The company concluded to stop and work awhile, as they were nearly out of money. The fact is we have been living on mush, and milk for a long time past: It has been mush and milk for breakfast, milk and mush for dinner, and for a change mush and milk for supper. When we commenced eating mush and milk for breakfast, I began to think that they would starve me out, as I could not eat enough to last me one hour, but before we got to this place, I could fill up, so as to stand it first rate. As long as our provision lasted that we started with, we lived splendidly. They had their tea, sugar, ham and eggs etc. Tea I did not use, not having drank any for about three years.
14th. They took some jobs harvesting wheat yesterday, and today we moved up to them, which is three miles from where we camped last night. After some more quarreling in our camp we went to work. They agreed that all the men should work as much as they were able, and the wages should be divided equally amongst them, but before they finished the first job, some of them got dissatisfied, for they found that some did not do half as much as others, who were strong, and able bodied. So after quarreling again, they concluded to pay every one according to what they earned. This broke up the company. Some of them united in small companies to work, and others worked by themselves. Father took some jobs mowing grass, and George Gates, and I worked some together. On the 25th, five teams of our company started for Missouri.
August 13th. Father, G. Gates, and myself, began, to prepare to pursue our journey. Mr. Markham had traded the horses that we had used this far, and got a yoke of oxen for us, which proved to be excellent ones. Mr. Markham, and some others, had some jobs yet to finish, and consequently were not ready to go on.
14th. We started out alone about ten o’clock. We had one cow with us which we brought from Greenwood, N.Y. and a most excellent one she was, she gave us all the milk we wanted on the road. It seemed rather lonesome traveling, as we had had so much company heretofore. We passed through Jacksonville, which is 6 miles from where we had been to work. It is quite a town situated in a rich, and highly cultivated country, 35 miles west of Springfield. It is the county seat of Morgan County. We traveled 12 miles, and stopped over night with Mr. Merrick who was on his way to Missouri, but had stopped to recruit. This same man was afterward killed at the Haun’s Mill massacre.
15th. Last night there was a heavy shower, which made the roads very muddy this morning. The land here is rolling, and a very rich soil. We traveled 13 miles, and stopped with one Howard Smith, in the little village of Exeter, who wanted to learn something about “Mormonism.” Father preached in his house, to quite a congregation. Some were mad, and some were pleased, some said one thing, and some another. Mr. Smith treated us well.
16th. This forenoon we crossed the Illinois River, at Philip’s Ferry. It is a fine stream, three quarters of a mile wide. We passed through Griggsville, a small village 4 miles west of the ferry, and from thence through Pittsfield, the county seat of Pike County, which is 34 miles from Jacksonville, and 12 from Philips’ Ferry. We traveled 19 miles, and camped on a large rolling prairie.
17th. We passed through Atlas, a small place on the east side of the Mississippi bottom. The road on the bottom was very dim, being overgrown with tall grass. We found several tracks running in various directions. We took the wrong one, and went about a mile out of our way. We turned back, and finally found one which took us to the ferry on the Mississippi. The steam ferry boat had just arrived. We soon got on board, and started out at half past two P.M. The river was so high, that they had to go around the lower end of what is called Sny Island. We landed at the small village of Louisiana, Missouri, a quartree o’clock P.M. after a ride of 20 miles on the Mississippi. This is the mighty river I had read so much about, and always desired to see. It is truly the “Father of Waters”. How majestically it flows onward to the mighty deep, and what an immense traffic is carried on upon its broad bosom. On the Illinois side there is a wide bottom covered with a very coarse rank grass. On the Missouri side there are very high cliffs which in some places being perpendicular, presents a sublime view, from the steamboats passing. Louisiana is 30 miles from Philips’ Ferry on the Illinois River. We traveled in all 35 miles today.
18th. We traveled through a very rough, and broken country until we came to a prairie 16 miles from Louisiana, where the land is more rolling. We made 16 miles today.
19th. The weather is very warm. We traveled five miles, and came to a twelve mile prairie. The flies being very troublesome, we stopped until five o’clock P.M. and then proceeded onward across the prairie where we arrived about midnight. Traveled 15 miles.
20th. It continues very warm. We crossed a number of small rolling prairies today destitute of water, but of good soil.
21st. Passed through Paris, the county seat of Monroe County. It is a small village, 60 miles west of Louisiana. From this place the country becomes more level. Last night we heard something about some trouble between the “Mormons”, and Missourians, and today we heard that the fuss commenced at an election. They had some difficulty about something and finally resulted in quite a battle in which some were wounded, but none killed. Traveled 16 miles today.
22nd. The weather continues very warm and dry. Water is very scarce there is but little that can be got, fit to drink. There does not seem to be any springs in this region, and their wells are mostly cisterns made to catch, and hold rainwater. Today the report is that the troops have been called out against the Mormons, and having a permit from the Governor they were going to take “Joe Smith”, and Sidney Rigdon, but they had run away. Traveled 16 miles.
23rd. We passed through Huntsville, the county seat of Randolph County. It is a small village, 30 miles west of Paris. The land is very hilly and dry, west of this place, and mostly covered with timber. We traveled 18 miles and camped on a 7 mile prairie, near one Kellogg a “Mormon.” Today we heard that they were preparing the big guns up west. We passed a camp of Indians, about sundown. They are the Pottawattamies, about 150 in number, and are moving from the northern part of Illinois to Council Bluffs, at the expense of Government. These are the first wild indians I have ever seen. They looked terribly degraded to me.
24th. We crossed the Chariton River which we had to ferry then passed through Keetsville, the county seat of Chariton County. It is 23 miles from Huntsville. We continue to hear bad reports.
25th. We went as far as Brunswick, near the mouth of Grand River, which empties into the Missouri; and hearing that the Missourians were stopping the Mormons at Carrolton, we turned our course up Grand River, towards Comton’s Ferry. This is a very hot day. We traveled 14 miles, and camped on a large prairie.
26th. We crossed Grand River at Compton’s Ferry, which is 15 miles from Brunswick, and 25 from Keetsville. Here we came on to a large prairie, of a very rich soil. The weather continues very hot.
27th. Continued our journey on the prairie in a westerly direction, and found our road to be a very blind one. We crossed some very high ridges, from which we could see miles in every direction with here, and there a grove of timber, like an island in the midst of the ocean. Fifteen miles to the west we could see the Blue Mounds which looked like a range of rough broken hills. We traveled 15 miles and camped on a small creek one mile from the Mounds.
28th. I went up to the mounds to see what I could discover. The Blue Mounds is a range of rough broken hills running in an easterly direction. West of the Blue is a mound about 40 feet high, containing 8 squire rods of level ground on the summit. It is circular. We spent the most of the day in hunting our road. There had never been but half a dozen wagons through this route, which made but very little impression in the thick prairie grass. We found the track running directly across a main traveled road running north and south. We traveled three miles today.
29th. We had some trouble to follow the wagon tracks, but finally succeeded in finding our way out, to Whitney’s Mill on Shoal Creek. We traveled 13 miles and camped at Mr. Walker’s, a Mormon. The country from Compton’s Ferry, to Whitney’s Mill is not inhabited. It is a high rolling prairie. Mr. Walker lives on Shoal Creek, in the southeast corner of Caldwell County, 33 miles from Compton’s Ferry, and 30 miles from Far West, to go the prairie road, and 20 to go up Shoal Creek. We got some excellent melons here.
30th. [August 1838] I was taken with a diarrhea in the night, and feel very weak this morning. We took the road up the creek by Haun’s Mill and arrived at Uncle Josiah Richardson’s towards night. He lives 10 miles east of Far West. They were much pleased to see us, and were some what surprised, as they did not know that we were coming. We were pleased to get to our journey’s end, although we were very much prospered on the way. We did not meet with any accident on the whole journey, and were well treated passing through Missouri.
The state of Missouri, for about 60 miles west of the Mississippi River is very broken, and generally covered with timber. From that point west to Grand River, there are a number of prairies, but water is very scarce, and poor. West of Grand River the prairies are very large, and soil very rich. They are rolling, and generally dry. It is a beautiful sight, to view the country from the high ridges. A person can see 15 or 20 miles, and sometimes 30, in every direction, which presents a beautiful green landscape in the summer time dotted here, and there, with shady grovin the winter it looks like a dreary waste. These prairies are covered with a coarse grass, which grows from two, to three feet high. Timber grows only along the rivers, and small streams. These streams often rise very high. They rise very suddenly and fall as quick. The banks of Shoal Creek is from 15 to 20 feet high, with the same kind of soil from top to bottom.
The inhabitants of Missouri came from the southern states. The most of them are very ignorant, being unable to read, and write. Although the soil is so exceedingly rich, they raise but little grain; a patch of corn, and a drove of hogs running wild in the woods, is the height of their ambition. The corn makes their corndodger, and the hogs their bacon. Corndodger, bacon, and buttermilk, or clabber, constitutes the chief food of the lower classes, and in fact the upper classes do not live much better. Sometimes they have a little wheat flour, but they do not know how to make bread of it, being unacquainted with yeast, or saleratus. They appear to be the offscourings of the southern states. Their clothes are ragged dirty and filthy, and one would hardly know them from the savages of the forest, by their appearance. There are some of a better class who dress well and appear neat and clean. They are all very kind, and hospitable to strangers, and will set before them the best they have. They salt their pork in a corner of their house until it gets salt enough to make bacon, they then hang it in a smoke house, and smoke it a very little, but during the summer it often gets full of life, but they do not mind that. Wild bees being very plentiful, they generally have more or less honey. They have a dislike to eastern, and northern people, they call them all Yankees.
The distance from Kirtland to Far West is 835 miles by my reckoning.
31st. Today George Gates, and I went to look at some land with a view to taking up some for farms. We found some very good.
September 1st.  I went up to Elihu Allen’s, who lives five miles southeast of Far West. They scarcely knew me. Moses Clawson lives here also.
3rd. Yesterday I went to meeting, and heard Almon W. Babbit preach. Today, I went back to Uncle Josiah Richardson’s.
5th. We found an empty house near Elihu Allen’s place on Log creek, and moved into it today.
September 6th.  I went up to Far West. The militia of this county, who were all “Mormons” had been ordered to meet at this place, to take measures to defend themselves against the mob; who were still actively engaged in spreading false reports, to incite the Missourians, to arise and drive the “Mormons” from the state. The report was, that they had set this day to begin their driving. Their place of operations at this time is in Daviess County, joining Caldwell on the north, and which is very thinly settled. They were not yet bold enough to attack Caldwell County. A few of the mob gathered at Millport, on Grand River, but did not do any damage. The militia at Far West, were ordered not to leave that plder penalty of the law, but to hold themselves as minutemen, and be ready at a moments warning, armed and equipped to repel the mob. Far West is situated on a high rolling prairie between Shoal Creek on the north, and Goose Creek on the south, which empties into Shoal Creek a short distance east of Far West. The houses are very scattering, and small, being chiefly built of hewed logs. The basement for the Temple is dug, and the corner stones were laid the 4th of July last. The town contains one printing press, one tavern, and a few small stores, and groceries. It will be a beautiful city, if it is every built up, as it is intended to be. The soil is excellent.
7th. The militia were granted the privilege of returning home today.
9th. They were ordered to assemble at Far West again today, and some were sent to Adam-ondi-ahman, Daviess County, which is 25 miles north of Far West, to assist the Latter-day Saints in that place against the mob, who are still collecting on Grand River. This river runs through the above named place. The mob had commenced plundering.
12th. I went up to Far West today. The most of the militia were disbanded. The Mormons were expecting the arrival of Major General Atchinson, with a body of armed men from Ray, and Clay Counties, who were said to be on their way to Daviess County, to disperse the mob. Gen. Atchinson and another officer arrived towards night. They had left their armed men (about 300) eight miles south of Far West. They had heard that the “Mormons” had 20 or 30 cannon, and were fortified at Far West, and they durst not come in. The General told them that he was not afraid of all the cannon they had, and he would go in alone and see. He had a friendly chat with Joseph Smith, and the leading men, and appeared to be very friendly to the “Mormons”.
14th. The General passed through Far West today with his 300 men, on his way to Daviess County, to see if he could settle the difficulty.
15th. I went to Mr. Guyman’s horse mill and ground some wheat and I had to bolt it by hand. They are poor substitutes for mills.
18th. I commenced work for John P. Barnard today, at two bushels corn per day, and board. Barnard was one of our old neighbors in Greenwood.
21st. Rainy. I went to Uncle Richardson’s and stayed over night.
23rd. There is a heavy frost this morning-ice 1/4 inch thick. I went home last night, and returned this morning, and went to Uncle’s again.
24th. I went home again, and we all moved down to Mr. [J.P.] Barnard’s. He lives eight miles east of Far West, on Shoal Creek.
October 7th.  Father, and I are both working for J. P. Barnutting corn, and digging a well. We have bargained for 80 acres of his land. We heard today, that the mob commenced firing on the “Mormons”, at DeWitt, in Carroll County. The Mormons had commenced a settlement at that place, near the Missouri River, and several had stopped there who were immigrating to Far West. The mob would not let them proceed further. The militia, (who were Missourians) , were called out, but they took sides with the mob, and the Mormons who were now surrounded with the mob were left to defend themselves as best they could. They finally made some kind of arrangement, so that the Mormons were allowed to go to Far West. I think that there were none killed here. [October] 14th.  Sunday. Mr. Barnard, and I went to Far West to meeting. Joseph Smith preached. He said that those who would not turn out to help to suppress the mob, should have their property taken to support those who would. He was very plain and pointed in his remarks, and expressed a determination to put down the mob or die in the attempt. The report was, that they had gathered in Daviess County to the number of 400 or 500. Just as meeting closed, there was an alarm given, that a company of armed men were approaching the town from the south. The men immediately ran for their guns, so as to be in readiness should they prove to be enemies. But they proved to be a company of militia, who had been ordered to Daviess County, (they said,) to quell the mob. Joseph said that he wanted all the people (men) of Caldwell County to assemble at Far West tomorrow, in order to find out who will fight, and who will not. He said that the Mormons would have to protect themselves, as they could not put any dependence in the militia of the state; for they were mostly mobocrats. On our way home from meeting, we met several families from DeWitt, just getting in, amongst whom was S. Markham, and company, whom we left in Illinois. They were among those that were detained at DeWitt by the mob. During the skirmish there, Markham was shot at several times, but not hurt. [October] 21st.  The “Mormons” assembled at Far West last monday, according to appointment, and about 300 volunteered to go to Daviess County, with Joseph Smith, to assist their brethren, while the rest were to stay, and guard this town. On the 17th the snow fell about six inches, and the men at Far West were permitted to return home. I shall merely give a brief account of our troubles in this war, (for it cannot be called any thing else) as it is likely a full account will be published in the Church History. The company who went with J. Smith Jr., assisted by those living in Daviess County, dispersed the mob, and found their cannon buried in the road. In their flight they were unable to take it with them, and they buried it in the road, so that the wagons passing over it would obliterate all signs of any thing being buried there. The report is, that a sow had rooted it up, so that the Mormons discovered it, and took it away with them. Now in order to sustain themselves, the Mormons took their enemies corn, cattle, hogs, etc., according to the usages of war. This so enraged the mobbers, that they swore that they would kill every Mormon in the state. They set their own houses afire, and ran into the adjoining counties, and declared that the “Mormons” had driven them out, and burned their houses etc. This they done to excite the people against the Mormons, in order to get them to join them in their persecutions. There were several Missourians living in Daviess County, and they had become jealous of the “Mormons”, who were filling up the county very rapidly. They were also very much prejudiced against their religion.
[October] 25th.  This morning there was a battle fought between a company of 60 Mormons commanded by David W. Patten, and about the same number of Mobbers on Crooked River. The mobbers were driven across the river, and several of them killed. The “Mormons” had one killed (Jared Corter) and seven wounded two of which were fatal. One of these was D. W. Patten, one of the Twelve Apostles and the other was Patrick Obanion a young man, with whom I was partially acquainted. They died the 26th. The Saints in this region concluded to gather in at Mr. Lyon’s place 7 miles east of Far West and 3/4 of a mile from where we are now living, that they may the better protect themselves against the mob. We being so close by did not move. A guard was kept out day and night in order to prevent the mob coming on us unawares. The whole state is in a terrible excited condition.
28th. The Mormons are moving in their families, at Lyons; and some are going or to Far West. At that place many are camped out in the open weather, and are suffering in the cold. It really looks like war times, and it appears that the Missourians are determined to drive the Mormons from the state, from the little information they could get, with regard to the movements of the mobbers.
30th. Tonight while guarding the main road coming in from the South and leading to Far West, a company of Missourians came along and hearing a rumor just before, that a large body of them were near Far West, they concluded it best not to molest them but let them pass on, which they did without stopping. Soon after they passed, two men came up from Haun’s Mill, going to Far West. They reported, that a mob came on them that afternoon, at Hauns Mill, and had killed nearly all the “Mormons” gathered at that place, and they expected the mob would come up the creek, and would kill all the Mormons that they could find. On hearing all these reports, the men concluded to disperse, and those, who had horses, went to Far West, taking a roundabout way, so as not to fall into the hands of the militia. They had also ascertained, very late in the evening, that 4000 some say 6000 militia had encamped that night, one half mile south of Far West, with orders from the Governor of the state to exterminate the Mormons. Those who could not go to Far West, secreted themselves in the woods. My father, and I, with Mr. Ives, took our blankets, and went into the woods near the road, so that if the mobbers came along, we would hear them. It was a cold frosty night.
31st. The mobbers did not pass. We got our breakfast this morning, and again secreted ourselves in the woods near the road, so as to see if any body passed. About nine o’clock we heard the firing of guns in the direction of Far West, and we supposed that a battle was raging at that place, but the firing soon ceased, and we did not know what to make of it. As all communication with Far West was cut off, we could not learn what was going on.
November 1st.  We slept last night in the hallow of a large sycamore tree which had been cut down. We crawled into it about 20 feet and then had plenty of room to lay side by side. We watched the road again today, and towards night Mr. Guyman came riding leisurely along. He told us, that they had made a treaty at Far West, and the Mormo had surrendered and agreed to leave the state in the spring. With regard to this treaty, and the betrayal of Joseph and Hyram Smith, and some others into the hands of the mob-militia by the traitor, Colonel George M. Hinkle who had commanded the militia of Caldwell County. See the History of Joseph Smith.
2nd. As had been stated, the massacre at Haun’s Mill occurred the afternoon of the 30th of Oct. . The Latter Day Saints in that part of the county had gathered at the mill in order to protect themselves from the mob, and several had stopped there, who were journeying to Far West, supposing that it was a place of safety. They numbered about 40 men altogether. A party of 300 ruffians from Livingston County came suddenly upon them. The Mormons ran into a log blacksmith shop (which belonged to James Houston, my wife’s brother-in-law) for their arms, and the mobbers formed instantly so as to command the entrance, and fired upon them. There being no chinking between the logs they also fired through these open spaces. Some of the Mormons broke out and succeeded in getting away safe, and about six were wounded in their flight. The mobbers then ran into the shop, and shot all in there that were wounded. One little boy whose name was Smith, had crawled under the bellows to hide, but the fiends discovered him and instantly shot his brains out. The number killed was 18. After the mob had gone, some of the “Mormons” came from their hiding places the next day and in a hurried manner, gathered up the dead, and cast them into a well, which was being dug, but had not yet found water. I will here say that the well spoken of belonged to Jacob Myers, my wife’s brother, who was severely wounded and a year or so after ward had to have his leg amputated. George Myers another brother was shot through the body as he was trying to escape. The mobbers did not pursue him, and he succeeded in getting away, and recovered from his wounds, but was never as stout afterwards. Jacob Myers Sen., my wife’s father, assisted in putting the dead in the well, and she also, was an eye witness of the sad scene, being in her 10th year.
After the treaty which has been spoken of, was made, things began to assume a more settled appearance, although Bogart, (who bye the bye was a Methodist preacher) who had headed the mob, at the battle of Crooked Creek [River], continued to scour the country with a posse of men in search of arms, and certain men whom they wanted to imprison. One of the stipulations of their treaty was that the Mormons should deliver up their arms. The most of these arms, however, were returned to the Mormons during the winter.
This war was waged against the Latter Day Saints, because they believed in prophets, and professed to have revelation from God. This was the statement of General Clark in his address to the Saints at Far West, after the surrender. Not because they had broken any law of the state of Missouri, but it was because they believed in the gospel, as taught by Christ, and his Apostles. This was the only accusation made against them by their enemies which shows conclusively, that they persecuted them because of their religion. The sectarian priests, the debauchee, and the drunkard, all combined to gather, to persecute, and destroy the innocent, and the amount of misery, and suffering they caused them, at this inclement season of the year, will never be known until the books are opened, when all will be judged from those things written therein. The Saints will be crowned with glory, while their persecutors will si misery and woe.
There not being any work going on this winter, my nephew Franklin Allen and myself concluded to build us a hut, and live by ourselves. My niece, Caroline Allen, did our cooking. We had a great many spelling matches and parties in the neighborhood during the winter, and all enjoyed themselves, as well as they could under the circumstances. The mobbers did not allow the Saints to hold meetings but the young would have their amusements. Chapter III.
There had been a committee appointed by the Church to gather means from those who had to spare, to assist those who were not able to move themselves out of the state. Stephen Markham was one of that committee. Having lost all of our goods that we sent by water, we had nothing to help ourselves with. Mr. Markham succeeded in getting a team for us, and on the first day of April 1839, my father, George Gates, and wife, and my sister Almira, and myself started for Illinois in company with Mr. Markham’s family, and one or two other families. We arrived in Quincy on the 14th. From this place we went out east about 15 miles, near Columbus, and hearing that Uncle Josiah Richardson was stopping five miles southwest of this place, Father went to see him. Uncle thought that we could rent some land there, and wanted us to move in the house with him. We accordingly did so. The place where Uncle Josiah lives belongs to Isaac Ferguson, he having rented some land of him for this season. Father also rented three acres of him. Ferguson was a widower, his wife having died the fall previously leaving him three children. He was boarding with Uncle. George Gates built him a house in the timber, on some vacant land, and lives by himself. Since commencing this chapter, I have found a letter I received the last of February from our folks in Michigan which I will here copy it being in answer to a letter that I wrote to them after the war was over. This is the third letter I had received from them since we parted in Ohio. The following is from my brother, George.
Ypsilanti Feb. 4th 1839
Dear Father, Brothers and Sisters,
We received your letter the first day of this month and with as great joy as can be imagined; for we knew not but what you were all killed, from the accounts in the papers. My health is very good. When I wrote last to you, I thought I should take a school, but I have not. I had applications, but I thought I had better go to school this winter. I went to Grass Lake last November to school–was gone most eleven weeks. It is 35 miles west of here. I am now going to school here, and board with David. I am sorry to learn that you are doing nothing this winter; for I thought that you would try and enter into a course of study; knowing that you have a searching mind, and generally studious. I hope that you do not neglect your books, for science is marching forward at a quick pace and the greater part of the community are becoming scientific, or enlightened and shall we be on the back ground, ignorant of what is going on in the world? No! My Brother, I hope our better judgment will teach us to persevere in knowledge, and to put it to such use, that the wo may be some better for our living in it. We have every thing to encourage us–the fields that are opening for missionary teachers, and this must be a delightful place for a Christian to occupy; but, I suppose according to your theory, they are better off in their heathen state, than to join the sects. But we have something more to stimulate us, to search for knowledge.
According to scripture our enjoyments in another world will be in proportion to the knowledge we gain, and perseverance we make in the christian path, while in this probationary State. Here let me remark that I have no evidence that you have ever met with a change of heart, a yielding to Christ, and a forsaking of your sins, no more than you always have been well disposed toward the Christian religion. I suppose that you are well enough acquainted with the Bible to know that there must be a heart work; a breaking up of the old man; and putting on the new man Christ Jesus; and walk in newness of life. Now if you have not met with this change, I ask you to set about it now; go to Christ. He alone can do the work. Think not my brother, that because you have lived a moral life your sins are of so trifling a nature, that they need not to be repented of; you will be deceived if you trust in this. If you have met with a change of heart you must know that you have a work to do, for it is impossible for a Christian to be idle. He learns, that there is more that ought to be accomplished than he can do in his short life, if he improve every moment. And if you believe that the Mormons are the only true people, or true followers of Christ, you appear to be positive of it, for I have never heard you say that you did not believe in the Bible, but you say, that if you should say that you did not believe in the Mormons, you should say that you do not believe in the Bible. If you are so positive that they are the only true people, I ask, why do you not join them, they certainly need all the strength they can get.
You recollect that I wrote of you, that I expected to have heard something on the subject of Mormonism. In your last letter while writing to Mother, you gave rather an obscure answer, it may be a true one. But allow me to prophesy a little, and state a little fact; that the time is past that the Mormons were going to accomplish many things, we do know, and that they have boasted, threatened and tried to scare people you know as well as I do: And the greater mass of people that have joined them are ignorant, and lead into the delusion on that account. And it is easy to predict that the judgments of God are on them now, and that they will have to give up their physical mode of warfare, and take the Sword of the Spirit, or they will be extinguished from the earth, or annihilated.
Feb. 11th. Do not understand me above to justify mobbing, or the proceedings of the Missourians against the Mormons. No! far be this from me. For I believe that the Mormons have been shamefully abused, but at the same time, I also believe that the Mormons have provoked the inhabitants of Missouri, with their doctrines, in declaring, that they are the only true people on earth: assigning the others as doctrines of men, and devils; and that the time is at hand, that they will be swept from the earth, by the wrath of God. If I understand the doctrine of the Mormons it is this. They hold that they have come out of the wilderness, and are placed on the same ground that the church was in the Apostles’ days. Now if they have the gift of prophecying different tongues, and healing the sick, etc., why are they not holy and devout men, like the apostles were. And if J. Smith Jr. is the type and forerunner of Christ, why does he not fill the office in the least particular. That the whole system is scarcely a shadow to the church at the time in which it was established, by the apostles is a fact. Did they resort to physical force to bring about their undertaking or to establish the church of Christ? Me thinks that the disciples never resorted to arms to defend their religion–and it is a Bible doctrine. But they took the sword of the Spirit, and wielded it, like men endowed with the Spirit sent from the hand of the Almighty. When they throw down their arms, boasting of their miracles, speaking with tongues, and make it manifest by their holy living, and by their exercising the power in faith, that they pretend to be in possession of (the most of their doctrine is good) when they live up to their profession, and do the mighty works that they have pretended to do, in a word, when they become the people that they profess to be, I shall have charity for them. Yes when I see this take place I will strive to be one among them.
I suppose my brother by the time you read this far, you will be tired; but bear with me a little longer on the subject of Mormonism. I do not wish you to think that I am condemning the Mormons as a body; for I believe the most of them are sincere; but I must say, that, I do believe that the founders of Mormonism are as corrupt as they represent the different denominations to be. Yea more, I believe that Satan is the father of it, that he has come in the garb of prophets, almost assuming the authority of Christ, trying to deceive the children of men. But we read that such will come, and if possible deceive the very elect. I think a few years more will decide this matter. I hold myself open for information, and when I can be convinced that they are the only true church of Christ; that moment I will become a true advocate of that doctrine. I shall be pleased to hear from you on this subject. From your Brother George Foote.
The following is from my Mother, who was living with David.
Ypsilanti Feb. 11th 1839.
Dear Husband and Children.
It gave me much joy to hear from you, to learn that your lives are all spared, and that you enjoy a good degree of health. That is more than I expected to hear, from the accounts in the papers, which you must know has caused me many a sorrowful hour by day, and by night. But I strove to give up, and be reconciled to Him, who rules all things. When the last was wrote you, I had a bad cold, it came on me when Charles was sick, it kept increasing with a violent cough, until I did not know but what it would be the means of ending my days. I got some medicine that helped my cough immediately, but I have been in a feeble state of health all winter, but not so bad but what I have done considerable sewing, and helped Harry some about house. It is better now than it has been before, since I was first taken. I have thought many a time that I should be glad if I was with you, but since the war broke out I have thought that I would be better off here. You have often told about that being a place of safety; and I thought at the time; little did you know about aa ce of safety, in this world.
Warren says that he is not a Mormon, but he is just as he always was. I can say pretty much the same. I do not know that my mind is changed much as to Mormonism. I talk of going to William Ferguson’s in the spring. Warren as to your coming after me, I think you had better not; if I can get any way to go without. You will want all you can earn.
My Dear Son, I want to see you very much, and all the rest: but if we are not permitted to see each other again in this world, I would exhort you to put your trust in God, that you may not be deceived by the works of men. As for the Mormons, you must see that they have failed in many things; and I think that you are all disappointed by going there. I hope that you all will try to do the best you can. I know you must have trouble and trials. Give my respects to Sister and Brother Richardson, Franklin and Caroline Allen, and all other friends there. From your Mother; Irene Foote.
The following is from my brother, David. Dear Brother,
As George has commenced a letter to you, I will write a few lines in it, and let you know how things go with me: and in the first place, my health is very good for me, I have not been so fleshy before in two or three years as I am now. I have been carrying on the cabinet, turning, and house building this winter, in company with two other men; but did not find it very profitable and therefore I quit it, and have gone to work at “jur” work again. I like this place very much, and think if I had a place here, I should be contended to stay, but as I have none, and see no prospect of getting any, I should like to go to some place where I could. I have been here about nine months, and am about $100.00 better off than I was when I came here (but not in money). I do not know whether I shall stay here through the summer or not. I should like to see Missouri, but cannot say that I ever shall with any degree of certainty. I think that a laboring man can get a living here easier than he can in York State, although provision is very dear. Flour is worth $7.00 per hundred and butter is 25 cts. per lb. and such a house as we left in Greenwood would rent for $2.00 or $2.50 per week.
As George has wrote a considerable about the Mormons I shall not say much on that subject. But I do think whether they enjoy the spirit of religion or not, they have been shamefully abused; and I think it is a shame, and disgrace to any state that pretends to be governed by Republican laws to allow such mobbing. And if a gang of ruffians are permitted to go and destroy the lives, and property of one sect of people, who knows how soon they may do it to another, and if that be the case, who would be safe. I hope that there will be some measures taken to bring the mobbers to justice. And if the Mormons are an innocent people, and live in the enjoyment of religion, the Lord will prosper them.
Now if you have not given your heart to God, O do it without delay, if you would secure to yourself happiness in this life, and the life to come. I would like to see you all very much, I could think of much more to talk about than I can to write. I will writew lines to Father. It is uncertain whether I shall every see you again, but O, let us live christian lives, and walk humble before God, so that we can have the happy privilege of setting down together in the kingdom of heaven. You are an old man and have met with a great many trails, and afflictions through life, but the Lord is able to deliver you out of them all, and I would ask an interest in your prayers, that I may not led into temptations, but that I may live in the fear of God, that I may leave this world in peace, and meet all my friends, and relatives beyond this vale of tears, where trials and afflictions shall never come. I should like to write more, but have not time, nor room. Give my love to Almira and Clarissa, likewise to all our friends there. This is from your affectionate Son. (To Father) David Foote, Jr.
The following is from David’s wife to my sisters Almira and Clarissa.
Dear Sisters, I will now attempt to write a few lines to you although I hardly know what to write that will be interesting to you. If I could see you I presume I should find enough to talk about, but I will inform you, that I have enjoyed very good health this winter. Helen has been quite unwell. She has had a hard cough most of the time since September. She was taken with a very violent fever in December, and was for eight or nine days that she did not eat any thing at all. The only nourishment that she took was a little crust coffee, but she is now so that she goes to school, and she learns very fast. She talks a great deal about your, and wants to see you all. She has not forgotten her Grandpa. I should like very much to see you all, but don’t know as I ever shall–you well know that I do not like the plan of moving about much. I like this place as well as any that I have ever lived in (except my old home) and if we had a home here, I should be contented to stay here.
David talks sometimes about moving to Missouri, but I think he will have to wait a long time, before he will get any thing to go with. It would cost a great deal to move there. I do not think it would be safe to go there at present, on account of there being so much disturbance. We have had a great many anxious thoughts about you this winter, and Mother in particular, has been very much troubled.
When George brought in the letter, he gave it to me to read. I trembled when I opened it, for fear it had brought the intelligence that some of you had fallen into the merciless hands of the mobbers; but we had great reason for thankfulness to God, for news so favorable. Warren did not write any thing about our old acquaintances. I should like to hear from Mrs. Barnard and Mrs Brown, and Uncle Josiah’s family, and all the rest of the folks, that I am acquainted with there. I hope you will be a little more particular, about writing the news in your next letter. We have not heard any thing from William Ferguson’s folks since we wrote to you before I received a letter from my brother, George Harvey, a short time since. Our folks were all well but Eli. His health is not as good, as it was when he was here in the fall; I think he had better return to Michigan again, for he enjoyed better health then here, than he had for a number of years. I have heard nothing from Greenwood, since last summer. I have commenced a letter to send to Mrs. Davis.
There has been quite a revival here this winter in the Presbyterian Church, and a number of conversions in the Methodist Church. The Baptist are now holding a protracted meeting. I don’t know as I have any thing more to write at present, as it is getting late I will draw to a close. I hope you will answer this as soon as you get it. Give my respects to all enquiring friends, Father in particular.
From Your Affectionate Sister, Mary Foote
The following is from George [Foote], who now finishes the letter. Feb. 12th
I do not know but what you will blame me for not finishing this letter before; but it is something of a chore to get the rest to write; but it shall be finished soon, if I have to fill it myself. I am glad to learn that you have found a good country, but very sorry that you cannot enjoy it in peace, for the country can do you but little good, unless you can possess it in peace, but I hope that the disturbance is over with. The last Advocate that I received, stated that the mobbers will have justice done them. I hope this will be the case. I have not made up my mind what I shall do next summer, whether I shall go east, or whether I shall stay here. It may be if peace is restored in your country, that I may take a notion to go there through the course of next summer. I think that I shall have my mind made up, by the time you send me another letter. You wrote that that is the place for me if I want to teach school; but according to your account, I think that it is better business here. They pay here from $15.00 to $26.00 per month, and board. But it is not my intention to follow it for a living. I should like to have you, in your next, inform me what kind of inhabitants that country is settled with, and the state of society there, the situation of the country, and its climate in particular, about its healthfulness; and as the most of you there are from the East, you can learn the best and cheapest way to go. I want you to take a little pains to inform me, and what it will cost.
There has been about the same disturbance in Canada this winter that there was last. Some of the blacklegs, and thieves, that this country is infested with got strung up, and shot. Happy would it have been for the country if they had all been served the same way; for almost every night there is more or less stealing going on. Some of them are taken and put in jail, and by the time they get it full, they break out, and so they go unpunished. Therefore there is nothing to restrain them. Our laws are set at defiance here, as well as there. Banking, business has become an outlaw. Under this system there is the most fraud committed in open violation of the laws, that has ever been known in the annals of history. Ypsilanti bank has broke, with hundreds and thousands of dollars of its paper palmed on the public; while the stockholders make themselves, and friends rich by it. I will give you a short sketch published in the Advocate that I received yesterday.
“It is hard to tell which party were the aggressors. It is the prevailing sentiment, so far as I can learn, that the Mormons committed the first depredations, in the character of a mob, and such was the excitement, that the militia were twice called out to suppress the gatherinrm. After the troops were called home the last time, the Mormons commenced burning, plundering, taking prisoners, and threatening to murder every thing in Daviess County. The apprehensions of the citizens, of Ray County were so fearful, that they thought their safety required a guard to be placed on the line between Caldwell and Ray Counties. This guard consisted of about 45 soldiers, legally ordered out. [Battle of Crooked River] They were attacked in the night, by about 100 Mormons, and some were killed, and wounded on both sides. This defiance of the laws kindled a flame in the bosom of every patriot. The country was soon in arms, and things began to wear a gloomy and awful aspect. Vengeance seemed determined on both sides.
The Mormons rallied to their strong hold, men, women and children, to witness the fulfillment of prophecy viz. that God would send angels to fight their battles. Never did there seem to be more depending on an action; the truth, or falsehood of prophecy, was to be tested by it, the fate of hundreds were depending on the issue. Both parties seemed certain of victory.
The day, the hour, at last came. 3000 citizens were encamped within half a mile of the village of Far West. They were marched to the town, and a line of battle formed. An engagement was expected, but prevented (blessed be God) by a truce, until an unconditional surrender was made. Their leaders were given up prisoners of war, and there grounded at the feet of their enemies.
About 50 Mormons have been killed during the war. Since their surrender, a company of Mormons, calling themselves Danites, that had entered into a conspiracy against the government have been detected and about 50 are now in Richmond jail. There is no doubt but both parties are to blame, and I rejoice to say, that it is the determination of the officers to punish all who have acted as a mob on both sides. The state of Missouri will have to pay dear for such acts. Two hundred thousand dollars would not pay the expense, it is thought. What I have stated I have done on the veracity of men, who were in the war. I have had no share in it; more than to stay home and defend my family. Their condition is truly deplorable. Their lands are taken to pay their debts; they are without homes, without money, and without friends. Let the followers of the humane Jesus, as far as they can, relieve their distress, by feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.” Signed H. L. Dodds. Independence Mo. (Nov. 22nd 1838)
I want you to write as soon as you get this–do not delay. As I have run ashore of paper I am obliged to close. George Foote.
The foregoing letters were all written on one double sheet of paper. I answered all of George’s queries and corrected the statements made by H. L. Dodds. The Mormons were not the first aggressors, neither did they threaten to murder every thing in Daviess County. The mobbers commenced plundering, and threatened to drive all the Mormons from that county, and when they found that the Mormons were to much for them, they set fire to their own houses, and fled into the adjoining counties, and spread the report that the Mormons had burned their houses, and drove them from their homes. Previous to this, the mobbers took some of the Mormons prisoners, and treated them most lly. One person they beat over the head with a gun barrel until his brains oozed out, and left him for dead, but he afterward recovered. I saw him in Illinois and examined his head. I could have lain my finger in the wound after it was healed. The Mormons did not feel justified, to tamely submit to such brutal treatment to have their brethren murdered in cold blood, their women ravished, and their property destroyed by these devils in human shape. After appealing in vain to the authorities of the state, they found that they would have to protect themselves or be destroyed, therefore they arose en masse, and put a stop to mobbing in Daviess County. But when they found that the Governor had ordered the militia of the state to march to Far West, and take them prisoners, they threw down their arms, and submitted to banishment, trusting in the God of Israel for that protection, which the governor had refused them, who instead of protecting them in their rights, as American Citizens, had ordered his Generals to exterminate them.
Neither were the women and children gathered together to witness the fulfillment of prophecy. There was no prophecy concerning the battle. The truth of the doctrine, promulgated by Joseph Smith, Jr., or the falsity thereof, was in nowise depending on that action. I admit that the rights of hundreds of American Citizens, were depending on the actions of their enemies. But as all the particulars with regard to driving the Saints from Missouri are recorded in the Church History I will write no more on that subject, but continue my own journal.
I helped my Father to plant corn, on the three acres that he had rented of I. Ferguson. My health was very poor the forepart of summer. I will say here, that I have lost a sheet of my journal for this year, and shall not be able to give only a brief account of my doings, and that without dates.
In the latter part of April, Joseph and Hyram Smith, with others who had been confined in Richmond Jail and had suffered untold hardships, arrived in Quincy, Illinois to the great joy of the Saints. Soon after his arrival a conference was held near Quincy, which I attended. It was a time for rejoicing with the Latter Day Saints, to see their prophet and leaders, in their midst again. They had been delivered from their enemies by the power of the Most High. At this conference George A. Smith, and Wilford Woodruff were sustained as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as they had been ordained a short time previous. The Saints decided to locate at Commerce in Hancock County, Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi River. They also purchased a large amount of land in Iowa, opposite Commerce.
On the 9th of May, , Joseph Smith, Jr. started from Quincy with his family, to go to Commerce. Soon after this, my Father, Uncle Josiah Richardson, and his son Ebenezer Franklin Allen, and myself, went up to Commerce, with the intention of getting us places. We called to see Joseph Smith, who was busy in clearing off a garden spot, and ploughing it. At this time this place contained only six houses–one stone, three frame and two block; besides these, there were four others in the immediate vicinity–one of stone and three of logs. The land was mostly covered with trees and bushes. The next morning after arriving in Commerce, we went over the river to Montrose. Here were some old barracks formerly occupied by soldiers. Several ies of the Saints occupied them. We walked out into the country, some four or five miles, to find some vacant land to locate us some farms. Franklin Allen and myself found 80 acres which we thought would do us; and had it “booked” to us in partnership. A man by the name of Ripley done the surveying, or subdividing of sections, and also done the “booking.” Ebenezer Richardson also located some land. We recrossed at night, and next day started for home. We called at Stephen Markham’s on our way home. He had rented a place near Lima, and was farming. Franklin Allen was living near Lima. This place is 35 miles south of Commerce, and 25 miles north of I. Ferguson’s place.
Soon after this the name of Commerce was changed to Nauvoo, which is a Hebrew word signifying “Beautiful.” On the 27th of June 1839 my sister Almira was married to Isaac Ferguson. The latter part of the summer my health got considerable better; and through the instrumentality of Moses F. Clawson, a second cousin of mine, I was enabled to get a job of driving stage. He was a grandson of Aunt Lowly Richardson, and had been brought up by her. He had previously engaged in driving stage, for Finch & Bro. who lived in Columbus, and had contracts on two or three different routes. They wanted Moses to drive on another part of the route, and wanted me to drive where he was then driving which was from Columbus, to Naples, on the east side of the Illinois River. The distance between these places is 45 miles. I drove one span of horses to a carriage, and changed every 15 miles. The first trip I made, about used me up. The roads were very rough, and driving so fast, jolted me terribly. When I got to Naples I felt as though I could not possibly ride over the road again the next day; but the next morning I felt a little rested, and started out; and did not feel any the worse when I arrived at Columbus. I left Columbus early in the morning, and on arriving at the Illinois river, I had to tie the horses to the wagon, and leave them there over night, while I took the mail over in a skiff. This was my orders, so as to save expense, in ferrying the team over. The ferryman would leave a skiff there for me, and I would row myself over; I had to leave Naples, at four o’clock in the morning, and rowed myself back again.
I drove here until the roads became muddy, in the fall, when it became necessary to put on another driver. Moses Clawson took the west end of the route, and I the east. I drove from Belmont to Naples. It was generally about night before Moses got to Belmont; which made my trip to Naples in the dark, I would get back to Belmont to breakfast, and lay there until the next day until Moses came. There was an old Bachelor boarding with the family I boarded with, and also a young man about my age was living there. We had a sitting room to ourselves. The bachelor was a fiddler, and we used to have considerable fun during the long winter evenings. The Methodist had a wonderful revival of religion in this neighborhood, and we often attended their meetings to see their performances. It was as good to us as a theater.
The Illinois river was sometimes very dangerous to cross in the dark, alone, on account of the running ice. I told the ferryman to never leave a boat on the west side, if there was any danger in crossing. He said that he would not. One evening as I was going to Naples, I was unusually cast down in my feelings, and the nearer I got to the river the worse I felt. I was thinking of my dear old mother, and wondering if I would ever see hgain. When I arrived at the river at about eight o’clock in the evening, I found the skiff there. This was about the middle of Jan 1840. The weather had turned very cold just at night, and I was fearful of the ice running, but when I saw the skiff left for me, I supposed that there was no danger. I was all alone. I got into the skiff, and found that it was the large one, which was made for two to row with, but one could manage it in water clear of ice well enough. I got about half-way across, and began to find the ice running, and the further I got; the thicker the ice became, until I could not do any thing with the oars; and I found that I was being carried down stream with the ice. So I took the oar on the lower side, and thought that I would work gradually toward the shore, until I would land somewhere. There was an old raft of round logs lying below the ferry landing with one edge of it on the shore, and the other edge extending into the river. I happened to work in by the side of this raft. The ice was frozen from the logs a short distance into the river.
When I struck this stationary ice, I commenced breaking it with one foot, and pulling the skiff in, until I could not break it any further, and supposing that it would bear me up, I got out on it, when down I went to my armpits, but I found that I stood on the bottom with a log at my breast. But the log was covered with ice, so that I could not get hold of any thing to pull my self up with. I had on a very heavy overcoat, which helped to weigh me down. After struggling awhile, I found that I could not get out with out help. Judge of my feelings at this moment. If I could not make any one hear, I knew that I must inevitably perish. I called for help, and as I called I observed some person on the bank. Joy spring up in my bosom. It was the ferryman. The ice commenced running on the east side of the river soon after he had left the boat for me, and he was keeping a kind of lookout for me. He was walking on the further side of the street, nearly opposite to me, when he heard something splash into the water. He mistrusted it was me, and as he came to the bank he heard me halloo, and then discovered me in the foregoing described predicament.
He pulled me up on the log, and told me to go the house, but I told him that I must look after the mail. He said that he could get the skiff to the shore a little farther down, and he would bring the mail up to the office. Finding that the mail would be safe, I went to the Naples House, and got some dry clothes, and some supper. I was very chilly during the evening. In the morning I got my clothes dried, but the river being nearly full of running ice, I did not get over until noon. I felt very thankful to God for my almost miraculous escape. I think that ten minutes more would have benumbed me entirely, it being extremely cold. But I have passed through it, by the blessing of the Lord with no further injury, than the toothache, and a very bad cold, which confined me to the house three days.
The next trip I went I crossed the river at Philip’s Ferry on the ice, with my team. This place is six miles below Naples. The water is very cold, and the ice very thick. (I now come to my journal again).
January 27th, 1840. The past week has been extremely cold. There has nothing transpired worthy of note. I continued to cross the river on the ice.
February 2nd.  The weather has been a little more moderate the past week. I drove two trips to Naples. Moses Clawson went one for me.
9th. This week has been warm, and the snow has all gone, and it is very muddy. Moses Clawson went with me last night. We could not cross the river, so we had to stay on the west side all night. The bottom, on this side of the river, is three miles wide, and that is the distance to the first house from the river. We made out to get across this morning by going about a mile up and crossing at the Island. It rained nearly all day, and we did not get back to Belmont until four o’clock P.M. I only made two trips to Naples this week.
16th. It has been very muddy, and bad traveling this week. I had a very hard time of it, last Thursday night. The mud was so bad that I had to take the mail on horseback. It was six o’clock P.M. and raining when I left Belmont. It continued to rain until nine, when the wind changed into the northwest and grew cold very fast. I was then about half way to Naples. I could not ride off of a walk, it was so very muddy, and when I got to the river it was about one o’clock A.M. The wind was blowing fiercely, and very cold. I called for the ferryman, but could hear no answer. I stayed about one hour, and as the cold kept increasing, I found that I would freeze if I stayed any longer, so I concluded to return.
By the time I got half way across the bottom, my clothes were frozen stiff, having been completely saturated by the rain. I was glad to get in sight of a house. I went to the door, and knocked, The man got up and let me in, and raked open a nice bed of hickory coals, and throwing on some wood he went back to bed. I now had a nice blazing fire all to myself. It was now four o’clock. I enjoyed this fire until daylight. Having dried my clothes I started out again. From this place to Griggsville is mostly a forest, and I did not feel the wind so much. I made my statement to the Postmaster, giving the reasons why I did not cross the river. He took it down, and I made oath to it, and took the certificate to show to Postmasters on the route. From Griggsville to Belmont is three miles, on a high bleak prairie. I suffered terribly with the cold, the wind blowing almost a gale right square in my face. I got to Belmont about nine o’clock A.M. I traveled again all night last night. Got to Belmont at seven this morning.
19th. Moses Clawson has been driving from Naples to Jacksonville a short time past. This morning he wanted me to go one trip for him as he wanted to go to Columbus. I accordingly drove out to Jacksonville which is 22 miles from Naples. The little village of Exeter is on this route. This is the place where Father preached when going to Missouri.
20th. On returning to Naples, I learned that Moses was not going to drive any more on this route, and Mr. Finch wishing me to continue driving on it, I concluded to do so. I had to drive 4 hoses on this route, but had a very light coach. My wages was sixteen dollars per month, and board. I boarded at Heslep’s Hotel in Jacksonville, and at the Naples House in Naples. Heslep had a good many boarders, such as merchants, lawyers etc. Theere five mail routes centered in Jacksonville, and four stage drivers stopped at Hesleps. Three of us were there on the same nights. One of these by the name of Henry W. Lane was my bed fellow.
March 1st.  I went home today, on a visit. I traveled all night last night on horseback. I found my folks all well.
8th. I returned to Jacksonville last Wednesday. The weather is very warm, and the roads are very good.
15th. Nothing more than usual happened this week.
23rd. I wrote a letter to William Ferguson today. Very cold and disagreeable.
April 5th.  It continues very disagreeable weather.
12th. The past week has been very rainy and disagreeable.
19th. This week has been quite pleasant. The fruit trees begin to blossom.
26th. Yesterday, I had to encounter a very heavy thunder storm with hail and heavy wind. It has been very muddy the past week. I have had but one passenger during the week.
May 3rd.  It has been very wet and cold. I saw considerable frost last Friday morning. Nothing unusual happened this week.
10th. It continues very rainy and roads very muddy. Some frost this morning. As the cars were coming down the street, near Heslep’s, the engine struck a large hog which throwed it off the track. It was on level ground and was soon replaced. The hog was killed. There is a railroad from Meredosia, on the Illinois river, six miles about Naples, to Jacksonville, distance 24 miles. The cars make a trip daily.
17th. I went home on a visit again last week, and returned. Found all well.
24th. Nothing unusual happened this week. I continue going back and forth daily.
31st. It is very dull times, wet and rainy, plenty of mud.
June 7th.  Last Monday I was out in the heaviest shower that I ever saw. I had got half way across the Illinois bottom, and the wind blowed, and hailed so hard that I had to stop my team, and turn the hind end of the coach to the wind to keep it from blowing over. I had two passengers with me. I got very wet. This week the Whigs held a great convention in Springfield, 35 miles east of Jacksonville. Party cs are running very highly. It is the year  of the presidential election. The Whigs are running Gen. Harrison, and the Democrats are running [Martin] Van Buren. The motto of the Whigs is log cabins, and hard cider. Log Cabins were built on wheels, and ran through the streets with barrels of hard cider in them. There were supposed to be about 12000 people present.
11th. I got a letter from my brother George, and answered it today.
14th. The weather is getting very hot and dry. Father came to Naples last Monday night, on his way to Michigan. He is going to bring Mother home with him. He left on Tuesday on a steamboat, and will go by water as far as Peru, and will walk from there to Michigan. I gave him what little money I had by me, and paid his bill at the tavern.
21st. I have had the “blues” very badly the past week, but am getting over them.
28th. It was very hot, and sultry the first of last week. We had a tremendous storm, which blowed a number of trees across the road, it also blowed down a two story house in Naples. I got very wet. It was very showery all the week.
July 5th.  It has been a very pleasant week. They gave out notice last week that they would make a railroad excursion, to Meredosia, and back on the fourth, leaving Jacksonville at three o’clock P.M. and returning at six. I accordingly procured a ticket for myself, and partner who lived five miles out of town, on my stage route. I drove into Jacksonville about ten o’clock A.M. yesterday. I hired a horse, and buggy, and went after my girl. Her father and mother and sister, was going also. The old man started out with his carriage, and I followed. We got to town two hours before the time. There were only two passenger cars, but they attached all their baggage cars to the train, and when the hour arrived to start, they were loaded with as many as could hang on, which numbered several hundred. We did not get into Meredosia until six o’clock, the hour that we should have been back to Jacksonville. After stopping there a short time, they started on their return. We got along tolerably well, until we came to the uphill grade of the Mauvaustar Creek, when we came to a dead halt. We got off, and pushed, for about two miles, when some of them thought they would have some fun, and began to pull back. This would stop the train, and when they started again, they would pull back and stop it again. They kept fooling along this way awhile, when the conductor slipped the bolt out of the coupling behind the first passenger car, which contained the ladies, and a few men and shot off for Jacksonville at fill speed. It so happened that I had got on that car a few minutes before it was uncoupled, so I was all right. We reached Jacksonville about midnight. It happened that Mr. Sprague (my girl’s father ) was on the car also. I got my horse, and buggy, and we hitched up to return home. The night was terrible dark. I let Mr. Sprague start ahead, but he kept missing the way, and finally he wanted me to take the lead. It being on my daily route I knew the road as well in the dark, as in the light. I went ahead, and kept him jogging pretty lively to keep up. It got back to Jacksonville about three o’clock, just as the stragglers began to come in. I met two of my fellow drivers right at the tavern and jokes onto them. One of them (Henry Lane) took a girl with him, the girl came on home in the car, and he was left behind. As soon as they got in with the first car, they ran the engine back and brought up the rest. But many walked all the way in (12 miles) not knowing as they were coming back with the engine. There was a great deal of swearing done in the crowed.
12th. It has been very pleasant the past week–the wheat is all cut.
19th. Very hot the past week. Nothing unusual occurred.
26th. The weather is some cooler. My health has been very poorly the past week, some symptoms of the ague.
Aug 2nd.  I feel better again and continue my regular trips.
9th. The weather the past week has been very pleasant.
16th. It is very hot weather and very sickly in Naples.
23rd. Last Monday I got a young man to drive stage for me while I went home on a visit. It rained some. On Tuesday I went to Quincy with the stage driver from Columbus, and had a very high fever. Wednesday I came home, and had a fever again in the afternoon. On Thursday last I had a shake of the ague which lasted about one and an half hours. This made me very weak. I found that I would not be able to return to Jacksonville as I expected too. So I got Franklin Allen to go over Friday, and drive stage for me, until I should be able to resume again. Yesterday (the 22nd) I was taken down with the bilious fever, and was very sick. I sent to Columbus for a doctor. He gave me some medicine which broke my fever and today I feel much better.
30th. I have continued to gain very slowly the past week.
September 6th.  I have chills, and fever again, and have become very weak.
13th. I had two shakes of the ague, the forepart of last week, since which I have gained strength very slowly. The weather is very fine.
20th. I have been free from the ague the past week.
27th. I have some symptoms of the ague again.
28th. I started for Jacksonville in the stage to get my clothes; which I left at Heslep’s tavern, where I boarded. Stayed over night at Naples.
29th. Arrived at Jacksonvillut 10 o’clock A.M. I found that my trunk had been opened, and a fine shirt taken out, and some other notions, and a pair of boots was missing, very rainy.
30th. Returned to Naples, and October 1st went to Columbus.
October 2nd.  Rained very hard last night, and today it is very cold and snowed a little.
3rd. I arrived at home yesterday. Froze very hard last night.
9th. Father arrived from Michigan, very unexpectedly to us, and said that Mother was at Naples. He came from that place on foot, and wanted me to get a team and go after Mother and her things.
10th. I got Elihu Allen’s team, and in company with Franklin Allen, started for Naples, where we arrived about sundown. It was with feelings of great joy, that I met my Mother, from whom I had been separated about two years and an half. She did not know me at first. She said I was so black, to what I used to be (I had become very much tanned in driving stage.) that it couldn’t be Warren.
11th. We started for home, traveled 20 miles and camped.
12th. Arrived at home all safe. It is very pleasant weather.
13th. Father and Mother went to living by themselves, in a log house close by Isaac Ferguson’s and belonging to him. I now made it my home with them, where we live very comfortable.
November 15th.  The ague has been lurking about my system a great deal until the past few days. I now feel fairly over it and yesterday, I went to work for Mr. Finch again. I had hired for one month.
22nd. The past week I have been busied at various things. It has been very cold, and unpleasant weather. Yesterday it rained all day.
29th. Very cold again. My health was very poorly last week. On Wednesday I started for Meredosia with a team, went as far as Mt. Sterling, and meeting with the stage driver (who was driving for Mr. Finch) he wanted me to drive to Columbus, and let him take the team, and go on to Meredosia. I concluded to do so, and on Thursday I returned to Columbus. Mt. Sterling is a small town. It is situated 24 miles east of Columbus, and is the county seat of Brown County.
December 6th.  Last Wednesday I started for Rushville, with a load of theater play actors, with their baggage. They were a kind of traveling theater. I went as far as Mt. Sterling, and stayed over night. Thursday morning I started early, and arrived in Rushville about noon. It is a veryshville is a considerable town, and is the county seat of Scuyler County, situated 18 miles from Mt. Sterling. I returned to Mt. Sterling about 7 o’clock at night. On Friday I returned to Columbus. It was a very cold day. Saturday I went to Quincy and back. I received a letter last Wednesday from George Gates, which brought me the sad news of the death of my beloved sister Clarissa. She died on the 25 of Nov. of the childbed fever. I mourn my loss of her society, but we shall meet again, I trust, in a better world than this.
13th. My health has been poor the past week. I drove the stage to Mt. Sterling and back. The weather was more mild.
16th. My month was up yesterday and I concluded to quit work and go home, and go to school. I got a few things from the store and came home today.
Dec. 19th. I went to Columbus, to settle up with Mr. Finch, but did not. I traded some at the store, and returned home. Very cold day.
28th. Some of the people in the neighborhood wished me to take up a school. I went around to see how many scholars I could get. I only got twelve subscribed. As I wished to be improving myself, I concluded to take up school and try it.
29th. I commenced school for the first time in Illinois, had 11 scholars.
31st. This day closes another year. Its joys and sorrows are gone forever. How very many who with merry hearts rejoiced in the ushering in of this year, have gone hence to another state of existence. Several of my relatives are among the number gone, a dear sister especially. O Clarissa! my dear sister, shall I never hear your sweet voice again on earth? No; not in mortality. You are gone to your rest in Paradise. May I be prepared to meet you in the morning of the resurrection, with all the redeemed of the Lord, when we can unite again in singing praises to God, and the Lamb. I have seen, and learned a great deal of human nature the past year.
I have spent the most of my time in driving stage, and have come in contact with a variety of persons, and learned much of the ways of the world, and have found that all that glitters, is not gold. I traveled this year 5038 miles principally on my stage route. I close for this year, and bid farewell to eighteen hundred & forty. Chapter IV
January 1st, 1841. I kept school today. It is very cold and blustering.
9th. I went to Columbus to get a settlement with Mr. Finch, but as he was on a jury I could not settle with him.
14th. I went to Columbus again to settle with Mr. Finch and madea settlement with him by giving him four dollars which rightly belongs to me. I give it rather than have a fuss about it. I purchased a coat and a few other articles. It is fine sleighing.
17th. This is the coldest morning that I ever saw. It is said to be eight degrees colder than was ever known here before. Last night a few of the young folks met at the school house and organized an exhibition (a kind of theater). I was elected secretary.
24th. Last night we held an exhibition, had good order and a fine time. Yesterday I went to Columbus. It is very warm and thawing.
March 5th.  I was engaged with my school until the last of February. Yesterday, Father started for Nauvoo. Today is cold and snowy.
10th. We held another exhibition last night. Some snow on the ground yet.
April 4th.  Father and Mother started for Nauvoo with Elihu Allen to attend the annual conference. Yesterday, I received a letter from my nephew, Harrison Ferguson, who still lives in Ohio. They were well as usual. Grass begins to look quite green.
21st. I went up to the steam mill four miles northeast of Columbus. There is a branch of the Latter Day Saints at that place. I got a letter from Henry W. Lane, my old comrade, and stage driver at Jacksonville. He drove on the Springfield route and was in Jacksonville the same nights that I was and we sleeped together nights. He was quite a wild boy, but I had some influence over him to restrain him many times. I would not drink and indulge in their rowdies, as is common with stage drivers, and by that means I held him somewhat in check. He was my friend and very often told me of his scrapes, and love troubles.
28th. I went to Liberty three miles distant. It is cold for the time of year. The grass is getting up pretty well.
May 27th.  I have worked some on the farm for Father and Isaac Ferguson, and some of the time not doing any thing on account of poor health. But I am now getting better. There has been a great revival of religion among the sects here and many profess to have got religion. I attended many of their meetings; but have seen too much of such nonsense, to have their threatening of hellfire etc. to have any effect on me. I cannot see any religion of the Bible in it. I read that God’s house is the house of order; but these revival meetings are nothing but disorder and confusion. The ancient Apostles said, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins and through the laying on of hands ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.” But these preachers say, “Come to the anxious seat and we will pray for you, and you will get religion. No matter about baptism that is nonessential.” I have read the scriptures too much to be deceived with such stuff. O may my mind ever be opened to understand the scriptures, and may I ever be led in the right way. Today and tomorrow I have to work on the roer young men, under Albert Foster a new convert who has lately got religion. His religion makes him act very foolish.
30th. Last night Moses Clawson came here to get me to go drive stage again for Mr. Finch. I packed up my things and went with him to Columbus. We called at a meeting on the way and saw six persons baptized by Elder Cain.
31st. I started for Jacksonville to drive stage on my old route.
June 1st.  I took possession of the team at Naples and drove to Jacksonville. The old route looks very natural. Uncle Joshua Sprague would have me drink with him and all old acquaintances appeared very friendly. It is very dry about here–orchards full of fruit.
6th. The past week has been very hot and dry.
13th. Still continues very hot weather. I am enjoying myself well.
20th. The weather turned very cold last week, so that it was very uncomfortable early in the morning driving from Naples. It, still continues very dry and crops are suffering very much.
27th. I have made up my mind to quit driving stage when this month is up. I sent for a driver to take my place on the first of next month. It has been very stirring times in Jacksonville, being court week and three men being tried for murder. The criminals names are Gardner and two brothers named Jonathan and Thomas Carew. The murder was committed at Exeter. One of the men shot the man and the others beat him with clubs. Thomas Carew had his trial last, and the jury brought in a verdict of murder against him.
July 1st.  Moses Clawson came over yesterday to drive and I had calculated to have gone home today, but Moses persuaded me to go one trip with him as it was a new route with him, so I returned to Jacksonville. Gardner has been tried this week and found guilty of murder in the first degree. I attended Court this afternoon to hear his sentence which was delivered by Judge Stephen A. Douglas. He was sentenced to be hung on the 23rd of this month. Gardner appeared unmoved and as unconcerned as though nothing had happened. Thomas Carew has obtained the privilege of a new trial. He, and his brother will be tried together, (I will say here that a day or two previous to the day that Gardner was to be hung, he broke jail and went to Texas. He wrote back to the sheriff, that he was sorry that he had disappointed so many of his friends who had assembled to see him swing, but his own safety had induced him to take the course he did (or orders to that effect.) The Carews were sent to the penitentiary.)
July 3rd. Cool this morning. I arrived at home all well.
5th. Yesterday being Sunday, the celebration of the 4th was held todaymbus which I attended. They formed a procession at 11 o’clock A.M. and marched to the Campbellite Church where an oration was delivered. They then marched to the south side of the public square where a barbecue was served up without knives and forks. The ladies occupied the first table. I stood as a spectator to observe them eat using their fingers for forks and teeth for knives. When they got through I concluded that I did not want any barbecue, so I left and went home.
August 2nd.  The past month has been very hot and dry. There was only one shower during the month. There has been only three showers since the last of April. Oats are hardly worth harvesting. Corn looks well, and wheat came in fine. I helped dig a well last month for Elihu Allen, 25 feet deep, found excellent water. I went to Columbus three times for money due me from Finch but did not get any. Last Friday, I got E. Allen’s team and took Father and Mother to Quincy. We took dinner with Caroline Weeks and returned home the same day. They did some trading.
3rd. This is election day. The people of Adams County are to vote on moving the county seat from Quincy to Columbus. I attended the election and voted for removal. There was a great many people out, but the election was carried on very civilly. I did not see any fighting. I returned home and Moses Clawson being over, we went a visiting at night.
7th. It is now raining finely. I have had considerable symptoms of the ague the past week, but feel better today.
11th. Today I am 24 years old. I have been driving team for a thrashing machine to thrash E. Allen’s wheat. It is very cool nights.
15th. It has got very warm again and dry. My health is very poor. I have been helping E. Allen about cleaning up his wheat.
29th. My health continues very poor, not able to do much.
September 5th.  I attended the Dunkard’s Soup meeting. They had two large iron kettles fixed in a furnace in which they boiled beef and made soup. Bread was also furnished, and bread and soup was free to all. I attended their baptism as there were some to be baptized. They went down into the water, and the administrator immersed the candidate forward, that is face downward, first in the name of the Father, then secondly in the name of the Son and thirdly in the name of the Holy Ghost, plunging them under the water three successive times. At night they administered the ordinance of washing of feet. They had preaching both forenoon and afternoon. I stayed all night at a neighboring house in company with Moses Clawson and Ebenezer Clawson cousins.
6th. This morning we went back to the meeting house and took breakfast with the Dunkards, as they gave invitation to all last night. We had a very good breakfast. After breakfast, meeting was dismissed.
7th. I started for Nauvoo for Elihu Allen with his team to move a family up there. It was very warm today.
8th. Turned cool last night and rained some. Arrived at Nauvoo at night.
9th. It rained in the forenoon. In the afternoon I went to see some of my old friends. I put up at Uncle Josiah Richardson’s. Some parts of the city is very rough broken ground. The log houses are scattered over nine square miles. It looks more like a thick settled country than a city. The foundation of the Temple is laid.
10th. I started for home this morning, the weather is very cold.
11th. I arrived at home and found Mother very sick with the cholera-Morbus. I had a very disagreeable time coming home.
14th. Mother is well again. I went to Columbus again to get some money of Mr. Finch. I got a little, and purchased a few articles.
17th. I have got in two acres of wheat for Father on I. Ferguson’s land.
22nd. Mr. Finch wanted me to get a stage driver for him. So I went down to Pleasant Vale in Pike County on the Mississippi bottom after Ebenezer Clawson (son of my cousin Moses Clawson) to drive for him. I returned yesterday with Ebenezer. Today it is cold and rainy.
Sept. 30th. I started today in company with E. Allen and wife for Nauvoo to attend the Semi-Annual Conference. We went by the way of Carthage. This is a route that I never traveled before.
October 1st.  We started out about 2 o’clock in the morning–drove 10 miles and stopped and got breakfast. About sunrise it began to rain as we were passing through Carthage. This place is 18 miles from Nauvoo and is the county seat of Hancock County. It rained all day, and we did not get to Nauvoo until 10 o’clock at night. We stopped with Aunt Lowly Richardson, E. Allen’s wife’s mother, and my father’s sister.
2nd. Conference commenced today. After meeting a deposit was made in the southeast corner stone of the Nauvoo House. A square hole had been chiseled in the large corner stone like a box. Any one had the privilege of putting in any little memento they wished to. I was standing very near the corner stone when Joseph Smith came up with the manuscript of the Book of Mormon and said that he wanted to put that in there, as he had had trouble enough with it. It was the size of common foolscap paper and about three inches thick. There were also deposited the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, a five cent piece, a ten [cent], a 25 [cent] and a 50 [cent] and a one dollar all American coin. A close fitting cover of stone had been prepared and was laid in cement and the wall built over it. The day was clear and cool.
3rd. [October 1841] Sunday. The weather is very pleasant. A large congregation assembled this forenoon. Joseph Smith preached on the subject of baptism for the dead. Among a great many other things, he said that the Saints could be baptized for any of their dead relatives, or friends, who had not been murderers. Such could not be baptized for. The Lord had other ways of dealing with murderers.
4th. This is the last day of conference. There has been a great deal of business transacted with regard to Church matters; and much good teaching. This afternoon as Joseph Smith was talking; all at once his countenance brightened up and he said, “Verily thus saith the Lord, Let there not be another general conference held until it is held in mine house.”
6th. We started for home. The weather continues very pleasant.
7th. We arrived at home about five o’clock P.M.
12th. I went to Columbus and purchased a fur cap, and agreed with Finch to go and collect the money from Post Offices between Columbus and Jacksonville. Moses F. Clawson was still driving to Jacksonville.
13th. I started out in the stage and stayed over night in Naples.
14th. We left Naples at four o’clock A.M., took breakfast at Beals (our old breakfast station) and arrived in Jacksonville at ten A.M. I collected the money as I came through. The stage now stops at Scotts’ Hotel instead of Hesleps. Scott’s is a first class hotel, and has many boarders.
15th. We left Jacksonville at 12 noon. I purchased two bushels of apples on the way to Naples to take home. I met the driver from Columbus at Naples and we concluded not to stop over night but to go right on to Griggsville where we arrived at eight o’clock P.M. The night was very dark.
16th. I went on to Columbus and paid the money over to Mr. Finch who paid me the balance due me for driving stage, and arrived at home at five P.M.
24th. This is a cold freezing day with very high winds.
29th. I went to Quincy, 12 miles distant, and done some trading.
31st. Sunday. The weather is quite warm again and raining.
November 6th.  I received a letter from my sister Betsey who lives in Dryden.
21st. I made preparations to start for Nauvoo with Isaac Ferguson, who was going up to take some flour to Mr. Markham. Moses Clawson came over.
22nd. We started for Nauvoo this morning. We went through Quincy to a grist mill some 8 or 9 miles above that place to get the wheat ground. Here we had to stay all night and had a job to get grinding.
23rd. I did not sleep any last night. We got started at half past eight. About noon a young man got in company with us, who was also going to Nauvoo. He was walking. Isaac had an ox team and the young man wished to keep in our company. When night overtook us it was very cold. We tried several houses to see if we could get to stay over night, but all in vain. Finally at about nine o’clock we came to a house occupied by a Latter Day Saint, and called. He said that we could stay, but he had no bed for us. We told him that we could lay before the fire and was thankful to get a shelter without a bed.
24th. I found my lodging rather hard last night, and did not sleep much but I had a great deal of sport with the young man who was a very jovial fellow. As we started on our journey the wind began to blow from the northeast and being cloudy, it soon began to hail and snow moderately but as we were facing the storm it was very disagreeable, especially so while we were traveling the 20 miles over the prairie. We arrived at Mr. Markham’s, (Nauvoo) about dark very tired and hungry.
25th. I awoke this morning and found myself buried in snow. The house we sleeped in had no floor and was very open and the snow had blowed through the crevices and covered us up. It snowed and blowed terribly all day. I went over to William Weeks and took breakfast. Caroline was very sick. I then went to see Mr. Wilcox (the man and family that I moved from our settlement with E. Allens team last September) I took dinner with them. In the afternoon I called at widow Ives to have a little chat with her daughter. They were our neighbors in Missouri. Mr. Ives died since leaving Mo. Many of the houses being very open the snow blowed into them and melting made it extremely disagreeable. I went to William Weeks and stayed over night.
26th. It has cleared off and we started for home. It was very cold crossing the big prairie. We traveled until ten o’clock at night and stopped at Mr Perry’s, a Latter Day Saint. Here the floor was our bed again.
27th. We started at 5 A.M., found it very cold and rough traveling. The snow here is about three inches. In Nauvoo it was six or eight. The mud was frozen hard, and not worn down any made it very bad trailing for the oxen, we got home about six P.M., cold and very hungry.
31st. I have been employed in getting up wood for Father, and making a sled.
December 4th.  The snow all went off, but has turned cold again.
17th. I worked for Mr. Leverett four days last week. It is very pleasant and no snow. It is reported that there is a spring six miles from here which has been running blood.
18th. I went to Quincy and back.
22nd. It is very stormy–rain and sleet from the west.
31st. Yesterday, I wrote a letter to my brother George, and sent it to the P.O. Today I went to Quincy with Franklin Allen, to get some tools for making chairs. We have entered into partnership for that business. Another year has rolled into eternity with all its joys and sorrows, and yet my life is spared for what purpose I know not. I have not heard of any deaths among my relatives except my brother David’s little girl Helen who was a beautiful and smart child. I had not made much property the past year, but have made out to live. I have traveled 1660 miles all in the regions round-about. Adieu eighteen hundred and forty one.
The following lines I composed at the request of Laura Allen, a daughter of Elihu Allen, and who is my second cousin, and half sister to Franklin Allen.
The Beautious West
The beauties of the Eastern climes O, never can compare with thine- Majestic mountains there may rise In lofty grandeur deck’ the skies- Sure, thy wide spread prairies are, Something more beautiful and fair. Like waters see them spread around And groves like islands oft are found; Under whose shades the elk and deer Retire when seized with sudden fear, And seek for shelter there. All o’er their surface too when green Lovely flowers are always seen. Lilies unheeded bloom and fade Each flower in its respective grade Naturally and alone. But see the richness of thy soil Yields abundance with little toil, Majestic rivers through thee flow, Resounding with the steamers blow. Where shall we find in Eastern climes A soil that is as rich as thine, Repaying to the husbandman Redouble for his toiling hand; Even too far half the toil Nature requires in Eastern soil. Finally may the beauteous West O’erspread with freemen soon be blest — Oppressors may there none be found To trample on thy sacred ground- Enjoyed by Freemen-Free. Nov. 10th 1841.
January 1st, 1842. The weather is very warm and pleasant. There is not any thing going on today worthy of note.
5th. I went to Burton four miles south west of here with Franklin Allen and bought tools to the amount of $10.00.
7th. We went to Columbus and bought more tools, amounting to $7.64. We also agreed with Knight & Greenleaf to make some lathe irons.
15th. We bought a log house for a shop, and was very busyek moving it on to a half acre lot that we bought of Jacob Myers. We raised it today. Weather is very fine.
22nd. We have built our chimney, and got our shop nearly plastered.
28th. Went to Columbus and got our lathe irons.
February 2nd.  This afternoon I was taken sick, had a severe pain in my side.
5th. I have got able to go to Quincy today. We got some turning tools amounting to $1.75. We got home about eight o’clock at night.
6th. I attended Samuel Ferguson’s wife’s funeral. She died of lung fever. Samuel is a brother of Isaac Ferguson. Very cold today.
11th. We commenced getting out chair timber-rounds, etc.
13th. I went to Freedom to attend meeting. The branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints here is called Freedom Branch. Elder Daniel A. Miller is Presiding Elder. Had very good preaching.
14th. We got Jacob Myers to make our lathe wheel for a foot lathe. We got it started today. I turned two rolling pins.
18th. I put together the first kitchen chair since I left Greenwood, N. Y.
19th. It has been very cold all the week with a few snow squalls.
24th. Franklin and I went to Columbus on business. It must be remembered that Franklin Allen is my nephew; a son of my sister Laura. He is about a year younger than I am. He married Rebecca Myers, daughter of Jacob Myers, last fall. He was married by my father.
28th. We are turning chair rounds, and boiling them so that they will season quick. This afternoon I feel very badly. At night I went home sick, and went right to bed with a severe pain in my right breast, and a high fever.
March 17th.  I have had a severe spell of sickness and have just got able to ride out a little. I am reduced to a mere skeleton, but thank God, and a kind Father and Mother, and my sister Almira, who watched over me day and night, I still live. After I was taken sick on Thursday night the 26th of last month I was deranged the most of the time. Sometimes I thought that I was a bundle of chair rounds bound up with a chord and was in great trouble for fear that some one would break the chord and let me fall to pieces. At other times I fancied that I was something else. When any one would speak to me I would come to my right minued in this state until Saturday morning, when the disease seemed to settle on me for a long spell of sickness. It was the inflammation on my lungs. I now became very stupid–did not notice anything much, until Friday the 4th of March, I began to revive a little and for the first time began to realize my situation. I had not partaken of any food since I was taken sick. My reflections were these. “I have been a firm believer in the gospel as taught by the Latter Day Saints, ever since I first heard it. I have written many letters to my brothers and kinfolks proving from the scriptures that the gospel taught by the Saints was true, then why should I not step forward myself and be baptized for the remission of my sins that I may receive the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands, and thereby obtain a knowledge for myself, and become more useful in building up the Kingdom of God on the earth.” After these reflections, I made a covenant with God in my own mind, that if He would spare my life, I would serve Him the remainder of my days according to the best of my abilities.
I sent for two of the elders to administer to me by anointing me with oil and laying on of hands. The Lord heard our prayer and I began to amend. I was near dropping into the grave. Many who came in to see me thought that I would not recover. My father was very anxious for me, and exercised great faith in my behalf. His only hope among his sons was centered on me, to continue the work, that he had begun, after he had passed behind the veil. What then must have been his joy when I yielded myself up to the will of God. He knew that I had ever been a firm believer in the gospel, but at times had been fearful that I would be led astray through the influence of my young associates who did not believe in it. But these associates never had any influence over me to that effect. The fact is I believe that the principles of the gospel of Christ was born in me. I never needed any preaching to convince me of the truth of them. I believed the Bible and hence could not help but believe the gospel when I heard it. I now feel determined to be baptized as soon as I get strength sufficient, which I think will not be long as I am gaining fast.
24th. [March 1842] This is the day that I have appointed to go down into the waters of baptism and thereby fulfill the covenant I made to the Lord when I was near death’s door. The meeting was at Elder Jacob Myers house about one mile from Father’s. I walked down there and in company with Amos Kimmins, Franklin Allen, and his wife, Samuel Myers, and Lovina Myers, was baptized by Daniel A. Miller, President of this branch, between five and six o’clock P.M. The foregoing named persons, had been baptized before, and now felt to renew their covenants. As it was concluded to have an evening meeting I thought that I would stay to it. The wind blew up from the north very cool and in going home, I took cold.
26th. Last night I had a severe pain in my side, but feel some better today, although my sides feel very sore.
28th. I still feel weak. Pear trees are in full bloom, and the prairies are getting green.
April 3rd.  I went to Elder Heman Hyde’s to meeting in company with Franklin and his wife. Sacrament was administered of which I partook for the firr Jacob Myers delivered a discourse on the subject of the gospel. After meeting he baptized a person. We stayed over night at Father Myers.
4th. We returned home.
18th. I commenced work again at chair making.
21st. We hired Hiram Brown to work for us. He commenced today.
24th. I went to Freedom in company with some others to meeting, had a good time.
27th. Franklin and I went to Columbus and traded some. The weather is quite cool. Corn is mostly planted. It has been a fine spring for farmers.
May 4th.  I started for Nauvoo with Elihu Allen and three other persons.
5th. We arrived at Nauvoo. This place has improved rapidly since I was here last fall. New buildings are going up in every quarter.
7th. The Nauvoo Legion was out on a general parade commanded by General Joseph Smith. They went through a great many performances and finally wound up with a sham fight. It all passed off very agreeably, and in good order without any accident.
8th. [May 1842] Sunday. A very large congregation assembled to meeting. Sidney Rigdon preached. In the afternoon there were many baptized in the font in the basement of the Temple and forty three in the Mississippi River. They were mostly rebaptisms.
10th. We left Nauvoo yesterday and arrived at home today. Had fine weather.
21st. Went to Columbus with some chairs and got some paint.
22nd. I attended a good meeting at Burton.
27th. We are still working at the chair business. Today attended meeting at Burton.
June 4th.  Franklin and I went to our Quarterly Branch Conference which was held at Elder Heman Hyde’s. Jacob Myers now presided over the Freedom Branch, and consequently presided over the conference. We stayed over night at Father Myers, who now lived on Mill Creek about two miles from Bro. Hyde’s place.
5th. Sunday. We all went to conference again. Elder Reed delivered a discourse in the forenoon. In the afternoon, I with four others, (among whom was Frankllen) was ordained to the office of elders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I received the following license:
To Whom it May Concern
This certifies that Warren Foote has been received into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints organized on the sixth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, and has been ordained an Elder according to the rules and regulations of said Church, and is duly authorized to preach the gospel, agreeably to the authority of that office. From the satisfactory evidence which we have of his good moral character and his zeal for the cause of righteousness and diligent desire to persuade men to forsake evil and embrace truth, we confidently recommend him to all candid and upright people as a worthy member of society. We therefore in the name, and by the authority of said Church grant unto this our worthy brother in the Lord this letter of commendation as a proof of our fellowship and esteem, praying for his success and prosperity in our Redeemer’s cause.
Given by the direction of a conference of Elders of said church assembled at Heman Hyde’s, Adams County, Illinois, the fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty two. Freedom Branch. Signed Jacob Myers, Presiding Elder.
7th. I went to Burton with two set of chairs for P. Judy. Rained.
12th. I got disappointed about going to meeting, so I wrote a letter to sister Betsey.
19th. I went to Burton to meeting and heard a discourse from Elder A. Lamb.
26th. I went to H. Hyde’s to meeting. William Hyde preached. Stayed over night at J. Myers.
July 3rd.  I attended meeting at Payson. Elder A. Lamb preached a funeral sermon.
9th. I went to Columbus and got a letter from my brother George–all well.
10th. I went to Burton to meeting. It is now the height of harvest, and quite cool.
16th. I went down to Father Myers and stayed over night, very hot day.
17th. Sunday. We went to Bro. Hyde’s to meeting. President Joseph Young preached a good discourse. I returned home tonight. Continues very warm.
24th. I again attended meeting at Bro. Hyde’s. Pres. Joseph Young delivered a very plain discourse on faith. The meeting was well attendography of warren foote)|Warren Foote Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, Pg.52
August 1st.  Election day. I went to Columbus and voted. It was a very quiet election. The weather is very cold, some frost in low grounds this morning.
7th. Sunday. I attended meeting again at Bro Hyde’s. Stayed over night at Bro. Myers.
9th. I have had the toothache very badly. Went to Columbus and had it pulled.
10th. Today I am 25 years old. I stacked oats for I. Ferguson.
14th. Rainy. I did not go to meeting, but commenced to write a letter.
21st. I wrote a letter to brother George, instead of going to meeting.
27th. The Methodist are now holding a camp meeting, near Father Myers’. Franklin and I concluded to go down to Father Myers and attend it. The weather is very fine but warm, and a good many people out.
28th. Sunday. There was a large congregation today. A great many attends these meetings from curiosity, and hear the Methodist shout. I have seen so many Methodist revival meetings, that they are not of any interest to me. I have learned a better way to obtain salvation. At night meeting they gathered into their pen, and having got some mourners on to their anxious seats, they prayed and groaned, and finally after working themselves up into a great frenzy succeeded in raising a great shout.
29th. We returned home, satisfied with sectarian nonsense, and feeling thankful to the Lord for the revelation of His gospel through His servant Joseph Smith, on whom he bestowed his Holy Priesthood through the laying on of hands of the ancient apostles, Peter, James and John thereby opening up the way whereby mankind can be saved and exalted in His Celestial Kingdom, through repentance and baptism and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, by those ordained into this Holy Priesthood. The gospel says repent and be baptized and you shall be saved, but sectarian preachers say “Come to the anxious seat and we will pray for you and you will get religion.” What a contrast.
September 1st.  I finished my letter to George yesterday, and took it to the P. O. at Columbus today, and received one from William Ferguson. They were well.
3rd. I went down to attend our Quarterly Conference at Bro. H. Hyde’s.
4th. Quite a large congregation today. Elder Miller preached an interesting discourse. Isaac M. Steward was ordained an elder.
9th. I wrote a letter to William Ferguson and sent it to the Post Office.
11th. Having hired to Father Myers (who has been a millwright for many years) I went down to work for him on a lath machine. He has a sawmill on Mill Creek, and he is attaching a lath machine to it. I worked through the week until Friday the 16th then went home. Some frost.
18th. I went down to work on the lathe machine again, and returned the 22nd.
25th. I went to Payson to meeting and from thence to Father Myers.
27th. Yesterday and today I helped thrash wheat for Father Myers with a machine.
28th. We went to work at the lathe machine again. I am enjoying myself well.
29th. Franklin Allen was now living in a log cabin close by the sawmill and has been working for Father Myers sometime. He has been very reserved towards me for some days. I asked him today what the matter was with him. I found that some person had been tattling and misrepresenting something that I should have said. We had a general talking over of matters and all was settled satisfactorily. I think that he was a little jealous of me probably thinking that Father Myers thought a little more of me than of him. How that is I cannot say, but this much I can say. Father Myers treats me very respectfully, and I believe I have given him satisfaction in my work.
October 5th.  I went home today. I will say here that I make it my home with Father and Mother on Isaac Ferguson’s place. They are living very comfortably.
6th. I went to work for Father Myers again at the sawmill.
9th. Ice half inch thick this morning. Returned home today. Meeting at Isaac’s.
10th. I went to Columbus and mailed two papers to George.
15th. I went down to the mill again. We are fitting up a shop to make chairs in, also a turning lathe to run by water. Returned home the 20th.
22nd. I went down to Mill Creek and took my bed and bedding and clothes and commenced boarding with F. Allen. We have gone into copartnership again.
23rd. We went to Burton to attend meeting and stayed to the night meeting.
30th. Attended meeting at Heman Hyde’s. Elder Reed preached.
November 6th.  It rained yesterday and did not go up to Father’s neither to meeting.
10th. I went to Burton and traded some and from there to Father’s. Very cold.
11th. It snowed all day from the northeast. Fell about four inches.
13th. I came down to Franklin’s last night. Moses F. Clawson came down with me, and today I baptized him into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is the first person I have baptized. Father Myers and a few others were present. We did not attend meeting.
18th. I went up to Father’s. It is a cold, blustering day.
22nd. Went to Columbus and found two letters in the Post Office for me; one from brother David and one from sister Betsey.
25th. I came down to Mill Creek to go to work again. Very cold.
27th. Sunday. It is so very’ cold that I did not go to meeting.
29th. I went to Burton. Snow is about six inches deep. Very cold weather.
December 4th.  I attended our Quarterly Conference held at Burton. But few present.
5th. Sunday. We went to conference again. It rained all day and there were but few persons to meeting. Moses F. Clawson was ordained to the office of an elder. We held a prayer meeting at night at Bro. William Gollaher’s where we enjoyed much of the Spirit of the Lord. We stayed over night in Burton.
10th. I went up to Father’s in company with Franklin Allen and Samuel Myers. We attended meeting at Isaac Ferguson’s on Sunday the 11th.
12th. We went back to Mill Creek again.
15th. I went up to Burton in a jumper in company with Miss Sidnie Myers to meeting.
18th. I attended meeting in Payson. The sacrament was administered.
23rd. Samuel Myers and I went up to Father’s and on the 24th we went out and killed several prairie chickens, and Mother made an excellent pot pie for supper, which we enjoyed very much. Father felt unusually well.
25th. We went down to Burton to meeting, and took Christmas dinner with Bro. Skinner. We then went down to Mill Creek.
30th. Yesterday I commenced work for Father Myers sawing lumber.
31st. I went up to Father’s to spent New Year’s. I have lived to see the end of another year, whilst many have passed to worlds invisible. I should feel very ungrateful not to acknowledge the goodness of God in sparing my improfitable life, but I feel to regret that I have not lived more devoted to His cause, but all I can do now, is to seek his forgiveness for all past errors and follies, and to strive to live more faithful for the future. I have traveled this year in this immediate region 900 miles. Chapter V
January 1st, 1843. Sunday. I attended meeting at Isaac Ferguson’s, and then went down to Franklin Allen’s.
2nd. I took some chairs to Burton.
9th. I came up to Father’s yesterday, and helped kill his hogs today.
10th. I went to Quincy with Father to sell his hogs. There is an establishment here for making lard oil. I purchased a pocket Bible.
11th. I went to Columbus and found a letter in the P. O. from George.
15th. I wrote a letter to brother David and one to sister Betsey yesterday and put them in the Burton P. O. Today also attended our meeting after which I went on down to Mill Creek.
16th. I commenced boarding with Father Jacob Myers.
22nd. The past week has been quite warm. The snow is all gone. I sawed four days at the sawmill last week for Father Myers. Moses F. Clawson and Hiram Brown came here. I did not attend meeting today.
30th. F. Allen and his wife and Samuel Myers, and his sisters, Sidnie, and Lovina, and myself, went to Burton to attend a meeting appointed for Elder David Evens to preach. The house was full. He preached a very good discourse. It snowed, and being late we concluded to stay all night.
February 1st.  Itnd blustering yesterday, and we did not get home until today.
2nd. Samuel Myers and I went to Quincy.
5th. Very cold weather.
9th. Franklin and I went up to Father’s. Weather some warmer.
10th. Rained some this morning, then turned very cold and froze solid.
12th. I attended meeting at Mr Kimmon’s house one mile from Isaac Ferguson’s and at night I went down to Mill Creek with Moses F. Clawson and Samuel Myers.
15th. Went to Burton and purchased a few things. We kept chairs at P. Judy’s for sale, or rather he bought them of us to sell again. We sold the common “kitchen chair painted, without bottoms[“] for fifty cents apiece–bottomed, seventy five. Bent backs painted, varnished and hickory bark bottoms we sold at $1.25 apiece. These were very nice, durable chairs.
18th. I went to Quincy with F. Allen. I got my watch which I had got repaired.
26th. I was not well the past week–did not work any.
March 4th.  We went to Payson to attend our Quarterly Conference. Samuel Myers was ordained to the office of Priest and some other business transacted.
5th. Sunday. Conference convened at 10 o’clock A.M. as per adjournment. The house was full. Wilford Hudson was ordained a priest. Conference to meet again in three months. It turned very cold in the afternoon.
7th. I went to Burton. The weather is some warmer again.
11th. I went up to Father’s. Got a shovel and pair of tongs of Bro. William Gollaher who is a blacksmith and took them to Father’s. Very cold winds today.
12th. Went to meeting which was held at Daniel D. Mcarthur’s about one half mile from Father’s. I here preached my first sermon. I took for a text the 16th verse of the 3rd chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. I think that my sermon was about as short as my text in comparison. Although I have spoken in our prayer meetings, but always very briefly I find that it is quite different to undertake to deliver a discourse. I could sit down and write a sermon much better than I can preach it. I have written a great many letters on the subject of the gospel as taught by the Latter Day Saints, which my relatives could not gainsay, but when it comes to standing up before a congregation to deliver a sermon I find it an uphican’t think of any thing to say. But still I am determined not to back out when called upon, but will do the best I can. The first prayer I ever made before any person was at Father Myers, when I was called upon by Mother Myers to offer up the family prayer. It was a terrible hard task and perhaps what made it worse my future wife was present. When I went to boarding there I had to take my turn in reading a chapter and singing and praying morning and evening. Father Myers is very strict in his family worship.
13th. I went down to Father Myers again.
14th. Turned cold and snowed very fast.
14th. We went to Burton to attend a special conference which had been called to settle a difficulty between Isaac Ferguson and Joseph Clark. After a long harangue they came to trial, the final conclusion was that both make a confession, which they did, and shook hands, forgiving each other.
19th. Sunday. I stayed over night with Bro. Gollahers, where the meeting was held today. Moses F. Clawson preached his first sermon which was not very lengthy. Father Myers followed him and filled up the time. The elders have their appointments given out a week beforehand so we all know when our turn comes, and can prepare for it.
22nd. The weather is very cold today with high winds.
24th. Moses accompanied me up to Father’s. One year today since I was baptized.
26th. Sunday and very cold and snowy. I went back to Mill Creek again.
28th. Snow is about six inches deep. I went to Burton and back yesterday.
29th. Went to Quincy and got my watch fixed. Very cool winds.
April 1st.  I got a letter from sister Betsey. Warm today. Snow nearly all gone.
2nd. Sunday. Snowed about four inches. Did not go to meeting.
6th. I went to Quincy and purchased a pair of boots.
9th. Attended meeting at Burton. Franklin Allen preached followed by Father. The past week I worked for Father Myers. The ground is about settled.
16th. I worked for Father Myers again last week. Today is Easter Sunday.
22nd. Moses F. Clawson and I went to Quincy with a load of lumber. We have been running the sawmill for Father Myers.
23rd. I went up to Father’s and went with him to meeting to Bro. Joseph Clark’s; had a good meeting. The weather is very fine.
25th. I went down to Mill Creek to work again.
30th. Attended meeting at Burton. It fell to my lot to preach again. We had a good meeting. Moses C. and I went up to Father’s after meeting.
May 1st.  I wrote a letter to sister Betsey to inform her that I cannot go east this spring, after which I came back to Mill Creek to work again.
11th. I went to the Institute to get some furniture. I had been doing some turning for them, such as bedstead posts and table legs for which they were to make me two bedsteads and a table. They did not have them done. The Institute is a place of learning where the pupils can work for their board and tuition. It is about three miles east of Quincy. There are two young Indians there now being educated. They look like pretty smart fellows.
12th. I went up to Father’s. I feel quite unwell. Some rainy.
14th. Sunday. I feel better again. In the forenoon I went to meeting at Bro. Joseph Clark’s, and in the afternoon went down to Father Myers.
16th. Franklin Allen and I contracted with Father Myers for his sawmill and other property attached to it, and entered into bonds for the same.
20th. Yesterday I went up to Father’s and have been helping him plant corn.
21st. Moses C. accompanied me down to Mill Creek.
23rd. I walked to Quincy and from there to Father’s. The distance is 20 miles.
24th. I returned to Mill Creek again. The weather is very warm.
28th. Had a heavy rain yesterday, and today the creek is very high.
30th. I went to Quincy to purchase some things preparatory to taking a wife.
31st. Went to Burton and settled up accounts with P. Judy and William Gollaher and then went up to Father’s calling at Caleb Foster’s anwith him.
June 3rd.  I attended our Quarterly Conference. The Freedom Branch extended over so large territory making it very inconvenient for all to attend meetings, it was thought best to divide the branch. This part of the branch still retains the name of Freedom, the other branch is called New Liberty and I was elected clerk. Had a good conference.
6th. I went up to Father’s, to bring Father and Mother down to Jacob Myer’s to my wedding. I also engaged Elder Amos Jackson to marry us.
8th. I came down to Father Myers with Father and Mother, Isaac Ferguson and my sister Almira, also Elder Jackson to attend my wedding. About noon today Artemisia Sidnie Myers and I were joined together for life as husband and wife, Amos Jackson officiating. It was a very social gathering. Father and Mother have lived to witness the marriage of their last child. I think it is a great blessing to have the privilege of being raised up to manhood and womanhood by ones own parents. And I thank God for this privilege. It must be a consolation to parents, that when they depart hence, to reflect that they are leaving no helpless children behind, to be cared for by others. An orphan’s lot is often a hard lot.
25th. My wife and I went up to Father’s on a visit. We enjoyed ourselves well.
July 3rd.  We returned to Father Myers again. I am now engaged in turning and chair making in company with Franklin Allen.
15th. Father Myers took his team, and F. Allen and his wife, and I and my wife went with him to Widow Mores down to Mississippi Bottom Pike Co. to attend meeting. I and my wife stayed at the Widow’s over night. We never closed our eyes to sleep on account of the mosquitos.
16th. The meeting today was well attended. There were two baptized by J. Myers. After meeting my wife and I went home with Bro. Sherman Brown one of my old Greenwood neighbors and stayed over night.
17th. No mosquitos last night, had a splendid sleep. Returned home today.
20th. Attended a special conference at Heman Hyde’s.
25th. My wife and I went to Quincy with Father Myers to get things to keep house with. I have got my furniture from the Institute.
26th. We moved into a log cabin belonging to Father Myers near the sawmill and commence housekeeping. I have made myself a very nice set of chairs and two rocking chairs. We were fixed very comfortable.
28th. I went up e rainy today.
August 4th.  Franklin and I went to Quincy, where I purchased a few articles.
7th. We went up to Burton to attend the election. Took dinner at Mr. Judy’s.
10th. I am twenty-six years old today. I have not been well a few days past.
22nd. The Methodist have been holding a camp meeting very near our house. We could not sleep nights on account of their noise. Yesterday afternoon their preacher requested the congregation to go out into the woods after the meeting was dismissed and have secret prayers. Soon after we could hear them praying in every direction–not much secrecy about it certain. They broke up their camp meeting today, and went home rejoicing.
September 2nd.  Attended our conference at Bro Hyde’s. Elder E. P. Davis was tried before the conference for unchristian like conduct in getting drunk, etc. It was decided to take his license from him.
3rd. Sunday. Conference convened at 10 A.M. Elder Hitchcock preached after which E. P. Davis made his confession and was restored to full fellowship. I took down the minutes of the conference.
9th. I took my wife up to Father’s for a visit. Cold northeast wind.
11th. It rained all day yesterday and did not go to meeting. Returned home today.
14th. I wrote some Elder’s licenses. It is getting very sickly, weather very warm.
October 13th.  There was frost on the night of the 7th inst. My health is very poor. I think that I am getting the Ague. I have not worked any the past week.
17th. I had a terrible shake of the ague today which lasted about three hours.
18th. Sidnie and I both shook with the ague today and no one to wait on us.
19th. We both shook again today. Father came down and took us home with him. I find that it is a good thing yet to have a father and mother.
20th. I missed my shake today, but am so sore that I can scarcely stir.
25th. We have both recovered from the ague, and feel quite well again.
November 2nd.  We returned home today and found our things in a very confused state.
4th. Franklin and I took some wheat to Quincy, (which we had taken in for chairs) to sell. We could only get fifty cents per bushel for it in goods.
11th. I took a little grist to Lacy’s Steam Grist Mill about two miles away.
27th. I killed my hog today. Cloudy and drizzly.
December 2nd.  My wife is about crazy with the toothache. I got a horse of Father Myers, and took her on behind me, up to Mr. Foster’s and got the tooth pulled, we then went to Father’s and stayed over night.
10th. Sunday. I stayed at home and done some writing.
16th. This morning Sidnie was taken sick with severe pain. At about eleven o’clock at night she was prematurely delivered of her child. She hurt herself in washing clothes the day before.
17th. The child which was a boy died today about two o’clock P.M.
31st. I went to Down’s Schoolhouse to meeting. It was quite rainy. Another year has passed into eternity and I still live. My health has been very poor this year.
January 1st, 1844. This is a very rainy New Year’s day. Stayed at home.
3rd. Yesterday the snow fell about three inches. Today it is cold. Wrote a letter to Betsey.
6th. I went up to Father’s and passing through Burton put my letter in the office. Snowed.
7th. Father and I went to meeting at Joseph Clark’s. Was called upon to speak first and was followed by Father Myers, who had come up from Mill Creek. We had an excellent meeting after which I returned home in company with Father Myers. We came by the way of Burton and administered to Sister Gollaher who was very sick and laying very low.
13th. We attended a special conference at Down’s Schoolhouse, which was called for the purpose of hearing a charge against Bro. John G. Smith preferred by Sister Blair wife of Elder Blair. The trial occupied the whole day. Adjourned until tomorrow.
14th. Conference convened and the trial resumed. After meeting dismissed last night, Mrs. Blaiub and working her way through the crowed until she came to J. G. Smith, fell to beating him most unmercifully. It came so unexpectedly to Bro. Smith, that she gave him several blows before he succeeded in wresting the club from her. It took everybody by surprise. This morning when the case was resumed, Bro. Blair justified his wife in assaulting Bro. Smith, and neither having any disposition to retract they were both cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
21st. Sunday. I have been sick all the past week. Did not go to meeting today.
February 17th.  I went up to Father’s. We rented some land of Isaac Ferguson and I came to the conclusion to move up here and farm this season with Father.
24th. I went to Father’s again and took up a horse. It is warm and the ground mostly settled.
March 2nd.  Attended our Quarterly Conference at Down’s Schoolhouse. Elder Orson Hyde was present. He had with him Joseph Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of Government which he read. We considered it a very able document. Elder Hyde delivered an excellent discourse to the Saints.
3rd. Sunday. Conference convened at ten A.M. Elder Hyde preached again today. As I had made arrangements to move from this branch, I resigned my office of clerk, and Bro. Asa D. Works was elected to that office.
4th. I went to Burton and purchased some linseed oil. I met with Father there.
6th. I went to Quincy with Samuel Myers. I purchased some things for Sidnie.
17th. I went up to Fathers to get him to come down with the team and move me up there. It is a windy day, and growing cold and freezing.
19th. We moved up to Isaac’s to live in his house with Sister Almira.
28th. I went down to Mill Creek yesterday after my turning lathe–returned today.
29th. It snowed and blowed hard all day from the north east.
April 6th.  I got a buggy and took Sidnie down to Father Myers to visit over night.
7th. Had a heavy shower last night. Returned home today. Very muddy.
13th. I finished putting in six acres of oats. It is a very growing time.
30th. I took some wheat down to Father Myers Mill to get ground, he having put a run of stones in his sawmill. Sidnie went with me. We stayed over night.
May 1st.  We returned home. It has been very rainy for sometime past.
12th. My sister Betsey Clement sent us word that she was at Quincy and wanted us to come and bring her out here. She came from New York State by water with all her family but one daughter who was married.
13th. I went after Betsey, and returned. It was a joyful meeting. We had not seen her for seven or eight years. Her children’s names who came with her are Nancy, Albert, Elizabeth, Darius S., Mary Irene, and Thomas Alma. Sister Betsey and her husband joined the church several years ago. He died some few years since.
18th. I attended conference at Bro. Joseph Clark’s, and was elected clerk of the New Liberty Branch. It continues very wet weather.
23rd. I went down to Father Myers after his mare to work and returned.
26th. Attended meeting at Bro. J. Clark’s. After meeting I rebaptized Elihu Allen, Joseph Clark, and John B. Carpenter. We ordained E. Allen [a] priest, and Joseph Clark [a] teacher. It is so wet that we cannot plant corn.
31st. Went to Quincy with Albert Clement and others. I purchased a brace and bits, shaving knife and some other things.
June 2nd.  Was at meeting at J. Clark’s. Weather clear once more.
8th. Been married one year. We finished planting corn today.
9th. Sunday. My wife with five others were rebaptized by Elder J. B. Carpenter.
11th. Sidnie and I went down to Father Myers’ with Elihu Allen. Returned the 12th.
14th. I wrote a letter to my brother David. There is so much rain, corn cannot grow.
16th. Went to meeting. Father Myers preached. Sacrament was administered. It is reported that the citizens of Nauvoo have destroyed the printing press of the “Nauvoo Expositor,” and there is a great excitement in Hancock County. The “Nauvoo Expositor” is a most slanderous, libelous and filthy sheet just started in Nauvoo by a set of apostates who are seeking the life of Joseph Smith and the destruction of the Church. The City Council declared it a nuired the Mayor to have it abated which was done. The type was scattered in the street and press destroyed.
23rd. Sunday. I baptized Albert Clement. Helen Allen and Laura Allen. Father preached today. After he was through some others spoke. Elder Carpenter arose and spoke in tongues, after which, Hiram Clark, son of Joseph Clark, a young man, expressed his desire to be baptized. He seemed to be very much affected. We repaired to the water, and Elder Stevens baptized him, after which we assembled again and Bro. Carpenter and I administered the sacrament. We understand that mobs are gathering in Hancock County, and there is great excitements throughout the state, caused by the lying reports of the apostates and anti-Mormons. The fuss has been brewing for some time.
28th. [June 1844] Elihu Allen and I were working in the harvest field cutting his wheat when about three o’clock P.M. my wife came out and told us that word had just come that Joseph Smith and his brother Hyram was shot in Carthage Jail yesterday afternoon. I said at once, “that it cannot be so.” Yet it so affected us that we dropped the cradle and rake and went home. We found that the word had come so straight that we could no longer doubt the truth of it. We all felt as though the powers of darkness had overcome, and that the Lord had forsaken His people. Our Prophet and Patriarch were gone. Who now is to lead the Saints? In fact we mourned “as one mourneth for his only son.” Yet after all the anguish of our hearts, and deep mourning of our souls a spirit seemed to whisper “All is well. Zion shall yet arise and spread abroad upon the earth, and the kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ.” So we felt to trust in God.
30th. Sunday. The Saints assembled in meeting. All felt to mourn for our loss of the prophets of God, nevertheless all seemed to be strong in the faith, believing that the Lord would overrule all things for the good of His people. Last Friday a mob gathered in Columbus and took all the firearms from the few Saints living there and also at Liberty near this place, but did not molest us. The same day at evening the Governor came to Columbus, on his way to Quincy. He seemed to be very much frightened. As he had been at Carthage and Nauvoo with quite an army of militia and mobbers, he was well acquainted with all the facts in the case. He told the people that while Joseph Smith and Hyram Smith were in Carthage Jail awaiting their trial, and as he supposed were safely guarded from the mob and while he was absent to Nauvoo, a mob of 150 or 200 with painted faces overpowered the guard and broke into the jail killing Joseph and Hyram Smith and wounding John Taylor. (For the facts in the case of this high handed murder see the Church History also 135 section of Book of Doctrine and Covenants.) Governor Thomas Ford’s talk allayed the excitement of the people in a great measure, and no more proceeding against the Saints were adopted.
July 7th.  The excitement in this part of the state has subsided and I think that honorable men begin to see what fools they have been, to think that a few “Mormons” was a going to overrun the state of Illinois and massacre women and children, and all this while the “Mormons” themselves were scattered with their families throughout the entire state. No Latter Day Saint ever thought of such a thing but have been quie their harvest and other business, willing to leave it all in the hands of the Lord, who hath said “Vengeance is mine and I will repay.” I worked all last week harvesting. The rainy weather still continues.
10th. I feel quite unwell today. The weather is very hot and unhealthy.
14th. I attended meeting today although I feel very feeble.
17th. Sister Cordelia Mcarthur died today. She is the daughter of Bro. Joseph Clark and wife of Daniel D. Mcarthur. She leaves an infant boy.
19th. Bro. Hiram Clark who was baptized about one month ago, died today. He was a brother to Sister Mcarthur. He died of the inflammation of the bowels.
21st. Went to meeting. I had to take the lead. It is getting dryer weather.
24th. I took some wheat to Quincy to sell. It is very low. Rained again.
August 1st.  Sidnie and I went down to Father Myers on a visit. Showered again.
5th. Election day. We went home yesterday and today I went to Burton to vote after which I went down to Father Myers again.
7th. Sidnie and Lovina Myers went with me to Quincy today. I bought cloth for a coat.
9th. I went to Quincy again yesterday with Samuel Myers, and returned home with Sidnie today. The weather is very warm.
10th. I am twenty seven today. I worked all day stacking our oats.
11th. Went to meeting. Father, and Father Myers preached–had a good meeting.
12th. I went to help drive some tithing cattle to Quincy, the proceeds of which is to be applied in building the Temple at Nauvoo.
14th. I took Mother and my wife to Father Stevens’ on a visit. Sister Stevens is a distant relative of Father’s on the Barker side.
15th. I have had Father Myers buggy here some time. Today I took it home.
September 6th.  Went to Mill Creek with my wife and Albert Clement. We found Samuel Myers sick, but was getting bet He had been very sick. We stayed at Father Myers over sunday and returned on Monday.
14th. Having made arrangements to go back to Mill Creek to live again I moved down there today. We will stop at Father Myers a short time.
28th. I have been several times up to Father’s. The season has been so wet that we did not raise any corn, and the oats were very light. I did not make any thing much in farming. We are going to work at chairs again.
October 7th.  Samuel Myers went with me up to Fathers, returned at night.
25th. Franklin Allen and I started for Nauvoo. We stayed overnight at Mr. Lindsay’s.
26th. We arrived at Nauvoo about sundown. We stopped at William Weeks. Quite cold.
27th. Sunday. We attended the meeting of the Seventies at their Hall. We were ordained to the office of Seventies under the hands of Pres. Joseph Young and Henry Jacobs. President J. Young made some excellent remarks.
28th. We went to see Bro. Duncan Mcarthur, with whom we were well acquainted. Having learned that he was one of the number who had been appointed to teach the principle of Celestial Marriage to the Saints, according to the revelation [D&C 132] given to Joseph Smith on that subject we desired to get some correct information on that principle. The doctrine having never been taught publicly, there were all sorts of reports concerning it. He very willingly taught and explained to us that doctrine in such a simple manner, as to remove all prejudice we had against the doctrine of plural marriage. He showed us the necessity of marriage for eternity in order to obtain an exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. I felt to rejoice, that the doubts and fears that had been resting on my mind with regard to plural marriage caused by the traditions of the Fathers, were all removed. By the aid of the light of the Spirit, I could in a measure see the glory and beauty of that principle. It was very plain that our marriage covenants were only for time, they last only through this life. We are not bound as husbands and wives for eternity but all our domestic relations were dissolved at death. We learned that the celestial law binds for time and eternity, and our connection as husbands and wives, parents, and children never ceases in time nor all eternity, and we will continue to increase while eternities roll around. We went and looked at the Temple and in the afternoon started for home. Went four miles south of Nauvoo and stayed over night at Bro. E. Hanks.
29th. We traveled as far as Morley’s Settlement and stayed overnight with cousin M. Clawson.
30th. We arrived at home about two o’clock P.M. The weather was very fine.
November 1st. Sidnie and I moved to ourselves again in the log cabin where we used to live. We were very glad to be to ourselves again, for we had not been since we left here.
November 2nd.  Yesterday I went up to Father’s after my hogs, and hens and returned today. Albert Clement came down with me to go to work at chairs.
9th. Franklin Allen and I concluded to haul some wood to Quincy to sell and get us some store goods. I went today with a load. We get 52.00 per cord in goods. The wood has to be chopped four feet in length and white ash at that.
11th. Took a load of wood to Quincy again. Had a drizzling rain all day.
21st. I got Mr. C. Foster to pull two of my teeth. Hauled 3 loads of hay from Father’s this week.
25th. Went up to Father’s again and got a fat hog and a load of oats.
December 1st.  Very pleasant. I took three load of wood to Quincy last week. Got some boots, etc.
8th. Went with Father Myers to conference at Down’s School house. I was elected clerk of Freedom Branch again. Elder James Braden was disfellowshipped for dishonest dealings with his stepdaughter.
15th. Very cold. We have been to work in the shop the past week.
25th. Monday, Tuesday, and today, I have been helping F. Allen haul his hay from Mr Pond’s. We made a trip a day. This evening, I with my wife and Albert Clement went by invitation to Bro. Abraham Miller’s to partake of a Christmas supper. We had a very agreeable time. The weather is very warm for Christmas.
31st. [December 1844] Another year has rolled around, and I am yet in the land of the living, for which I feel to thank my God, for his goodness and longsuffering towards me. But when I take a retrospective view of my life for the year past, I find that I have been rather slothful in keeping the commandments of our Lord and Savior. Any times I have erred through weakness of the flesh, but as many times I have gone to my Father in Heaven to ask his forgiveness, and have obtained it. But instead of going on from knowledge to knowledge as I should have done I have given way to the temptations of the evil one.
Thus we can see the frailties of human nature, and except a person is continually led by the Spirit of God he is liable to be led astray by the cunning devices of Satan. Now we can see the necessity of keeping the command of the Savior, which says, “Watch and pray least ye enter into temptation.” Here then, we find that prayer is one of the greatest duties enjoined upon us in order to guard against te I am well convinced by experience that it is utterly impossible for a person to retain the Spirit of God without attending regularly to their prayers. By prayer many times our faith is increased our minds enlarged and our souls are made to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Yes, when the saint of God is cast down and nearly worn out with afflictions, and persecutions, he then pours forth his soul in fervent prayer to the Almighty in secret. He who seeth in secret fills his heart with joy and peace by giving him a foretaste of that glory which is laid up for the righteous. Thus he becomes more firm in the faith and is better prepared to withstand the scoffs and scorns and persecutions heaped upon him by an ungodly world. It is through prayer in the name of Jesus that we make known our desires to our Father in Heaven and receive whatsoever we ask for in faith. When a person prays by the Spirit of God, he has the mind of God, therefore he asks for those things which it is the mind of God to give him, and it is the mind of God to give him such things as will be for his benefit. Hence how necessary it is to pray with the spirit that we may obtain the blessings that we ask for, and not ask amiss.
This year has witnessed the murder of two of the best men that this generation could boast of. Joseph and Hyram Smith were murdered in cold blood in Carthage Jail, and their blood is now crying from the ground to God for vengeance, which He will avenge in His own due time for he will avenge the blood of His saints, when their enemies are fully ripened in their iniquities. The Church is now under the direction of the Twelve Apostles. After Joseph Smith’s death, Sidney Rigdon being one of his Counsellors, set up his claim for the presidency, but was rejected, and the Twelve were sustained by the great body of the Church. Rigdon then went to Pittsburgh, Pa. to establish his church. He says that those who adhere to the Twelve are the foolish virgins, and those who go with him are the wise. But according to the scripture there were as many wise as foolish consequently Rigdon and his followers cannot be the wise, for but a very few who belonged to the Church followed him. I have had very poor health the past year and have not earned much but made out to live.
January 1st, 1845. I worked in the shop today. Father and sister Betsey came down to make us a visit. It is very warm weather and the frost is all out of the ground.
4th. I went to Quincy with another load of wood and purchased a pair of shoes.
5th. Sunday. The conference was held at my house today. Abraham Miller was disfellowshipped. E. P. Davis preached a short discourse.
12th. My wife and I have both been sick with a cold the past week. She is smart again.
13th. I have got able to go to Quincy with Albert Clement. We took a load of wood.
14th. I went up to Fathe him clean up his wheat. Sidnie went with me.
15th. We got the most of the wheat cleaned. At night there was a very heavy thunder shower.
17th. I returned home yesterday. Our conference convened again today. A. Miller was restored to fellowship also James Braden.
February 9th.  Meeting was held at my house again. The weather is very pleasant.
14th. Elder George D. Watt came to Father Myers this week on a mission to the Saints throughout the state of Illinois. Today we attended meeting at Bro. Down’s. Elder Watt, delivered his message to the Saints which in substance was this. The Twelve had sent him to say to the Saints that it was the will of the Lord that all the Saints scattered throughout the state to gather into Hancock County as soon as they could reasonably do so. Had a good meeting.
17th. Elder Watt wished me to accompany him up to the New Liberty Branch. I done so, walking on foot. We stayed over night at Father’s.
18th. The members of the Columbus and Liberty Branches assembled at Isaac Ferguson’s, and Bro. Watt preached a very excellent discourse, of which many arose and bore testimony. I returned home after meeting. It is very warm weather.
March 2nd.  Our conference convened today. It was so very cold that I did not attend.
10th. Yesterday Sidnie and I went up to Father’s on a little visit. Returned today.
16th. I attended meeting at Bro. Martin’s. Elder Packard preached.
26th. Isaac Ferguson and Mother came down today to see us, and stayed overnight.
30th. Albert Clement and I went up to Father’s intending to go from there to Nauvoo.
April 2nd.  I started for Nauvoo with J. Clark. He was moving his family to China Creek twelve miles south of Nauvoo. We stayed over night three miles from Bear Creek.
3rd. We arrived at China Creek, where Bro. Clark had rented a place. I. Ferguson, A. Clement and myself looked around some to find a place. Isaac partly bargained for one close by the place that J. Clark stopped on. We went on towards Nauvoo and stayed overnight eight miles south of that place.
4th. Went on to nd I put up at Mother Moore’s place who had moved there from Pike County. She had been a member of Freedom Branch. Her son Enoch lived with her.
6th. General Conference commence today. The wind blew terribly from the north and they had to move the meeting into a hollow to get sheltered from the wind. Brigham Young presided. The congregation was very large; although it was so windy. We had excellent preaching. I joined the ninth Quorum of Seventies.
7th. I took a severe cold yesterday and the wind blows very cold this morning, but I thought that I would attend conference which I did in the forenoon but I had to go to bed in the afternoon with a severe pain in my side. Brigham Young said today, “From henceforth let this place [Nauvoo] be called the City of Joseph.” The congregation today was estimated at 20,000.
8th. I was not able to attend the conference in the forenoon, but went in the afternoon. It was adjourned after meeting until the sixth of next October.
9th. The Seventies held a General Conference today. Three new Quorums were organized. There are now twenty four Quorums. I left the City about four o’clock and went down as far as Bro. Skinner’s and got a chance to ride home with Bro. Amos Jackson who lives near Father’s. We drove on about five miles further and stopped over night with Bro. Adams, who used to live in Columbus.
10th. We took a new route going home, passing near Knowlton’s Settlement, and then near Woodville, and through Columbus. I stayed at Father’s overnight.
11th. I started out early this morning and walked home, where I arrived about seven o’clock A.M. My health continues very poor.
17th. Isaac Ferguson has got a place near Montebello on China Creek and Father and I have concluded to move up there too, and take up new land.
21st. I went up to Father’s to make arrangements about moving.
24th. There was a terrible storm, and the wind blowed a great deal of timber down and done considerable damage on Columbus prairie.
25th. Mill Creek is very high. I am now beginning to prepare to move.
May 4th.  I started bag and baggage for Hancock County and went up to Fathers to go with him.
5th. We all started this morning about eight o’clock. Had a good time, and traveled about twenty miles, and stopped three miles northwest of Fairfield.
6th. Resumed our journey. We found the buffalo gnats very troublesome today. We arrived at Isaac Ferguson’s about sundown, all well. He had moved up a short time previous. Father left his hogs with Mr. Leverett to fatten on shares.
7th. I moved into a room of Bro. Clark’s house until I can build a house.
11th. We went to Nauvoo to meeting. William Smith, brother of the Prophet, preached to a very large congregation. Meeting was commenced when we got there and I did not hear much of the forenoon sermon. In the afternoon his text was “Strive to enter in at the straight gate,” etc. He preached an excellent discourse teaching humility and holiness of heart without which no man can see the Lord. He exhorted the Saints to put away all vulgarity and profanity for these things cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. At 4 o’clock we attended the Seventies Conference. There were about 16 ordained Seventies and some other business transacted. We started home a little before sundown where we arrived at 11 P.M.
12th. We commenced planting corn today. The weather is getting very dry.
15th. The Twelve have appointed today for fasting and prayer to the Lord, beseeching him to protect His saints from mob violence, and to give them peace, that the building of the Temple be not hindered neither other works the Lord has assigned them. Meeting was held in this branch, which is called Montebello Branch. Dr. Spergen is presiding elder. There seems to be a division with the Saints here. Some claim another organization. They live below us on the creek and hold their meetings by themselves. Father generally attends their meetings and thinks that they are in the right of it. I think that it will all come around right, inasmuch as they are honest.
20th. We finished planting our corn. The weather is dry and cool, some appearance of rain.
31st. Isaac F. Thomas Clement and I went to Nauvoo. I purchased a few things.
June 1st.  Attended meeting, and then returned home. We had good preaching.
8th. Samuel Myers came to our house today. Two years since I was married. The people here wants me to take up a school. I have concluded to do so, and yesterday I drew up a paper for subscribers. They have a log schoolhouse.
22nd. It has been very rainy this week. I moved last Saturday into Father’s shanty with him.
27th. It has been very rainy for sometime. It is warm now and corn grows very fast.
29th. We attended meeting. Elder Benson and President B. Young preached in the forenoon. In the afternoon John Taylor preached. We returned home at night.
July 6th.  I am getting along well with my school. Attended meeting at the schoolhouse.
Aug. 10th.  My birthday again. I went to meeting and heard Bro. Hitchcock preach.
11th. Father and I, and some others went to the election which was held a little above Montebello on the banks of the Mississippi River. Mother was taken sick today.
12th. We finished raising my log house today. It is very showery nowadays.
13th. Mother is very sick today. Has a high fever and is delirious. Got my house covered.
14th. Father was taken sick. He had a very hard shake of the ague, and a very high fever after it. Mother appears some better.
15th. Mother is very sick again. Father is so that he can walk about some. He went to one of our neighbors, Bro. Hallett and administered to Sister Hallett who was sick of a fever. She began to amend from that time forth. In accordance to Mother’s request I sent for Dr. Spergen but he would not come to see her. He is the president of this branch and does not like because Father attends the meetings of the other party. He attends meeting there generally.
16th. Father had a chill and a very high fever after it, during which he was delirious.
17th. Sunday. Mother appeared better yesterday, but is very sick today. Father is so that he walked about one half mile to meeting. He is very much troubled about Mother. She has never yet joined the Church, and his faith has always been that she would, before she died according to the promise of the Lord to him. He says that he has asked the Lord to put some of her sickness upon him, that he may help her bear the burden; and if either of them are to be taken away he wants it to be him. He was very much affected at the meeting. Mother is very much worse again. Bro. Goldsmith and Drown came home with Father after meeting and administered to Mother. I dismissed school last week to work at my house; and have moved into it. I built it close by Father’s, so as to have an entry between.
18th. I commenced school again. Father is very bad again. He has light chills and a very high fever after it. After the fever abates he sleeps very soundly.
19th. There was a very heavy shower this morning, and Father’s shanty being covered with bark it leaks badly. I got Mother into my house, and made out to keep Father’s bed dry. I did not teach school today but [went] after Dr. Spergen to come and see Mother. He came in the afternoon and gave her an emetic, and left a potion of calomel, and two of pills. Father is very sick, he will not take medicine.
20th. I taught school today. Father and Mother are failing. It is very sickly all about.
21st. I think it very doubtful if Father and Mother recover. They are very low today.
22nd. I had to dismiss my school this morning in order to take care of Father and Mother. My sister Betsey’s family was sick and sister Almira was not able to be about. I sent for Dr. Spergen again. I saw that Father was failing very fast a [and] could not hold out much longer. I asked him if he was willing to go. He said that he must be reconciled. I then asked him if he wanted the Elders to administer to him. He said he did. I asked who, and he answered any one that has faith. He said that he desired to live to get his endowment in the Temple. He was in his right mind until noon when his fever arose. About three o’clock his fever abated and he fell into a sound sleep. I tried to awaken him at sundown, but could not. Albert Clement and James Wright came to sit up with him. We rubbed him, and tried every way to awaken him. Having been broken of my rest for many nights, I laid down having told them to awaken me if he appeared to get any worse. During all this time Mother lay insensible. Dr. Spergen came but did not give her any medicine. He gave her up to die. I had slept about an hour when Albert awoke me and said that Father was worse. I arose immediately and saw that he was dying. I sent Albert for his mother, but her children were so sick that she could not leave them. Father’s breathing became shorter and shorter until about eleven o’clock when he ceased to breathe and his spirit took its flight. He never moved a limb or muscle, and his countenance was calm and tranquil, and he appeared as though he was still asleep, although he had ceased to breathe. He was 76 years and 15 days old according to his record but the Foote Genealogy makes him one year older. In about an hour after Father died, my wife began to have labor pains. I sent immediately for Dr. Spergen and some of the sisters who soon came. During this time I expected every moment to see Mother breathe her last. About day break she revived a little, but did not realize anything that was going on.
23rd. About half past nine o’clock A.M. Aug 23rd my wife was delivered of a son, whom I immediately named David after my Father, there being only ten and an half hours between his birth and Father’s death. I sent to Nauvoo to get cloth to make two shrouds as we did not think that Mother would live until night.
24th. Father was buried today in the Nauvoo Cemetery. I was obliged to stay at home to take care of Mother and my wife. None of our folks could attend but Isaac Ferguson my brother-in-law. In the afternoon we thought that Mother was dying. She continued very bad until morning when she revived and came to her right mind.
25th. This afternoon Mother was taken worse and insensible during which time she appeared to be talking but in a language that we could not understand.
26th. Mother appears some better. I rode ten miles today, to Sister Hays to get one of her girls to work for me, but could not get one. It is very sickly throughout the country and many are dying. There are not well ones enough to take care of the sick. When I returned I found Mother some better, and Sidnie pretty smart.
28th. Mother is better and I begin to think that she will recover. She asked me where Father was, as she had not seen him. I told her that he had gone to sister Clarissa. It seemed to affect her very much. She said she had thought it strange that he did not come to see her. She did not know of anything that had transpired for several days. I have to do all the housework and wait on the sick.
30th. I went again to get a hired girl, but did not succeed. Mother had a very high fever again when I came home, and was out of her right mind again. Her fever left her about sundown, and she appeared much better.
31st. Mother and Sidnie are quite smart today. I feel very lonely since Father’s death. I have been with him until the last; and intend to continue the work on the foundation which he has laid in the Kingdom of our God, and inasmuch as the Lord saw fit to take him unto Himself before he had the privilege of obtaining his endowments, I intend to do all for him that can be done in this probation, if the Lord spares my life, until the opportunity arrives to do it.
September 10th.  The mobbers have been threatening the Saints again and we heard today that they had commenced burning their houses at Morley’s Settlement about 25 miles south of Nauvoo. Mother and Sidnie are still mending.
17th. Mother and Sidnie are still mending. The mobbers have been burning the houses of the Saints up to this time. They have burned out and drove all south of us, and they have sent us word that they would visit us today. They have permitted the brethren to take their things out of their houses before they set them afire. The Twelve Apostles have counseled the Saints not to resist them up to the present time, although Sheriff Backenstos has done all in his power to quell them. He is friendly to the Saints and the mobbers hate him. They call him a Jack Mormon. We fully expected the mob would burn our houses today, and I began to prepare for it, by taking some of the things out of my house. Mother was not able to sit up but little, while I was busy in carrying out all the things, she said, “Warren be sure to take out the soap barrel.” She seemed to think more of the soap than anything else. The mobbers did not come, and in the afternoon we got orders to give them cold lead if they came to molest us. The sheriff called out a posse from Nauvoo today and went down towards Warsaw, to head the mobbers, which they did, which was the cause of their not coming to burn us out. There has been five or six of the mobbers killed. One was killed a mile and a quarter from here, on the main road fromoo to Warsaw by O. P. Rockwell. It happened on this wise. The sheriff was going to Warsaw; and meeting the mobbers, or rather, before he met them seeing their hostile intentions he wheeled his horse and fled towards Nauvoo. A few of the mobbers gave chase. On arriving at the top of the hill south of China Creek the Sheriff espied a man at the foot of the hill and demanded his assistance. It proved to be O. Porter Rockwell who happened to be passing. The sheriff quickly made known the situation and they, taking shelter in a thicket of hazel brush, awaited the mobbers. They soon made their appearance on the brow of the hill, and a fellow by the name of Worrell being the foremost one fell mortally wounded. When the others came up and saw their comrade weltering in his blood they were seized with fear and taking Worrell up they fled with all possible speed for Warsaw. Rockwell thus saved the life of Sheriff Backenstos.
20th. The sheriff and posse commanded by Colonel Stephen Markham have driven the mobbers from the county, and there seems to be peace again.
22nd. Isaac and I went up to Nauvoo. All the Saints from the south part of the country have moved into this place. The mob has burned 70 or 80 houses.
October 1st.  The Governor has sent a body of militia to settle the difficulty. There has been a number of writs issued for the house-burners and the Sheriff and his deputies are in search of them. I have been putting up a little hay for winter. Sidnie is well again and Mother is about the house.
5th. It has been very rainy the past week, but is clear today. There was a heavy frost last night. Crops are very good. It seems to be a time of peace again.
6th. We went to Nauvoo to attend Conference which was held in the Temple. The immense room was crowded with eager listeners. Our persecutions and present situation were dwelt upon by the Twelve Apostles, and there being no prospect for anything better for the future, it was voted unanimously that the Church en masse move from the United States, where we have had nothing but persecution from the beginning, and go to a country far to the west where we can serve God without being molested by mobs.
7th. Conference still continues. There has been a great deal of business transacted and much good instruction given. The Saints will organize into companies of hundreds, fifties, and tens, to move, (that is families) with captains. Each company will see to fitting themselves out with teams, wagons, provisions, etc. Conference adjourned until next Apr. 6th.
November 12th.  The companies have been organizing since Conference and getting out timber for wagons and preparing to move as fast as possible. The house-burners that were taken have been set at liberty. Thus ends the farce of their trials. Today Isaac, my wife, and I started for Adams County. We are going for the purpose of thrashing Isaac’s wheat grown on his place which he has sold to Mr. Leverett, and other business. We arrived at Father Myers at Mill Creek at dark. Dist miles.
13th. Isaac and I went up to his old place and began thrashing his wheat.
15th. We finished the wheat today. I found a letter in the Burton P. O. from brother George Foote.
17th. It rained yesterday. Today Isaac and I went to Quincy with some of his wheat to sell. It is quite warm. We went from Quincy to Father Myers. Distance 8 miles.
20th. We started for home. We went by Quincy to sell some more of Isaac’s wheat. From there we drove to Fairfield and stayed over night with Bro. John Carpenter.
21st. We arrived at home in the afternoon. All well. It begins to get cold.
December 1st.  I killed my hogs. The weather is very cold. The companies are preparing to move as fast as possible. Isaac and I are getting out wagon spokes for our company.
10th. They have commenced giving endowments in the Temple, working day and night.
30th. Isaac and I started for Adams County. We arrived at Mr. Leverett’s at 8 o’clock at night.
31st. We killed the hogs that Father left with Mr. Leverett to fatten, and Leverett’s also. It commenced raining just at night. This closes another year.
January 1st, 1846. It continued raining all day. Our hogs which we left hanging up last night fell down in the mud and we had to wash them again.
2nd. We went to Quincy with our pork which we sold for three dollars and twenty five cents per hundred. We purchased some things and went out to Father Myers.
3rd. We started for home went as far as Fairfield and stayed overnight at Bro. Carpenter’s.
4th. It is very muddy traveling. We got home just at night. Found all well.
6th. Samuel Myers came to see us. He had been to Nauvoo.
18th. Isaac Ferguson and I went to Nauvoo to attend our Quorum meeting. He also belongs to the ninth Quorum of Seventies. Had a good meeting.
19th. Our names was put down on thoday to receive our endowments.
22nd. Isaac, and his wife Almira (my sister) and I and my wife started for Nauvoo for the purpose of getting our endowments. We stayed over night at Bro. Ripley’s.
23rd. We went up to the Temple of the Lord. The endowments are being given in the upper rooms. My sister is so feeble that she has to be carried up. After receiving our endowments, I and my wife went down to Bro. George A. Smith’s who had married my sister Betsey’s daughter Nancy for his third wife, Bro. Smith was at home. He related to us what a trial it was to him to receive the revelation on plural marriage. It was first made known to him by the Prophet Joseph. He did not feel at first at though he could receive it as from the Lord. But again he knew that Joseph was a prophet of God, and he durst not reject it. Thus he reasoned with himself, until he obtained a testimony from the Lord for himself. George A. Smith’s father, the patriarch of the Church, John Smith, lived in a room adjoining. My wife and I went in to get our Patriarchal Blessings which we received under his hands as follows: [Omitted]
Our son David was also blessed by Father John Smith at the same time. He has been very puny up to this time. We feel very thankful to our Father in Heaven that we have been accounted worthy to enter into His Temple and receive the ordinances. We were not sealed as there was such a crowd that they had not time to attend to it.
24th. My wife is seventeen years old today. We returned home. Feel rather unwell.
29th. They are still giving endowments as fast as they can, as they will soon have to stop and leave for the west. Rainy today.
February 2nd.  I attended my Quorum meeting yesterday and returned today.
5th. Isaac and I went over to Keokuk in a skiff to get some flour. Did not get any. A man and his wife wished to accompany us back. The skiff being very small I felt very reluctant to take them in, but Isaac thought that we could. We made out to return safely although the water came near to the top of the skiff. I felt relived when we struck the shore; the Mississippi is about one mile wide here with a strong current, being at the head of the rapids. They have ceased giving endowments, and some of the Twelve and others are starting for the west. President Brigham Young leads the company.
8th. Sidnie is quite unwell today. I did not go to meeting.
18th. Sidnie is well again, but Mother was taken sick about one o’clock P.M. Weather cold.
19th. Mother is no better. She informed us for the first time that she has had a rupture for some years. It came down yesterday and she could not replace it. If this nothing will pass her bowels.
21st. Mother is not any better. She does not eat any thing but bread and water and vomits that up soon after eating. I sent for Dr. Spergen but he could not help her. He told us what to do for her. We tried it but it was of no use.
25th. Mother continues very bad. She throws up all her food which smells very bad. I got Isaac to go to Nauvoo to get a doctor. He came today and tried all his skill to replace the rupture but could not. He said that it could not be replaced only by cutting, which he declined to do, and advised me not to have it done, as she is so old, he thought she would not survive the operation and it would only cause her unnecessary pain. He did not charge me anything.
27th. Yesterday and today I worked out my polltax on the road.
28th. I called in some of the elders last night who anointed Mother and prayed over her. The pains in her bowels ceased, but she complained of a distressed feeling all over her system. She feels anxious this morning to be baptized. The weather is extremely cold. We had a consultation how we could baptize her, and came to the conclusion to make a large trough and get it into the house and warm the water so as to make it comfortable for her. Accordingly, Isaac Ferguson, Mattannah Hallet, Joseph C. Clark, Nahum Benjamin, and myself, went at the job, and by evening had it ready. Elders Pleasant Ewell and Richard Hewitt came in as we were about ready to baptize her. About nine o’clock at night we baptized her, Elder Ewell officiating. We then confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and administered to her again. She said that she now felt satisfied she had repeatedly said that she would never get well again.
March 1st.  Mother is still failing. She says that she has been thinking, that Father wants her to come to him, and she thought that it would be better to go now and be buried beside him than to go into the wilderness and die by the way and be buried in some hole. She has divided her things among us three children. Namely, my sisters Betsey, Almira, and myself. This she has done according to her own notion.
2nd. Having given up all hopes of Mother’s recovery. I felt very much cast down in my mind. I felt that I had done all I could for her in my circumstances, and still I had a desire to know if there was anything more that I could do. I was impressed to go and pour forth my soul to my Father in Heaven in secret. I did so, and through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit it was made known to me, that I had done all that was required of me for her; and that she would be taken from me, and that she should rest with Father, and should come forth with him in the morning of the first resurrection, and receive an exaltation with him in the Celestial Kingdom of our God. Therefore though I mourn my bereavement of her for a season, yet I rejoice in the promises of the Lord.
3rd. Mother is so weak that she cannot help herself at all. I received a letter from my brge [brothers] today and read it to her, and asked her if she wanted to send him any word. She asked me if I could remember Father’s last prayer, if I could, to write that to him, and that she had been baptized, also for David and him to seek their duty and do it. I told her what the Lord had manifested to me, yesterday. She seemed to be satisfied. She said sometimes she had a sufficient witness and sometimes not.
4th. Dr. Spergen came here today and examined the breach. He said that it was under the arch, and could not be got back without cutting, but his hand was so lame, that he could not do it. He told us what to do for her, but it did no good. At night I saw that she was failing very fast. She asked me what the doctor thought of her. I told her that he thought her case very doubtful. She then asked how long he thought she would continue. I answered not long without she got help. I then asked her if she was anxious to depart. She said she was. She complained of feeling very bad all through her body, and was very restless.
5th. I set up with Mother last night until ten o’clock, and then laid down, leaving three persons to sit up through the night. I awoke about three o’clock and heard her breathing very hard and appeared much distressed. On getting up I awakened Isaac Ferguson, and the three persons went home. I took the candle and went to her bedside, and saw that she was dying. My wife arose and I called in my sister Betsey (who is living in Father’s house). I spoke to Mother, but she did not notice me. She groaned slightly when she breathed. Her breath became shorter and shorter, when she ceased to breathe about four o’clock in the morning of the fifth. My feelings at this moment who can describe. O how much care she has taken of me, how many sleepless nights she has spent watching over me through the many spells of severe sickness I have had, when nothing but a mother’s care could have saved my life, with the blessings of God. O how little I have repaid her for all this care and anxiety, but if the Lord will spare my life, I will see that her work in this probation is completed and united with Father through the sealing power, no more to be parted forever.
6th. Isaac Ferguson, Albert Clement and I buried Mother in Nauvoo near Father’s side, there being two grandchildren between them. Viz., Elizabeth Clement and Orson Ferguson.
8th. We went to Nauvoo to meeting. Orson Hyde preached, showing the false pretenses of [James J.] Strang and John E. Page to the right to lead the church. Page was one of the Twelve Apostles and has apostatized and gone after Strang who pretends to be the legal successor of Joseph Smith. Luke Johnson came back into the church. He was one of the first Twelve chosen in Kirtland and apostatized there.
11th. I went to Nauvoo to take up some wagon timber yesterday. It was so rainy that I stayed over night. Our company are very busy making wagons. We belong to Johnathon C. Hales company. I returned home today. It is very rainy.
13th. I took cold yesterday and do not feel well today. I commenced writing to George.
14th. [March 1846] I finished my letter to brother George. After giving the account of Mother’s death I wrote as follows: I now stand alone as it were in my father’s house. My parents have passed behind the veil and my brothers are opposed to the work of God, they have rejected our Father’s counsel, and will not receive the gospel, therefore they have lost their birthright in the Kingdom of God. My sisters are given to other men for wives and must be governed by them in their own houses. I suppose that you will think this a strange doctrine. But you will find that the government of God is always Patriarchal. Read the Old Testament and see if it was not so in the beginning. Parents will have jurisdiction over their posterity throughout the endless ages of eternity. But inasmuch as they give their daughters to other men for wives, they can have no more authority over them. Hence you can see that Father will claim his sons, those that obey the gospel and he will claim the sons of those who do not obey the gospel, for their unbelief shall be answered upon the heads of their parents, because you have heard the gospel and reject it. Therefore it would not be justice in God, that your children should perish, because of your unbelief, for should you obey the gospel and bring up your children in accordance to the law of God, they would be in the kingdom of God, and you would be made a king over them and their posterity forever and ever. This is the way that we are to become Kings and Priests, for a king must have subjects, which subjects will be his own posterity. Adam will stand at the head of the human family, and so on down in regular succession according to the order of the Priesthood.
Christ is King over all and God is over Christ. What order and beauty there are in the Kingdom of God. Who knows what will be the extent of the power and glory of the dominions of those who serve him faithfully unto the end. Shall I, who understand many of the things of God and have obtained that knowledge, which is beyond the power of man to give, listen to your advice and exchange the sunshine of noonday for midnight darkness? Or in other words, shall I leave the gospel of Christ wherein the mysteries of God are revealed, and exchange them for the low groveling creeds of the sectarian world? God forbid. My course is onward from knowledge to knowledge until I obtain the victory over all evil and receive a crown of glory which will never fade away, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day when He comes to make up his jewels, and not to me only but to all His saints. You now know my mind and determination. As for your anathemas on the servants of God and the gospel, I consider that it is for the want of knowledge; for I am sure if you had a knowledge of what you was at, you would weep and mourn. The principle on which you condemn the leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints would also condemn Christ and the Apostles. Were they not killed for their religion, and the testimony which they bore to the worlds? I think so. But according to your reasoning, the judgments of God came on them for their wickedness; because the Lord suffered them to be killed. If the principle which you are advocating were true, it would condemn all those who have been slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they bore. Did you ever read of a false prophet being killed by the wicked? I think not. I consider it a great testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet because he was slain. For I know that all classes of people from the blackleg to the most sanctified sectarian priest were combined for his destruction, and are now persecuting the church of Christ.
There are priests who have the honor of belonging to the church of which you are a member, who were busily engaged in exciting the minds of the people by reporting the most hellish lies which their black hearts could invent, thereby urging the rabble on to deeds of violence and bloodshed. There are plenty of living witnesses to prove this should you desire further testimony. There are hundreds of such cases which I could write, but let this suffice. Now if you subscribe to such acts, how much better are you than the actors? I cannot think that you do. But such acts as the foregoing are committed by those who are members of your church, for I have seen it. O my Brother, come out from her that you receive not of her sins, and be not partaker of her plagues. For the blood of the prophets and righteous men do stain her garments. “Woe, woe be unto her saith God, for I will avenge the blood of my saints.” And woe be unto those whose garments are stained with their blood, for awful is their doom, and bitter is their punishment.
Concerning the leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints getting rich by the Kirtland Bank, I say that it is false. So also is the bogus money making. You seem to roll these lies as a sweet morsel under your tongue. I now caution you to beware lest you are “left to believe a lie that you may be damned.” You say, “as for enjoyments in this world, you would as soon follow the wandering Arabs, or go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, as to follow the Mormons,” etc. What said the Savior? He that is not willing to leave Father or Mother, wife or children, house or lands, for my sake is not worthy of me. Old King David said, (speaking of the last dispensation) “Gather my people together, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Now if you are not willing to sacrifice all earthly enjoyments for Christ’s and the gospel’s sake you have no promise of salvation. These enjoyments are as dear to me as any other person, but I am willing to sacrifice them all for Christ’s and the gospel’s sake, knowing that I shall receive a crown of glory if I am faithful to the end. You say that I do not believe the Bible or all of it. Let me certify to you that I believe the whole Bible inasmuch as it is translated correctly, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
And now I will tell you plainly, that you cannot be saved in the Celestial Kingdom of God, only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and your quotation, (see Acts 10th chapter 14th and 15th verses) bears me out in this assertion. For no person can work the work of righteousness contrary to the law of God, for His law is the same to all nations, and it takes the same ordinances to fulfill the law in one nation that it does in another. Hence you see, that although they are of many different nations, they have the same spirit and understand the same things pertaining to the gospel. Peter saw that the Gentiles had received the same gospel, and understood the same things that he did, therefore he saw that they were accepted of God.
You say that the prophecies of Joseph Smith have not come to pass. I can bear testimony that some of them have come to pass, and the others will in the due time of the Lord. You think that I am of a wandering disposition. I am not naturally so. But the Lord has made known to me my duty, and woe be unto me if do it not. I must carry on the work that our Father began. What a consolation it would be to me if I d a brother according to the flesh to assist me in the great work. But I have none. I am deprived of this privilege, but I put my trust in God who sticketh closer than a brother.
Now my brother I must close. I have faithfully warned you, and from henceforth my garments are clean from your blood. If you perish, you perish with your eyes open. I take heaven to witness this day that I have laid the gospel before you according to the best of my ability in all my letters warning you. Think of these things when you see the judgments of God coming heavily on our nation. My course is onward if I have to go alone in my Father’s house. My parents shall find in me a true friend and a dutiful son, throughout the endless ages of eternity, God being my helper. We are all as well as usual. We expect to start west the latter part of April. We are not going to Vancouver Island [Canada] (it had been reported that we were going to Vancouver Island), nor to California. We shall probably settle in the Rocky Mountains. I think that we will still have a chance to correspond with each other. I want you to write immediately so that I can get a letter from you before I go away. If I do not, I will write to you frequently, until I get settled in the west. One company has gone and another will start in April. I will close by praying God to cause the scales of darkness to fall from your eyes, that you may see your own situation, and the situation of the whole world. We all send our respects to you and your wife. This from your loving Brother Warren Foote.