|Birthplace:||Florence, Oneida, New York, United States|
|Death:||Died in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah Territory, United States|
|Place of Burial:||Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, United States|
Son of Moses Holbrook and Hannah Lucretia Holbrook
|Managed by:||David Bradbury Stewart|
Historical records matching Joseph Holbrook
About Joseph Holbrook
Brigham Young Company (1848) Age at Departure: 42
The following was found at:
THE LIFE HISTORY OF JOSEPH HOLBROOK
Written by his own hand.
I, being desirous of leaving on record a few of the incidents of my life and also a genealogy of my forefathers according to the record that has fallen into my hands from their hands that my children may be somewhat acquainted of the origin of their forefathers and I have written it in the English language hoping it will prove a blessing to them and be held sacred in my family from generation to generation as I shall embrace it in my expression and the knowledge I may have gained in the course of my days and I pray the Lord to direct my pen, assist my memory, correct my judgment and inspire my heart to do the will of God and preserve this history according to my desires to do good. That God may be honored. His kingdom built up and His home glorified in the hereafter in the midst of the saints I therefore dedicate these lines to be written unto the Lord God of Hosts even forever and ever, Amen
I was born in the Township of Florence, County of Oneida, State of New York, January 16, 1806. My father was a farmer by occupation. He held the deed of a piece of land known as being a part and of Scibias Patent, containing one hundred fifty acres, three quarters, more or less, bearing date of September 30, 1807. It was thirty-three miles from Utica and sixteen miles north west of Rome towards Sackets Harbor. The county was new, very heavy timbered with beach, maple, birch, hemlock, spruce, some basswood. The winters were long and tedious. The snow often averaging from five to seven feet on the level so that few fences were to be seen and laying from the first of November to the middle of April.
The name of Holbrook in the U.S.A. first originated in three brothers who came over to the Plymouth Colony as pilgrims and settled in the Old Medway County of Norfolk, Mass. They were mostly farmers by occupation, hardy, robust and industrious in their habits, moral but not attached to any particular sect of religion. They spread out from their first place of destination in different parts of Mass. My great grandfather settled in Sturbridge, Worchester County. John Holbrook, Senior, and his wife Patience. He had a brother, Josiah Holbrook, who served in the French and Indian Wars, being out on a scouting party, he was separated from his companions, he came upon thirteen Hessians in the French service, commanded them to stack their arms immediately and surrender themselves prisoners as he had surrounded them. He then shouldered their arms which consisted of thirteen French Muskets and took them into camp. The English government offered him a Colonel Commission for his act of generalship, which he refused to accept. He afterwards removed to Manels, New York.
My grandfather, John Holbrook, bought out his Uncle Josiah Holbrook's farm on Quinaburg River and lived there the rest of his days, over sixty years.
My father in settling in Florence now called Annsville was much deprived of many of the so called comforts of life, it being entirely new, the people mostly poor, having obtained their land on credit; but my father lived agreeable with his wife. I, Joseph, being their first born, my mother not being quite eighteen years of age at the time.
I was naturally a robust boy as was my brother Chandlier and Phoebe and things moved on in a harmonious and agreeable manner as my father had built the first frame barn 30 by 40 feet in that Country. He had been away from home the most of the winter getting out logs for lumber some eight or ten miles off on account of scarcity of saw mills to finish his barn in hopes of future happenings, long life and prosperity which enshrouds the mind with the hopes of future greatness. But in the month of February he came home in the evening, went away a mile or so for a cross cut saw, returned about nine o'clock being very cold which lasted about three hours when a raging fever set in. He continued to grow worse for three days when he died February 28, 1813, age 33 years 9 months. Thus in my youth I was left without a father who was always mild and generous with my little brother and sister. This unexpected death left my mother in a low state of feelings; but few know how to participate in except it be those who are called to the like circumstances. I had the fever after my father died. I lost my hearing for some three weeks in which they looked upon me dangerous.
My father was buried in the common burying ground about a mile from home. The Methodist Priest who preached my father's sermon died three weeks afterwards and was buried by his side at Mr. Hammonds request, the name of the preacher. I visited the grave yard in 1827 and found the two graves grown over with black berry bush. Peace to their ashes until resurrection morn.
My mother rented the farm the next season on shares to Alvin Smith Miller and lived in the house on the farm. There were about thirty-five or forty acres under cultivation.
In June after my father died my grandfather, John Holbrook, came to see my mother and assist her in settling the estate, my father not being in debt, left her with a span of horses, a dozen sheep, a few cows, a yoke of oxen, and some young stock, enough to make her comfortable so long as she took care of it.
My grandfather took me home with him to Massachusetts, when he returned a distance of 250 miles. I rode behind him on horse back. I being only seven years old the last of January, it made it quite hard for me. It was my father's dying request that I and Chandlier should live with his father's folks so that we could be accommodated with schooling as the country was new and no established schools were kept.
Arrived in Massachusetts at grandfathers and found the family all well which consisted of my grandfather and mothers Uncle John Jr., Erasmus and Henry Babbitt Holbrook with Aunt Lucretia Holbrook and Charlotte, and a cousin Harriet Hibbard which was about 13 years of age with hired men and women, the most of the time. One year from the next fall, 1814, my uncle John Holbrook, Senior took a journey to the State of New York and visited the home of my mother and brought Chandlier, my brother, Phoebe, my sister, home with him and we all lived at my grandfathers.
I with my brother and sister went to school from three to four months each year. I found myself far more backward in my studies as I had not enjoyed the advantages of school as those of my present mates. They would laugh at me and call me names and abuse me in various ways because I had to be in a class far smaller than myself saying I was not fit to play with them as I had been brought up in the woods, etc., which caused me much grief.
But I made up my mind if the Lord would spare my life as I had been taught by my father and mother and Uncle and Aunt to say my prayers and trust in God and I should always prosper, I would some day know as much as any of them although I was a whole head and shoulder above those of my class. I carried out my resolution so well that in a few weeks I was taken to a higher class nearer my size which caused me much anxiety as they were far in advance of me. I still watched every word and movement in the school and found I still gained on my class mates which much encouraged me that some day I would be their equals, if not their superiors. I had also learned their plays so that they would suffer me to play with them and it was not long before I would be sought to as prominent a part in school and their play as any of them. At a certain time in school the teacher proposed to the scholars to give the one at the head each night a small certificate with the school's name on it and the one that got the most in two weeks should be entitled to a larger certificate and one cent. There was a tie between me and one of my class mates. I thought the teacher rather favored my opponent. I said in my heart there would be no more ties between me and any of the class that winter and so it came to pass that I kept to the head and obtained all the large certificates and cents in the class the rest of the school and I had no trouble afterwards either for my studies or any of my plays. I studied to read and write, arithmetics geography a little history, and grammar.
My brother, Chandlier, studied the same and became as much of a scholar as myself. My sister, Phoebe, was not so apt to learn. We had much hard labor to perform as we had to do the chores and go about two miles to school in the winter. As my grandfather's farm was large for that country, it being about 700 acres that he carried on while we lived at home with him which was from seven years to twenty-one years of age, besides some out farms. He had five barns 30 to 40 feet, besides sheds that we filled each year with hay and grain and often stacked out some tons of hay. My grandfather treated me well and so did my grandmother as also my Uncle John, but Uncle Erasmus was very tyrannical and oppressive in his requirements which caused us to mourn, but made liberty more sweet when it came.
When I was nineteen years of age my grandfather gave me $7.50 and told me that I could go and see my mother, the place of my birth, a distance of 250 miles. I went on foot from home and traveled 125 miles to Schenectady and there took the canal to Rome, a distance of about 100 miles and from thence to Annsville, the residence of my mother, the place of my birth, the name of the town having been changed during my absence of twelve years.
I arrived at my mothers and found her at home, she having married a man by the name of Alvin Owens. They were still living in the same house of my fathers. I knew her as soon as I saw her. I made some errand about the road but found no one knew me. I then said, "I suppose no one knows me here." They said they did not. I then told them if they remembered having a son by the name of Joseph. She said she did. I told her I suppose I was that son. She said it did not seem possible. I stayed with her about two weeks when she said she could remember some of my boyish ways. My mother had grown old very much in the time of my absence. Her lot had been a hard one as her present husband was not my father. He was rough in his manners, had spent what my father had left except the farm which he could not spend. He was inclined to trade a good deal and spend much of his time away from home, kept in debt, which kept them poor and penniless. I felt much for the fate of my mother. The farm had got out of repair, the fences poor, everything showed neglect from a poor farmer but what could I do as I had to return to my grandfathers in Massachusetts.
I went by the way of Madison County to the town of Lebonan to my Uncle Walter Allens, who married my Aunt Harriet Holbrook, who had emigrated some years before from Massachusetts. I made them a short visit of a few days when I left for home in the last of November on foot, it being muddy, snowy, frozen, etc., which made it bad walking but I performed it averaging about thirty-five miles a day.
My brother, Chandlier, had got uneasy after my leaving, had managed to get a little money and had left to go and see his mother. He stayed with her one year. When he left and went to Uncle Allens and stayed about a year more and then returned to Massachusetts to my grandfather. He found Alvin Owens so abusive to my mother he could not well stand and see it. He had not seen his mother for eleven years, but she knew him. He was not so large as I was. He was naturally religious in his views.
From the time I was nineteen to twenty-one years, I was a man to labor and could do any work that was to be done on a farm. I kept close to my business and spent no time, was faithful and trusty in doing what was required of me. My Uncle Erasmus was married, lived in the same house with my grandfather. He married a woman by the name of Betsy Smith. She had about $1,000.00 for her setting out to keep house. My Uncle Erasmus kept schools winters in Brimfield, but boarded home and worked on the farm summers. He was engaged in some kind of office the most of the time. He was chosen first a corporal in the militia and through most of the grade of offices to a Brigadier-General, which Brigade consisted of thirteen regiments. He also was much in town business. He was also forward in the Temperance Cause as it denominated itself and afterwards he united with the Congregational Church, which made him the common ranks of people.
My grandfather was a moral man. He never indulged in any kind of vice, but brought me up to go to meeting every Sabbath. When I attended Sabbath School at first. Afterwards I became a teacher. I received many ideas about that which has proved a blessing to me. I can well remember it was a thought of mine in days of my childhood to think much of what I read of Angels visiting the earth and wishing I might live to see that day of which was told me I could not, but my grandfather was a believer in the fulfillment of prophecy in which he believed that the Jews would be restored to Jerusalem, but by what means he did not know. He was not a professor of religion of any kind but often prayed in his family, asked blessings at the meals of the family and did not allow of any profanity on his farm or in his house, being much more particular than most of persons and thus was until I was twenty-one years old.
When I was twenty-one years old my grandfather gave me a note for $100.00, drawing interest at 6% due when called for. As this place had been my home for fourteen years of the beginning of my growing into manhood, it brings many fond recollections to my mind to remember the different fields in which I had dug over and over again, the meadows I had mowed over, the pastures I had roamed over after the herds and flocks, the fences I had built, the stone walls I helped repair and the woods I had helped to clear of its down timber, the springs I had drank from, the brooks, the ponds and the rivers I had frequented were all fresh to my mind. The fishing grounds are all in mind for there was not a nook or corner of this large farm, seven hundred acres, but I knew - its fruit, apple, peach, pears, plump quince, currents, etc., as were the fish, with the game of the woods and the most of fowls found in the most of countries.
With my school mates who had been with me in my studies in my plays, in joys and griefs, I was almost to leave and go abroad among strangers to find new acquaintances. Where I knew not but I started from Sturbridge about sixty miles southwest to Boston to the west with all I possessed upon my back, which consisted of my few school books with a change of clothes, about forty pounds in weight. I traveled sixty miles in the forepart of March in mud and snow on foot until I came to the top of the mountains of Connecticut River, when I took the stage for Nassau Village, forty miles from home and being nearly out of money, I concluded to get work. I found another man by the name of Micheal Smith. He would hire me for half a month for $3.50. As it was the best I could do I concluded to work. This was in March, 1827. It was in New York State, twelve miles east of Albany. After I had worked up my half month, Mr. Smith offered me $10 per month for seven months as he said he liked my work as well as he expected. He was a Dutch man and a good farmer. He had a farm of 220 acres. To lease land in this County and Albany County and to pay twenty bushels of wheat per year for each hundred acres, the lease was as durable as water runs, or I was grown.
In August 24, I went to Albany to see a Mr. Strancy executed for the murder of a Mr. Whipple of Albany. There was supposed to be one hundred thousand people who witnessed the execution. The day was pleasant and no accident occurred of notice. I bought some three lottery tickets to the amount of about $20, but only drew six, which paid for my speculation.
The first of November, my time was out again. Mr. Smith paid me the money and said I could make his house my home as long as I pleased. The family were one of the most exemplary families I ever met with - honest and industrious. They consisted of two daughters and a son, a girl, and a boy, they had taken. As they were members of the Dutch Reformed Church and attended meetings at Nassau. This summer I read the history of Jesus Christ and the apostles through which was about as large as the Bible. I was much attached to the idea of being religious of some kind or other when I could find any that would be likely to make me understand that God was the same yesterday, today, and forever for I often went into the woods by myself and prayed and I found peace in so doing and it seemed to me that something would be brought about that would do me good how or what way I could not tell.
I left Mr. Smiths with the best of feelings, hoping I should be able to improve my life for the better and I set out on a journey to see my mother again by the way of the canal, Schenectady to Rome, thence on foot to the place of my mother. I found her well and also the children for my mother had many more children by her second husband. She lived a widow about two years after my father's death, when she married a single man about her age. He did not treat her as he should but left his home to satisfy a lustful desire.
After spending a few weeks with my mother I was selected to engage in a common school for the winter where my mother lived. I was examined by the committee of the township and obtained a certificate of qualifications and I entered upon my professional business of school keeping for three months at $9.00 per month and board. I had a good school of forty students. They were mostly large and many of them backward - some of them, twenty-five years of age. They made good progress for the time. I gained great credit as a school teacher. I had some six applications for the next winter but it did not agree with me so I resolved to return to Massachusetts.
I was very steady in my habits which gave me a good influence with the sober part of the community. My mother often asked me if I never went in company with young people. I told her it was much more agreeable to go into older company where I could learn to improve myself rather than spend time other ways. She said I was a singular boy in that respect, but it was of lasting benefit to me
I started on foot to Utica thirty-three miles, February 11, 1828, purchased me a good suit of clothes for $25, and then took the stage for Albany and from thence to Western 200 miles and arrived at my grandfathers in Sturbridge and found them all well and saw my brother Chandlier whom I had not seen for more than three years and found everything about as usual as nothing changed much on those old farms.
In a few weeks I hired to Mr. Cyrus Mirrick for $12.00 per month for six months to work on a farm in his garden, etc. Mr. Mirrick had been a merchant peddler, Inn Keeper and many kinds of business wherein he had accumulated a good fortune. He being a widower and had no children but one adopted child and a maid to keep house was all there were in a large dwelling in the village of Sturbridge. He was a gentleman living on his money. I was enabled to give him so much satisfaction that he told my grandfather I was the best and trustiest hand he ever hired. When the time was up he paid me the money. I got the highest wages there was going at that time.
I then in company with my brother visited our mother again with the intention of settling our father's farm in Annsville, but when we arrived to our mothers we found her alone with her little children and she wished to move to Gennesee County about 200 miles west where her father's folks lived and where father Owens had also gone because he was in debt the spring before. My brother and myself packed up the goods the best way we could and hired a team to take them to the canal about 14 miles at a place called New London, leaving the farm in care of Mr. Mackey to be sold to the best advantage.
After staying all night at the canal, I got the family aboard for Worchester and went with them seventy miles to Weedsfort when I left them and returned to Massachusetts and made my home with my grandfather and worked out in the neighborhood a few weeks.
In December 1828, I went to work in the Black Lead Mines about five miles from my grandfathers for 62 1/2 (evidently 16 1/2 cents) per day and board through the winter. In the spring I hired to the company for $16.00 per month and kept the books of the company for 40 cents a month. In June I was blown up while charging a rock which so injured me that I was unable to return again. I then worked by the month and by the job until next spring when I hired to Mr. Hezehiah Allen for seven months for $10.00 per month. Mr. Allen hired a girl to help his wife to spin, to make cheese and do house work in the month of June by the name of Nancy Lampson. In the course of the summer my acquaintance with her begat in me a notion of gathering my means which I had earned and laid up to the amount of about $600 and go into the western world and buy me a farm and settle down.
In November, 1830, I took a journey again with my brother going with me to New York State, went to Florence, the place of our birth but found that Mr. Mackey had not sold the farm as yet so we left the farm as before with him given full power of an attorney to do with as seemed good by his giving us a bond to pay over to us or either of us the amount so realized for said farm.
We now started for Genessee County where our mother went two years before. This was the last time I saw the place of my birth. My brother and myself took the canal at New London for Rochester where we left and went on foot to Batavia thence up the Gonawana, a creek to China, a distance from Batavia twenty-five miles south to where our mother lived. We found them all well but yet poor. After spending two weeks in looking for a farm, I bought in Weathsfield about six miles of where my mother lived. The farm contained one hundred acres, about fifty under fence and thirty of meadow and pasturage and etc, with a frame barn thirty by forty feet, a frame house 20 by 28 feet, some 50 apples trees, peach, plum, currents, etc., for which I was to give $812.50 in cash with the Holland Purchase money, having four years to pay $400 of it. I purchased of a man by the name of Seth Louis Esey.
My brother Chandlier bought fifty acres of one John Goodsperd, about ten acres of improvements on it about one mile from mine as I had got to return to Massachusetts, he gave me orders to collect his money on my return and bring to him when I moved on to my farm. He took a school that winter and stayed in the country. I traveled all the way back on foot, averaging about thirty-five or forty miles a day, 400 miles in mud and snow to the place of my grandfather. I soon went to Western to visit Nancy Lampson and inform her of my intentions of going west as soon as I could get ready and to know whether she would accompany me thither which she cheerfully agreed to be ready as soon as I should require her.
I then took a journey to Providence, Rhode Island to visit my Aunt Phoebe Angell, the eldest of my mother's sisters. She had married James Angell in Florence before my father was married and moved to this place from York State where she had been for many years, brought up her family. I found them all well. My cousins whom I never had seen before were glad to see me. Some of them were married. Mary Ann, the eldest belonged to the free will Baptist Church. She took much pains to influence me to get religion. I told her when the right kind came along I should embrace it for I did not care for any other. I tried equally hard to have the whole family to move west the next season as they could do much better in a new country. I had a good visit, stayed about three days and returned home on foot as I came, a distance of forty-five miles.
As I am about to change my circumstances of life. My grandfather who has had the care of me for the most of the time since the age of seven was willing that I should go west and as he was getting old and infirm, he had for many years had to walk with a cane. He had served his country in the Revolutionary War for our independence and had gained a good reputation of character as well as that of property being worth about $20,000. He had served as deputy sheriff twelve years, was a justice of the peace for many years. He said if he should send for me at any future time to come home again, he hoped I would not refuse as he might want to make me his heir of his home estate but that would depend upon circumstances as he had yet two sons living with him. He said I had been faithful and to go in peace saying, "May the Lord bless me."
In December 30, 1830, I was married at her father's house in the town of Western to Nancy Lampson, she being the youngest daughter of David Lampson and Sarah Bliss Lampson by the minister of the Congregational Church. She had three brothers that I never saw as they had all married and left the country.
I now prepared to move to the place I had purchased. I purchased a two horse wagon, a good yoke of oxen and one horse, loaded all our little effects in our wagon and started the 10th day of January 1831 with my wife Nancy and my sister, Phoebe, traveled about one hundred miles to within seven miles of Albany. We had good weather and thus far we now had to lay by two days on account of a tremendous snow storm which was Saturday and Sunday. On Monday I started and came to Albany, crossed on the ice, the river being ferried on Saturday; considered rather dangerous, went seven miles on the cherry valley turnpike and stayed for the night, the next day and night and purchased a new sled. I let my wagon bed down on the sled, bound on my wagon wheels and took it all along with me. The weather was very cold, the snow filling the road almost every day and night by the wind or storms until it was near four feet deep, passed through Smith's valley and stopped at my Uncle Walt Allens for two days and arrived in Weathersfield, February 6, 1831, a distance of 400 miles with no bad luck or accidents happening worthy of notice, all in good health. My sister, Phoebe, now saw her mother for the first time since she was five years old, being over sixteen years. They both seemed strangers to each other. I found my brother well and paid him over his money I had collected. I moved into my house on my farm I had purchased in November last and began to prepare for my spring work, buying a good cow, a barrel of pork, plough, etc. I raised a good crop of corn, potatoes, oats, etc., and cut thirty acres of good English hay, fine white clover pasture for my teams, etc. In the fall I put up a frame shed to my barn sixteen feet by forty feet, a good corn house at one end. The next summer I weather-boarded my house and made other improvements, dug a well twenty-two feet deep, fenced in a garden with a board fence of about an acre of fruit, a log shed adjoining my other one and such other conveniences necessary. I labored hard, got in logs to the saw mill during the winter although the snow became very deep, it having snowed in the course of 24 to 48 days.
January 21, 1832, my wife had her first born child, a daughter I named Sarah Lucretia Holbrook after her two grandmothers.
The next season I continued to labor on my farm. In the course of the summer, many vague reports were circulated about a certain set of people who were called Mormonites. In the course of the season my Aunt Phoebe Angell and her family moved from Rhode Island to Genessee County about the first day of September, 1832. I heard there was to be a Mormon meeting in China, four miles distant. I said I would go and hear this strange sect but upon arriving and waiting some time at the place of the meeting the elder John B. Green sent word by his son Evan M. Green and Lorenzo D. Young that he should not be able to attend. Mr. Green had sent by the bearers two of the papers, the Evening and Morning Star, printed in Jackson County, containing the articles of the Church and also the prophecy of Enoch which they requested a Mr. Catline, a universal preacher to read to the congregation. They made a few remarks after they were read which gave me some little light as to Mormonism. I met the young men on the floor in the school house and asked them where I could get a Book of Mormon. They said they did not know. I then told them I would go fifty miles the next day to get one if they could direct me where. They said they could not tell me. I told them where I lived if they could direct any elders there at any future time they would be welcome as I wished to learn more about this new revelation to man.
About this moment my cousin Mary Ann Angell heard my anxiety to get a Book of Mormon, whispered to me and said she had one she would lend me in about two weeks as she had it promised for that times I said I would go home with her and see it. She said I could do so. I saw the Book of Mormon. I read the testimony of the witnesses. I looked at some of the gospel. I felt much rejoiced to think an angel had come from God and brought such good news. I thanked my cousin for the favor of seeing the Book, hoping she would not disappoint me in my having the privilege of reading it in two weeks. The two weeks passed away. I thought much of Mormonism. I believed all I had heard or seen. I felt much to rejoice for these words came often to my mind, "Blessed are ye for ye believe and have not seen."
The two weeks brought my cousin Mary Ann Angell with the Book of Mormon to my house with her father James Angell, and the Mormon Elder John Green. I spent two or three hours with them while my wife was getting dinner. This was on Friday. I commenced reading that evening but being brought up not to spend any time a week day to read, I thought I must work and as my cart was in the field where I left it the day before when I was digging potatoes I went to digging potatoes but soon found I could not content my mind at work. I returned to the house, took the Book of Mormon and read a few hours, but as this was an unusual thing for me to stop work to read in the day time, my wife became alarmed and thought I had better be at work than spending my time reading such deception which called my attention again to my potato digging. I had not dug long before I wished with all my heart I knew all there was in that Book. I went out into a by place near by where I knelt down to pray. I no sooner closed my eyes than it seemed as though the whole thistle plantation was in motion. I opened my eyes. I could see nothing the matter. I closed my eyes. The second time when it seemed as if there was a whistle wind among the thistle yet I felt no wind. I continued my prayer for the forgiveness of my sins and for the Lord to lead me right and show me the truth of Mormonism. When I arose I said I would go to the house and read the Book of Mormon, work or no work. This was on the after part of the day on Saturday. I read that day and night late and on Sunday I read again, my wife taking the child in the morning and going about three fourth of a mile to my brothers, saying she would not stay in the house and listen to such nonsense. I read and prayed a number of times that day, being all alone that day and marvelled much that the thistle should be so much troubled at my prayers and that my wife should be so disturbed she could not stay at home for she was always fond of having me to sit down and read of evenings and Sundays. I read the Book of Mormon through in two days and three nights and carried it home on a Monday morning to my cousin. She asked me what I thought of it. I told her I believed it was true and that God was at the bottom of the work. She said she felt glad for she believed also but had not said much about it. I told her I would now like to see some of the Mormon elders. She said she would send them along to my house if she had the opportunity. I thanked her and told her I was now ready to fulfill my promise to her of some few years before that I would have religion when the right kind came along and I believed the right kind had come.
About this time one of my neighbors brought me a subscription paper to sign for to pay a minister (a missionary from Massachusetts to Weathersfield) he said he would preach one year for $300, so I signed $1.00, which he said was liberal seeing I did not belong to any church. I told him I did not know I should ever hear him preach but some one else would and that would keep them out of greater mischief.
These things passed along for some days when Elder Green called and stayed all night with me and gave me much satisfaction concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. I became more and more established as to the truth every day of my life as things came to my mind. My connections became much alarmed about my being a Mormon and my grandfather, Abraham Morton on my mother's side and my Uncle Benjamin Morton called at my house one day and inquired as to my faith in Mormonism. I told them I believed it was true so far as anything I could see and I was glad of it. They then raised their objections which were I was bringing disgrace upon myself and family and upon my connections. They said there was not another young man in the country for the time had merited the public feeling that I had and they said if I wanted to be religious they thought I could be as well suited in the Baptist or some other as to be led away after some vain delusion. I told them so far as disgracing myself was concerned I cared but little about it but for their sakes I might feel somewhat different. I told them I would say nothing about Mormonism for two or three weeks and try my feelings but if it was true I should know it and embrace it. They went away quite satisfied for they knew my promise was good to be carried out and lived to.
But to me it was a long three weeks for when I was in company and hearing delusions made of Mormonism, my conscience would smite me and say, you know that it is true, but I kept my word good for the three weeks until many said I had given it up and they thought I would never say any more about it, but at the expiration of the three weeks I was invited to the raising of a frame barn when one of my neighbors said,"I understand you have given up Mormonism." I told them I was under promise for a few weeks and that day I was free to speak my mind again and that Mormonism was true. My grandfather Morton and Uncle were in hearing. Their hopes were blasted. I further said that from that time forth I would speak the truth of Mormonism. I felt much relieved and blessed from that time forth.
Mr. Blarnhard, the missionary, I had signed the dollar for his preaching, was very concerned about me and my family. He told my wife in my absence, falsehoods about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, of the Prophet, Joseph Smith Jr., etc., which kept her in much fear, also as she thought I was about to deceive her as well as myself, but still I believed Mormonism.
As there had been no meetings in this vicinity I had to catch what I could from the Bible as the Book of Mormon had been a key to the Bible to me and it was now a new book having the seals broken light, life and salvation on its pages.
In December one night, I dreamed I was in a certain city where the people were all engaged in their various business matters, when all of a sudden a voice was heard from the heavens saying, "Get you out of this city for behold I will destroy this people and flee ye unto the West." The people all heard the voice and knew it was from heaven. They halted and looked amazed for a moment and then pursued their course as before. Shortly the voice was heard the second time. The people were alarmed less than before and again the voice was heard speaking the same words with the same warning but the people paid no attention to it; so I stopped and marveled and said I am not going to stay here; so I started out of the city to the west.
I found about a dozen more had taken the same warning as myself and all met at the outside of the city. We went down a long hill when we came into a large valley running north and south and also a large river in the midst of the valley, running north. It was both wide and deep and there appeared no way to across the river. Some said, Let's go up the river, others said, Let's go down but I said we were commanded to go to the west. I am going right straight into the river. I had no sooner gone into the water than I found myself on the other side and it was said unto me, "You are now baptized." I thought those that were with me on the other side were with me but I did not see how they came.
Now there were three large roads presented before me. One led partly up the river bearing around a hill. One partly down the river, bearing around the same hill, while the other went straight forward up the hill but the hill looked hard to ascend while those that wound around to the right and left appeared easy and would finally come to the same spot at the top of the hill. The travel in each one was about equal. Those that were with me said, "Let's take the right or left hand road, it will take us much easier to the top of the hill," but I said, "We are to go straight to the west. I am going to take the middle road up the hill." As the other roads were sandy or loamy I could see the foot steps of men and women and children who had traveled up these roads before me and as I began to travel on the straight forward road up the hill it did seem as though the hill became more level but after traveling on for a time there was a very bad place in the hill. There were roads that ran off at the foot of this bad hill to right and left and appeared to wind around the hill and come to the top. The same arguments were so made that were with me as before that it would be much easier for us to take these winding roads that led around the hill for what is the use of being so particular which road we travel if we only get to the top of the hill. I told them I should not turn away from the straight forward road although it did appear that nearly one half of the people did turn away from the straight forward and I did not see them at the top of the hill.
Thus I continued my journey for a long time finding often a bad hill in the straight forward road while the by roads at the foot of each hill took away much of the travel and as I came near the end of my journey, the obstacles to the road were much hideous to look at while the by roads looked much more pleasant, but I at length came to the top of the hill on a level plain. The road had become a small path. I turned around to see what had become of those who had left the straight forward roads when it was said to me, "Few there are that will be saved." I marvelled greatly and thanked the Lord that he preserved me to come to the top of the hill on a level with my brethren, while thousands who had set out on the same journey had turned away at the bottom of the hill in those by roads and are lost while the roads became as plain before me so that I saw that every road that turned away was wrong. They would fork and those forks would fork again until they in total darkness when there is no road and those travelers after wandering for thousands of years before they could again reach the bottom of the hill and have the privilege of coming up as before and those that turned away near the top of the hill or end of the journey it took much the longest.
I looked again to see if my wife was coming saying, "I think she will be along soon." (as she at this time did not fully believe Mormonism.) And I saw the city I had left given to the destruction of every kind by the judgements of God and the wickedness of the people and lo! when I awoke it was a dream.
About the last of December 1832, when going to milk I met two elders, Aaron C. Lyon and Leonard Rich from Warsaw about twelve miles distant. They informed me there would be a meeting on the 6th of January, 1833 at Elder Lyon's house and invited me to come down and bring my wife and those who would like to come with me.
On Saturdays January 5, 1833, I took my ox team and cart with my wife, Nancy, my Aunt Phoebe Angell, Cousin Mary Ann Angell, and went to Warsaw to Elder Aaron C. Lyon to be there on Sunday. Brother Lyon gave us a cheerful welcome on our arrival that night. In the morning I told Brother Lyon and Rich I would like to be baptized if they thought I was worthy as I had brought my clothes for that purpose. So after breakfast I was baptized with my Aunt Phoebe Angell, by Leonard Rich. Mary Ann Angell having been baptized about a week before.
We were confirmed by Aaron C. Lyon. About 11 o'clock am. they had a meeting about the first I had ever been to. Different elders occupied the time during the day and evening. Windson C. Lyon then spoke in tongues which was the first I had ever heard. My wife became convinced that Mormonism was true. On Monday, January 7, she was also baptized by Leonard Rich, was confirmed by Aaron C. Lyon. I was also ordained a teacher in the Church of Christ under the hand of Aaron C. Lyon, high priest and was directed to teach the principles to all who wished to hear and received my license which I shall enclose in this journal.
I returned home on the same day, much rejoiced to think that my wife was with me in the faith of the gospel but I found that I got myself into business for I met with opposition on all hands and from every side and every quarter; but this kept me the more faithful. So I visited my brother, Chandlier and his wife and told them there would be a meeting the next week at my house and invited them to go home with me to attend with my sister, also a meeting at my Aunt Phoebe Angell's in China. I continued to go from house to house and carry the Book of Mormon to them and try to get them to read it, etc. The result was that my brother, Chandlier, and his wife, Eunice, my sister, Phoebe and Dwight Harding who was boarding with me, Father Owens and mothers, and many others in the vicinity were added to the church, in the course of a few months; Brothers Lyon and Rich and some other elders meeting with us often until the Church in this place numbered about 85 members. Many had the gift of tongues, interpreting with prophesyings by the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Church did meet together often to preach, exhort and speak to one another of the things of the kingdom which gave them much love for one another, strengthening of their faith, etc.
In March 18, 1833, I took a journey on foot to Kirtland, Ohio to see the Prophet Joseph Smith. I visited the Prophet's house and found him away from home. I also visited Sidney Rigdon and father Joseph Smith and some others of the elders and gained much strength, faith and hope, which I hoped hereafter might be to others in the course of a few days. Joseph the Prophet came home so that I got a chance to see him, when he told me much of the work of the last days in which I hope to ever prove of great value to me.
Mary Johnson, a sister of Luke and Lyman Johnson died at the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr.'s house, age about fifteen years, which caused much gloominess at the Prophet's house, yet I fully believed in the gospel of the Kingdom, which was being set up in the last days.
The Prophet said, "Go and prosper and be faithful and the Lord will bless you." I then took my leave of the brethren for home and found all well, traveled 400 miles.
April 12, 1833, I was ordained an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ under the hand of Reynolds Cahoon, a high priest from Kirtland in the town of Warsaw, State of New York. Continued to meet with the branch twice a week in which we had good meetings.
April 29, took my leave of my family for a mission in the world with Brother Truman O. Angell to the East, traveled 14 miles to Warsaw on the 30th. Traveled 26 miles, met with the brethren in the Church of Genessee, held a meeting and found there was a wrong spirit with some of the brethren. The presiding elder even forbidding us to believe in the vision of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon; but as there was present in the branch, Lyman Johnson and Orson Pratt who would stay and correct the errors we left the next day, May 1 and traveled 15 miles, held a meeting in the evening. May 2 held a meeting in the same place by the request of the people. May 3, we traveled 30 miles, called a number of meetings but the people were unwilling to hear of Mormonism. Took dinner in the town of Manchester where the Book of Mormon was found. The gentlemen did not believe that Joseph Smith was the author of said book as he was well acquainted with him and did not know any harm of him until the Book of Mormon came forth but he believed the Smith Family were honest, industrious farmers.
May 4, traveled 11 miles and found where we could have a meeting on Sunday. May 5, held a meetings the people came more out of curiosity than to know about the requirements of heaven. May 6, traveled 31 miles, found much trouble to get to a place to stop for the night as we were without purse or scrip, were refused six times and at last were kept at a widow's house. May 7, traveled 20 miles, in the evening, held a meeting. May 8, traveled 16 miles and spoke from house to house and left the warning voice. May 9, came to my Uncle Walter Allen's and found him near his end and we stayed by the request of the friends the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th. Held a meeting and spoke much to the people on various things of the Kingdom as Uncle died in two or three days. I stayed until he was buried. The doctor held a counsel and opened his body after he was dead and said his death was brought on by the fever and ague in the first instance. His funeral sermon was preached by a Baptist minister. My Aunt Harriet Allen was my father's sister. He left a good estate worth about ten thousand dollars.
May 15, I took leave of my Aunt and family in their deep mourning, for the loss of a dear husband and father, it being the last time I ever saw her and traveled 41 miles to Joel Holbrook, my great uncle, stayed all night and sold them a Book of Mormon. This is the last account I have of them. May 16, traveled 16 miles, spoke much to the people of the work of the last days. May 17, traveled 26 miles. May 18, traveled 20 miles. May 19, stayed at Mr. Wood's and had much opportunity bearing testimony to the truth of Mormonism, but they were afraid it might be true but cared but little about it. May 20, traveled 23 miles, passed through the city of Albany to Mr. Isaac Smith and stayed with him on the 21st and bore testimony to the truth of Mormonism. This place I had worked at 7 1/2 months six years before, the Mr. Michael Smith being dead since I had been absent. May 22, I traveled 38 miles. May 23, traveled 45 miles. May 24, traveled 8 miles to Mr. Chaney Solanders, my brothers-in-law and reasoned with them on Mormonism, of the last days; but without any hopes for their being any better for our teaching. May 25, traveled 5 miles and came to my Grandfather Holbrook's and stayed 26th, 27th, 28th and visited some of my old acquaintances. My Uncle Erasmus Holbrook made derision and mocked at the idea of Mormonism being true. The rest of the family gave no particular heed to anything I could offer them so I left them in the hands of a merciful God who shall judge the quick and the dead. This is the last time I ever saw any of them although this is the place I lived and sprung into manhood and my word would have been good for anything but Mormonism. May 29, traveled 42 miles in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and came to North Providence. May 30, conversed with the people, it being the first place we had met with where there was any attention paid to our words. May 31, held a meeting in the evening and visited from house to house and did what we could in this way.
June 1, 1833, went into the city of Providence and proclaimed the word to those who felt disposed to hear. June 2, baptized Franklin N. Munroe and Mary Ann Munroe, his wife, they being about twenty-five years old, held a meeting about five o'clock in the factory village. Had good attention paid by the large assemblage. June 3, 4, 5, held meetings and baptized James Patten who had been a Methodist preacher from England.
I had a dream that I was at work scoring a stick of timber that it was all sap rotten but the heart was good and if I could score and hew said stick and get rid of the rotten sap it would make a sound stick of timber; if not the rot would spoil it and I awoke and thought the stick was James Patten I was at work with.
June 6, 7, 8, 9, held meeting and ordained James Patten an elder. Franklin N. Munroe, a teacher and Brother Silbon came and another who had been baptized the year before by Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde and formed a branch of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
June 10, took leave of our brethren in Providence. Took steam boat for New York City. Arrived the next morning. June 11, took steam boat for Albany, went a foot to Schenectady there we took the canal for Rochester from whence we took it on foot to Weathersfield. Arrived 17th day of June, being absent about seven weeks, traveled about 1200 miles, held fourteen meetings baptized three besides bearing testimony to hundreds in family, etc.
June 20, met with the brethren in the branch where I lived. Found all well but some had begun to relax their duties in which they began to be somewhat cold and indifferent. I was appointed to take the presidency of the branch. It now numbered about eighty members in good standing as Brothers Lyon and Rich had emigrated to Kirtland, Ohio. I continued to meet with the branch twice a week administering the sacrament every two weeks.
November 26, 1833, we had another daughter born in Weathersfield. Her name was Charlotte Holbrook after my aunt, my father's youngest sister.
In March, Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt from Kirtland visited the Branch and informed us that there was a revelation for the brethren to take a journey to the land of Zion. I put down my name. Chandlier Holbrook and Otis Shumway making three in all and to be in Kirtland the first day of May for to go to the land of Zion with our brethren who should assemble there. I had not sold my farm although I had offered it for sale from the time I came into the church unto this time but I soon found a purchaser for which I received a span of mares, a good two horse wagon, a hundred fifty dollars in cash, harness, etc. It being about one third of its real value. I left about twenty-five tons of good English hay, a new fanning mill, all kinds of farming tools, which I could not sell because I was a Mormon, but to obey the revelation I was fully resolved. April 6, I baptized Margaret Tanche, her husband did not belong to the Church.
April 14, 1834, I started with my family from Weathersfield in company with my brother, Chandlier and his family and Solomon Angell and his family, which composed our little company for the land of Zion. We arrived in Kirtland in two weeks with our brethren. Brother Otis Shumway did not go with us to the land of Zion as he agreed to but Solomon Angell did, which made the three from the Branch and may the blessings of the Lord be fulfilled upon his head forever. After our arrival in Kirtland we put up our teams at father Joseph Smith's and went to Newberry about fifteen miles to our Uncle Noah and Joseph Morton's, my mother's brothers whom I had not seen for twenty years, although I was named for my Uncle Joseph. We had a good visit but they could not believe in Mormonism. We returned to Kirtland. I paid $5 in cash to Reynolds Cahoon, one of the Building Committee for the Lord's House in Kirtland. I gave Solomon Angell $7.50 in cash to help his family so that he could go to the land of Zion.
The 1st of May we left Kirtland for New Portage a distance of about fifty miles where the brethren were to meet with us for Missouri. At this place, May 6, 1834, the camp of Saints was organized for our journey by the Prophet, when every man gave unto the treasurer the amount of means he had for the journey except those who had families who were directed to provide for themselves in as much as they had means to do so. The Company was divided into companies of ten persons with a captain to each ten or fifty and hundred persons, according to the ancient order of Israel.
We were led by the Prophet and pitched our tents by the way as we traveled having the most perfect order in our camp. At the sound of the bugle, prayers were held morning and evening in every tent, while every one was to be engaged in preparing foods looking after the teams, etc. as they were organized and appointed their several duties by the prophet of the Lord who was our leader.
We had much good instructions given us on this journey which if I could have been prepared to keep a proper record I should have been much benefited thereby and as I have not a list of all the names before me I will only give some of those I best remember who formed a part of our company:
Parley P. Pratt
Jedidiah M. Grant
Jacob Gates & wife
John M. Chester & wife
Herman T. Hide
John D. Parker
Warren Parish & wife
Charles C. Rich
Almon M. Babbit
Chandlier Holbrook & wife
Joseph B. Nobles
Joseph Holbrook & Family
Heber C. Kimball
Frederic G. Williams
George A. Smith
Alanson Ripley & wife
Elias F. Wells
We having horse teams we progressed on our journey at a rapid rate considering the bad roads in a new country, often forty miles a day. We generally lay by on the Sabbath and had meetings on the camp grounds which was very interesting and instructive to us.
I had the bad fortune for one of my horses to die near Jacksonville in Illinois but I bought another for $55 so I proceeded on my journey with the camp when we came to the Salt River Church in Missouri about fifty miles west of Louisiana. We tarried some three or four days to rest and wash etc., when Brother Joseph counseled those who had families to get houses for them and for the men to go forward with the camp so I provided a house for my family as directed and was about to leave my family as was the rest of the brethren who had wives with them when Brother Joseph said if the sisters were willing to under go a siege with the camp they could go along with it; where upon they said they could and they liked Brother Joseph better than before for the privilege he gave them of continuing in the camp.
At this place, as at many others on the road, we had many of the brethren who united and went with us. We were often met by strangers who would question us as to where we were going and what our business was, etc. Then they would often threaten us if we went further etc., and said that we had a standard raised with death on one side or blood on the other until we were forced to raise a standard with peace on both sides which they could hardly believe, when they saw it for they were so prejudiced in their feeling they could not believe their better senses.
We continued our journey and the twenty three mile prairie. Below Richmond my other horse gave out and was unable to go further. Brother Nichols put his horse into my team and thus I was enabled to continue my journey.
The day we passed Richmond we camped between the forks of Fishing River, one fork which we crossed this evening about up to our axletrees of the wagons. We camped about a mile west of said fork near a meeting house where we were met by many of our enemies as we had been for some days past, who swore they would send us all to hell before morning and if any were left we should not be spared in the event to tell the story alive, and thus we were threatened on every side with mobs enough to make any man quail who had not the spirit of God upon him; but Brother Joseph the Prophet said stand still and see the salvation of God.
About sundown it began to rain like torrents with thunderings and lightning and dark enough to prevent anyone from being able to find their way while the hail flew in some degree upon the camp but about a mile to the north of our camping ground limbs were broken off of the trees. The ground was all covered with leaves and the herbage destroyed which made the country desolate and prevented any harm from befalling our camp that night. To our great surprise we found that the two forks of Fishing River had swollen so as to be utterly impossible to pass, being it was forty feet deep on each side of us, about one and a half miles. We were forced to continue on this ground the next day, there being a horse mill in about a mile of us which afforded us flour for comfort. The next day we moved north about four miles to Bro. Cooper's near a prairie. At this place we tarried some three or four days and were visited by a delegation from our enemies consisting of Judge Ryland Cole Veonse of Ray County and Niel Gallin, the sheriff of Clay Co. in which they wished an interview with our Prophet Joseph Smith at which resulted in their promising us protection in this State of Missouri as well as our brethren whom we had come to redeem who were driven from Jackson Co., the former season, whereupon the revelation given on Fishing River, Missouri June 22, 1834, showing the mind of God concerning the redemption of Zion etc.
About this time the cholera began to make its appearance in our camp and my wife was one of the first that was taken down with it but she recovered from it in a few days, being administered to by Brother Bugetts below Liberty when a number of our brethren were taken down with the cholera, which so frightened our enemies that they did not dare to come near us or have us come near them which relieved us from further danger from them. The next day the camp was broken up by the order of Joseph Smith Jr. the prophet of God, to meet again in one week at the house of Col. Lyman Wight.
We left the camp grounds June 26, 1834, and traveled about six miles west of Liberty, five miles and stopped near where Mr. Micheal Asher was building a grist mill and had a number of the brethren employed.
The next day my brother, Chandlier, and myself went out to cut some house logs but we found ourselves to weak to chop and had to return to our wagon entirely tired out. A brother Cyrus Daniels being present said he lived about a mile from that place and he had rented a stable and a corn crib and we were welcome to use them if we liked.
In the morning my brother's wife, Eunice, was very sick with cholera. We therefore thought it best to get some place as soon as possible so we removed to the stable and corn crib although it was raining. By the middle of the forenoon, my brother's wife was cramping with most violent spasms for life but Brother Cyrus Daniels and Carlos Granger took her into the house and nursed her with the greatest attention so that in a few days she had escaped the hands of the destroyer, but some seventeen of our camp, I believe fell victims to the cholera.
I moved into a corn crib and my brother into the stable as the brethren who had been driven from Jackson County last fall had occupied all the houses in the country, it being new and few to be had. In ten weeks I had built me a house on a piece of congress land on Shoul Creek of eighty acres. My brother and I moved into it after a few weeks. I rented a farm near by of twenty acres improved for three years after which I rented my house on the 22nd of December 1834.
On the 23rd of December 1834, I took leave of my family and started in company with Amasa Lyman, Heman Hyde and Milton Holmes. We preached on our way where ever we could get a privilege, sometimes going for a day and night without food in the winter season across the prairie with the houses twenty-five miles apart which made it very severe upon me until we came to the Salt River Church where there was a conference held and on account of being lame it was counseled that Milton Holmes, my partner, should take William Ives and go to Tennessee and that I remain a few days with the Church and Martin Allred and go a short mission in part of Missouri and Illinois. We preached as we traveled and settled some difficulties in some branches and left brother Esquire Bozarths and crossed the river at Quincy, Ill. Preached a few times in the vicinity of the Mississippi River and returned by way of Louisiana to Salt River Church and from thence to Clay County and found my family all well but living on bread and water as there was not much chance for anything better to be had but bacon which took money to purchase it.
I was absent eight weeks, I continued to have meetings at my house from one to three a week, trying to settle difficulties in the Church, preaching etc.
April 28, 1835, I baptized John Evans, Emily Evans and Rhoda Gifford. In June 21st baptized Davies Gibbs.
In July, I received a letter from my brother-in-law, Dwight Harding, stating that he and Alvin Owen's family were on the way from Ohio and stopped on Charidon and were all sick and not able to take care of themselves. My brother, Chandlier and I started immediately and found them all sick. We made every exertion in our power to remove them and had the consolation to find them in Clay County, a distance of one hundred miles where we could make them comfortable.
On the 1st of August 1835, I took another mission to the east in company with Ellis Barnes and Lyman Gibbs. After traveling about a hundred miles I became very sick so that I could not sit up much of the time. I stopped with a brother Nichol's for about four weeks who paid every attention to me that they could. I had an opportunity to send to my family. My wife and Elder Evans came with horse and wagon with a bed in it and took me home. I was very glad to see her after undergoing so much sickness. I was about six days going home, about one hundred miles. The evening before I arrived home my mother died of the quick consumption. My neighbors brought her to my house before her burial so that I could see her remains. She was buried in one corner of a ten acre lot on the same eighty that I first built my house upon two years before in Clay County on a rise of ground west of a small creek on the north end of said eighty, it being the only way I have of describing the spot, one mile north of Shoal Creek.
I was very weak and fainted often when removed from my bed. In the following winter I gained my health to be able to work again which my family much needed.
June 26, 1836, I married Darias Gibbs to Miss Lydia Evans at her father's house, Elder Evans, in Clay Co., Missouri.
About July 1st of this year there began to be a great excitement between citizens of Clay Co. and the Latter-Day Saints and it appeared that war was even at our doors, when some of the citizens of Clay County came forward as mediators and called a meeting of the citizens and some of the leaders of our Church when it was agreed that the Latter-Day Saints, one half to leave the county in six months and the remainder as soon after as possible and not think of putting in another crop in that county or the people would not suffer them to remain longer and they, the citizens of Clay County would send a delegation into the north county of Caldwell with our leaders to induce the few settlers in said county to sell out their possessions to the Latter-Day Saints so that the Church should have the soil of that county to themselves. When a meeting of the citizens of Caldwell was called they agreed to sell out all they had to the Church whereupon Bishop Edward Partridge called for volunteers to haul out some of the Church property. When my brother and myself proposed to take our team and to go out to Shoul Creek near where Far West was afterwards laid out by the Church.
We camped on the creek for about one week exploring the county with Bishop Partridge and John Carrol surveyor for the purpose of making locations for the Church. Bishop Partridge counseled me and brother Chandlier Holbrook, Benjamin Covey and Jacob Gates to buy Mr. Cusie's place of forty acres with ten acres of corn up on it for $300. We all four went in and bought it. I turned out my wagon for $50 and gave my note for the other $25 in six months, which gave me the right of ten acres undivided, in the forty acres. The place I had rented was yet one year and a half before the time expired and as I had paid my rent for the whole time I could do nothing more than give up without receiving anything for it. We had to sell corn in Clay County for 12 1/2 cents per bushel or haul it sixty miles and all things in proportion which made a great sacrifice.
The brethren continued moving night and day all the fall and winter until they were almost all out of Clay County by spring. I was greatly blessed for in six months I had one hundred acres entered and my same old wagon back again and out of debt. This was on Plumb Creek, three miles west of Far West.
The whole country was soon settled by the Saints from Clay Co. and other emigrants from the east. By spring others emigranted from the east and everything seemed to flourish with the people that could make them happy.
My wife, Nancy, had a son born January 31, 1837 by about four o'clock in the afternoon and I named him Joseph Lamoni Holbrook at my house on Plumb Creek.
I had built a house, assisted others in building so that I had plenty to do and the brethren paid me well for it. I built an office for Bishop Edward Partridge in Far West and finished it for him. I also built a dwelling house for him. I built two dwelling houses for Morgan Gardener and George Slade. I also built a school house in the district where I lived twenty two feet square besides farming considerably each year.
I married Brother John Newberry to Lucinda Williams of Clinton County, December 24, 1837.
I acted in the quorum of elders in their meetings with all other Church business that I was called to act in.
May 19, 1838, I was ordained into the first Quorum of Seventies under the hand of Levi Hancock at a General Conference of Seventies held at Far West.
About this time there was a military company formed in our neighborhood by electing Amasa Lyman captain and myself First Lieutenant of said company and was commissioned by the Governor Lilburn M. Boggs, etc.
I gave to the Church ten acres of land being in Clinton County for paying the Church debts, etc., being the 23rd day of July 1838.
On July 4, 1838, the cornerstone of the temple was laid, they having been hauled to the spot before hand and my team did help haul them. They were quarried from the ledge down west, were about seven feet long, four feet wide and two feet thick. The cornerstone was laid by the first presidency Joseph Smith Jr. and council and others. An address or oration was delivered by Sydney Rigdon with cheering from the audience. There was a liberty pole raised on the public square of white oak, some sixty feet in length, but the lightning struck it in almost three weeks so that it caused it to lean about one third way from the top and thus ended our liberties in Missouri.
At the August election in Davis County, the old citizens assembled and swore that no Latter-Day Saints should be allowed to vote at that election, whereupon they fell upon John Butler who was enabled to defend himself but others were bruised, stabbed, etc. and some reported that they had killed some two or three of the Mormons and would not give up their bodies to be buried etc., where upon I saddled my horse in Caldwell and went to Davis County to learn how things were going as I had lately taken up some claims in that county and bought some city lots that I have a home in that county as soon as I could build upon my claims, but upon arriving I found no one had been killed but much threatening on the part of the old citizens.
We visited Mr. Adam Black, a justice of the peace near by and obtained from him a written certificate that he would administer the law and justice to Mormons and other citizens and we returned to Caldwell County with Joseph Smith and the rest of the brethren, hoping that peace would be again restored but things took a different course for the old citizens continued their threats of driving the Mormons from the county of Davis and there from out of the State as the most of the old citizens had sold their improvements to our brethren and they could again get back their improvements they had sold free without any to hinder them as they had got their pay.
About October 1, 1838, the Western firm having heard that government was about to let out a job of work for making a road from Fort Leavenworth south through the Indian County they sent Esquire Bozarth and myself to look out said road and put in such bids as we might think proper. We proceeded to Fort Leavenworth on horseback and from there south through the Delaware Nation of Indians and stayed with them all night and found them well to live, having good log cabins with fields of corns etc. As we proceeded south across the Karo River we came to the Shawnee Indians and the river being the line between the said tribes; we found them much like their neighbors, enjoying civilization with their fields of grain, their horses, meat, stock, etc. Until we came to the end of the section on the south line of Jackson County and saw the surveyors for said government roads. We returned through Jackson County to Independence where said road was to be let out to the highest bidder. We found the map and charts in good order and ready for our inspection. we put in a sealed bid of $14,000 for the two north sections of over forty miles to grade, bridge, etc, There were about one hundred such sealed bids put in said road, many for double that of ours, while there were some for less which relieved us from further duties.
The thoughts of having traveled through the entire county of Jackson from the south to Independence, a distance of about twenty five miles on the dividing ridge of prairie between the two Blue rivers about six miles apart on a rolling divide twenty miles of which there was not an obstruction to prevent a blow. And timber on each side from two to three miles distance and that this was the land once of our brethren, the first inheritance of the Saints and that this was not in the hands of our enemies. We stopped and stayed all night with a Baptist who said he would not keep a Mormon in his house or on his plantation. He said many of the old chimneys were still standing where his house had been built and he seemed to be greatly pleased to think that the people of Davis County would drive the Saints as the people of Jackson had.
At Independence I saw the temple lot that had been dedicated and consecrated to the Lord of Hosts, by the prophet as the capitol of Zion in the last days and now the Saints are driven from Jackson County and the inheritance laid waste and no Mormons safe in this County. They knowing I, being an eastern man, they said little. Esquire Bozarth being a southern man passed very well. I said now the brethren are driven from Clay County and about to be driven from Caldwell and Davis and from the State. When shall we build this temple unto the most High God. I said that the Lord must truly work upon this land before this can be fulfilled, so Lord let it be.
As we tarried only about two hours in Independence, we crossed the Missouri River at the ferry for Clay County and felt that we were cut from some of our enemies. We stayed all night in Clay County. The next day went to Liberty where we heard that the mob was still raging against the Latter-Day Saints with double vigor. We hastened home as fast as we could. I got some cotton cloth and other articles to take home with me. I stayed all night in the woods by some logs that were on fire. In the night it commenced snowing, the 16th and 17th of October.
In the morning we met General Doniphan's troops of a one hundred men on their return home from Davis County where they had been from Clay County two weeks before saying they could do nothing with the mob.
The trees were all loaded down with snow. In the course of two or three days the snow all disappeared and we had good weather. I volunteered to go to the south line of the County of Caldwell next to Clay County to see what the mob in that quarter were about with Brother Amasa Lyman.
After staying about five days returned home without seeing anything of the mob. About this time word came that the mob had seized the public arms deposited in Richmond, Ray County and were taking them to Davis County to the mob. Ten men of us volunteered to go in search of them. After riding about sixteen miles we struck the Richmond road and found that they had passed. We continued on said road some three miles on the open prairie and found a broken wagon and down a ravine of high grass we found two large boxes containing United States rifles with their other accouterments. In the course of an hour we found three men with their wagon on their way for these guns. We took the men and the stolen guns to Far West where they were found guilty of aiding and assisting the mob contrary to all law, after this I again went into the south part of the county with Brother Judith. Before we got far on our journey we heard the mob calling themselves militia were in that part of the county, but did not know their whereabouts. We continued on to near the county line and eight of the mob near by in hostile array. They stopped at a Brother Pinkham's took his son and two other young men as they said, prisoners, shot at and hit one of his cows, took his arms and told the old man he must leave before morning or they would kill him and his family. Upon hearing this and that they had disarmed all the other brethren in that section threatened with instant death if they did not leave that night for Farr West as they should come again the next day. Therefore I in company with Judith started for Farr West where we arrived about midnight.
We informed our brethren of the danger there was in that quarter. About sixty men volunteered to go down and see what the mob was about. As we got near Shoal Creek, one of our men was fired at in the. main road, before day, by the name of O. Bennion and died in a few hours afterwards, the 25th of October 1838, in Missouri.
As we still wished it possible to learn their object of coming into Caldwell County in the form of a mob to disturb the quiet citizens and disarming them etc. The first we knew they commenced a brisk fire upon our whole body, shooting down many of our best brothers all around us and howling so that we had no other course to take but defend ourselves the best way we could which soon gave us the ground with the spoils of the camp. Among the dead and wounded was David W. Patten, one of the Twelve, shot through the chest and died about the same time, Gideon Carter left on the ground through mistake, Hendrix shot through the cord of the neck and was entirely helpless, Sealey, one of the young men they took prisoner at Brother Pinkham's the evening before, shot through the shoulder. One Hodges shot through the hip and one Elija Chase shot in the knee, with a number wounded. I was wounded in my left elbow with a sword after cutting through five thicknesses of cloth so fractured the bone that after the doctor had placed back the bone that it was very lame for some four months and so stiff that I couldn't feed myself with that hand.
The battle of Crooked River, Oct. 25, 1838. About day break the whole county was now in motion against the Saints and all were equally threatened with death without regard to sex, age, or any other belief except those that would abandon their religious faith and unite with the mob in persecuting the Saints.
The brethren had gathered into Farr West as much as they could for safety as the whole county was filled with the mob when they arrived in the sight of Far West, Oct. 29, 1838, 5000 Missouri militia ordered out by the governor Boggs. The next day they sent in a flag of truce south of the town when Col. Hinkle went out to meet them and a conference ensued, when Col. Hinkle agreed to deliver Joseph Smith Jr, with the heads of the Church into their hands by strategy. So that evening Joseph Smith Jr., the prophet, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Hyrum Smith and others went out with a flag of truce to meet another from our enemies when Col. Hinkle commanding the militia of Caldwell County said to our enemy who were approaching in lines all around our flag of truce and Joseph Smith Jr. and those that were with him: "Gentlemen, I now deliver you, Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. He in now in your hands as your prisoner." At this moment all the line of our enemies began to ring with most hideous yells that the Saints ever heard. They could be heard for some miles around of their achieved and treacherous victory. It was with the greatest trouble that they could keep their enemies from shooting them down as wild beasts.
In their camps there was a court marshall held in which they condemned the prisoners to be shot on the public square in Farr West. They still continued to take prisoners and threatened all who came in their way that they might torture them and force them to leave their religion.
November 1, 1838, the brethren laid down their arms where they were and all the town of Farr West put under guard. The troops some 5,000, all mounted on horseback, marched through the town in principal streets abusing the Saints when they could meet with them. About the 2nd day our enemies carried away Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, Sydney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and others from Jackson County, under the guard of their numerous army which was one of the greatest trails. I had expected to see them pull away by main strength when their wives and children, fathers and friends clinging to them crying and taking, as many supposed, their last farewell look upon their prophet, fathers, their children, their wives, their husbands, all calculated to draw tears from the stoutest hearts but our enemies only continued to swear that we need not even suppose we ever should see them alive again or hear their voices in our midst for they should die.
All the brethren were then drawn up in the hollow square on the public square in Farr West for about this time General Clark arrived with some 6,000 Militia and still threatened the brethren with further violence making them sign away their rights in a deed of trust for the defraying of the expenses of the mob or army, of all they possessed in real or personal estate and leave the State the coming winter or spring and no further limit would be granted them. At the same time they called out some seventy five of our best men and took them to Richmond jail and putting them under guard so that no one was at liberty to go for wood or other things without a strong guard. They continued to take all kinds of property a common plunder -- taking prisoners whenever they could find any that they had any grudge against because they believed in the revelations of God.
The mob or militia burnt my house, stole a valuable horse from me, killed my fat hogs, drove off my stock. I had some 300 bushels of the best of corn in the crib taken out of the crib. They fed our oats in the sack, destroyed my hay, and left everything in a state of desolation from one end of the county to the other, abusing the sisters whenever they thought it best to suit their brutal and hellish desires.
November 4, 1838, a severe snow storm and very cold weather for some three weeks, which drove the troops from out of our county except some few companies who said they were left to see that the Mormons left the State and also to continue to take the brethren prisoners. Thus my freedom and life for three months was in constant danger as one old deserter by the name of Snodgrass came with eight soldiers at one time to the house where I had been stopping a few days and made diligent search for me in every house in the neighborhood from top to bottom and swore they would take me to the battleground on Crooked River and there shoot me because I was unable to defend myself at that battle against my foes.
My wife had very poor health during the winter and fall by being exposed much to the inclement weather by having to remove from place to place as our house had been burned and we were yet left to seek a home whenever our friends could accommodate us and for my safety but as I cannot write a hundredth part of the suffering and destruction of this people who were in a flourishing condition but a few months before are now destitute. I could have commanded some $2000 but now I had only one yoke of old oxen and two cows left.
As we found that there was no more peace or safety for the Saints in the State of Missouri and if the Church would make haste and move as fast as possible it would add much to the relief of our brethren who were now in jail as our enemies were determined to hold them as hostages until the Church left the State so that every exertion was made in the dead of winter to remove as fast as possible and for those whom they our enemies held the greatest spite to let their families go without them, so I left my family with only $0.50 in cash for her comfort with three small children, Sarah Lucretia, Charlotte and Joseph Lamoni Holbrook.
My wife was confined just one week from my departure from home, had a daughter and she was named Nancy Jane Holbrook, born January 27, 1839.
On the 20th day of January, 1839, (I left home in the evening with Brother Nathan Tanner and Ethan Barrows.) We traveled that night so that the next day we were away from those that would seek to do us harm. Twenty three miles we traveled each day on foot alone by ourselves and on the twenty eighth day of January we crossed the Mississippi River at Hannibal and the next day came to Quincy, Ill. and found ourselves in a land of freedom once more by the help of God and his blessings. I stopped with Brother Heman Hyde who had come on that far and stopped because of the difficulties of the Saints in Missouri the fall before. The brethren were continually coming to Quincy from Missouri as I had come which made it a great burden on those few families of the saints in this vicinity and but little employment at this time of the year and as I was not able to work on account of my lame arm which was entirely stiff at the elbow joint so that I employed my time in the day time by being about the city to find work for the brethren who were continually coming from Missouri.
I lived on two meals a day so as not to increase more expense than possible. I stayed about a week when Jacob Gates came and said if I would go into the country with him and be his companion we would fare alike so we each put all the money into one purse which made about $1.00. We then bought a yard of cotton cloth and made a bag of its got some bread and pork and filled our bag and started on Saturday to seek our fortune in the country east of Quincy on foot. When about six miles out we met Ethan Burrows, who left me at Quincy about one week before. He said he could not get work and that he was hungry as he had not half enough to eat since he left. We told him to come down to the creek near by as we had bread and pork. After eating he said he felt better. We then told him he had better go along with us and do the best we could; so from this place we went towards Fairfield as I had heard of a Methodist priest that wanted some rails made by the name of Thompson. We arrived there a little after dark. The old priest was on his circuit preaching but his son that had charge of his business with the family were there but they said, it was Saturday night, that tomorrow was Sunday and they did know so well about the rails, etc. I saw very soon that the trouble was that we were Mormons and they did not like to employ us. I told them that I came out on purpose to make the rails and we could sleep by the fire and that we had bread with us to last til Monday and then we would go to work but it seemed rather hard for them to consent but at last they said we could stop. They kept a good look out to see that we did not steal anything that night. We ate our bread and pork. They seemed a little better satisfied with us, in the course of the day so that on Monday, Brother Barrows got some shoe making to do and Brother Gates and myself went into the timber to make rails. They said we might make 2000 for $15. As my arm was still stiff and sore Brother Gates did the chopping and I went to splitting with one hand for a few days as my arm gained strength by use so that I could do my proportion pretty well. In nine days we had our 2000 done. They paid in money, $7.50 each, which was enough to help us in this trying time and said we could have the privilege of a number of thousand more if we wanted but we wished to go to Quincy to hear from our families.
We went to Quincy but could not hear anything from them. Brother Gates continued to go to Missouri and find his but I did not see it safe for me so I returned to Mr. Thompson's and continued to make rails until I had made 7000. They disappointed me in my pay. Instead of money I had to take two silver watches, one for $10 and one for $22. About this time an old man, a Virginian came to me and said he had been noticing me for a number of days at work and he would let me have his farm to work for any number of years I would like with teams, tools, etc. I told him that my family was still in Missouri and I did not know when they would be liberated from their bondage. I further told him wherever the Church settled I expected to go. This was about the 23rd of March 1839.
I went to Quincy and stopped for the night at John P. Green's. About bed time my brother Chandlier came in and said my family were with his family about six miles on the other side of the Mississippi River on the Fabius River. As the ferry boat was lost, the brethren were making a new one and as they would have to stay there for a number of days he thought he would come over and see if he could find me. He said that Brother Truman Angell's family was there and his wife was very sick in her wagon and knowing where Brother Truman Angell was at work I started that night and traveled about six miles wading creeks, etc. and found him after midnight.
Early in the morning we started for Quincy and from thence to our families across the Mississippi bottoms wading sloughs and through the whole distance and found some one hundred of the brethren waiting for the new ferry boat to be completed, which was done the next day.
I found my family in good condition. Their health although in the snow and mud, half a leg deep in the camp. I saw my little daughter Nancy Jane for the first time about two months old. She was carried by her mother and born in the midst of tribulation. Truly, my family had been greatly blessed in my absence an they were enabled to gather up some of the fragments of my destroyed property so that my wife, Nancy had got about $50 in cash to bare her expenses out of the State of Missouri. They were in good spirits at seeing me in so good health from what I was when I left Far West. They had not heard anything from me during this time, neither dared I write to let them know as the brethren were in constant danger of being pursued if they knew where they could be found so that I had to keep silent, but on the 21st day of March 1839, my family crossed the Mississippi River into Ill., and crossing the slough I lost my silver watch that I allowed $10 for and never found it.
From Quincy we traveled north about fifty miles to Fountain Green, hired a house for $2 per month with room. In the month of May went to Nauvoo, then called Commerce and saw Brother Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, and his brother, Hyrum, the first time since they were taken from Far West to jail by the mob. Brother Joseph told me that if the mob had got me instead of taking me to prison they would kill me. He also wished to know where I lived. I told him about twenty five miles from this place. He asked me if I could get corn meal and flour and bring into this place so that the brethren could buy it from me as there was no one bringing in any for sale. I told him I could if I could get the money to begin with. He told me to look around, borrow the money if I could. I borrowed $7.00 of Brother Covey for a few days and bought corn for $0.25 per bushel shelled it, took it to the mill, and from thence to Nauvoo and let the brethren have it for $0.50 per bushel. After taking two loads of meal I bought wheat at $1.00 per bushel and had it floured and then took it some forty miles to Nauvoo and sold it for $4.00 per hundred. This was in Hancock and I was the only one engaged in this business, which I followed about six weeks which kept up nearly night and day, as I got the most of going nights besides camping out on prairie I overheated myself in the latter part of July which brought on a burning fever which brought me low upon a bed of sickness a few days so I could not help myself any more than a child having to be lifted on a sheet from one bed to another. My family's health was also poor having the fever and ague much of the time. I built a small log house on a piece of vacant land in the fall and moved into it for the winter. I had to run in debt for all my living as my means were expended.
The next summer I so gained my health an to be able to work. My wife became very sick and was confined February 11, 1840 with a son. He was still born. We named him as we did not know what was for the best--David Holbrook. I was enabled to pay up all demands against me.
There was a small branch of the Church organized near by containing some two hundred members by appointing Joel H. Johnson President. I was selected as his first counselor and set apart by Brother Hyrum Smith to that office.
There was a small town laid off by the name of Kamus of some 250 lots containing one acre each where the brethren gathered into the branch very fast. This was in the summer of 1840.
In February I received orders from Nauvoo to raise a company of Mounted Lancers for the Nauvoo Legion. I went immediately at work, raised the said company. I was nominated at Nauvoo for the office of captain but some one wished to make a division in said company. I declined accepting of the office when another was elected in place; but in a short time I received orders from Nauvoo to raise a company of Mounted Rifle men and again nominated for a captain to which I was elected by unanimous vote. I received a commission from the Governor of the State which I enclose in my journal with many other licenses and commissions. This was in the year 1841.
August 31, 1841, we had a son, still born, named him Moroni.
The company met in Nauvoo a number of times for inspection and drills, all of which were performed with credit to said company.
In the course of said summer the times became very hard so that many of the brethren were much put to it for clothing etc., and there was among us some that were not exactly honest who brought in damnable doctrine so that with others I was brought in bondage to my enemies; but Charles Shumway, a schoolmate came forward together with Anson Call, Willard Wigham, and others and nobly released me from my difficulty to my great joy; when I thought it best to go to Galena for a short season so paid all my debts at much sacrifice, when I took my leave of the branch with two teams that I had hired and two brethren, John Telford and Ebenezer Page in the month of December with my wife and four small children. We traveled through the snow and mud some two hundred miles. I found a brother Wright, who exchanged a yoke of oxen with me for my horse team and gave me $25 in the trade which helped me for the present.
I soon found a place on the Mississippi River in the timber about one mile north of Illinois line in Wisconsin territory to build me a cabin where I found employment in hauling wood to a smelting furnace for $1.25 1/2 per cord. After laboring for the winter and spring I secured my pay in money on the State Bank of Illinois, which bank went broke in a few days after, and I could not get over $.50 on a dollar in goods. I still continued to labor and was forced to take my pay in bank bills, Showny town Bank which soon failed. The Debuge Bank had also failed in Iowa so there was no currency to be depended upon so that business became dull. I was forced again to take a lot of wood by the cord at $.62 1/2 per cord on the timber. I hauled about eighty cords to the river and could only get $.50 a cord for it when placed upon the bank of the river. Thus it was a continued series of losses. In June I received a letter from Anson Call to come to Nauvoo so I purchased a small flat boat about six feet wide and twenty-two feet long. I left my oxen with Brother Wright and fifty cord of wood on the bank of the Mississippi River and took my family on board with all my effects with Brother Telford who had lived with me all the time since I left Kamus. We let the boat go with the current which took about 10 days to go 250 miles, laying by nights and cooking victuals on the bank of the river, catching cat fish etc. I arrived in Nauvoo July 6, 1842 and was glad to meet once more with the saints whom I loved for this was the only time I ever had undertaken to make a living away from the saints, which did not prove very prosperous to me; besides I did not feel myself at home or contented away from the church.
I immediately moved to Dwight Harding's house about two miles from the river with my family. My wife, Nancy, was taken sick on the 7th of July and grew worse until she died, being sick nine days, July 16, 1842, age 37 years 11 months and two days, disease, cholera morbus and inflammation on the lungs. She left four children, viz., Sarah Lucretia, Charlotte, Joseph Lamoni and Nancy Jane. Thus I had in an unexpected moment been deprived of one of the best of wives and the best of mothers. She had stood with me in six troubles through the Missouri troubles with death with fortitude, all the attendant evils with sickness and her faith had always been firm and unshaken in the cause of the Lord in these last days without a murmur or a reflection. She had firm hope in a glorious resurrection for which she had obeyed the gospel and lived and spent her life, for we had lived together in the most perfect understanding for almost twelve years. My wife was buried in the east part of the city of Nauvoo on the public burying ground on Block 5, Lot 5, grave 2. Nancy Jane on the same Block and lot grave. I put up two good stones at these graves. She had hoped to have lived to enjoy the society of the saints and hear the words of our beloved Prophet in whom she had full faith but I am glad she lived so that she had a good burial with the thirteen saints where she may rest till the morn of the first resurrection is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
After my wife's death I was rebaptized in the Mississippi River by Brigham Young.
I continued in the house with my brother-in-law, Dwight Harding, when I purchased a small fraction of a lot near Nun Holland Street 3 1/3 rods on front, 4 1/2 rods back for $50 of my brother, Chandlier. When my wife's funeral expenses were paid I had $15 in cash left besides my small flat boat which I sold for an old wagon worth $30, which constituted my worldly substance at this time except my oxen and wood I had left.
I gave Brother Harding a part of the money to go out into the country to buy corn, which I gave him one half for his trouble. I and my family lived on corn bread with but little else. I got my sister, Phoebe Harding, to look after the children and do my cooking. I went out ten miles east of Nauvoo on the prairie cut grass and had it hauled for halves while I camped on the ground, dug me a well ten feet deep for water. My living consisted of 1 1/2 pints of molasses per week and cold corn bread brought to me twice a week. My health was good. I worked all day and much of the night when the moon shone so that I could cut grass.
I now began to gather materials to build on my little lot by selling my part of the hay delivered in Nauvoo at $5 per ton. I continued in this way for seven weeks when I had paid for bricks for a house thirty feet by fifteen feet and also a mason to lay them up with lime, etc. I went to work and laid the foundation myself and soon had the body of the house up. About this time I became acquainted with Hannah Flint, sister to Brother Anson Call's wife about my age whom I afterwards married.
In October I took the steam boat and went up the Mississippi River to Wis. and found the man I sold fifty cords of wood for $25 in goods. I found my oxen at Brother Wright's in good order. I then started for Nauvoo on foot, being over 225 miles, driving my oxen with me, tying them up nights after stopping to feed them and sleeping out of doors. I drove in about sixteen miles of Nauvoo. I came to E. Page's and as he was making shingles he said if I would stop and help him a few days he would let me have some shingles for my house. I did so.
On my return I found my children well. I then commenced my house in good earnest. I went to the river and helped take out a raft of lumber which was froze in and took lumber for my pay. I soon had my house covered in, floors laid, etc..
On the first day of January, 1843, I was married to Hannah Flint by Heber C. Kimball at the house of Anson Call in Nauvoo. She had spent most of the time in schoolmaking. We now moved into my new house and in about a month my wife commenced a school in one of the rooms.
Hannah Flint was born July 18, 1806 in Stanton, Orange County, State of Vermont. She had three brothers and two sisters. Anson Call married her sister, Mary Flint October 3, 1833. Rufus Flint, her father was a native of the State of Connecticut, Windham township and his wife Hannah Hawes was a native of Massachusetts, Worcester county from whence they emigrated to the State of Vermont, afterwards to the State of Ohio in the year 1831 and settled in Geauga County, township of Madison, where Anson and his wife, Mary and Hannah Flint became acquainted with the Latter-Day Saints which were then living in Kirtland and united with said Church. Emigrated to the Missouri in the summer of 1838 with the family of Anson Call, purchased eighty acres of land in Ray County which I afterwards exchanged for forty acres on the Wigan's farm above Nauvoo; went with Brother Call's family to the three forks of Grand River in Davis County; had to leave there by the expulsion of the mob and came to Far West and from thence by the order of Governor Boggs left the State for Illinois; then employed myself for the most of the time in school, keeping about Warsaw when we were married.
The winter was very hard. The Mississippi River being frozen over on the 10th day of November and continued frozen so the brethren from Iowa came to the conference on the 6th day of April on the ice.
In the spring I went grafting fruit trees with Anson Call down in Pike County and saw the mound on the bluffs of the Mississippi near a little town by the name of Kinderhook where Mr. Wiley with others took some plates a week or so before. The facsimile I herewith enclose.
May 24, 1843, I left Nauvoo for the Black River pinery with Bishop George Miller for the purpose of helping to bring down lumber, etc. for the temple and Nauvoo house. We went as far as Praise La Cross on the Mississippi River by the steam boats then took it on foot for one hundred miles up the Black River, there being no regular trail. We could find we were lost some two days but at length found ourselves within forty miles of the mills at the Black River Falls. I immediately the next day started from the Black River with a raft with Henry W. Miller when at the Lake near the mouth of the river we met Brother Cunningham with his boat load of provisions which started from Nauvoo some six weeks before. We had a small keel boat with us that we had brought down for the purpose of taking back with us provisions which were much needed at the Mills so we took a part of Brother Cunningham's provisions from his boat and then both boats started up the river manned with about ten men to each boat. The river being high and the current strong we were forced to make our way by taking hold of the brush at the bow of each boat and running back to the stern and so continuing through the day. We went twenty five miles per day.
After arriving at the mills all hands were employed in rafting logs to the saw mills a
Joseph Holbrook's Timeline
January 16, 1806
Florence, Oneida, New York, United States
January 21, 1832
Allegany County, NY, USA
January 21, 1832
Albany County, New York, United States
January 6, 1833
November 26, 1833
Weathersfield, Genessee , New York, USA
January 31, 1837
Caldwell County, MO, USA
January 27, 1839
February 11, 1840
Ramus, Hncck, IL
August 31, 1841
Webster, Hancock County, IL, USA