Joel Hills Johnson

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Joel Hills Johnson

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Grafton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: September 24, 1882 (80)
Kanab, Kane County, Utah Territory, United States
Place of Burial: Johnson, Kane, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ezekiel Johnson, Jr. and Julia Ellis Johnson
Husband of Anna Pixley Johnson; Susan Bryant; Lucinda Alzina Johnson; Janet Fife and Margaret Johnson
Father of Julianna Ann Johnson; Sixtus Ellis Johnson; Sariah Anna Workman; Nephi Johnson; Susan Ellen Martineau and 22 others
Brother of Nancy Mariah Clark; Seth Guernsey Johnson; Delcina Diademia Sherman; Julia Ann Babbitt; David Partridge Johnson and 10 others

Occupation: Miller, Farmer, Legislator
Managed by: James Arlan Chantrill
Last Updated:

About Joel Hills Johnson

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868 Willard Richards Company (1848) . Age 46. Departure: 3 July 1848, Arrival: 10-19 October 1848. Find a Grave: Joel Hills Johnson, eldest son of Ezekiel and Julia Hills Johnson was a LDS Church leader, missionary and colonizer and the author of poems and sacred songs. He is best known as the writer of the LDS hymn "High on the Mountain Top." Here is The Story of High on the Mountain Top by Joel H. Johnson: This is the story behind the writing of "HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP" by Joel Hills Johnson as told by his wife Margaret Threlkeld Johnson to her grandson Bernard A. Johnson. Joel H. Johnson established a sawmill in Mill Creek Canyon soon after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Sawing lumber for the "Building up of Zion" was Joel's church calling. This meant that he spent his time sawing prime lumber and delivering it to the tithing office. In lieu of wages, he would go to the storehouse and get what was needed for him and his family. As he made his wagon trips up and down the steep canyon, he often thought about the flag that had been planted on Ensign Peak. He knew he had safely made it down the mountain with his load when he turned north and headed for the tithing office. He always breathed easier when he could look up at that peak and see Old Glory waving. In the early spring of 1850, Joel loaded up a load of prime lumber and headed for the tithing office. As he headed into the lot that housed this office, he noticed that there were several other wagon loads of tithing offerings ahead of him. He stopped his team, unhitched the horses and turned them into "Brother Brigham's" pasture, and sat down to wait his turn to unload. Being a warm spring day, Joel sought the shady side of his wagon, leaned back against the wheel and waited. As was his habit, he pulled out a piece of paper and prepared to write. He found himself thinking about the breeze and how it must be making 'Old Glory' ripple. In his mind he pictured how it must look there on the top of the peak under the clear blue sky as it waved and fluttered in the breeze. His mind painted such a wonderful picture. Almost as if written by unseen hands, words began to appear on the paper: "High on the mountain top, A banner is unfurled. Ye nations now look up; It waves to all the world." In Deseret's sweet, peaceful land- On Zion's mount behold it stand! For God remembers still, His promise made of old, That He on Zion's hill , Truth's standard would unfold! Her light should there attract the gaze, Of all the world in latter days. His house shall there be reared, His glory to display, And people shall be heard, In distant lands to say, We'll now go up and serve the Lord, Obey His truth, and learn His word. For there we shall be taught, The law that will go forth, With truth and wisdom fraught, To govern all the earth; Forever there His ways we'll tread, And save ourselves and all our dead. Then hail to Deseret! A refuge for the good, And safety for the great, If they but understood. That God with plagues will shake the world, Till all its thrones shall down be hurled. In Deseret doth truth, Rear up its royal head; Though nations may oppose, Still wider it shall spread; Yes, truth and justice, love and grace, In Deseret find ample place. He originally titled his poem "DESERET". It was later changed to HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP. Joel finished his poem, folded up the paper, put it in his pocket, and went about the task of getting his lumber measured and recorded. Much later in the day, he went home. Sometime later he showed his poem to John Taylor, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. President Taylor liked the poem so much, he asked if he could keep it. In those days, words only were written down and then sung to familiar folk tunes. In just a short time it became one of the favorite songs where ever the Saints gathered. This poem was only one of hundreds that Joel H. wrote. But it became one of his most recognized ones. His poetry centered around four themes: His love and devotion to the gospel, his love of the Prophet Joseph Smith, his love of his family, and his desire to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for himself and all other human beings. Because today there is some controversy over the exact date this song was written, this account is being written. In his journal he states that at eighteen years of age, "I commenced writing religious songs and hymns upon various subjects, some of which may be found in Zion's Songster, or the Songs of Joel, a work of my own, but many are lost." Throughout his journal are many examples of his poetry. See page 2 of JHJ journal volume 1. Bernard A. Johnson is now 90 years old. He tells of sitting at his Grandmother's knee and of her telling this story. As it was one of his favorites, he asked her to tell it many times. As far as we know now, he is one of only three living grandsons of Joel Hills Johnson. I, Bertha J. McGee am Bernard's daughter. I am typing this account at his direction. Joel Johnson was also a Primitivist Seeker and a Millennialist and as such sought an organization that included the charismatic gifts of the New Testament Church and proclaimed the eminent return of the Savior. The year before his death he wrote: "I was so carefully instructed by a pious mother, that I dared not do anything that would displease the Lord or my parents. As soon as I could read, she gave me a small New Testament, which I carried in my pocket. I neglected few opportunities of studying it, and often committed some of it to memory. "My attention was early drawn to the ancient ordinances and blessings of the Church. I believed, as far as my limited comprehension allowed, in baptism for the remission of sins, in laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and in signs following the believer... I sought among the sects for it, but found it not." In Mormonism however his search ended and his odyssey began. Once converted to the doctrines of the Restoration he never looked back or wavered from the course he believed God had set before him.

Parents: Ezekiel Johnson (1773 - 1848), Julia Ellis Hills Johnson (1784 - 1853). Spouses: Lucinda Alzina Bascom Johnson (1815 - 1885), Janet Fife Johnson (1828 - 1911), Anna or Annie Pixley Johnson Johnson (1800 - 1840), Susan Bryant Johnson (1812 - 1896), Margaret Threlkeld Johnson (1840 - 1914). Children: Julia Ann Johnson (1827 - 1829), Sixtus Ellis Johnson (1829 - 1916), Sariah Anna Johnson Workman (1832 - 1925), Nephi Johnson (1833 - 1919), Susan Ellen Johnson Martineau (1836 - 1918), Seth Guernsey Johnson (1839 - 1927), Nancy Maria Johnson (1841 - 1842), Emily Johnson (1843 - 1843), Joel Hills Johnson (1844 - 1846), Julia Anna Johnson Orton (1847 - 1879), Janet Mauretta Johnson Smith (1848 - 1933), David W. Johnson (1849 - 1924), Mary Susan Johnson (1850 - 1851), Margaret Johnson (1850 - 1879), Joel Hills Johnson (1850 - 1902), Joseph Elmer Johnson (1855 - 1858), Almon Babbitt Johnson (1855 - 1890), Carlos Johnson (1857 - 1857), Hyrum Johnson (1857 - 1857), Esther Ellis Johnson Orton (1861 - 1949), Mary Elizabeth Johnson (1864 - 1877), Joseph Hills Johnson (1866 - 1908), Ezekiel Johnson (1869 - 1957), Almera Woodward Johnson Little (1871 - 1937), Jeremiah Johnson (1874 - 1879), Margaret Hannah Johnson Shumway (1876 - 1917), Amos Partridge Johnson (1878 - 1895), John Henry Johnson (1881 - 1972) Created by: Carl W. McBrayer, Record added: Jan 20, 2003, Find A Grave Memorial# 7098987

FROM ANOTHER SOURCE: 1857 (age 55), Johnson, Joel Hills (Trek back to the States - journal entries), Covering 21 Apr 1857 to 17 Oct 1858: I started on Tuesday 21st for Council Bluffs City in company with Sister Babbitt and family and a young man by the name of Robert Reed who drove for her a team of four mules, while I drove a span of horses. We crossed the Little Mountain, and camped in the canyon about three or four miles from the foot of Big Mountain. Wednesday 22nd. We started early in the morning and safely reached the top of the Big Mountain at 12 o'clock, and found the snow on the east side from ten to fifteen feet deep and very soft. Therefore, we concluded to wait until the next morning, hoping to find the snow frozen so that we could go down on the crust. Here we took our last view of the sweet valley of Ephriam until we should return. While reflecting on the subject, I went by myself and offered up my thanks in prayer to my father in heaven for the blessings I have received while living in those valleys, and also for his protecting hand to bring me safe back, when my mission is filled, to my family and mountain home. I then returned to my wagon and sat down and wrote the following lines: Farewell to my sweet mountain home, With sorrow my feelings are touched, To leave thee with strangers to roam, And head thee so often reproached. While here on the big mountain top, I take my last glimpse of the free, My feelings are buoyant with hope, That I'll soon return unto thee. A large company of apostates passed down the mountain today, some capsized and some broke their wagon tongues, etc. Thursday 23rd. We had our breakfast early and started down the mountain. The sun arose very hot and snow began to melt. Our company consisted of 5 men and 5 wagons, with families, who all told me that they intended to return again the next spring, but in reality were apostates. One of our company broke a wagon tongue a short distance down the mountain, but we went ahead without any accident. About two miles down we overtook the apostates company in camp, we unharnessed our teams, and went back to help down the other wagon. We found in an apostate camp a little girl about 16 months old, smothered to death by having a pan of dough turned over her head while asleep, by the rock of wagons coming down the mountain. She was rolled up in a buffalo skin, and buried high upon the side of the mountain. Rest little stranger, sweetly rest Beneath the mountain snow Where no intruder can molest Or any earthly foe. Sweet, lovely babe, thou here must lay High on the mountain top And sleep the lonely years away 'Till Michael wakes thee up. No mother's hand can strew thy grave With flowers, or tears can shed, Or cause the willows bough to wave Above thy peaceful head. In a few hours the other wagons were brought down to the place where we stopped. We then harnessed up our horses and pursued our journey down the mountain. The road was dreadful, for torrents of water from melting snow came rushing down through every gulch and washed away the dirt and gravel in the road and left nothing but high rocks against which the water dashed and threw foam several feet in the air. Down this current and over these rocks, we had to roll our wagons, expecting every moment to be smashed up, but through the blessing of heaven we arrived safe in the canyon below, about the afternoon and found a good road, although the stream was high. We crossed the stream thirteen times, with the water up to our wagon boxes, and we camped for the night here where it passes through the mountains into the Weber river. Friday 24th. We started after breakfast, and found a good road to the Weber river, where we crossed about 11 o'clock. The water was high and rapid but we crossed over without accident, and stopped two hours to let our teams feed after which we went on and at 5 o'clock we camped in Echo canyon. Though journeying long on rocks and stones, And walking in the snow, Has made so sore my flesh and bones, I scarce can sit or go, Yet, God, my Father, hears my prayers, And makes His grace abound, To keep me safe from every snare, And heal my every wound, For which I thank His holy name, With all my heart and soul, His love doth still my heart inflame, And all my life control. Saturday 25th. My sister's son, Almon W. was sick all night with cholera morbus, but was better in the morning. We started after breakfast and traveled slow, and nooned towards the upper end of Echo Canyon and in the afternoon we passed over several snow banks and crossed Bear River about sundown and camped on the east side. We had a cold north wind through the afternoon and night. The water froze in the water bucket two inches. Sunday 26th. Started very early, cold all the forenoon. Nooned at Coperas Spring's and arrive at the first creek south of Fort Bridger a little before sunset and camped for the night. Monday 27th. Very cold throughout the night. The sun rose clear, having all the appearance of February. Started after breakfast and nooned at the crossing of the stream 16 miles east of Fort Bridger. My joints are weak and badly swelled, Through suffering cold and chill, Yet duty calls and I'm compelled, My mission to fulfill, I'm sent to call my kindred home, From lands where strife prevails, And counsel all who wish to come, To Ephriam's peaceful vales. We camped for the night at Hams Fork, having traveled through the day over 30 miles. Tuesday 28th. Left camp at 8 o'clock in the morning, and arrived at Green River at one o'clock, and turned out our teams to feed on no grass as we have not found any of consequence since we left the Weber. Felt very lonesome all day and could not suppress tears and felt more my dependence on God than ever for his directing hand to attend me on my mission until I return to my mountain home. Crossed Green River at 3 o'clock and started on our journey. We camped on the Big Sandy for the night without feed. The wind was blowing very cold and high through the night. Wednesday 29th. Started a little before 8 o'clock and traveled on 6 or 7 miles where we came to the bend of the Big Sandy on the right side of the road, and turned out our teams to feed on little or no grass. We started on at one o'clock and camped for the night at the next crossing of the Big Sandy. The weather extremely cold with high north winds and occasional snow squalls. I never suffered more in my life with cold in the same length of time than in the past week. Thursday 30th. Started at 8 o'clock in the morning and arrived at the Little Sandy about ten o'clock, and camped for the day and wrote back to my family and also to David Labaren of Salt Lake City. Absence from the one I love causes many lonesome hours. Friday, May 1st. We concluded to stay in camp today as we have good feed, wood, and water, and start our journey tomorrow morning. Saturday 2nd. We started at a little before 8 o'clock and camped at night at Pacific Creek. We have passed banks of snow in the road or beside it every day since we left the Big Mountain. Sunday 3rd. We left camp a little before 8 o'clock, fell very lonesome traveling with apostates. No meetings, no prayers, no sweet songs of praise to God our Heavenly Father. We nooned at first crossing of the Sweetwater. In the afternoon in trying to cross a snow bank, swamped the horses but got them out without much difficulty, but had to go a mile to get round it. We camped near Willow Creek. We had to stop on account of a snow bank and wait until morning to go over on the crust. Monday 4th. Started at 8 o'clock and passed over the snow bank on the crust, but had to chop ice and shovel snow two hours or more before we could get our wagons over the creek. We came on to a branch of the Sweetwater in about two miles. Here we had to run our wagons by hand over a snow bank from ten to fifteen feet deep which we did without much difficulty. We then came to Strawberry creek and nooned. In the afternoon we had many very bad snow banks to pass over or round, and we had found before for 200 miles. Traveling with apostates, how uncongenial is the spirit that they possess with the principles of life and salvation, how lonesome. Tuesday 5th. Got under way at 8 o'clock and traveled about ten miles nooned on the Sweetwater at the ford. While the teams were feeding, I walked up the river a short distance and found a grave containing five persons, four of them died on the 19th and one on the 20th of October, 1856. They belonged to one of the handcart companies. The wolves had uncovered one end of the grave, and exposed some part of the bodies. I gave a young man 50 cents to fill up the grave again. We camped for the night on the river at the next crossing. Wednesday 6th. We started about the usual time and crossed the Sweetwater three times, and turned out our teams for noon. In the afternoon we passed by a grave where there had been several persons buried belonging to one of the hand cart companies. The wolves had dug up and devoured them as their grave clothes and pieces of their bones were scattered around the grave. We camped for the night on the river. Thursday 7th. Started at 8 o'clock and arrived at Devil's Gate about noon, and concluded to stop until Steward's trail came up. The south wind blew almost a hurricane through the day. Friday 8th. Very cold and windy through the night with cold wind and freezing through the day. Sister Babbitt had a severe chill in the afternoon. Saturday 9th. Wind low but quite cold. Weather gloomy. Sister Babbitt had another chill and considerable fever followed. Very cold at night with ice in the ice streams. Had to keep my head covered to keep my nose and ears from stinging with the cold. Sunday 10th. Very cold still. My sisters health much improved. The missionaries, 72 in number, today arrived with handcarts. Teams constantly arriving and unloading flour and loading goods all day. The mail from Salt Lake City left here today. Monday 11th. The missionaries started on their journey today at 12 o'clock. Tuesday 12th. About 50 wagons arrived today laden with flour for the mail stations. The most of them are going to return to the city with goods in store at this place. The balance of them are going to the stakes for goods. Snow and rain all the afternoon. Wednesday 13th. Very stormy through the night, but some prospect of better weather this morning. Teams very busy most of the day in loading goods. Thursday 14th. We started on our journey at ten o'clock in company of 21 wagons commanded by Captain Winson. We had several squalls of rain and hail in the course of the afternoon. We camped at about 4 o'clock for the night at Greasewood creek. Friday 15th. This morning when the company got up their teams, the four horses which detained us until about 10 o'clock. Soon after we started it commenced to storm severely, and after traveling about 4 or 5 miles we fell in with a company of Crow Indians, who detained us until about 2 o'clock. We then went on and camped for the night at Willow Springs in a severe snow storm. Snow in the morning on the ground two inches deep and ice frozen in the bucket nearly two inches thick. Saturday 16th. We started about 8 o'clock, and drove to the Platt, where we camped for the night. I never felt more love and gratitude to my Heavenly Father or more of His good spirit than today in my life. Sunday 17th. We started at the usual time and came to the fording place on the Platt, but found the river too high to ford. We then went down and crossed at the bridge by paying three dollars per wagon. We drove a few miles below and camped for the night. I felt quite unwell and lonesome, yet enjoyed a good degree of the spirit of the Lord. We had a meeting in the evening and there was a good spirit among the brethren. To a Human Skull Found on our camp grounds, Whose was this skull and what his fate, When he with life was animate? What was his name and where did he dwell, Wast white, or red, none now can tell. What was his sorrows, toils and cares? His occupation, grief and fears? What did he love the most on earth? Was it his God or sensual mirth? All these are questions now unknown. While his poor skull lies here alone. Or rolled about upon the earth. As though to him it n'er had a worth. Monday 18th. We started at the usual time and traveled about 25 miles and camped on the Platt. Cottonwood trees, shrubbery and all kinds of vegetation is not as forward on the Platt at this date as they were in Iron County when I left home on the sixth day of April. Tuesday 19th. We left camp at 8 o'clock and nooned at a small dry stream and camped for the night on the west fork of the Labonte river. Here is a good place for a station. Wednesday 20th. Left camp at the usual hour and come on the main Labonte river and there we met the mail with George A. Smith, Dr. Bernhisel, T.O. Angel, and many others on their way to G.S.L. City. We stopped about two hours in which time I wrote a few lines back to my family and friends and forwarded them by Dr. Bernhisel. We then came on to the Platt River and camped for the night at bout 2 o'clock. Thursday 21st. Arose early in the morning and the weather was very clear and beautiful. I took a walk and looked about and found we were camped in a beautiful rich bottom at least three miles long and from one and a half to two miles wide. We started from camp at the usual time and traveled on to Porter's Station at Horse Creek, where we arrived at 10 o'clock and stopped for the day to make tar. Here the company left about three tons of flour and twelve men. Friday 22nd. Very clear and fine morning. Some of our animals could not be found so as to start before nine o'clock, at which time we started on our journey and traveled until about three o'clock and camped for the night on the Platt within ten miles of Fort Laramie. Saturday 23rd. Started a little before 8 o'clock. I went ahead and arrived at Fort Laramie at a little before ten o'clock. Myself and Sister Babbitt went to see the commander of the Post in order to get some information in regards to the murder of her husband, A.W. Babbitt, by the Indians. My sister requested him to make a statement in writing of the information that he had received through the French traders from the Indians in regard to the matter which he at first promised to do, but afterwards sent for me and told me that he would do nothing about it. He said that he had no doubt that the Indians killed and plundered Col. Babbitt. I am confident that the reason why he was unwilling to make a written statement of the matter was that he was afraid he would loose favor in the eyes of those who were opposed to the inhabitants of Utah. We purchased a few necessaries and drove about ten miles down the river and camped for the night. Sunday 24th. Started early and drove until a little past ten o'clock and turned out for noon. I constantly feel grateful to my Heavenly Father for his blessings to me on the journey. While we were nooning a mountaineer drove up and told us that there was about 3,000 Cheyenne Indians camped near the road in the vicinity of Ash Hollow, and that there was 500 lodges in one place, and 300 in another. This information frightened Sister Babbitt and she thought we had better turn back to Laramie, and wait a while until the soldiers who were expected should come up. I told her that I would return if she requested it, but I thought we had better keep with the company until the next morning, and we might hear something more favorable, to which she consented and so we started on at about one o'clock. In the afternoon we met another mountaineer who said that there was but 300 lodges of Indians in all and represented the danger as being much less than what the others had. We camped for the night at Horse Creek, and had a meeting of the camp in the evening and all seemed to be in good spirits and thought we had better proceed together. Monday 25th. We started early in the morning and drove about two miles when we met another mountaineer with two wagons drawn by oxen who had been all winter trading with the Cheyenne Indians. He told us that the other mountaineers had lied, for the was no Cheyenne Indians near the road. They had heard that soldiers were being sent against them and they were moving back on to the Arkansas River to prepare for war. We thought his story looked the most like truth, however, we kept up a good night watch and day, with the strong guard about our animals. At night we camped a little above Chimney Rock. Tuesday 26th. We started at the usual time and passed Chimney Rock at about nine o'clock, and a few miles below we overtook a company of nine wagons and nineteen men mostly apostates who left us at Devil's Gate and went ahead. When they came thus far, were afraid of the Indians stopped for us to come up. Agreeable to their wishes we took them into our company. We traveled today about 30 miles and camped in a large bottom on the Platt about half a mile from the road. Our company now consisted of 28 wagons, and 54 men, 9 women and 22 children, and 175 horses and mules. Wednesday 27th. This morning we crossed the Platt to the north side of the river. At this point the river is full three fourths of a mile wide. The whole camp was over a little before ten o'clock. We thought it more safe to go down on the north side than to pass through Ash Hollow and over the South Platt which is said to be more infested with Indians than the North side. We drove about six miles and turned out for noon. Some of the company discovered a buffalo a short distance down the river and after him some of our hunters were soon under way. They over took him and shot him directly, but the wolves had made such havoc of his sten and winter of his maw that he was not fit for use and was abandoned. We saw several others on the distant hills in the afternoon but did not attack them. We came to Crab Creek and camped for the night. Thursday 28th. Very cold with a good deal of frost and ice. We started an hour earlier than the usual time, traveled 18 miles and turned out for noon. In the afternoon we traveled about two or three miles below Ash Hollow and camped for the night. Friday 29th. We started at half past seven o'clock and had not gone far before we saw two antelope between the train and the river, which was close by. The wagons halted and some of the boys shot them both. It was quite cloudy and threatened rain all forenoon. We came to Crooked Creek about 18 miles and turned out for noon, but the clouds began to thicken and wind to raise, and we soon had a heavy squall of wind, hail and rain. In the afternoon or towards evening, we passed by an Indian village of about 30 lodges. They appeared very friendly and wanted us to camp in their neighborhood and trade with them. We accordingly camped for the night about one hundred rods from their village. Saturday 30th. Early this morning the Indian men, women and children were in our camp by scores to beg and trade. We gave them bread and flour and such things as we could spare, and traded some and smoked the pipe of peace with them. Started on our way at about 8 o'clock. The north wind blew almost a hurricane through the entire day and stripped some of the wagon covers all to strings. We traveled today about 28 miles, and camped for the night on the north bluff fork of the Platt. Today we met the first train of California emigrants with about 1000 head of young stock. Two trains also went up the south side of the river. I feel to thank the Lord for his goodness thus far on my journey. Sunday 31st. Cold north wind, and stormy. Started at the usual time. This afternoon we crossed many bad sloughs and traveled about 13 miles, and turned out our teams to feed for noon. Very cold through the day. We traveled about 27 miles and camped for the night. Many cattle and teams passed up the river on both sides today. Several Indians came into camp to swap buffalo meat for flour. June 1st. Started at the usual time and tracked about fourteen or fifteen miles and turned out our teams for noon. Weather quite pleasant in the afternoon. We traveled about 28 miles today, and camped for the night. Many emigrants trains with thousands of heads of cattle passed up the river today. Tuesday 2nd. We started early and drove to Buffalo Creek, and turned out our teams for noon. In the afternoon we drove about 8 or 10 miles and camped for the night near two emigrant trains, driving stock to California. Wednesday 3rd. Captain Winson concluded to stay in camp this forenoon and hunt buffalo, and soon 12 or 15 men were on a hunting expedition, and returned with several horses laden with beef. Three of the men stayed out until near sunset which kept us in camp. We then harnessed up our teams and traveled about seven miles to better feed and camped for the night near a camp of emigrants. Thursday 4th. We started early and came to the ford of the river, near the head of Grand Island, at which we arrived a little past 12 o'clock and here we concluded to stop until we could cross the river to Fort Kearney, and do some business and make some additions to our stock of supplies. Today we have passed about 4,500 head of cattle with many wagons and families on their way to the land of Gold. And I think that double that amount passed up the other side of the river. Friday 5th. This morning we started early to cross the river to Fort Kearney. We crossed one part of the river about 15 or 20 rods wide on to Grand Island, which is two miles wide at this point. We then came o the main river and crossed it while that water in many places ran over the tip of our wagon box. The main river is about one and a half miles wide. We saw Captain Wharton and obtained from him a bundle of papers belonging to the late A.W. Babbitt, Secretary of Utah. Said papers were picked up on the ground where Mr. Babbitt was murdered, by some French traders who delivered them to Captain Wharton, he reserving five drafts amounting to one thousand dollars each and one note of some over eight thousand dollars which he had been ordered to return to Washington City. Captain Wharton and Lady said that they had no doubt but what Col Babbitt was murdered by the Indians and he promised to send Mrs. Babbitt a written statement of facts gathered from Indian traders in reference to the matter, but she never heard anything more from the Captain. We purchased a few necessaries and returned across the river to our camp. Captain Winson with Stewart's train crossed the river with us this morning and went down the South side, and left us with the company of apostates that joined Captain Winson's company below Chimney Rock. Saturday 6th. Started early this morning and about noon we came to Wood River, and turned our stock to feed. In the afternoon we came to the Bridge and camped for the night. Sunday 7th. This morning started early and nooned on Prairie Creek, near where A.W. Babbitt's train was broken up last fall by the Indians. We saw the graves where those that were killed were buried, but the wolves had dug them up and devoured them, for we saw their bones, hair, and grave clothes scattered about the ground. We camped for the night at the crossing of the creek. Yes, dead by the thousands have we passed, Entombed along the road, When Michael's trumpet must call at last, To stand before their God, Where all receive for thought and work, And every deed their just reward. Monday 8th. Started late and traveled about 16 miles and turned out for noon. We passed today 12 or 15 emigrant trains on the way to California. At night we camped on the Left Fork of the Platt, near to a beaver dam built last fall and winter, which was a great curiosity to me. It was built through a heavy thicket of river willows and young cottonwood trees, first by grubbing all the trees and brush by the roots and cutting them up into chunks and placing them in a kind of window and then digging up the earth and placing it in a bank against the window of grubs or chunks. It was in some places three feet high and the lowest place that I saw was about fifteen inches on a perfect level at the top of the water, rising uniformly to within two inches of the top. I walked out to the thicket on the top of the dam about 20 rods long and could not see to the other end. I suppose it to be at least 50 rods long and perhaps longer. How many teeth and tails it took to accomplish this job, I know not, but it would have taken ten men with axes, shovels, mattocks, etc., at least one week to have completed the job and perhaps double that time. I should suppose the pond to cover at least from 50 to 100 acres. Tuesday 9th. We started at the usual time. We met several emigrants in the course of the day, and a little after 4 o'clock we came to the ford of the river opposite to the new settlement of the Saints. We forded the river and camped for the night with them. At this settlement there are one hundred men who have been there only three weeks and have made larg improvements in fencing and breaking land and getting in crops. Some of which are already up and look fine. We had a meeting in the evening and the Saints had a first rate spirit and felt well. Brother Charles Shumway and myself spoke to them in reference to things at Salt Lake City which seemed to increase their courage. They intended to lay out a city in which to build their houses and call it Genoa after the birthplace of the great discoverer of the American continent. Wednesday 10th. We started at 8 o'clock. The land is all claimed that we passed today and two or three cities laid out and many houses built along the river. We traveled 26 miles today, camped for the night on the Main Platt River within a few rods of a grocery. Thursday 11. Started at the usual time. We passed several newly laid out towns today, and many new houses and the land is all cleared up several miles back from the river. We traveled about 25 miles today and camped for the night near the Platt River, A man by the name of Clark, an apostate who I have traveled with most of the way from Salt Lake, and pretended all the way to be a good Mormon and everything right among the Mormons until tonight, there being a few strangers present, he began to spew out the corruptions of his black heart by saying that he had got into a land of liberty where he dared to speak and declared that the Mormons at Salt Lake were a G--- D--- set of hell hounds, murderous thieves and including all the black catalog that apostates have to disclose. Friday 12th. We started at the usual time and crossed the Elkhorn River at about 3 o'clock and came to the Pappea and camped for the night. Saturday 13th. Started early and arrived at my brother William Johnson's in Florence at about 10 o'clock and crossed the Missouri River at 12 o'clock and arrived at my brother Joseph Johnson's at Ellisdale at 2 o'clock. Sunday 14th. Stopped with Joseph today. Joseph and William with Ruben Barton and families all present, (with many of their friends) who provided an excellent fruit and oyster supper upon which we all feasted ourselves and had a jovial time and enjoyed ourselves first rate, after which we went home with the Barton's family. Monday 15th. Stayed at Joseph's the fore part of the day, and towards evening went with William over to Florence. Very stormy weather in the afternoon. Tuesday 16th. Very stormy. Visited the Hand cart company on the camp ground in the forenoon and stayed in the house the balance of the day. Wednesday 17th. Very stormy most of the day. Kept close in the house at my brothers. Thursday 18th. Visited the hand cart company again. They expected to have started today but were disappointed. Towards evening a steamboat arrived at the landing, which I visited and found on board Brother John Taylor and Erastus Snow, two of the twelve and a large company of Saints from St. Louis and other places. In the afternoon I went fishing with my brother and his two little boys. We caught a few sunfish and returned home. Saturday 20th. Went out this morning with Taylor and Snow to visit the Hand cart company, who was in camp about 8 or 10 miles out from the city. We arrived just as they were leaving camp. They, however, stopped and came together a few moments while Brothers Taylor and Snow gave them some instructions. They possessed a first rate spirit and felt well. [Skip to October, 1857] Thursday 15th. Sister Babbitt took sick today with a very severe chill. Saturday 17th. Sister Babitt took a sinking or congestive chill and was confined to bed until her death. She had medical attendance and all the care possible given her by her relatives and friends, but she departed this life on Friday the 23rd of October, 1857 at 5 o'clock in the morning and was buried on Saturday 29th at Council Bluffs City, near by her mother and other relatives. This Journal transcribed by Bertha McGee (Joel's great granddaughter), her daughter Linda, and Linda's husband Chuck Harrington, and Bertha's son Scott. [If you want further information, contact Scott by e-mail]. Joel Hills Johnson, 1802-1882, Autobiography (1802-1868), Typescript Church Archives and HBLL (excerpts): Ezekiel Johnson was my father's name; he was born at Uxbridge in the state of Massachusetts, January 12th A.D 1776. My mother's name was Julia Hills, daughter of Joseph Hills. She was born at Upton, Massachusetts, September 26th, A.D. 1783. They were married at Grafton, Mass., January the 12 (?) 1801, and I was born at Grafton, Massachusetts, March 23, 1802. I shall now relate a few incidents of my religious experience up to the day of my marriage. When I was very small child, my mother, being a very strict Presbyterian, would often converse with me and tell me about Heaven and Hell, God, Jesus Christ, the Devil, etc., and when but eight years of age I had quite a correct idea of those beings according to the precept of men in those days, and sometimes when meditating upon them, I would weep bitterly, considering myself a sinner in the sight of God. I well recollect a time when my parents both gave me a scolding upon some trifling occasion. I thought I had not a friend in heaven, earth, or hell, and went by myself and wept. And thought unto the brook I'd go, And drown myself and end my woe, For if I drowned myself, thought I, My soul will under water die. So I started and went to a small brook not far distant, and selected a place for that purpose, but while reflecting upon the subject a thought occurred to me that it was a temptation from the devil, and so I desisted from my purpose and returned home. When reading the New Testament, I would often wonder why people did not baptize for the remission of sins and why the gifts of the gospel did not follow the believer as anciently and thought if I ever became a servant of God, I never would be satisfied without the power to preach the gospel and heal the sick that the ancients had. I sought every opportunity to attend religious meetings of every denomination with no other motive than to obtain a knowledge of the religion of Jesus Christ. When fifteen and sixteen years of age, my mind was greatly wrought up in reference to this subject. I would often sit up all night to read religious tracts and papers by fire light, for my father, being poor, could spare me no time to read by daylight. I also read the Bible with much attention, and joy would come springing into my heart with a testimony that the time would come when I should come in possession of that which I most desired: namely, the faith that was once delivered to the Saints. When eighteen years of age, my mind became more at rest because professors of religion of all denominations told me that I had experienced religion. But yet I was not fully satisfied myself because I had not been baptized for the remission of my sins and received the Holy Ghost, or spirit, according to the New Testament, but was told that all these things were done away; so I concluded to content myself for the time being, seeing that they were not practiced. About this time I commenced writing religious songs and hymns upon various subjects, some of which may be found in Zions Songster, or the Songs of Joel, a work of my own, but many are lost. In my 23rd year, I was baptized by Elder Richard M. Carey, a Free-Will Baptist preacher and united with the Free-Will Baptist at Forest Ville, Chataqua County, New York. About this time the Universalists had formed a church in the neighborhood where I lived and were making many proselytes, upon the subject of which I wrote a poem entitled "Anti-Universalism" which put a damper on their proselyting and gained me much credit among the different religionists of other denominations. I having gained some credit as a poet (though I took none to myself) the Presbyterians offered to give me a collegiate education if I would embrace their tenets and become a preacher of their sect. I thanked them and told them I could not bring myself under an obligation of that kind to any people. I have now related the principal incidents of my life, both in temporal and religious affairs, up to the date of my marriage in 1826. My circumstances at this time were good for a young man; having paid for my farm and mill, our being anxious to obtain this world's goods, I purchased an adjoining farm which brought me several hundred dollars in debt, and to pay these debts in 1827, I took a job to build a saw mill, which I agreed to do, and furnish all the materials myself and warrant the dam against credit, and went to work and soon put the mill in operation; for the want of a rock to build upon, I had built upon sand, and when the floods came, my mill-dam was torn from its foundation and great was the fall to me; for when my creditors saw my situation, they came upon me and took away all that I had and left me worse than nothing; and with the fall of property, fell my constitution also on account of excessive fatigue and labor in water, etc. In the year 1829 I invented a machine for striking shingles from a block at one blow, being the original inventor of this principle. I sold many rights which helped me considerable, but being honest myself and supposing everyone else to be the same, I soon was swindled out of the largest part of my rights, and being highly disappointed and discouraged on account of my misfortunes, I concluded to leave the home of my youth and seek an asylum among strangers. Accordingly in the fall of 1830 I left home for the state of Ohio, and after traveling the state mostly over to find a location for my family, I found an old acquaintance of my boyhood in the town of Amherst, Lorain County, by the name of John Clay, who invited me to move my family in to his house and join him in building a saw mill. I accordingly entered company with him and went to work. I sent for my family who arrived in the month of January. By the first of April, 1831, we had a saw mill nearly half completed. About this time there was considerable excitement about the Mormons at Kirtland where there had been a branch of the church built up, and Joseph Smith had arrived at that place and held a conference and was sending out elders through the country; and many evil reports were in circulation concerning them which most of the people believed to be true. I obtained the Book of Mormon and read it. Some was filled with prejudice on account of the evil reports in circulation that I returned it before I had read it through. But soon there arrived two Mormon elders in the neighborhood by the names of Harvey Whitlock and Edson Fuller who preached upon the first principles of the Gospel, treating upon faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins with the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, with signs following the believer, etc. This preaching filled me with astonishment, it being the first discourse that I had ever heard that corresponded with the New Testament. But when they spoke of the Book of Mormon, they made it equal to the Bible. But my prejudice was so great against the book, that I would not receive their testimony. I heard them twice and concluded to stay at home, but they continued preaching in the vicinity and soon commenced baptizing. In a few days Lyman Wright, Samuel H. Smith, and others came to their assistance, and in a few weeks they baptized about fifty in the vicinity. All this time I had kept at home except for the first two meetings. My wife, who had always been a strong Methodist, had a desire at this time to attend their meetings which were held every day, and I gave my consent, for I never would abridge one's liberty in religious matters. She attended several meetings and began to believe in the work, and myself having searched the Bible daily while staying at home, began to think that work might possibly be true. I therefore concluded to adhere to the advice of Paul "to prove all things and hold fast the good." I accordingly came to the conclusion to take my Bible in hand and attend all their meetings and investigate and subject thoroughly with prayer for Divine direction which I did for several days, comparing their preachings with the scriptures which brought me to the following conclusions: Firstly, that as all Protestant sects had sprung from the Church of Rome, they have no more authority to administer in the ordinances of the Church of Christ than the Church of Rome had, and if she was the mother of harlots, they must consequently be her daughters; therefore, none of them could be called the Church of Christ. Secondly, that a supernatural power did attend the Mormon Church, and it had risen independent of all denominations; therefore, its origin must be from Heaven or Hell. Thirdly, that it is unreasonable to suppose that God would suffer the devil to bring forth a work with the gifts and blessings of the ancient Church of Christ corresponding with that which he has promised to bring forth in the last days for the gathering of the House of Israel and by that means lead astray all the honest men of the earth. And fourthly, that as the principles taught in the Book of Mormon corresponded with the Bible and doctrine of the Church was the same that was taught by Christ and his apostles with signs following the believer, I concluded that the work was of God and embraced with all my heart and soul, and was baptized on the first day of June 1831, by Elder Sylvester Smith. My wife had been baptized a few days previous. I then immediately sold out my share in the sawmill and endeavored to prepare myself for whatever my calling might be, and on the 24th of August, 1831, I was ordained a teacher; and on the 20th of September 1831, I was ordained an Elder and received the following license: A license, liberty, and authority given to Joel H. Johnson, certifying and proving that he is an Elder of this Church of Christ, established and regularly organized in these last days, A.D. 1830 on the 6th day of April. All of which has been done by the will of God the Father, according to His holy calling and the power of the Holy Ghost agreeable to the revelations of Jesus Christ, given to Joseph Smith, Jr., the first Elder of the Church, signifying that he has been baptized and received into the Church according to the articles and covenants of the Church. Done on the 20th day of September in Amherst, Loraine County, and State of Ohio, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one. Jared Carter Elders Sign and Seal Sylvester Smith. Having lost my health and property (as before mentioned) in 1827 and 28 and not being able to do any labor and having but little means to sustain my family, it was thought best for me to stay at home and not travel; and I was appointed to preside over the Church at Amherst and labor what I could in its vicinity until the Lord should open my way for further usefulness I attended the conference held in the town of Orange in Ohio in the month of October where I first beheld the face of the Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith. When I was introduced to him, he laid his hands upon my shoulder and said unto me, "I suppose you think that I am a great, green, lubberly fellow." His expression was an exact representation of his person, being large and tall, and not a particle of beard about his face. I conversed with him very freely upon many subjects relative to his mission and received much instruction and was highly edified and blessed of the Lord during the conference and returned home rejoicing. I then went to Kirtland and being counseled by President Joseph Smith, I made a purchase of land and moved my family to Kirtland about the last of July [1834] and commenced making brick for the House of the Lord, then to be built in that place; in which business I labored until the 25th of September of the same year. But the brick was not used for that purpose because the Church concluded to build the house of stone. On the 26th of August, 1835 I left home in company with Elder Ezra Thornton to travel and preach the gospel for a short time in the southeast part of the State of Ohio. I have not labored but little with my own hands on the Lord's House [Kirtland Temple] on the account of bodily infirmity, but yet I have contributed of my means such as cash, lumber, stock, and other property--all that lay in my power consistent with my poor health and indigent circumstances. The building of the temple in Kirtland was a great undertaking considering the poverty and minority of the church, and it required the utmost exertion of every member to accomplish so great an undertaking; for we had but very few friends among the world while we had thousands of enemies who were holding their secret meetings to devise a plan to thwart and overthrow all our arrangements. We were obliged to keep night watchers to prevent being mobbed and our workers being overthrown; but the Lord had promised [prophecy] to keep a stronghold in Kirtland for the space of five years; therefore we were warned of all the devices of our enemies in time to elude them until the temple was completed, the saints endowed and the five years expired. On the eighth day of March, 1835, all the male members of the Church were called together to be blessed under the hands of the First Presidency of the Church for their faithfulness in building the Lord's House. I was also blessed with the rest of the brethren at the same time. I was present at nearly all the most important meetings and councils of the Church; was present at the calling and ordination of the Twelve Apostles, also at the calling and ordination of the First Seventy Elders and their presidents. I also received my endowments in the House of the Lord in the winter and Spring of 1836 with the rest of the Elders by ordinations, washings, anointings, sealings, etc. I attended all the meetings previous to the dedication and also the dedication on the 27th day of March, 1836, with the meetings and councils that followed and saw and heard much of the power of God manifested as mentioned in the life of Joseph Smith. I was also chosen a member of the second quorum of Seventies and received my ordination as such. My health continues very poorly as it has done for many years, and brethren thought that I was declining with the pulmonary consumption in consequence of which I told them at a fast meeting in the Lord's House (Father Joseph Smith presiding) that I was contending against all their faith for they all believed that I would not live long. But I believed that I would live many years, and if they would pray for and exercise faith with me, I believed that I should measurably recover; to which they all agreed, and from that time began to enjoy better health. In the summer of 1836, [winter of 1836-1837] the brethren in Kirtland formed themselves into a banking institution called the Kirtland Safety Society. This institution could have proved the salvation of the nation if it had been left to carry out its own measures, but the enemies of the church crushed it in its bud which proves that no institution founded upon righteous principles can flourish in so corrupt a nation as the United States. From the above date to December 7th, 1837, I have traveled but a little but preached in company with Father Joseph Smith and others in the vicinity of Kirtland and other places whenever the opportunity offered and baptized during the time ten persons. I would here remark in addition to the above that when I first came to Carthage in January, 1839, I rented an old vacant storehouse with several rooms into which I moved my family. I had not been here long before Sidney Rigdon, Bishop Partridge, and others who had fled from Far West on account of mob violence called on me while on their way to old Commerce to seek a location for the Saints who were then being driven from the State of Missouri And as soon as the authorities of the Church had concluded to make old Commerce (since Nauvoo) a location for the Saints, they came flocking into Hancock County and on hearing that I was in Carthage bent their course thither and made my house a stopping place until they could find a suitable location for the saints for the time being. I had by this time through my labor and the blessing of the Heavenly Father rooted out much of the prejudice existing in the minds of the people in reference to the difficulties at Far West and gained many warm friends to the Saints in and about the vicinity of Carthage; which was a great benefit to the Saints in exile who were seeking in Hancock County an asylum from mob violence, for I had baptized several in the vicinity of Carthage, and also I had baptized several and organized a branch of the Church at Crooked Creek, eight miles distant in what was called the Perkins Settlement. On the eighteenth of February, 1840, I moved my family on to the west branch of Crooked Creek, having previously purchased a sawmill and piece of land where I labored during the Spring and summer for the support of my family and preached on the Sabbath to the brethren. About the first of July I appointed a meeting of the Church to take into consideration the subject of organizing a stake in the Crooked Creek Branch. The Saints met and unanimously agreed to establish a stake if it agreed with the minds of the First Presidency. Accordingly on the 9th the Church met and heard the report of the committee of a stake and gave directions for its organization. I was unanimously elected the president of the Stake and (?) was elected first councilor, and Ebenezer Page was elected my second councilor or chosen Bishop; and Elijah B. Gaylord and William C. Perkins his councilors. The High Council was then elected, and after some other business, the meeting was adjourned until the 15th when President Hyrum Smith was expected to be present to ordain those who had been elected to office. From this time on I began to make arrangements to build me a house in town so as to move in before fall; but sometime in August my wife was taken sick with the nervous fever, and one after another of my family was taken sick with chills and fever until they were all sick but myself. My wife lingered about five weeks and expired. In the fore part of her sickness she manifested some uneasiness about her future state until one morning she awoke with a smile on her countenance and said to me that the Lord had spoken to her that night and said to her, "Go daughter; sleep in peace and rest." From that time her mind was at rest about her future state but she said that she should not live. Her greatest anxiety was about her friends that had not received the gospel for which she almost constantly prayed. She also manifested much anxiety about her family. She talked to and about her children much; she would often throw her arms around my neck and exclaim, "O, Joel, how I feel for you! It will soon be well with me, but what will you do with the children when I am gone?" A few days before she died, she clasped her arms around my neck and said, "I have been all night thinking about you and the children; I know that you cannot take care of them alone when I am gone; you must get you another companion I have been trying to think on one for you, but you must select one for yourself. I now feel satisfied to leave my children for the Lord has told me that they will be as well taken care of as they would be if I had the care of them myself." After this she manifested no more uneasiness about her family and fell asleep the 11th day of September 1840, rejoicing in the hope of a glorious resurrection among the just. She was a kind and attentive companion and a tender and affectionate mother. A Poem: O lovely one, and hast thou gone, While in life's early bloom, And left me here to weep alone, My loved one in the tomb? Must I in life ne'er see thee more, Thou lovely one so dear; Has death thee from my bosom tore, No more my heart to cheer? Yes, death has chilled thy loving heart, And thou art from me torn! Yet we shall meet, no more to part, Where none are left to mourn. Then I shall cease my grief and woe, Nor let my heart repine; The loving gem I've lost below, Shall soon again be mine. Shine on, thou lovely gem so dear; In you sweet world of light; I soon shall come to meet thee there, And claim thee as my right. After my family had recovered their health a little so that I could leave home, I went to work again on my house which I had been building in Ramus. On the 20th day of October, I took to wife by marriage Miss Susan Bryant, daughter of Charles Bryant. (She had assisted in taking care of my former wife through her sickness.) In the month of November, I moved my family into Ramus having previously sold my farm and sawmill, etc. I continued to preach to the church almost every Sabbath during the winter and spring of 1841 while our town increased rapidly and love and union seemed to prevail, and peace and plenty filled our hearts with joy; but in the latter part of the summer we began to discover that false brethren had crept in among us unaware who began to preach things contrary to the revelations of God by saying it was no harm to steal from our enemies, especially the Missourians and there was no harm in meeting together and drinking spirits and having a spree now and then, shivareeing our neighbors together upon wedding occasions to make them hand over the grog and good things. To carry out their object of stealing and other wickedness more fully, they formed themselves into a secret combination and held their weekly meetings secretly. I protested against their principles as they taught which caused them to try to influence the brethren against me which they in their part succeeded to do by their smooth words and fair speeches, for some of them stood high in office, both ecclesiastical and military. One of them was my first counselor and captain of a rifle company in the Nauvoo Legion, and another was a bishop of the stake and brevet major in the Nauvoo Legion, with four of the High Council, one of which was a captain of a company of Lancers in the Nauvoo Legion, with ten or twelve elders, which formed a quorum which thought themselves someone. At the September muster of the Nauvoo Legion, the companies from Ramus encamped by themselves, and the officers, suffering drunkenness and lewd conduct in camp, disgusting many of the brethren who on their return to Ramus made bitter complaint to me of their conduct; therefore on the next Sabbath I took the stand and commenced preaching on the subject of intemperance, whereupon the Bishop arose and ordered me to desist, declaring that I should not preach upon that subject. I told him if the Church had appointed him to preside that I would sit down and let him go ahead; if not, to sit down himself and pay attention to his own business, upon which my first counselor arose and declared that they had heard that I was going to preach upon the subject and had come to stop me--upon which I called a vote of the congregation to know whether I should proceed with my discourse or not. The vote carried in the affirmative. I then called for order, but the Bishop and his colleagues kept up such a confusion that no order was to be had. After hearing their abuses for a while I left the house and went home. A few days afterward I called the church together to know what was to be done, upon which some of their men brought a complaint against me for leaving the house on the Sabbath before I acknowledged that I had done wrong in leaving the house on the Sabbath before, and accordingly asked forgiveness of the church which was unanimously granted. I told them that I had ought to have sent for a peace officer and had those peace breakers punished according to the law instead of leaving the house for which neglect I felt to regret; but the clan being determined to justify themselves in their proceeding, we concluded to adjourn the meeting for a few days for further consideration at which time the church came together again to see what could be done in reference to our difficulties; upon which those men (after finding all their eloquence and smooth words they could not gain the majority of the church in their favor) concluded to make a partial confession which they did to keep themselves from being disfellowshipped by the Church. But I soon found that their hatred towards me was not diminished in the least for upon all occasions when we met in council to transact church and other business, they would lay a snare for me by trying to make me an offender for a word, etc. On the 4th day of November 1841, the High Council met (this meeting proved to be the last) to transact business, when the Bishop (though not a member of the Council) endeavored to take the lead of all the business for which I rebuked him which made him very angry with me; upon which my first counselor with the four High Councilors (before to) took sides with him and seemed very much pleased at the disagreement. My first counselor said that he had been praying that something would transpire that would place the odium of all the difficulties in Ramus on the right one, to which I responded, "Amen," insinuating that I was the black sheep. The next day after this meeting, my first counselor with four others of the clan left Ramus upon some business meeting of their own secret concoction, and in a few days we received a letter from some of them that the whole five were in Mammoth Jail for stealing. Then I saw that my first councilor's prayers were answered upon his own head, he being one of the principal leaders of the clan. On the 18th day of November the church being together with Elder Brigham Young, Richards and Savage from Nauvoo, and having examined witnesses on the case of the above named five persons who were in jail it was unanimously resolved that the whole five be expelled from the church. On the 4th of December, 1841, the church met in conference, Hyrum Smith, B. Young, John Taylor, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, and others from Nauvoo were present. After considering our difficulties it was resolved to disorganize the stake, after which John Lausen was appointed to preside which relieved me from cares and perplexities of the mind from which I had long wished to be honorably released on account of my poor health. I have forgotten to mention in its place that I received a patriarchal blessing under the hand of Father Joseph Smith, first patriarch of the church while in Kirtland of which I never received a copy. I was also blessed by Father John Smith, brother to the first patriarch of which the following is a copy: A blessing by patriarch John Smith upon the head of Joel Hills Johnson, January 18, 1844. Joel H. Johnson, born in Grafton, Massachusetts, March 23rd, 1802. "Brother Joel, I lay my hands upon thy head to seal upon thee a father's blessing, thou art of the blood of Ephraim and thy father not being in the church hath no priesthood to bless thee. I pray the Lord to grant through His spirit and power a blessing upon thee such as thy heart desireth. Thou hast seen much affliction in thy day and waded through seas of sorrow and inasmuch as thou has been patient, the Lord shall bless thee with a multiplicity of blessings. Thou shalt be delivered from thy fears, thy family shall be blessed with health, wisdom and understanding. And thou shalt hold the priesthood forever, and the mysteries thereof shall be unfolded by thy understanding far beyond what has entered my heart. Thou shalt have power to administer in the name of Jesus Christ, and no power shall oppose thee. Thou shalt have power to command the winds and the waves to ride upon the wings of wind so mighty and great shall be thy faith. The Lord shall give His angels charge over thee to deliver thee in time of danger and feed thee in time of famine; and thou shalt converse with them face to face as a man converseth with his friend. Thy children shalt be multiplied around thee and grow up like olive plants. They shall be numerous and a great and mighty people shall rise up and call thee blessed. Notwithstanding thou has seen much poverty, thy wants shall all be satisfied. I also bless thee with every blessing thy heart desireth, and I seal thee up unto eternal life to inherit thrones, dominions, principalities, and power to bring all thy children with thee in due time. If thou observe the Word of Wisdom and eternal life, all these blessings shall be thine. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. June 27,1844. On this memorial day, Hyrum Smith, the patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Joseph Smith, the Prophet, seer and the president of this said church were martyred in Carthage Jail by a lawless band or mob painted black numbering about 150 or 200 persons. This perpetuated about 5 o'clock pm. Hyrum was shot first and fell exclaiming: "I am a dead man!" Joseph leaped through the window and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming, "O Lord, My God!" They were both shot after they were dead, and both received four balls. John Taylor was wounded in a savage manner, but W. Richards escaped unhurt. Hyrum and Joseph were imprisoned not for crime but by the malice of their enemies. The governor of the State of Illinois pledged his honor that they should both be protected from mob violence and returned again to Nauvoo after their trial which pledge he wickedly forfeited. December 19th, almost five months has sickness preyed upon me, and yet I have but little prospect of immediate recovery of my health; yet I am poor, destitute and distressed, having been robbed of all that I possessed and driven to this place contrary to will, and sickness compels me to winter in a cabin twelve feet by sixteen feet square without any floor with a family of eight persons. My possessions in Hancock from which I have been driven, I estimate at two thousand dollars at a low rate. I have said very little in regard to the mobs that have followed the church from its organization on the 6th of April 1830 to its final expulsion from the United States to the valleys of the mountains in 1847, my main object having been to relate a few of the principal incidents of my own life. But I would here say that after the massacre of the Patriarch Hyrum Smith and the Prophet Joseph there was a short rest for the Saints in Hancock County for the mob supposed that after the heads of the church were defeated that the church would be broken up and scattered, and that would be the end to Mormonism. But in this they were mistaken for they found that the church was more determined than ever to carry out the measures of their ever beloved and martyred patriarch and prophet. When they saw this, they were infuriated more than ever. In September 1845 they commenced burning houses and other buildings and destroying property and driving the Saints from their homes with a full determination to drive the whole society, which they succeeded to accomplish in the spring of 1846. I was running my saw mill on Crooked Creek, and sometime in March myself and wife were absent to Nauvoo, an armed mob surrounded my house and told my little children that if their father and family did not leave the country immediately that they would take their lives and destroy their property. But I have no means to get away with for I could not sell property for anything that would move me away. So I kept on running the mill and fulfilling a few small contracts that I had taken in order to raise a little means to help myself away until about the first of May when about 2 o'clock in the morning I was awakened by the tramping of horses and heard a voice calling me to the door I arose and went to the door and discovered that my house was surrounded by a mob of about one hundred men with guns, swords, pistols, and dirks who asked me if I was prepared to leave. I told them that I was. They then told me that if I did not leave the county by the first of June my life would be taken and property destroyed and after warning and threatening me very sharply, they left. I made every exertion in my power to get away by the specified time by the mob, and the last week in May I left the mill and went to Macedonia and stopped at the house of my father until the 30th when I left for Knox County, I suppose that by the spring of 1847 I would be able to fit myself for a journey to join the saints in the West; but on account of sickness and disappointment in the value of my land, I found myself too poor to make the journey and so I was compelled to stay another year (contrary to my will) I rented a farm and moved on to it in the month of April and sowed ten acres of wheat, planted 20 acres of corn and put in other crops of various kinds which produced tolerably well considering the dryness of the season. About the middle of September I was taken sick with the congestive chills and which brought me near unto death and has made me very weak and miserable and prevented me from labor unto the present time, October 8th, 1842. Having neglected to mention my marriage with Miss Janet Fife, I will here say that she was espoused to me by seal and covenant October 25th, 1845, Father John Smith, Patriarch, officiated. Janet was born in Leith, Scotland, February 17th, 1827, and emigrated to America in 1842. When she was eighteen did engage, To wed me; forty-three years of age. In the Spring of 1848 I sold the land that I obtained in exchange for my Hancock property for the sum of ninety dollars in cash and trade I then made every necessary arrangement in my power for my removal to the West, and having obtained three wagons, five yoke of oxen and steers, and a few cows and sheep with necessary provisions, etc, I loaded my wagons and started on the 6th day of May, 1848 for the city of Great Salt Lake in Upper California I came to David Rowe's in Fulton County the first night and on the 7th, David Rowe and his family started with me for the same place. My family consisted of myself and two women and six children. David Rowe's family consisted of himself, wife, and four children. We came to Nauvoo where I stopped and visited with my friends. We then crossed over the river to Montrose and stopped with my brother Joseph one week, sheared my sheep, sold the wool, etc. We then started for Winter Quarters and had a very crooked and bad road and had to repair and build many bridges. We arrived at Winter Quarters the first week in June. Here we tarried four weeks, waiting for Doctor Richards and Amasa Lyman's company. We started from Winter Quarters in W. Richard's company on the 5th day of July and the place of our destination and after much fatigue, many hardships, and difficulties, and the loss of one yoke of oxen, one heifer and twenty-two sheep, we arrived in the city of Great Salt Lake on the 19th of October, 1848, having accomplished a Journey of fifteen hundred miles from Knox County, Illinois to Great Salt Lake City in Upper California. I soon built us a small cabin in the mouth of Mill Creek canyon eight miles southeast of the city into which I moved my family on the 19th of November. I was about this time elected Justice of the Peace and also ordained bishop of Mill Creek Ward. In the summer of 1849 the necessity of organizing a state government was taken into consideration by the inhabitants of Great Salt Lake Valley which, after mature deliberations, it was concluded to carry the object into effect. Accordingly, the State of Deseret was organized with all its official members in the accomplishment of which I was elected a member of the House of Representatives, the first session of which commenced its sitting on the 8th of December, 1849. In the course of the winter a band of Indian raiders near the Utah settlement after stealing most of the settlers' cattle, commenced firing at and otherwise abusing the people of the fort, complaint being made by them against the robbers to the heads of the department, who after due consideration thought best to kill the robbers and take their women and children prisoners. Accordingly they went out against them about a hundred armed men who killed twenty-five or thirty of their warriors and took their women and children prisoners who were distributed among the people. I took two women and three children who were all sick, occasioned by exposure after having the measles. The two women and two of the children which were boys lingered several days and died, and left only a little girl about ten years of age and not knowing her Indian name we called her "Virogue." March 23, 1850. This day completed the 48th year of my age, and surely few and evil have been my days; for before I embraced the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was on the first day of June, 1831, my life was a continual scene of hardship, sickness, and sorrow. Since that period I have been mobbed and driven from state to state and from place to place in sickness, poverty, and disgrace, my life sought, and robbed of my goods, houses, and land until finally I am driven to the mountains of the Great Internal Basin of Upper California, North America. Having been selected by G.A. Smith to assist in forming a settlement at the little Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1850, I sent out with the expedition my two eldest sons, Sixtus and Nephi, with two teams laden with iron for mill building. On the 15th day of May, President B. Young and many of the brethren from Great Salt Lake City arrived at our beautiful valley on an exploring and visiting expedition. During their stay they organized our settlement into the city of Parowan, and I was elected a member of the City Council. On the last day of March, my son Sixtus missed one of his oxen for which he searched most of the day, and at evening it was ascertained that he was driven off by two Indians. On the next day we dispatched a message to Parowan informing the brethren of the circumstances, who on the third day sent out twelve men to search out the thieves who returned without finding them. On the 4th day, my son Sixtus with three others started on the trail of the ox and the Indians and followed them about sixteen miles to where they killed the ox and then tracked the Indians about four miles further where they found them in camp drying the beef. They consisted of two old Indians and two boys, and one about 12 years old and the other about 5. They took them all prisoners and started to bring them home, but when they came to the ford at Coal Creek, the horses refused to cross which when the Indians saw, they all but the youngest crossed the creek and then ran; and as soon as the boys could get their horses across, they rushed on them and fired killing one of the old Indians and wounding the other who escaped with the oldest boy by hiding in the willow--it being quite dark. Then they returned home with the youngest boy, whom I took into my family and called his name "Sam." Sometime in November my health began to decline very much so that I was not able to do any labor; and I soon discovered that my complaint was dropsy in the chest which brought me so low that I was only able to sit up part of the day at a time; and while reflecting on the scenes of my past life--the sickness--persecutions, and sorrows that has been my lot to pass through from my youth up, and probably of my soon leaving this world of affliction for one more glorious, the words of the Apostle John upon the Isle of Patmos were continually sounding in my ears by night and day: "And he said unto me, write So that I could not rest until I had obtained the necessary materials and commenced writing when my mind was led to write songs and hymns upon the suffering of the Saints, the principles that appertain to the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth in the last days, etc, the spirit of which is like fire in my bones and I have no rest unless occupied in that way. (He wrote "High on the Mountain Top" Feb. 18, 1853). Towards Spring through the prayers of the Saints and the blessings of my Heavenly Father, my health commenced to mend slowly and continued until I was able to attend to some business but not to labor. I employed myself in writing as before mentioned until the 23rd of July, 1853 (the 24th being on Sunday) when I met with the brethren of Parowan to celebrate the 24th; and on the 25th the brethren from Parowan, with myself, met with the brethren in Cedar and celebrated the 24th, and we had a good time in both places. And on the 26th an express arrived from G.S.L. City, informing us that Walker's band of Indians had made war against the inhabitants of the territory and had killed one or more brethren and had driven away many of their cattle. Orders were also received from the governor-that all the out settlements should immediately repair to some fortified post. Accordingly, on the 28th the brethren from Cedar and Parowan relieved me of the herd. I then packed up my family and household furniture and moved into Cedar Fort of the City. On the 20th of November Brother Snow and Richards called a conference at the new meeting house in Cedar City to make arrangements in regard to the missionaries and do some business as was necessary for the inhabitants of Iron County, and at the conference I was appointed to return in the spring to my farm at the Springs and establish a missionary station to teach the Indians to labor and to teach them the principles of civilization and establish a school to educate their children. My sons were also to be my assistants. They were appointed as missionaries to all the Indian tribes on the continent of America I was also to take to my assistance any help that I should deem necessary. Although my health was very poor and means limited, yet I made every arrangement through the winter by securing building material, etc. that lay in my power to forward the work in the spring. But when spring came, the herd also came to me on my hands again, which blighted all my prospects of filling my mission in reference to the Indians as it had before in reference to beet raising, sugar manufacturing, etc. November 27th, 1856. On this day was Hyrum, my fifth child by my wife Janet, still born though a full-grown, fair child. (Occasioned by a mistake in her attendant.) Yes, little stranger, thou has fled, Before earth's light has shown, Upon thy peaceful, lovely head, To make life's sorrow known; We welcome thee with love and Joy, But O, what sorrow filled, Our hearts when we beheld our boy, Through sad mistake was killed. At the October Conference the heads of the Church preached the necessity of a reformation among the saints by confessing their own sins against God and their brethren and forsaking the same and by forgiving the sins of others and making restitution for all wrongs as much as possible. This glorious work of reformation and restitution soon commenced in Great Salt Lake City and spread with rapidity to all the branches of the Church; and all who confessed and restored were rebaptized for the last time for the remission of their sins. In this reformation, I began to weigh myself in the scales of righteousness and soon found myself wanting in many respects and saw more the necessity of forgiving my enemies than I ever did before and come fully to the determination to root out every prejudice in my heart against them if any there were remaining and hold no feelings against them but of the best kind. Having been counseled by President Brigham Young to with my sister, Julia Babbitt (who was the widow of the late A. W. Babbitt, who was murdered on the plains in the fall of 1856 by the Cheyenne Indians) go to Council Bluffs City to transact some business appertaining to the estate and also to make what discoveries we could in reference to his death on the plains, I commenced on the first of April to make the necessary arrangements. The next morning we started for GSL City and arrived at Sister Babbitt's about ten o'clock in the evening, Tuesday 14th. I stayed with Sister Babbitt a few days and assisted her to get ready. During my stay I blessed Sister Babbitt with her family and my brother-in-law, David Lebaron, with his family and many others. I also, on the 17th received a patriarchal blessing myself under the hands of Isaac Morley as follows: A patriarchal blessing by Isaac Morley on the head of Joel H. Johnson, son of Ezekiel and Julia Johnson, born March 23rd, 1802, in Grafton, Massachusetts: Brother Joel H. I place my hands upon thy head by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and I seal a father's blessing upon thee and ratify all thy former seals that the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may be realized upon thee. Thou shalt be blest in thy mission and in thy labors and this key shall be a blessing unto thee. Thou shalt be forewarned of any trial, and thou shalt know that all things are right when thy mind is under the influence of peace. This mission will be a good school unto thee for thou wilt realize the spirit of Anti-Christ to a degree that heretofore has not rested upon thee, and I say unto thee in all thy labors and interviews where honesty is found with them that hear thee, thou shalt be prepared and blest in thy council. Thou shalt be prospered and blest to a degree that thou has never realized by communicating the everlasting gospel to those who are honest in heart. Be prudent in thy communications and thy words shall be attended with the blessings of the Lord. Let thy entreaties with them be short, and light will rest upon thy mind and cause the blessings of heaven to rest upon thee. No enemy shall cross thy path and prosper. If any desire thy council, let meekness be thy monitor. Faith shall be increased in thy mind, and I say unto thee thou art of Ephraim, a descendant of the loins of Joseph. And I say unto thee, this seal shall be unto thee a comfort, a lamp in thy path. Thou shalt prosper in business and be blest in communicating tidings to thy brethren and in leaving thy family, and they shall prosper in thy absence. Thou mayest receive this key as a seal of knowledge. And I seal thee up unto eternal life in the name of Jesus Christ, Even so, Amen. Friday, May 1st. (On his journey East) We concluded to stay in camp today; we have good feed, wood and water, and started on our journey tomorrow morning. Apostates in camp. Apostates in camp, we oft pass by the way, Who tremble lest vengeance upon them shall fall, With Anti-Christ's spirit more bitter are they, Than hell or quintessence of worm wood and gall. Saturday, 2nd. We started at a little before 8 o'clock. Feel very lonesome traveling with apostates, no meetings, no prayers, no sweet songs, or praise to God, our Heavenly Father....Tuesday, the 5th. Got underway at 8 o'clock and traveled about ten miles and nooned on the Sweetwater at the ford. While the teams were feeding, I walked up the river a short distance and found a grave containing five persons. Four of them died on the 19th and one on the 20th of October, 1856. They belonged to one of the handcart companies. The wolves had uncovered one end of the grave and exposed part of the bodies. I gave a young man 50Ý to fill up the grave again. We camped for the night on the river at the next crossing. Wednesday, the 6th. We started about the usual time and crossed the Sweetwater three times and turned out our teams for noon. In the afternoon we passed by a grave where there had been several persons buried belonging to one of the handcart companies, but the wolves had dug down and devoured them as their grave clothes and pieces of bones were scattered around the grave. We camped for the night on the river. Though flesh and bones of righteous ones, By wolves may be devoured, They shall again with Christ to reign, In glory be restored. Saturday, the 23rd. Started on a little before 8 o'clock I went ahead and arrived at Fort Laramie a little past ten o'clock. Myself and Sister Babbitt went to see the commander of the Post in order to get some information in regards to the murder of her husband by the Indians. My sister requested him to make a statement in writing of the information that he had received through the French traders from the Indians in regard to the matter, which he at first promised to do, but afterwards sent for me and told me that he could do nothing about it. He said that he had no doubt but that the Indians killed and plundered Colonel Babbitt. I am confident that the reason why he was unwilling to make a written statement of the matter was that he was afraid he would lose favor in the eyes of those who were opposed to the inhabitants of Utah. We purchased a few necessaries and drove about ten miles down the river and camped for the night. May Tuesday 26th. We started at the usual time and passed Chimney Rock about nine o'clock and a few miles below, we overtook a company of nine wagons and nineteen men, mostly apostates who had left us at Devil's Gate and gone ahead; and they came thus far, were afraid of the Indians and stopped for us to come up. Agreeable to their wishes we took them into our company. Friday, June 5th. This morning we started early to cross the river to Fort Kearney, We saw Captain Wharton and obtained from him a bundle of papers belonging to the late A. W. Babbitt, secretary of Utah. Said papers were picked up on the ground where Mr. Babbitt was murdered by some French traders who delivered them to Captain Wharton, he reserving five drafts amounting to one thousand dollars each and one note of some over eight thousand dollars which he had been ordered to return to Washington City. Captain Wharton and lady said that they had no doubt but what Colonel Babbitt was murdered by the Indians, and he promised to send Mrs. Babbitt a written statement of facts gathered from Indian traders in reference to the matter, but she never heard anything more from the Captain. We purchased a few necessaries and returned across the river to our camp. Sunday, June 7th. This morning started early and nooned on the Prairie Creek near where A. W. Babbitt's train was broken up last fall by the Indians. We saw the graves where those that were killed were buried, but the wolves had dug them up and devoured them, for we saw their bones, hair and grave clothes scattered about the ground. We camped for the night at the crossing of the creek. Yes, dead by the thousands have we passed, Entombed along the road, When Michael's trump must call at last, To stand before their God, Where all receive, for thought and word, And every deed, their just reward. Thursday 11th. Started at the usual time. We passed several newly laid-out towns today and many new houses, and the land is all claimed up several miles back from the river. We traveled about 25 miles today and camped for the night near the Platt River. A man by the name of Clark, an apostate whom I have traveled with most of the way from Salt Lake and who pretended all the way to be a good Mormon, and everything right among the Mormons until tonight, there being a few strangers present, he began to spew out the corruptions of his black heart by saying that he had got into a land or liberty where he dared to speak and declared that the Mormons at Salt Lake were all a G-D-- set of hell hounds, murderous thieves, and including all the black catalog that apostates have to disclose. Saturday October 17th. Sister Babbitt took sick today with a sicking or congestive chill and was confined to her bed until her death. She had medical attendance and all the care possible given her by her relatives and friends, but she departed this life on Friday 23rd of October, 1857, at 5 o'clock in the morning and was buried on Saturday 29th at Council Bluffs City near her mother and other relatives. She died in the full doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, beloved and respected by all who knew her, both saint and sinners. Saturday, 19th of December. Occupied the day mostly in copying the SONGS OF JOEL. Sunday 20th of December. This morning while comparing my own work with the principles of the Celestial law, I feel my leanness more than ever and cry in my heart with the Apostle Paul, "O Wretched man I am. Who shall deliver me from this." (I might add) load of gentile death with which my nature has been contaminated ever since I was begotten in my mother's womb. If I ever felt fear and trembling in working out my salvation, it has been of late, but I depend on my Heavenly Father's assistance. Tuesday, March 16th. Cloudy and rainy; health about the same. Received a letter today from my brother at Washington with NEW YORK HERALD containing Governor Young's message to the Legislature of Utah and also the resolutions of the legislature to sustain the government in not suffering the U.S. Army now at Fort Bridger to come into Salt Lake City, with some other documents of interest. It seems from what I can gather from the last mail that the administration is determined to urge on their mob proceedings towards Utah by sending out large reinforcements and supplies to the army or mob now on the borders of Utah. Well, let them do as they please. The God of Heaven governs the universe and directs the destinies of all people or nations and has declared in these last days that the people shall prevail and overcome their enemies; therefore, I know that they shall tread them under their feet sooner or later and Zion shall prevail and become the joy of the whole earth and a place of liberty and safety for the oppressed of all nations. Tuesday, April 20th. Some ten or a dozen of the brethren came in and took a little native wine with me and had a good time in singing and conversation. Monday, April 26th. This morning I arose about six o'clock and went below and found on the table two letters, one directed to me and the other to John Therelkeld, and the girls, Margaret and Jane, gone. I notified Brother Therelkeld, their father, who slept in a room adjoining mine who quickly arose and came down, read his letter, and was very angry. We then read mine. They were both written by Margaret. He then wished me to assist him in finding the girls. I went with him about town making inquiries but got no satisfaction. We then went home and searched for their clothes and found them gone. He then went to Ellisdale but got no satisfaction, and about noon called for paper and wrote a letter to Jane and left with me and told me to give it to her if I ever had an opportunity. (Friday, May 7th Margaret and Mary Jane returned this afternoon.) Tuesday, August 3rd. Started for Florence at about 11 o'clock. The mosquitoes were so thick that the mules rolled incessantly in the sand all night to keep from being devoured. Thursday, Sept. 2nd. Being the first Thursday in the month, it was our day of fasting and prayer. Attended meeting in the Bowery, the Saints mostly together. Had a good time. Sunday, Oct. 3lst. Cloudy again. No meeting held on account of the exposed state of the crops, the balance of the people being requested to save them as a large share of them are already destroyed. Monday, Nov. 8th. Cold and stormy. The High Priest's quorum met in council at my house in the evening. Among other things considered was the case of Gabriel Cotton who had run over the rules and laws of the city association by jumping land claims and threatening blood if molested. The council agreed unanimous that he could not be sustained or fellowshipped by the saints in Genoa; therefore the teachers were instructed to warn the Saints in Genoa not to have anything to do with him in any shape or form, neither buying or selling and that all who sustained him by trading with him could not be fellowshipped by the saints. Tuesday, Dec. 2lst. This morning Gabriel Cotton came into town and abused Brother Hudson in a shocking manner and then made an attack upon me in the following manner: As I was walking into Brother Nathan Davis's door yard, I heard someone calling my name I turned to look and saw a man coming up the street, and when he came near, I saw that it was Cotton. He called to me again and wished me to come into the road for he wanted to talk with me. I, knowing that he had threatened my life, told him that he could talk with me where I was. As I was standing inside Brother Davis's door yard, he then came up to the fence near where I was standing which was by the side of it. I stood close to the axe with my right hand resting on the top of the handle. He then began to abuse me in a shameful manner I told him to go away and leave me as I wanted nothing to do with him, but he continued his abuse, threatening my life. I told him if he took my life, it would be nothing more than he had done; for he had proved himself a murderer long ago. He then made a rush at me, gathering an axe on his way and drawing it upon me I retreated, taking with me the axe that I held in my hand. At this moment, Brother Davis with some others rushed from the house and ordered him to lay down the axe, which he threw down, and retreated to the fence and drew his Pistol and cocked it, and swore that he was enough for half a dozen of us. He then went away and a short time afterward he came by where I was sitting and talking to Brother Dalrymple, and again threatened my life with many bitter oaths. This same Gabriel Cotton had been stirring up rebellion and strife, through an apostate spirit, among the Saints in Genoa for the last six or eight months, and my opposition to his course caused his enmity to me. Sunday, Dec 26th. Had meeting at Brother Dalrymple's Cotton with some of the apostates attended prayer meeting at Brother Sinclair's. Monday, Dec. 27th. Stayed at home. In the evening called some of the brethren together and formed them into a sort of police to thwart the movements of the Cotton Apostates party who have sworn to take my life. Sunday Feb. 27th. Had meeting at my house. Several of the brethren spoke. Had a good time. The boys who were appointed to go over the river yesterday to secure our timber claims did not succeed to get over because they could not get their canoes and other things ready in time,and having to watch their canoes all night to keep them out of the hands of our enemies, thought that they might as well cross over the river today as to sit on the bank all day and watch their canoes, tools, provisions, blankets, etc., which had been on the bank ready to go over all night. They therefore put over two men all safe and returned for the rest; but in taking their guns, tools, provisions, bedding, etc., it loaded them down too heavy; and the canoes, for they had to be lashed together sunk in the middle of the stream, it being very rapid one with ice running. Six of them, after a long struggle with the ice current made the shore, while Brother S. C. Larsen after a long struggle was carried with the current and drowned. Some of those men, after they reached the shore were so benumbed with cold that they could not walk without help. Brother Larson's body could not be found. He was a good man and a Saint indeed, and died a martyr for the cause of truth, having lost his life by trying to secure the rights of the Saints when their lives were taken from them by wicked apostates who were seeking to bring the poor saints into Genoa in poverty and distress. After the accident there were eight brethren over the river without food or blankets in fine, with nothing but an axe and a few matches except the clothing on their backs. Six of them were wet and nearly perished, and they could have no assistance until a boat could be made for the canoes were lost; therefore, the boat builders and carpenters went to work, it being near evening, to construct a new boat and they labored nearly all night. Monday Feb. 28th. Today the carpenters finished the boat and took it to the river and took out provisions, blankets, etc, to make the boys comfortable. Tuesday, the 1st. Today Brother Lewis Miller and Patrick Carroll made two trips over the river to take over more of the boys, provisions, etc. While returning on the last few trips a few rods from shore, the boat struck a snag and capsized, throwing the two brethren into the river. They lost the boat but caught by a snag, the current being very swift with ice running, and they knowing that no possible assistance could be rendered from either side, they stripped off everything they had on but their shirts and struck out for the nearest shore which they gained in so benumbed a state that they had to be helped on shore. They were on the south side with the other boys and no clothing. The boat floated a few miles down the river and drifted near the shore and was caught by one of the brethren who followed it and brought it back. Friday, April 25th. Went to the river again with Margarett to assist in picking oakum to caul the boat. The Pawnee Indians, several hundred in number, crossed the river today. It was quite a novelty to see them taking over their buffalo skin boats, and the squaws hanging on behind with nothing but their heads out of water, and that nearly as cold as could be without ice; the men, two or three in number, swimming ahead with lines towing the boats. I was amused to see sometimes 8 or 10 of the boats on the stream at once, and hear 50 or 60 voices, male and female, shouting as they plunged along through the cold water. Sunday, May 1st (1859) This morning very rainy; wind in the northeast. My health tolerable good, much better than it has been for many months, for which I feel thankful to my Heavenly Father. No meeting today on account of stormy weather. Spring cold and backward; not flowers enough to crown a May Queen within ten miles of Genoa. My prospect of getting home this summer to my family is very poor for want of means, which fills my heart with sorrow. Sorrow brings me to my God, And increases faith in prayer, Sorrow is the chastening rod,, Which His children all must bear. Monday, June 20th. Went to the ferry and commenced crossing Brother Brown's company of 60 wagons, and at about 4 o'clock the rope came in too near the north side landing. (having rotted off by acids being put upon it by some fiend in human shape--Cotton). The boat was loaded with one wagon and yoke of cattle and about 40 or 50 men, women, and children when the rope parted. The boat went whirling down stream by the swift current for several rods until some of the men on board caught the longest end of the main rope and pulled it in shore on the south side; otherwise no one knows how far the boat might have gone down stream and how many lives might have been lost. After the boat and all was landed safely, we got a man to splice the rope, and we then stretched it across the river again and crossed over three wagons before dark. Sunday, June 26th. Had meeting in the Bowery. Brothers Pilling, Jones, and Slight spoke but very short, after which I made some remarks. I saw in the congregation some of the men that have ever tried to run over the rights of the Saints in Genoa by trying to break up the institutions established to make a resting place for the Saints who might come this far and could go no further on their way to their mountain home, and by jumping their land or timber claims, pouring acids upon the ferry rope thereby endangering the lives of the Saints who are crossing the river on their way to their mountain home, reporting all manner of falsehoods that their evil imaginations can invent to bring them in collision with their neighbors abroad, etc.; whose only object in attending meeting is to make a man an offender for a word and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate that they may carry out their hellish designs against myself and the Saints in Genoa, as above mentioned, like all other false brethren and apostates that have ever infested the Church since it had a being on earth. Wednesday, June 29th. This morning Brother Hudson came home from Florence. I went to see him, and he told me that all manner of lies and falsehoods were in circulation against me at Florence, put afloat by my enemies in Genoa and the disaffected ones who have left and gone down, and that much injury was being done to me by their lies and falsehoods, forming prejudice against me in the minds of the authorities below. May God have mercy on them to see their sin and folly before they wake up in everlasting burnings! Friday, July 15th. The Governor of the Territory, in company with General Thayer commanding a detachment of U.S. Dragoons and militia, called on our settlement on their return from an expedition against the Pawnee Indians to chastise them for some depredations which they had committed on the white settlements. It seems that the Government in a treaty with them had extinguished their title to their lands by agreeing to pay them certain yearly sums in cash, goods, etc. he sum of $24,000 they were to receive early last Spring which the government neglected to pay while the Indians were depending upon it to live upon, and the Indians not receiving it brought them into a state of almost starvation. Thus through neglect of government, they were compelled to steal and plunder the whites and keep from st

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Joel Hills Johnson's Timeline

March 23, 1802
Grafton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
October 2, 1827
Age 25
Pomfret, Chautauqua County, New York, United States
October 22, 1827
Age 25
October 8, 1829
Age 27
Pomfret, Chautauqua, NY, United States
June 1, 1831
Age 29
June 1, 1831
Age 29
June 1, 1831
Age 29
February 18, 1832
Age 29
Amherst, Loraine, Ohio, United States
December 12, 1833
Age 31
Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, United States