Salt Lake City, Utah - April 7, 1884
“What I Remember”
Emily Dow Partridge Smith Young
I have been requested to write a short sketch of my life, and as I have kept no journal of my early days, I will have to depend mostly upon my memory and get my dates from Joseph, or the Church history.
I was born on the 28th of February,1824, in Painsville, Geauga Co., Ohio. I was the third daughter of Edward and Lydia Clisbee Partridge. My parents emigrated from Massachusetts to Ohio where they became acquainted and married. My father was doing a thriving business as a hatter. He had accumulated considerable property and had provided a very pleasant and comfortable home for his family. I was quite young when I left Ohio, but I will try and tell you some of the things I remember about the home of my earliest childhood.
I remember a frame house with one large room and two bedrooms on the first floor. Opening from Mother’s bedroom were two closets, one large and one small. The large one was fitted up with shelves and was used for a kind of store room. The half story above consisted of one large and one small bedroom and a clothes closet. On the landing at the top of the stairs were large bins for storing flour meal and so forth. The front door opened into an entry or short hall. The stairs went up from this entry. The kitchen was in the basement. Opening from the kitchen was a dark vegetable cellar which was sometimes used for shutting up the children when they needed punishing.
I remember once that my sister, Harriet, was shut in the dark, and how sorry I was for her, for to a child darkness has all the horror imaginable. I do not remember of ever having been shut in there myself, but if I was not, it was because I was not old enough, not because I did not deserve it, for I was the most mischievous of the whole flock.
The well with the “Old Oaken Bucket” was near the kitchen door. The front yard was a green plot with rose bushes and sweet briar growing under the front windows. Back of the house was a garden with red and white currants (no black and yellow currents such as grow so luxuriant in these mountains were ever seen there). I remember an arbor, or summer house as we called it, with seats on both sides and covered with grapevines with clusters of blue grapes hanging among the leaves and twigs, beyond our reach as one might suppose; but children, though small, will find some way of getting such things and we were not exceptions to the rule. I think the grapes were Isabella’s, for I never ate Isabella grapes without thinking of my father’s garden.
I remember a variety of flowers, such as pinks, daffodils, blue bells, lily, iris, snowballs, etc., that lined each side of the path leading from the house to the arbor. And then I remember the patches of tall grass – almost as high as my head was then, and now we children would tie the top of the grass together to make houses for our dolls. I remember the delicious cling-stone peach that grew near the back of the house, the cherry tree that stood in the corner of the lot, and the large weeping-willow near the shop. There was a flat embankment running the whole length of the house at the back, and a frame covered with grapevines, both shading the house and making a nice place for the children to play, and we took possession of it – not that we played there all the time by any means, for we were like gypsies roaming around from one place to another, and we were not stinted for room as some children are in large cities.
Not far from the house, next to and facing the street, was Father’s hat store, and how I used to rummage under the counter child-fashion, looking for treasures such as bits of red, blue, gilt, and green feathers, such as are used to line hats and boys caps, and oh, how I would sometimes bump my head when I would raise up and then how I would cry. Joining onto the back of the store was the shop where hats were made. In the center of the room was a large iron kettle shaped something like our bathtubs. It was fitted into a furnace, and it was for coloring hats. Above the kettle was a large wheel with pegs to hang the hats on to be colored. The wheel was kept turning so that the hats were into the dye and then into the air and then into the dye, and in that way they were prevented from spotting. In coloring black, the light and air is very essential to make a good color. In this same room there was a screen with a spout that drained into a barrel in the cellar. It smelled very much like the old fashioned blue dye. I remember upstairs the long table where the workmen pulled and shipped the furs. I remember the implements they used, even the thumbcots, and the shape of the hats before they were blocked and furred. After they were pressed, the blocks that would fall to pieces when they were taken out of the hats.
Further back in the lot was a large frame barn, and a large yard full of black fowls, and sometimes the cow and horse would stand there. The hay in the barn loft also made a good place for us to play, and we would ransack the hay for hen’s nests, and when we found one full of eggs, we were as happy as if it was a gold mine. On the corner of the place was a large vacant lot (but it was all fenced in with the rest, and I presume Father had preserved it to sometime build a nice house), covered with green grass, where we would spend most of our time playing with packing boxes. We would build houses by placing boxes in a position to make a good many different sized rooms, and when we got tired of one kind of house, we would change it by placing the boxes in a different position, and so we would roll these boxes from one side of that piece of ground to another, and we always had plenty of help from the neighbor’s children.
But with all the abundance of play ground that we had, it seems that I was not satisfied, but would run away to the neighbors, and then I would be brought back and tied up to Mother’s bedstead with a long rope that would reach to the sitting room. I used to cry a little, but would soon forget all about it until I would start up again to run away, then the rope would stop me, and then another cry. But they could not keep me tied up always, so I would be off again, and once when I was out in the street, a pet lamb of one of the neighbors took after me, and I really thought it would devour me if I let it overtake me. But I beat him running and got home first. I also remember of being chased by a big boy with whom I was playing in an old house across the street. Of course he only wanted to scare me, but I didn’t know it then and I thought he certainly meant to kill me, and did think so for many years afterwards. It is not a good plan to fool with children, for they take everything in earnest and are apt to form wrong impressions that will be lasting.
My father and mother made a visit to their parents living in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Taking their eldest and youngest children with them, they left my sister Harriet and me with Aunt Phoebe Lee, who lived in another town not far away. There I was again chased by a girl. She got my bonnet and ran home with it. I thought the children in Unionville (the place where my aunt lived) were awful.
Well, I guess you think I remember a good many silly things, but there is one thing I do not remember now, although my eldest sister says that I was once positive that I could remember when my father and mother were married, and I was at their wedding. However, I have no recollection of it now.
Well, if you are not too tired I will write a little more of my youthful recollections. I used to sleep in my mother’s bedroom in the little trundle bed, but one morning when I woke up I was in the spare bedroom in bed with my little sister. When we got up we were shown the little dead baby boy, and oh, how sorry we were that he was dead, for we had never had a little brother before. (He was named in the St. George Temple Clisbee Partridge.) He was Mother’s fifth child.
I remember my little playmates. There was one, little Edward Huntington. I called him my baby because I loved him the best of all. Of course, in children the motherly instinct predominates. And then there was Lucy Phelps and Mary Ann Steel, and the little lame girl whose name was Dorthia Ann Payne. What a treat it was when she could let me take her crutches for a little while. I thought I would almost be willing to be lame if I could have such a nice pair of crutches. And then there was Sarah Granger who was very small for her age. Her uncle with whom she lived used to call her Pony. Yes, and I remember the big unruly boy that was tied up in the shop, and how sorry I was for him. He was sometimes tied up because he would run away. He was a poor, friendless boy whom nobody could do anything with, and the town officers got Father to take him and teach him a trade, and try to make a good boy of him. His name was Harlow Castle. I sometimes wonder what became of him, and if he really was a bad boy or whether people just had no patience with the friendless boy. I wonder if he is still alive, and if he remembers the little black-eyed girl that would come in the shop and look on him with such pity because he was tied up, for this little girl had been tied up too for running and away and knew how to feel for him.
I think I must have had a rummaging disposition, for I remember every nook and corner of the house, store, shop, and from garret to cellar, inside and out. I remember the orchard that was in another block, and the pasture land that was down in the woods where we would go in a wagon to gather chestnuts and butternuts. I remember we had plenty to eat and wear, and sometimes would ride in a spring wagon, and I wore the sweetest pink calico dress that ever was, and little yellow shoes. Harriet had a pink dress too, but it was not so pretty as mine (or so I thought).
Well, I think my father must have been almost a rich man when I look back and consider the amount of property he owned. But when Mormonism, came, our home went. Whether it was sold or not I do not know, but I have never had such a home since.
It was sometime in the year 1830 that four elders came to Ohio. Their names were P. P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmore, and Ziba Peterson. My mother soon believed the Gospel after she heard it, and was baptized by Parley P. Pratt. My father was not so ready to believe it at first, and told them he thought they were imposters. Then Brother Oliver Cowdery said he was thankful there was a God in Heaven who knew the hearts of all men. What they said must have made considerable impression on his mind, for he sent to them, after they had gone to Kirtland, to purchase a Book of Mormon. And then he proceeded to take a trip to New York and see the Prophet for himself. And this is what Brother Joseph says of him (in his history) . . . “It was in December, 1830, that Elder Sidney Rigdon came to inquire of the Lord, and with him came that man of whom I will hereafter speak more, named Edward Partridge. He was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord’s great men, known by his steadfastness and patient endurance to the end.”
Brother Joseph baptized him in the Seneca River on the 11th of December 1830. He then went to visit his relatives who reside in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, anxious that they should hear the joyful tidings that so filled his heart with gladness. He thought they had only to hear to believe it, but, oh now disappointed he was when they rejected him with his joyful news. They pronounced him crazy, and one of his sisters ordered him out of her house and said she never wanted to see him again. What a bitter spirit lays hold of the unbelievers as soon as the truth is presented to them, and those that profess the most religion are the most uncharitable.
When my father returned to New York, his parents sent his youngest brother to accompany him, thinking him deranged and not capable of taking care of himself. But this brother, after arriving in Painsville, received the gospel and was baptized. His name was James Harvey Partridge. They reached home about the beginning of February, 1831.
From New York to home, my father traveled in the company of the Prophet, who was moving his family to Kirtland, which place had been appointed a gathering place of the saints. After his arrival home, his old and most intimate friends (that had been so anxious for him to go and find out the truth of the reports about Mormonism because of his honesty and superior judgment), pronounced him crazy when he declared the Book of Mormon was true.
The saints began to gather to Kirtland from all parts of the country where the gospel had been preached; and as we lived about three miles from the boat landing, our house made a good stopping place for the saints. We had more of them stopping there from that time on while we remained in Ohio. The barn loft was filled with boxes of goods belonging to the Saints. And how I did wish I could see what was in those boxes, but they were nailed up tight and not even a crack was left to peep in. Well, you see, young as I was I had a little of the curiosity attributed to our sex.
On 4 February 1831, my father was called by revelation (D&C 41:9) to be a bishop in Zion, and was ordained to that office soon after. Some time in June following, Brother Joseph, with several of the brethren, started for Missouri, my father being one of the number. They reached Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, about the middle of July. After located in Zion (in Independence, or that town being the center spot) and transacting other necessary business, the brethren returned home, leaving my father to remain in Zion as he had been appointed by revelation to labor in that place and to take up his residence there and send for his family. My mother felt that her trials had begun when my father was called to accompany the Prophet to Missouri. Her children were just recovering from the measles, and the oldest child was still very sick with lung fever. It was a new thing for her to be left alone in the hour of trouble, or to have any responsibility outside of her little family. But she was one of the “staunch and true” and knew it would not do to put the “hand to the plow” and then turn back. She could ever acknowledge the hand of the Lord in her trials as well as her blessings. I think it was a great trial for my father to be left in Missouri. He expressed great anxiety about his family in a letter that he wrote to my mother.
I think it was the first Fall of our stay in Clay County, that a slaughter yard was established on the banks of the river not far from where we lived; thousands of hogs were killed and packed for the market, giving employment to the Saints in that vicinity. The men killing and cutting them up. Some of the Saints, traveling through Painesville to Kirtland and stopping at our house, brought the measles and Mother’s children all took them. Some of them were very sick. When I was recovering from measles, I took the canker, and could not eat for a long time. I well remember the day I could eat a little custard. Oh! how good it was. Mother had company that day and how nice the table looked with the old-fashioned blue and white china. Well, my mouth got well, but my ear was sore for years and I can’t tell you how I suffered with it both from pain and mortification of pride. When my ear did get well, it left me deaf, and I have been deaf (in that ear) ever since.
After my parents had joined the Church, they were seized with the spirit of gathering, as everybody is as soon as they are baptized, and my father bought a house and lot in Kirtland, but he never had the privilege of living there, as you will see.
On the 4th of February, 1831, my father was called by revelation to be the Bishop in Zion and was ordained to that office soon after. Sometime in June following, Brother Joseph, with several of the brethren, started for Missouri; my father being one of the number. They reached Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, about the middle of July. After locating Zion (in Independence) or that town being the center spot for transacting other necessary business, the brethren returned home, leaving my father to remain in Zion, as he had been appointed by revelation to labor in that place and to take up his residence there and send for his family. My mother felt that her trials had begun when my father was called to accompany the Prophet to Missouri. Her children were just recovering from the measles, and her eldest child was still very sick with the lung fever. It was a new thing for her to be left alone in the hour of trouble, or to have any responsibility outside of the care of her little family. But she was one of the staunch and true, and knew it would not do to put hand to the plow and then turn back. She could ever acknowledge the hand of the Lord in her trials as well as her blessings.
and the women and children cutting up and trying out the lard, having a share of all they did, and in this way the people were provided with meat and lard, which was a great blessing at that time. I r emember of going with Mother, and doing what I could to help her, day after day.
While we remained in Clay County the brethren did all they could to regain possession of their homes. They petitioned the governor, employed lawyers, and tried in various ways to gain redress, but all their efforts proved to be of no avail. The Prophet Joseph Smith manifested great anxiety concerning the Saints in Zion. He was constantly writing letters advising them what to do, and sending words of comfort and encouragement. Revelations were given assuring the Saints that the Lord remembered them in their afflictions. A father could not have manifested more love and anxiety if his best beloved son had been in deep trouble, than the Prophet did in regard to the Saints in Missouri and their persecutions.
I think it was a great trial for my father to be left in Missouri. He expressed great anxiety about his family in a letter that he wrote to my mother. It seemed to him a very great undertaking for Mother to break up her home and prepare for such a journey with a family of little children without her husband to advise, and make arrangements for her. For she was then young and inexperienced in such things. My father felt the great responsibility resting upon him and his own words will better express his feelings as he wrote them to Mother than any language of mine can possibly do. He says, “I have a strong desire to return to Painsville this Fall, but must not. You know I stand in an important station; and as I am occasionally chastened, I sometimes feel as though I must fall. Not to give up the cause, but fear my station is above what I can perform to the acceptance of my Heavenly Father. I hope you and I may so conduct ourselves as at last to land our souls in the heaven of eternal rest. Pray for me that I may not fall (fail?) Farewell too for the present.” Dated Independence, August 5, 1831.
My father placed his business in the hands of a young man by the name of Harvey Redfield. His property was sold at a great sacrifice (as much as was sold at all), so much so that his friends pronounced him insane. They could not see what there was in religion to make a man give up all worldly consideration for it. And that is still a mystery to the world and we cannot wonder at it when we realize how little they have in theirs to create hope, or to exchange their worldly comforts for. But ours is different, it is everything. There is nothing in this life so dear to sacrifice for the hope of the future that our religion gives us.
The next season, Mother and her family started for Missouri in a company of saints under the direction of W.W. Phelps and A.S. Gilbert. Mother must have had a great deal to try her on that journey that we as children knew nothing of. What little money she had with her to defray her expenses she was advised to put into the hands of a man who cheated her out of it. We went down the Ohio River to Cincinnati in a keel boat. Then we took a steamboat and went up the Missouri River. It was on this boat that our provision chest was rifled and thrown overboard. We saw it floating down stream and knew it at once. The lid was open and we could see that everything had been taken out but the papers the things were packed in. Once when the boat landed, one of our company, a young woman, Electa Hamberlin, slipped from the plank into the water, but was soon rescued again. When we were about one hundred miles from our destination, we met the ice coming down the river so thick that we could not proceed, and we were forced to land at a place called Arrow Rock.
On the banks of the river there was a log cabin occupied by Negroes. There were two rooms with no windows, the light was admitted through the open door, a common thing then in Negro cabins – and white folks too, sometimes. These Negroes let Mother and Sister Morley have one room. There were about fifteen in number in the two families, but there was a fireplace in the room. We could have a good fire and so keep from freezing. We remained there about two or three weeks, it being very cold weather. At the end of that time, a large Kentucky wagon was procured and the two families and their effects were stowed into it and we started again for Independence. The weather was still very cold, so cold we had to lay by one day again, and that day my father and Brother Morley met us, and anyone who had been in like circumstances can understand how happy we were.
I do not know how we happened to be separated from the rest of the company. Whatever suffering and privations my mother had to endure she never murmured or complained, but rejoiced that she was counted worthy to endure tribulation for the Gospel’s sake. She felt that he had enlisted in a good cause and she looked forward to the happy time that had been promised to the faithful saints, and her religion compensated her for all the hardships she had to endure.
Well, we again started for Independence and when we arrived at that place, we were so jammed and packed in the wagon by the load shifting that we could hardly pull ourselves out. I remember that when I went to get out of the wagon, I could not stir until some of the load was removed. My father had rented a log room of Liliburn W. Boggs, the same that was afterwards governor and took an active part in driving the saints from their homes.
The next winter, houses to rent being scarce, Father took a widow and four children into the room we were in, making twelve or thirteen in the family to sit by one fire and do all the work. Now don’t think for one moment that we were crowded or the children quarreled; perhaps we did though. I don’t remember. We stayed here until Father built a small log house of his own, one room on the first floor and one upstairs, and a cellar. This house was on the corner of the Temple lot or quite near it, about one half mile from the public square of Independence.
About the first thing the saints did after providing shelter for their families was to start a school for the children. The first school I remember attending was in Jackson County. It was in a log cabin and was taught by Miss Nancy Carl. One day the school house was surrounded by a tribe of Indians. The doors and windows were filled with Indian faces, and every crack where the chinking had fallen out we saw Indian eyes. Our teacher went to the door and talked with the chief, but the scholars were as quiet as mice. We were not as used to seeing Indians in those days as the children are now.
Well, everything was different from the home we had left and all seemed so strange in our new home. Plenty of Indians and Negroes, and the white folks were so different in their customs and manner of speaking. It was “I reckon” and “A right smart chance,” and instead of carrying things in their hands, they would “tote” them on their heads. Large bundles, baskets, churns, piggins of milk and water, all were “toted” on their heads. Little children were carried, or toted astraddle of one hip, and women going barefooted in warm weather, and little boys from two to ten years old running the streets with nothing on but a shirt. Everything seemed to be after the style of the back woodsman. When they washed, instead of rubbing their clothes on a wash board, they would “battle them”– that is, they would wet the clothes in strong soap suds, and then lay them on a smooth board, or lot it was out of doors, and then beat them with a smooth stick large at one end and small at the other, called the “battle stick.” Their dress was more for comfort than for looks. I remember a kind woman gave mother one of the day caps. It was made of large figured light calico and had a frill around the front and neck. Perhaps you think she did not wear it, but she did. She was among Romans, or Missourians, and she thought it no harm to do as they did when it suited her comfort and convenience.
The brethren began to build houses and gather around them the comforts of life. In building their houses, they would have raisings. After all the logs were hauled and prepared, then all the men in the neighborhood would turn out and lay them up. Raisings with the men were something like the old fashioned quiltings were with the women. We read in the Prophet Joseph’s history of one in Kaw Township where he helped the Colesville Branch raise their first house, the logs being carried by twelve men, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Some of the houses were built very neatly, the logs being hewn on the outside and inside, and the corners sawed off smooth, and for a log house they looked respectable, but the saints were not to be permitted to enjoy their homes long.
I think it was in ‘32 that the mob began to make threats and commit depredations by night, breaking windows, and shooting into the houses of the saints, and sometimes using abusive language. Father had a large stack of hay in the yard back of his house. One night the mob set it on fire. It made a tremendous blaze. In this manner the mob kept annoying the saints through the summer. The mob were holding meetings and making resolutions to drive out or destroy the Mormons, and as they said in one of their preambles “peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.” I suppose they meant by that, that if the Mormons would hold still while the mob heaped on them all manner of abuse, they would do it peaceably, but if they resisted they would do it by force.
There was considerable excitement at times, not knowing what the mob might do. The brethren would gather nights into our house for protection. They had the room below and the families were upstairs. The men were armed and twice guns went off accidentally. The ball lodged once in the stairway, and once it went through the head of the bed. The brethren would pray together, not as one man, but as many. They did not understand the order of prayer then as we do now. Children had heard so much about the mob that the word was a perfect terror to them. They would often cry out in their sleep and scream “the mob is coming, the mob is coming.”
In the summer of 1833 my youngest brother was born, and when he was about three weeks old, Mother sent me with Harriet to the spring for water. When I looked back I saw the house surrounded by an armed mob. We remained at the spring until they had gone. Then we got our water and went up to the house. They had taken Father (George Simpson was their leader) up into Independence. We did not know what they were going to do with him, it might be kill him, as they had threatened. He had been put in prison once or twice before. After he had been gone awhile I was standing by the window looking the way the mob had gone when I saw two men coming toward the house. One I knew. It was Albert Jackman, a young man. He was carrying a hat, coat and vest. The other I thought was an Indian and as they were coming right for the house, I was so frightened that I ran upstairs. But when they came in, it was our dear father who had been tarred and feathered, giving him the appearance of an Indian. Charles Allen was also tarred and feathered the same day. They had done their work well, for they had covered him with tar from head to foot except his face and the inside of his hands. I suppose hundreds witnessed the outrage. I have heard one woman affirm that she saw a bright light encircle his head while the mob was tarring him. I very well remember the clothes he had on when he went away. They were dark blue. I remember blankets were hung up around the fireplace to screen him while the tar was being scraped off from him.
I think it was the same day that the store was broken down and the goods scattered in the street. The printing office was also demolished and the press type and papers scattered over the ground. Brother Phelps’ family lived in a part of the same building. They were turned out of doors and their furniture broken and things scattered in the streets.
After my father had been tarred and feathered, a man raised a whip to finish up by thrashing him when another man, more humane, laid hold of his arm saying he had done enough. Charles Allen was then stripped and tarred and feathered because he would not agree to leave the County or deny the Book of Mormon. Others were brought up to be served in the same way, or whipped, but for some cause the mob ceased operations and adjourned until Tuesday the 23rd. Elder Gilbert, the storekeeper, agreed to close then, and that may be the reason the work of destruction was suddenly stopped for two days.
In the course of these days of wicked, outrageous, and unlawful proceedings, many solemn realities of human degradation, as well as thrilling incidents, were presented to the Saints. An armed and well-organized mob in a government professing to be governed by law, with the Lt. Governor Liliburn W. Boggs, the second officer in the state calmly looking on, and secretly adding every movement, wailing to the saints, “You now know what our Jackson County boys can do, and you must leave the county,” etc. When Bishop Partridge, who was without guile, and Elder Charles Allen walked off amid the horrid yells of an infuriated mob, coated like some unnamed unknown biped; one of the sisters cried aloud, “While you who have done this wicked deed must suffer the vengeance of God, they having endured persecution can rejoice from henceforth, for them is laid up a crown eternal in the heavens.” Surely there was a time of awful reflection, that man, unrestrained, like the brute beast may torment the body; but God in return will punish the soul . . .
While the destruction of the printing office and store was going on, two young girls, nieces of A.S. Gilbert, had run out of the house and hid in the corner of the fence and were watching the mob. When they saw them bring out a table piled up full of papers in the middle of the street, and heard them say, “Here is the book of revelations of the damned Mormons,” they watched their opportunity when the mob returned to the house and ran and gathered up as many of the papers as they could hold in their arms and ran into a corn field and hid. The mob soon discovered them running with the papers and followed them, but could not find them. The corn fields there were very large and the corn stalks grew so high that they were almost like young forests, and it was an easy matter for a person to get lost in them. These two girls had run so far that they were lost, but after a while succeeded in finding their way out. They went to an old shanty where they found the family of Brother Phelps trying to make themselves a little comfortable. Sister Phelps took the Revelations and hid them in her bed. And this is how a few of the revelations were preserved. The names of those girls were May E. and Caroline Rollins.
I remember most of the circumstances that transpired at that time, but I was too young to remember the particulars well enough to tell them. I was now about 9 years old and had been baptized in a creek not far from Independence by John Corrill.
After the mob had ceased yelling and had retired, and while evening was spreading her dark mantle over the unblushing scenery as if to hide it from the gaze of day, men, women and children who had been driven from their homes by the yells and the threats of the mob, began returning from their hiding places in thickets and cornfields, woods and groves, and viewed with heavy hearts the scenes of desolation and woe. While they mourned over fallen man, they rejoiced with joy unspeakable that they were counted worthy to suffer in the glorious cause of their divine master. There lay the printing office a heap of ruins, Elder Phelps’ furniture strewn over the ground as common plunder, the Revelations, book work, papers and press in the hands of the mob as booty of highway robbers. There was Bishop Partridge in the midst of his family with a few friends endeavoring to scrape off the tar, which from eating his flesh seemed to have been prepared with lime, pearlash, acid or some flesh-eating commodity to destroy him, and there was Charles Allen in the same awful condition. As the heart sickens at the recital, how much more so at the picture?
More than once these people in the boasted land of liberty were brought into jeopardy and threatened with expulsion or death because they wished to worship God according the revelations of Heaven, the Constitution of their country, and the dictates of their own conscience. Oh liberty, how art thou fallen, alas: Clergymen, where is charity? In the smoke that ascendeth up forever and ever.
Early in the morning of the 23rd of July, the mob again assembled, armed with weapons of war and bearing a red flag, whereupon the elders, led by the spirit of God, and in order to save time and stop the effusion of blood, entered into a treaty with the mobbers to leave the County within a certain time, etc. The execution of this treaty presented an opportunity for the brethren in Zion to confer with the Presidency in Kirtland concerning their situation which they improved by dispatching O. Cowdry as special messenger after a delay of three days.
After word had been received from Kirtland, the brethren in Zion sent a petition to Daniel Dunklin, Governor of the State of Missouri, which petition can be found in Joseph’s History, in the 6th volume of the Times and Seasons, also his ready communication between Kirtland and Zion was uncertain as the mob intercepted letters sent back and forth. The saints engaged lawyers– Wood, Reese, Doniphan and Atchison, my father and Elder Phelps giving their note for one thousand dollars as a retaining fee, endorsed by Gilbert and Whitney.
This so enraged the mob that no sooner had the word spread among them that they began to congregate and prepare for battle. Thursday night, the 31st of October, gave the saints in Zion abundant proof that no pledge, written or verbal, was to be regarded any longer, for on that night, between forty and fifty in number, many of whom were armed with guns, proceeded against a branch of the church west of Big Blue, and unroofed and partly demolished town dwelling houses. And in the midst of the shrieks and screams of women and children, whipped and beat in a savage and brutal manner several of the men, and with their horrid threats frightened women and children into the wilderness. Such of the men as could escape fled for their lives, for very few of them had arms, neither were they embodied, and they were threatened with death if they made any resistance. Such therefore as could not escape by flight received a pelting of rocks and a beating with guns and sticks, and so forth.
On Friday, the 1st of November, women and children sallied forth from their gloomy retreat to contemplate with heart-rending anguish the ravages of a ruthless mob, in the mangled bodies of the husbands, and in the destruction of their homes and some of their furniture. Houseless and unprotected by the arm of the crude law in Jackson Co., the dreary month of November was staring them in the face and loudly proclaiming an inclement season at hand. And continued threats of the mob that they would drive out every Mormon from the county, and the inability of many to move because of their poverty caused an anguish of heart indescribable.
That night, a party of the mob proceeded to attack a branch of the saints on the prairie, about twelve or fourteen miles from the village. Two of their number were sent in advance as spies, namely Robert Johnson and one Harris, armed with two guns and three pistols. They were discovered by some of the saints and without the least injury being done to them, said Johnson struck Pratt over the head with the breech of his gun, after which they were taken and retained until morning, which it was believed, prevented a general attack by the mob that night. In the morning they were liberated without receiving the least injury.
The same night, another party in Independence began stoning houses, breaking down doors and windows and destroying furniture, etc. This night the brick part attached to the house of A.W. Gilbert was partly pulled down and the windows of his dwelling broken into with brick bats and rocks, while a gentleman stranger lay sick in his house. The same night, three doors of the store of Messrs., Gilbert and Whitney were split open, and after midnight, the goods lay scattered in the streets, such as calicos, handkerchiefs, shawls, cambric, etc. An express came from the village after midnight to a party of their men (the Mormons) who had embodied about half a mile from the village for the safety of their lives, stating that the mob were tearing down houses and scattering goods of the store in the streets. The main body of the mob fled at the appearance of this company.
I think that this body of men, who were stationed a half mile from the village, were those that were gathered at my father’s house that I have mentioned before. One Richard McCarthy was caught in the act of throwing rocks and brick bats into the doors while the goods lay strewn around him in the streets was immediately taken before Samuel Weston, Esq., and a complaint was then made to said Weston and a warrant requested that McCarthy might (not?) be rescued, but said Weston refused to do anything in the cause at that time. Said McCarthy was then liberated. That same night, some of their houses in the village (in Independence) had long poles thrust through the shutters and sash into rooms of defenseless women and children from where their fathers and husbands had been driven by the dastardly attacks of the mob which were made by ten, fifteen, or twenty men upon a house at a time.
Saturday, the second of November, all the families of the saints in the village moved about half a mile out with most of their goods and embodied to the number of thirty for the preservation of life and personal effects. This night a party from the village met a party from the west of the Blue and made an attack upon a branch of the located on the Blue about six miles from the village. Here they tore the roof from one dwelling, and broke open another house, found the owner David Bennet sick in bed, whom they beat most inhumanly, swearing that they would blow out his brains and discharging a pistol, the ball of which cut a deep gash across the top of his head. In this skirmish a young man of the mob was shot in the thigh, but by which party remains yet to be determined.
The next day, Sunday, November 3rd , four of the men, namely, Joshua Lewis, Hiram Page, and two others, were dispatched for Lexington to see the circuit judge and obtain a peace warrant. Two called on Esq. Silver, who refused to issue one because he had declared his fears of the mob. This day, many of the citizens professing friendship advised the saints to clear from the county as speedily as possible for the Saturday night’s affray had enraged the whole county; and they were determined to come out on Monday and massacre indiscriminately, and in short, it was proverbial among the mob that “Monday would be a bloody day.”
Monday came, and a large party of the mob gathered at the Blue and took a ferry boat belonging to the Church, threatened their lives, etc. But they soon abandoned the ferry and went to Wilson’s store about one mile west of the Blue. Word had previously gone to a branch of them several miles west of the Blue that the mob were destroying property on the east bank of the Blue and the sufferers there wanted help to preserve their lives and property. Nineteen men volunteered and started to their assistance, but discovering that fifty or sixty of the mob had gathered at Wilson’s, they turned back. At this time, two small boys passed on their way to Wilsons, who gave information to the mob that the Mormons were on the road west of them. Between forty and fifty of the mob immediately started with guns in pursuit.
After riding about two and a half miles they discovered them, when the said company of nineteen immediately dispersed and fled in different directions. The mob hunted them, turning their horses into a cornfield belonging to the saints, searching their cornfields and houses, threatening women and children that they would pull down their houses and kill them if they did not tell where the men had fled. Thus they were employed in hunting the men and threatening the women until a company of thirty of the saints from the prairie, armed with 17 guns, made their appearance. The former company of nineteen had dispersed and fled, and but one or two had returned to take part in the subsequent battle. On the approach of the latter company of 30 men, some of the mob cried, “Fire, God dame ye; fire.” Two or three guns were then fired by the mob, which were returned by the other party without loss of time. This company is the same that is represented by the mob as going forth in the evening of the battle bearing the love branch of peace.
The mob retreated early after the first fire, leaving some of their horses in Whitmore’s cornfield, and two of their number, Hugh L. Bareale and Thomas Linvill, dead on the ground. Thus fell H.L. Bareale, who had been heard to say “With ten fellows I will wade to my knees in blood, but I will drive the Mormons from Jackson County.” The next morning the corpse of said Bareale was discovered on the battle ground with a gun by his side. Several were wounded on both sides, but none mortally, but one barber on the part of the saints expired the next day.
This battle was fought about sunset Monday, November 4th , and on the same night, runners were dispatched in every direction under pretense of calling out the militia, spreading as they went every rumor calculated to alarm and excite the unwary, such as that the Mormons had taken Independence, the Indians had surrounded it, being in league together. The same evening, not being satisfied with breaking open the store of Gilbert and Whitney (Bishop Newel K. Whitney) and demolishing a part of the dwelling house of said Gilbert the Friday night previous, they permitted said McCarthy who was detected on Friday night as one of the breakers of the store doors, to take out a warrant and arrest the said Gilbert and others of the saints for a pretended assault and false imprisonment of said McCarthy.
Late in the evening when the court was in progress with their trial, in the courthouse as was believed, perceiving the prisoners to be without council and in imminent danger, advised said Gilbert and his brethren to go to jail as the only alternative to save life, for the north door was already barred and an infuriated mob thronged the house with a determination to beat and kill, but through the interposition of this gentleman, Samuel C. Owens, the clerk of the county court whose name will appear more full hereafter, said Gilbert and four of his brethren were committed to the jail of Jackson County, the dungeon of which must have been a palace compared with the court room where dignity and mercy were strangers, and naught but the wrath of man in horrid threats stifled the ears of the prisoners.
The same night, the prisoners Gilbert, Morrill and Morley were liberated from jail that they might have an interview with their brethren and try and negotiate some measures for peace. On their return to jail about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, in custody of the deputy sheriff, an armed force of six or seven men stood near the jail and hailed them. They were answered by the sheriff who gave his name and the names of his prisoners, crying, “Don’t fire, don’t fire, the prisoners are in my charge.” They, however, fired one or two guns when Morrill and Morley retreated, but Gilbert stood with several guns presented at him, firmly held by the sheriff. Two of them, more desperate than the rest, attempted to shoot, but one of their guns flashed and the other misfired. Gilbert was then knocked down by Thomas Wilson, a grocer in the village. About that time a few of the inhabitants arrived, and Gilbert again entered the jail, from which he with three of his brethren were liberated about sunrise without further prosecution of the trial. William E. McClellin was one of the prisoners.
On the morning of the fifth of November, the village began to be crowded with individuals from different parts of the county with guns, etc., and reports said the militia had been called out under the sanction or investigation of Gov. Boggs and that one Col. Pitcher had the command. Among this militia (so called) were embodied the most conspicuous characters of the mob, and it may truly be said that the appearance of the ranks of this body was well calculated to excite suspicion of their terrible designs. Very early on the same morning several branches of the received intelligence that a number of their brethren were in prison, and the determination of the mob was to kill them, and that the branch of the near Independence was in imminent danger as the main body of the mob was gathered at that place.
In this critical situation about one hundred of the saints from different branches volunteered for the protection of their brethren near Independence and proceeded on the road to Independence and halted about one mile west of the village where they awaited further information concerning the movement of the mob. They soon learned that the prisoners were not massacred and that the mob had not fallen upon the branch of the church at Independence as was expected. They were also informed that the militia had been called out for their protection, but in this they placed little confidence for the body congregated had every appearance of a county mob, which subsequent events fully verified in a majority of said body. On application to Col. Pitcher, it was found that there was no alternative but for the saints to leave the county forthwith and to deliver into his hands certain men to be tried for murder said to have been committed in the battle of the evening before. The arms of the saints were also demanded by Col. Pitcher.
Among the committee appointed to receive the arms of the were several of the most unrelenting of the July mob committee who had directed in demolishing the printing office and the personal injuries of that day, namely, Henry Chiles, Alma Staples, and Lewis Franklin, who had not ceased to pursue the saints from the first to last with feelings of the most hostile kind. These unexpected requisitions of the Colonel made him appear like one standing at the head of civil and military law, taking a stretch beyond the constitutional limits of our Republic. Rather than submitting to these unreasonable requirements, the saints would cheerfully have shed their blood in defense of their rights, the liberties of their country; and of their wives and children; but the fear of violating law in resisting this pretended militia, and the flattering assurance of protection and honorable usage promised by Lt. Gov. Boggs, in whom they had reposed confidence up to this period, induced them to submit, believing that he would not tolerate so gross a violation of all law as had been practiced in Jackson County.
But the great change that may appear to some in the views, design and craft of this man, to rob an innocent people of their arms by strategy and laws, more than one thousand men, women and children to be driven from their homes among strangers in a strange land of, to appearance, barbarians, to seek shelter from the stormy blasts of winters cold embrace, is so glaringly exposed in the sequel that all earth and hell cannot deny that a baron knave, a greater traitor and a more wholesale butcher or murderer of mankind never went untried, unpunished or unhung. As hanging is the popular method of execution among the gentiles and in all countries professing Christianity, instead of blood for blood according to the law of Heaven, the conduct of Col. Lucas and Col. Pitcher had long proven them to be open and avowed enemies. Both of these men had their names attached to the mob circulars as early as July last, the object of which was to drive the saints from Jackson County. With assurance from the Lt. Gov. and others that the object was to disarm the combatants on both sides and that peace would be the result, the brethren surrendered their arms, number 50 or upwards, and the men present who were accused of being in the battle the evening before gave themselves up for trial. After detaining them one day and a night on a pretended trial for murder in which time they were threatened, brick-batted, etc., Col. Pitcher, after receiving a watch of one of the prisoners to satisfy costs, etc., took them into a cornfield and said to “Clear.”
After the surrender of their arms, which were used only in self-defense, the neighboring tribes of Indians in times of war let loose upon the women and children, could not have appeared more hideous and terrified than did the companies of ruffians who went in various directions, well-armed, on foot and on horseback, bursting into houses without fear, knowing the arms were secured, frightening distracted women with what they would do with their husbands if they could catch them, warning women and children to flee immediately or they would tear their houses down over their heads and massacre them before night. At the head of one of these companies appeared the Rev. Isaac McCoy with a gun upon his shoulders, ordering the saints to leave the county forthwith and surrender what arms they had. Their pretended preachers of the gospel took a conspicuous part in the persecutions, calling the Mormons the common enemy of mankind, and exulting in their afflictions.
On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the 5th and 6th of November, women and children fled in every direction before the merciless mob. One party of about 150 fled to the prairie where they wandered for several days under the broad canopy of heaven with about six men to protect them. Other parties fled to the Missouri River and to lodgings for the night where they could find it. One Mr. Bennett opened his house for a night’s shelter for a wandering company of distressed women and children who were fleeing to the river. During this dispersing of the women and children, parties of the mob were hunting the men, firing upon some, tying up and whipping others, and some they pursued upon horseback for several miles.
On the 5th , Elder Phelps, Gilbert, and McLellin went to Clay County and made an affidavit similar to the foregoing sketch and forwarded the same to the governor by express. The Governor immediately on the reception thereof ordered a court of inquiry to be held in Clay County for the purpose of investigating the whole affair, and meting out justice to all. But alas, corruption, wickedness, and power have left the wretches unshipped of justice and innocence mourns in tears unwiped.
Thursday, November 7th , the shore began to be lined on both sides of the ferry with men, women and children, goods, wagons, boxes, chests, provisions, etc. While the ferrymen were busily employed in crossing the river, and when night again closed upon the saints, the wilderness had much the appearance of a camp meeting. Hundreds of people were seen in every direction, some in tents and some in the open air around their fires, while the rain descended in torrents. Husbands were inquiring for their wives and wives for their husbands, parents for their children and children for their parents. Some had the good fortune to escape with their families, household goods and provisions, while others knew not the fate of their friends and had lost all their goods. The scene was indescribable, and would have melted the hearts of any people upon the earth, except the blind oppressor and ignorant bigot.
The next day, the company were increased and they were engaged in felling small cottonwood trees, and erecting them into temporary cabins, so that when night came on, they had the appearance of a village of wigwams, and the night, being clear, the occupants began to enjoy some degree of comfort. Lt. Gov. Boggs presented a curious external appearance, yet he was evidently the head and front of the mob, for as may easily be seen by what follows, no important move was made without his sanction. He certainly was the secret spring of the 20th and 23rd of July and, as will appear in the sequel, by his authority the mob molded into militia to effect by stratagem what he knew, as did his hellish hosts, could not be done by legal force.
As Lt. Gov., he had only to work and the mob went from maltreatment to murder. The horrid calculation of this second Nero was often developed in a way that could not be mistaken. Early on the morning of the 5th , about one o’clock in the morning, he came to Phelps, Gilbert and Partridge and told them to flee for their lives. Now, unless he had given the order to do so, no one would have attempted to murder after the had agreed to go away. His conscience vacillated on its rocky moorings, and gave the secret alarm to their men. The saints who fled took refuge in the neighboring counties, mostly in Clay County, which received them with some degree of kindness. Those who fled to the county of Van Buren were again driven and compelled to flee, and those who fled to Lafayette County were soon expelled, or most of them, and had to find protection wherever they could, and thus two years of my childhood was passed in Jackson County.
My father moved his family into Clay County across the river to a place near Liberty Landing. Father left most of his provisions in his cellar, not being able to remove them. The brethren rolled up logs till about five or six feet high, then stretched a tent over the top. And such was my home on the banks of the Missouri River in the month of November, 1833, making me 9 years and 8 months, or there about.
On November 12th , between 3 and 4 in the morning, the camp was aroused from their slumber to witness the beautiful and grand sight of the falling stars. The saints beheld it with hearts of rejoicing, being persecuted and cast out from their homes for the sake of religion, and knowing it to be one of the signs of the last days spoken of by the Prophets. And strengthening their faith in the gospel, notwithstanding, they were in deep affliction. Although I was a child at the time, I looked upon the scene with delight. The heavens seemed wrapped in splendor. The appearance was beautiful and grand beyond description. Brother Joseph speaks of it thus, “November 13th , about 4 a.m., I was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at my door and calling me to arise and behold the signs of the heavens. I arose, and to my great joy beheld the stars fall from the heavens like a shower of fire, and I was led to exclaim, ‘How marvelous are thy works, Oh Lord; I thank thee for thy mercy unto thy servant, save me in Thy kingdom for Christ’s sake, Amen.’”
The appearance of these signs varied in different parts of the country. In Zion all heaven seemed enwrapped in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expanse had been hurled from its course and sent lawless through the wilds of ether, some at times appeared like meteors with long trains of light following in their course, and in numbers resembling large drops of rain in sunshine. Some of the long trains of light following the meteor stars were visible for some seconds. These streaks would cut and twist up like serpents writhing. The appearance was beautiful, grand and sublime beyond description, as though all the artillery and fireworks of eternity were set in motion to enchant and entertain the saints and terrify and awe the sinners on the earth. Beautiful and terrific as was the scenery, which might be compared to falling figs or fruit when the tree is shaken by a mighty wind, yet it will not fully compare with the time when the sun shall become black like sack cloth of pain, the moon like blood (Rev. 6 & 13), and the stars shall fall to the earth as these appeared to vanish as they fell behind trees or came near the ground. (Scientists also say stars fell on the 13th of Nov. ‘66, and would again in ‘99.)
November 13th – I cannot say just how long we were camped on the banks of the Missouri River, but I think it was several weeks. The weather began to be quite cold – too cold for camping out. The saints found homes as best they could, endeavoring to keep as close together as possible. Father and Elder John Corrille procured an old log cabin that had been used for a stable, cleaned it up the best they could, and moved their families into it. The two families consisted of fifteen persons, and a man that Father had hired to assist him, Ira Willis, and some of the time, my Aunt Elsie, Mother’s sister, was with us. There was a large fireplace in the room (a good sized one), and I remember blankets were hung up a few feet back from the fire to keep us from freezing, for the weather was extremely cold, so cold that Father’s ink would freeze in his pen as he was writing close to the fire inside of those blankets. We took one side of the fireplace, and Brother Corrill’s family took the other. Perhaps you can imagine a little whether we were crowded or not.
Our beds were in the back of the room, which was cold enough for the polar region. The place was rented from a Mr. Bess (or Best), who lived close by. I remember going into his house one day and their Negro cook gave me a piece of pumpkin pie, the crust was about all there was of it, the pumpkin being about as thick as a case knife. I looked at it pretty sharp before eating it to see if there was any wooly hair in it. All the Missourians owned Negro slaves who did all their work, and I could not understand that they might be as neat as white folks.
The next summer, a log cabin in a Papuan grove was procured for a school and one of our Mormon girls installed as teacher. Many happy hours have I spent at that school, at hours of intermission, in swinging on the long grape vines that hung from the tall trees, or tearing down some of the long and slender ones to jump the rope, or when the scholars got tired of that, we would build arbors of the Papuan branches, which were so brittle and tender that we could break them with ease. The tree grows low and the leaves are large and grow thick together, so that the foliage makes a fine shade. The fruit “papuan,” when ripe is about as long as the banana, and about twice or three times as large around, a greenish yellow on the rind. When broken open it discloses a rich yellow pulp, something like ice cream before it is frozen, perhaps a little thicker. It looks delicious, but when you taste it--oh dear me, it is the most sickish stuff ever tasted. But with all our pleasures, we had some trials.
The revelations and letters that the Jackson County saints received, must have been a source of great comfort and consolation to them in their afflictions, and when the Prophet Joseph came with Zion’s Camp, I can imagine, in some degree, how great their joy must have been and, child as I was, I partook of the joyful spirit of my parent. Some of the brethren of Zion’s Camp, I can imagine in some degree, how great their joy must have been, and, child as I was, I partook of the joyful spirit of my parents. Some of the brethren of Zion’s camp stopped at my father’s and I particularly remember Dr. Darwin Richardson. When Brother Joseph returned to Kirtland, Father either went with him, or soon after, and was absent for several months.
Some of the inhabitants of Clay County sent their children to our school, and they would sometimes tantalize us because of our shabby clothes, steal our handkerchiefs, etc. I felt quite insulted one day by Arabelle Arthur because she said that my mother was ugly. But I knew how to take revenge for nothing in the world made her feel so bad as being called Bella. I have seen her cry over it as if her heart was breaking. One day a playmate told me that my eyebrows grew too thick and heavy for a girl, and I ought to pull them out and make them thinner. I was fool enough to believe her. But, as the process of pulling was too tedious, I took the shears and snipped them off as close as I could cut them. It made me look like a singed cat. I felt terribly ashamed, but there was no remedy until they grew out again. My aunt came to see us about this time and oh, how I did hate to have her see me. But time cured that trouble.
There was, at the time, one great drawback to my happiness, and that was my shabby clothes, for we were now reduced very low in our circumstances – in fact, we had endured many privations since leaving our home in Ohio. Father’s property had been sacrificed for the cause in which he was engaged, and his whole time was spent for the benefit of the Church. I sometimes think that Bishops in these days know but little of what the office of Bishop was in the early days of the Church, in the days of its poverty and inexperience. The poor must be looked after and be supplied. Many grumbled because there was not more for them. To raise money in those days was almost like wringing water out of a dry sponge. When I look back and remember the great responsibility that rested upon Father, his arduous duties, his poverty and privations, and hardships he had to endure, the accusations of false brethren, the grumbling of the poor, and the persecution of our enemies, I do not wonder that he filled a martyr’s grave.
And when I remember his conversations with my mother, and now comprehend in my more mature years, his weariness of soul; it brings to mind a clause of his blessing, which says, “Thou shalt stand in thy office until thou art weary of it and shall desire to resign it that thou mayest rest for a little season.” As I was saying, my poor clothes were my greatest trouble in childhood. How inconsiderate are children. One day Mother sent me to mend my dress, and I got so angry that I sewed a large white patch over the front. The dress was a dark blue calico. Father used to require his children to go to meeting, and I felt badly plagued because of my dress. I believe I have committed more sin, if it might be called so, because of my shabby clothes when a child, than in any other way all my life.
While we were living in Clay County, Father gave me a dress and bonnet that were saved from among the goods that were destroyed by the mob in Jackson County, Mo. I sometimes wish I were an artist, so that I might draw you some pictures, but I will do the best I can with my pen. My dress was a calico, with a stripe of bright pink, and one of bright yellow, about an inch and a half wide, with a black vine and set flower the size of a 25 cent piece. The bonnet was a straw color and nairreno(?). The shape was more like a coal scuttle than anything I can think of. It was trimmed with a wide plain pink ribbon with an only bow on top. When I was rigged up with my new dress and bonnet, and cowhide shoes (for that was all the kind of shoes we could get and we could get them only in the winter), I felt fit to go to meeting or anywhere else.
Now, my children, if you could have seen that little black eyed girl as she was then dressed, and felt as smart, you might laugh a little, as I do myself now when I think of it. But I have gotten over my love of dress now – I care little for such things. If I can be comfortable, and neat and clean, the plainer the better – I am content. One pair of shoes had to last us all winter, and summers we went barefoot.
Well, I suppose I must have been different from the other children in some respects, for I got the impression very early in life, that I was the “black sheep” of the family. And when one day I entered the room where my father was conversing with a woman that had called to see him on business, and heard her ask him if I was his daughter, he answered, “Yes, but she is an odd one,” the idea was firmly settled in my mind. Let me tell you here that if any of you ever have a child that is in any way peculiar, don’t let that child know by anything you may say or do. For many times some of the most noble qualities have been crushed or destroyed while in their undeveloped state because they were not understood. Well, those words of my father sank deep into my mind, and caused me much unhappiness. Many a tear have I shed in my wakeful moments at night, and the impressions I received in childhood lasted me in a measure all my life. I could not tell why it was. I loved my father and mother, sister and brothers with my whole heart, and I yearned for their love and sympathy in return. Characters should not be judged before they are developed. Nothing is perfect while it is in process of formation, and some of the most noble qualities may appear to those not understanding them, the most despicable, in their undeveloped state. For my part, I never could tell what it was, and neither can I to this day, tell what it was that made me the odd one of the family.
I think it was the first Fall of our stay in Clay County that a slaughter yard was established on the banks of the river nearby, which gave employment to the brethren. Thousands of hogs were killed and packed for sale. The men would do the killing, and packing, and the women and children would cut and try out the lard. I remember of going down with Mother to cut lard or do anything that a child could do. In this way, the brethren were enabled to earn provisions sufficient to keep their families from starving.
While we remained in Clay County, the brethren did all they could to regain possession of their homes, they petitioned the Governor, employed lawyers, and tried in various ways to gain redress, but all their efforts proved of no avail. Joseph Smith manifested great anxiety concerning the saints in Zion. He was constantly writing letters advising them what to do, and sending words of comfort and cheer. Revelations were given assuring the saints that the Lord remembers them in their afflictions.
December 12th – an express arrived at Liberty from Van Buren Co., with information that those families which had fled from Jackson County and located there, were about to be driven from that county, after building their houses, carting their winter’s store of provision, grain, etc., forty or fifty miles. Several families are already fleeing from thence. The contaminating influence of the Jackson County mob is predominant in this new county of Van Buren, the whole population of which is estimated to be about thirty or forty families. The destruction of crops, household furniture, and clothing is very great and much of their stock is lost. The main body of the Church is now in Clay County where the people are as kind and accommodating as could be reasonably expected. The continued threats of death to individuals of the church if they made their appearance in Jackson County prevents the most of them, even at this day, from returning to that county to secure personal property which they were obliged to leave in their flight.
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Incidents of the early life of Emily Dow Partridge, written in December 1876, Salt Lake City, Utah. Written by Emily, herself.
I am the third daughter of Edward Partridge and Lydia Clisbee Partridge. I was born on the 28th of February 1824 in Painsville, Geauga County, Ohio. When I was about six years old, my parents joined the Mormons. February 4th , 1831, my father was appointed Bishop by revelation, and soon was called to Jackson County, Missouri. He started soon after and his family followed him as soon as preparations could be made. We traveled mostly by water. We met Father at Arrow Rock about two or three miles from Independence, Jackson County. He rented a house of Boggs, who was afterward Governor of the State. He built himself a house as soon as circumstances would permit and before we had hardly begun to live, as I might say, the mob began to trouble the Mormons. They took my father with the intention of killing. I think they kept him one night, but again released him. He kept hidden for several days, and at night the brethren would gather at our house with their guns to protect themselves from the fury of the mobs. I was upstairs with the family but I could plainly hear them praying.
One day when I was a short distance from the house, I saw the mob ride up and surround the house and take Father away. We did not know what they would do with him. They took him to Independence, a very short distance from where we lived, and tarred and feathered him. A Mrs. James was a witness of the scene and she saw a bright light around Father’s head at the time. A short time after, I stood looking from the window when I saw two men coming toward the house. One I knew, the other I thought was an Indian, and not being much accustomed to seeing Indians in those days, I was very much frightened, and ran upstairs to hide. But soon I learned it was Father; the tar and feathers giving him the appearance of a savage. Brother Albert Jackman came with him to carry his hat, coat and vest.
It was in November 1833 that my father moved his family into Clay County. We crossed the Missouri River at a ferry not far from Liberty Landing. Most of his father’s provisions were left in his cellar, not being able to move it on such short notice. And thus two years of my childhood were spent in Jackson County, Missouri. The brethren cut down small trees and laid them up cob fashion, and when they were five or six feet high they stretched a tent over the top for a roof. And such was my home on the bank of the Missouri River, in the month of November, 1833. I was then in my tenth year.
How Mother managed to live I cannot tell; only the Lord did provide. The children continued to go to school in the log cabin in the Paupau grove, having our pleasures and troubles mixed as a natural consequence of school children, but children’s troubles are generally short lived, and ours did not hinder us from having plenty of fun. We had some sickness in our family while father was absent, but our lives were spared through all our wanderings, until we came to Nauvoo; there death began to make inroads in our family. Some of the brethren purchased land in Clay County, but the Saints had no intention of making a permanent settlement in that place. The spirit of mobocracy continued to manifest itself among the inhabitants of Clay County, and the Saints began to flee from their persecutors. They purchased land in Caldwell County, Missouri, and established a gathering place for the scattered Saints.
Father moved his family into a piece of timber, about three miles from the place where Far West was afterwards located. Father and the brethren that were with him built log huts and prepared us as well as they could for the coming winter. The timber in which we were camped was mostly hickory, and some black walnut, and hazel bushes were plentiful, and all were loaded with nuts, and when the frost came they dropped from the trees and lay so thick on the ground all around us that the children were kept pretty busy gathering them up. We gathered several bushels, and feasted on nuts through the winter, if with little else. As father’s eldest children were all girls, my sister Harriet and I had to act the part of boys and help him with his work, such as milking the cows and going to the prairie and assist him in loading hay, and sometimes we would carry the chain when he surveyed the land. After Far West was laid out, Father built another house and we moved into the city. The Saints from all parts of the world, where the gospel had been preached, began to gather in, and the place was rapidly built up.
Troubles in Kirtland multiplied, until the Saints in that place had to flee to Missouri and the Saints in the West had the Prophet, for the first time, residing in their midst, which they esteemed as a very great blessing. The Saints continued to take up land and settle in the surrounding counties, and peace and prosperity reigned in their midst.
It was not a great while before we had to leave the county in 1833. We crossed the river at Liberty Landing, three miles below the town of Liberty. The men pitched tents for their families and there we stayed until houses could be procured. I will mention one circumstance that happened while we were camped on the banks of the river. We were awakened one night to see the stars fall. The sight was magnificent. It seemed as it every star in the heavens were in motion and falling to the earth all around us, but not near us.
Father and John Corville got a house (or a shell – it could hardly be called a house). The two families moved into the one room that was habitable, and hung up quilts and blankets a few feet back from the fire, and we gathered in there to keep from freezing. We were about fifteen in number. It must have been bitter cold, for I remember the ink would freeze in the pen as Father sat writing close in the corner by the fire.
While we were here, the Camp of Zion came, some of them stopping at our house. My father returned with them to Kirtland, or soon after. I do not remember which, but when he came back, we moved to Far West in Caldwell County, Mo.
I will say here that I was baptized in Jackson County in a creek a short distance from our house when the mob began to harass the Mormons. We did not know how far they would be permitted to go. The word “mob” had a terror in it for the children. My little sister, about three years old, would frequently cry out in her sleep, “the mob, the mob.” My youngest brother was born in Jackson. He was but a few months old when we were driven from our home. Mother had six children at the time, the oldest being about thirteen. I think Father left what provisions he had in his house. We lived very poor from the time Father gave up his business and home in Ohio. I do not remember of there ever being more than one pound of sugar in our house at a time until I left home. Father used to buy it by the barrel, and I suppose I remember stealing, not stealing (the word is too harsh to apply to so young a child), took a handful out of a barrel and getting punished for it.
I think from what I can remember, Father was very well off before he joined the Mormons. I can remember a good home and good surroundings, but he gave it all up for the gospel’s sake.
Father built a house in Far West and began to make his family quite comfortable again when the mob began to annoy the brethren, and Joseph and Hyrum, and some others prisoners. When they had gotten a short way from the city, they set up such a howl as might originate from the damned. They rode through the city exulting in their victory, taking whatever they liked. They rode up to Father’s corral and shot down a few pet cows for beef (our supply of flour was cut off in consequence of the mob and we were without for some time). They were very generous though for they gave Father the hide.
A short time after this, Father with forty or fifty of the brethren were taken prisoners and marched off to Richmond on foot. I have heard Father speak of his suffering being so intense with cold and hunger while on their journey, and then not much better off in jail. He was fed some kind of soup, and they gave him nothing to eat with, so he whittled out a wooden spoon, and brought it home to his children for a keepsake. The remaining saints had to leave the state. Mother’s family was bundled into a wagon with what few things they could take, which was not much, and started in the cold and snow for, well, I don’t know where we started for, but I think anywhere out of the state of Missouri. When we came to the Mississippi River, we crossed over into Quincy. There was a crowd gathered on the bank to see the Mormons. Perhaps they had never seen a Mormon before and they did not know that they were human beings like themselves. Well, I think they saw a forlorn looking set. We remained in Quincy till Father was released from prison.
One of my sisters, another young girl, and I all started out to seek a place to hire out, for we were very destitute. We each obtained a place for a short time, but as it was my first time away from home, I was very glad when Father was released, and he came and moved us to Pittsfield Pike County, Ill. Then my sister, Harriet, and myself again hired out.
When Joseph was released from prison, a place was selected for the gathering of the saints, which was Nauvoo, and we moved to that place. Father took a lot and built his house of canvas and moved us in. We felt very happy to have that much of a home again, at least I did. But the place was unhealthy and the people began to be sick and soon most of the saints were on their beds, and as there were not enough well ones to wait upon the sick, Father had his daughters (that were old enough) go and help nurse. Then, I began to know what it was to be homesick, but I stayed and kept at work as long as I could, even longer.
Things remained as they were for a few months when sometime in the first part of the month, I was really sick. I finally went home to rest a few days, for I thought I was truly tried. I lay down on the bed where I remained some time with a burning fever. When Brother Young and Kimball were starting on their mission to England, they stopped at our tent and administered to me and to my sister, Harriet, who was also sick. My fever broke and I was better for a week or two when I was taken down with the Ague which lasted off and on for a year or more. I think Brother Young and Kimball were sick at the time of their starting on their mission. They had quilts wrapped around them, if I remember right. Being sick we were very uncomfortable in the tent, so Father got a room in the upper stone house, one that was built before the saints moved there. At a steamboat landing, when the wagon came for us, Harriet and myself were on the bed shaking with the Ague. Oh, how I did hate to get up. Father made a bed in the wagon and put us in. When we stopped at the house, I could not move a particle until someone took hold of me. Then the power of motion was restored. We were more comfortable in the house, although we were in one room. There were other families in the house. Hyrum Smith’s family was there. While we were there, my sister Harriet died. She was eighteen years old.
Father had been at work to build a small log house on his lot, and when it was ready, he moved us in. He was overworked and with that and the exposure he had been subjected to in consequence of mobocracy, his strength gave out. He was sick only nine or ten days when he passed away from this earth. The place being small, and my being sick, I was taken to William Laws house, and was more comfortable than I had been for a long time.
I will here mention the kindnes of Brother and Sister William Law to our family in our distressed condition. While my father lay sick, my sister Eliza and I, and some of the other children were sick also, and it was very unpleasant for so many sick to be in one small room. Brother and Sister Law took Eliza and me home with them and showed us every kindness. I felt as though I had almost gone to heaven after all the years of suffering that we had endured, and now to be in such a good house, and to have a comfortable bed to lay upon, with nourishing and palatable food, I almost thought that it was too pleasant to be true.
After Father’s death Brother Law took our whole family home and administered to our wants, and with such good and kind care we began to improve in health, and when we had sufficiently regained our health we went back into our little hut once more.
When I think of the Laws, and what good men they seemed to be, and realize the course they have taken, my soul sorrows and mourns over their fate. Can it be possible that such kindness as they extended to my father’s family will be all lost?
As soon as I was able, my oldest sister and myself saw that we must begin to earn our own living, as we were very destitute in consequence of Father being robbed so many times. The first door that opened for us was to go to President Smith’s, which we accepted. We did not work for wages, but were provided with the necessities of life.
On the 3rd of February, 1841, the Patriarch, Isaac Morley, came to our house and gave us each a patriarchal, or gather’s blessing. Mine was as follows:
“Sister Emily, I lay my hands upon thy head, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and I seal upon thy head a father’s blessing. Notwithstanding thou art an orphan child, the heavens and the earth are stored with blessings for thee.
Thou hast embraced the fullness of the everlasting Gospel in the days of thy life; thy name is registered in the heavens. The angels rejoiced over thee when thou wast born into the kingdom of thy Savior, and if thou wilt ever support the principles that adorn thy sex, thy name shall never be erased from the Lamb’s book of life.
And it thou wilt ask, thou shalt receive intelligence pertaining to the kingdom of God; the heavens and the earth shall unbosom their blessings unto thee; thou shalt have the blessing and gift to speak in wisdom and act in prudence; thy example shall be worthy of imitation to the daughters of Zion; and if thou wilt listen to the voice of wisdom, length of days shalt be given unto thee, and thou shalt have the blessing to see the winding up scene of this generation; peace and tranquility restored to man. Thy blessing shall be handed down to thy posterity from generation to generation, and thou shalt have the blessing to return to the land of thine inheritance. And thou shalt have the blessing to see Ephraim crowned, and to wait upon the table in a day when a feast of fat things are prepared. Thou shalt sing the song of the redeemed. And I ask God my Heavenly Father to enlighten thy mind, to guide thee in the days of thy youth, and lead thee in the path of piety and virtue all the days of thy life, and when thy Savior shall make His second advent crowns of glory shall be sealed upon thy head, and let thy honor and glory be given to God and the Lamb, forever and ever, amen and amen.”
Times were hard and we were very destitute, having been robbed and driven from our homes and possessions so many times, and having had much sickness after we came to Nauvoo, and being afflicted in various ways, consequently we were reduced to extreme poverty. Mother was good at turning her hand to almost anything. She got an old stock, such as men wore at their necks at that time, ripped it up to learn how it was made, and then obtained a block and went to work making stocks to sell. In that way she earned a little to keep her family.
On the fourth of July, 1838, the Saints assembled in Far West to celebrate the day, and I think the spot for the temple was that day dedicated. Our national flag, the stars and stripes, attached to the liberty-pole, floated gaily in the breeze. All were happy and joyful, as none but the Saints know how to be.
My sister Eliza and myself were the oldest of the children and it seemed necessary that we should do something toward earning a living. Eliza had learned the tailor’s trade while in Far West, and was a good seamstress; she had no difficulty in obtaining work; but I, what could I do? I had learned to wash dishes, to sweep and scrub a puncheon floor, and such like things, and the only chance that seemed to be for me was to go out to work. We would think and talk upon this subject day after day, and I think I cried a little, for the thought of having to leave home to me was terrible.
While things, with us, were in this condition, Sister Emma (Smith) sent for me to come and live with her and nurse her baby. It seemed as if the Lord had opened up my way, it was so unexpected, and nothing could have suited me betteer for tending babies was my delight. My sister Eliza, also, went there to live, which make it pleasanter for me and more home-like. Joseph and Emma were very kind to us; they were almost like a father and mother, and I loved Emma and children, especially the baby, little Don Carlos.
They gave me the privilege of attending a school that summer, taught by Brother and Sister Howard Coray. This was the last of my going to school. What little education I have got I received in the log cabin schools, as we were roaming about, being driven from place to place; but I have attained an experience that money cannot purchase.
On the 15th of August, 1841, the baby, Don Carlos, died. John C. Bennett made it his home at the prophet’s house at this time. He was thought to be quite a great man, and had considerable influence for good; but afterwards turned traitor, and sought to injure Brother Joseph by publishing falsehoods. He secretly worked for the destruction of Joseph, and once when the Legion were having a sham battle, Bennet had lain his plan to kill Joseph, and have it thought to be an accident. But the Lord warned Joseph so that he was on his guard, and was preserved at that time. After Joseph was liberated from Missouri, he was again arrested and taken to Springfield for trial and was as usual acquitted.
(The following was taken from hand written pages of Emily D.P. Young by Emily Hardy Blair. It was written on stationary of the Central States Mission in Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri.)
“. . . But as a general thing I was very happy, going to parties and singing school, and riding horse back. One day Emma said, as we had been to many parties we ought to have one and invite the young people in return. Of course that pleased us very much.
We had an excellent time playing games (dancing was not practiced much then), and enjoyed ourselves as only young folks can. Finally as we were about to close, someone proposed that we have one game– ”Poor Puss Wants a Corner,” but that was about the last of our playing games, for dancing was the rage soon after.
The parade of the Nauvoo Legion was a great day with us. Joseph, on his big black horse “Charley” was dressed in his uniform as Lieut. General, and looked grand. Sometimes Emma and others would accompany the officers on horseback, and sometimes in carriages. Once the carriage that Emma was in tipped over, which brought out some disagreeable expressions from the envious, such as– “served her right,” and “I am glad of it,” etc., but nobody was hurt. Emma looked well on a horse. She was a large and noble looking woman. She generally rode the chestnut horse of Joe Dincon’s. . . .”
About the 11th of Feb., Mother Smith came to live at Brother Joseph’s. She was a very nice old lady. Joseph gave her charge to me.
. . . Mother Smith was very sick soon after she came to her son’s to live. About this time O.P. Rockwell was taken prisoner by Missourians, and reports came that new indictments were being put out for Joseph and Hyrum and many others of the brethren by the Missourians, and also that J.C. Bennet was making desperate threats. One day in the latter part of March, Josiah Butterfield came to Joseph and insulted him to the degree that Joseph rose and kicked him out of the house, across the yard, through the gate, into the street. The man made no resistance.
After his return home, the people rejoiced greatly. Several of the brethren and sisters were invited to meet at Joseph’s home to rejoice with him – they had a jubilee and two jubilee songs were sung. About 74 were served at dinner, including the family. There were four tables, Joseph and Emma waiting upon them with their own hands, not sitting down until the third table.
Brother Young was there, although quite feeble, he had been very sick and this was the first he had been out since his convalescence. This was the 18th of Jan, and was also be 15th anniversary of Joseph and Emma’s wedding. About 6 o’clock the company dispersed.
When I was eighteen years old, Joseph said to me one day, “Emily, if you will not betray me, I will tell you something for your benefit.” Of course I would keep his secret, but no opportunity offered for some time to say anything to me. As I was passing through the room where he sat alone, he asked me if I would burn it if he would write me a letter. As I felt very anxious to know what he had to tell me, I promised to do as he wished, and left the room. I began to think that that was not the proper thing for me to do, and I was about as miserable as I ever would wish to be for a short time. I went to my room and knelt down, and asked my Father in Heaven to direct me in the matter. I had nowhere else to go. I could not speak to anyone on earth. I had to stand alone and set for myself. I received no comfort until I went back and watched my opportunity to say I could not take a private letter from him. He asked me if I wished the matter ended. I said I did, and it rested so for some time and I had plenty of time to think, and began to wish I had listened to what he would have said, and began to be as miserable as I was before.
Mrs. Durfee came to me one day and said that Joseph would like an opportunity to talk with me. I asked her if she knew what he wanted. She said she thought he wanted me for a wife. I was thoroughly prepared for almost anything. I was to meet him in the evening at Mr. Kimball’s. I had been helping with the wash all day and I was so afraid somebody would mistrust where I was going that I dared not change my wash dress. So I threw a large cloak over me and said I was going to run over to see Mother, which I did, but did not stay long, and then started out as if going back, but went to the place appointed instead. When I got there, nobody was at home but William and Helen Kimball. I don’t know what they thought to see me there at that hour. I did not wait long before Dorothea Kimball and Joseph came in. Brother Heber told his children that they better go in to one of the neighbors, as there would be a council that evening at their house. Then he said to me, “Vilate is not at home, and you had better call another time.” So I started out with William and Helen, and bid them goodbye.
I started for home as fast as I could go so as to get beyond being called back, for I still dreaded the interview. However, soon I heard Brother Kimball call, “Emily, Emily,” rather low but loud enough for me to hear. I thought at first that I would not go back, and took no notice of his calling. But he kept calling and was about to overtake me, so I stopped and went back with him. I cannot tell you all Joseph said, but he said the Lord had commanded to enter into plural marriage and had given me to him and although I had gotten badly frightened, he knew I would yet have him. So he waited till the Lord told him. My mind was now prepared and would receive the principles. I do not think if I had not gone through the ordeal I did that I would ever have gone off that night to meet him. But that was the only way it could be done then. Well, I was married then and there. Joseph went home his way and I went my way alone. A strange of way of getting married wasn’t it. Brother Kimball married us on the 4th of March, 1843.
I will mention here that soon after I refused to receive a letter, Mrs. Durfee invited my sister, Eliza, and me to her house to spend the afternoon. She introduced the subject of spiritual wives, as they called it in that day. She wondered if there was any truth in the report she heard. I thought I could tell her something that would make her open her eyes if I chose, but I did not choose to. I kept my own council and said nothing. But going home, I felt impressed to tell Eliza. I knew she would not betray me. She felt very bad indeed for a short time, but it served to prepare her to receive the principles that were revealed soon afterward.
While I was struggling in deep water those few months, I received a testimony of the words that Joseph would have said to me, and their nature, before they were told to me, and being convinced, I received them readily.
Things remained as they were for a few months when sometime in the first part of May, Emma told Joseph that she would give him two wives if he would let her choose them for him. She chose my sister and me and helped explain the principles to us. We did not make much trouble, but were sealed in her presence with the full and free consent. It was the 11th of May, but before the day was over, she turned around, or repented what she had done, and kept Joseph up till very late in the night talking to him. She kept close watch of us. If we were missing for a few minutes and Joseph was not at home, the house was searched from top to bottom, and from one end to the other. If we were not found, the neighbor-hood was searched until we were found. She sent for us one day to come to her room. Joseph was present looking like a martyr. Emma said some very hard things. Joseph should give us up. She would rather her blood would run pure than be polluted in this manner. Such interviews were quite common, but the last time she called us to her room, I felt quite indignant and was determined it should be the last, for it was becoming monotonous, and I am ashamed to say that I felt indignant toward Joseph for submitting to Emma. But I see now that he could do no different.
When we went in, Joseph was there, his countenance was the perfect picture of despair. I cannot remember all that passed at that time, but she insisted that we should promise to break our covenants that we had made before God. Joseph asked her if we made the promises she required, if she would cease to trouble us, and not persist in our marrying someone else. She made the promise. Joseph came to us and shook hands with us and the understanding was that all was ended between us. I, for one, meant to keep the promise I was forced to make. Some might think that Emma was justified in the course she took. She might have been in some cases, but when the Lord commands, His word is not to be trifled with. She sought to annoy in various ways. She once proposed to a young man to ask Eliza to take a ride with him, and then give her the mitten and take one of the other girls instead, but the young man would not consent to it.
After our interview was over, we went downstairs. Joseph soon came into the room were I was and said, “How do you feel, Emily?” My heart being still hard, I answered him rather short that I expected that I felt like anybody would under the circumstances. He said, “You know my hands are tied.” And he looked as if he would sink into the earth. I knew he spoke truly, and my heart was melted, all my hard feeling was gone in a moment (toward him), but I had no time to speak for he was gone. Emma was on his track, and came in as he went out. She said, “Emily, what did Joseph say to you?” I answered that he had asked me how I felt. She said, “You might as well tell me, for I am determined that a stop shall be put to these things and I want you to tell me what he says to you.” I replied, “I shall not tell you, he can say what he pleases to me, and I shall not report it to you. There has been mischief enough made by doing that. I am as sick of these things as you can be.” I said it in a tone that she knew I meant it. I was not sick of polygamy for I knew that was a commandment from God, but I was sick of her abuse. I did not know what effect my words might have, but learned afterward that she gloried in my spunk. There were times when I could plainly see the hand of Providence in making a way for my escape.
Emma could not rest until she had gotten us out of the house, and then she was not satisfied, but wanted us to leave the city. She offered to give the money to pay our expenses if we would go. We consulted Joseph, and he said we might make a visit to some of our relatives who were living up the river two or three hundred miles. So we agreed to go, and she gave us ten dollars. Joseph said it was insufficient and for us not to go, so we gave it up and returned the money to Emma.
(Grandmother and her sister, Eliza, live in the Prophet’s home and page 1030 in the D & C commentary it states that Emma Smith gave her consent to the Prophet’s marriage to both of these girls.) (EHB)
Since I have had children of my own, I can realize something of what my mother must have suffered, so somebody had gotten an inkling of what was going on and reported it to her. But when Joseph talked with her and explained the principles, she was perfectly satisfied. Mother had suffered much through her children, not from their sins or wrong doing, but from their sorrows and afflictions. My dear children, I hope you will never know by experience what your parents have suffered.
I got a place (or Joseph did for me) with a respectable family. The lady was very kind to me in some things, and I suppose she meant to be in everything, and I felt very thankful to her, but the work was rather hard. I had to sleep in the same room with her and her husband in order to be where I could get up nights and tend her baby when it was worrisome. Some nights I would get up several times and have sat before the fire nodding for hours trying to get the baby to sleep. I made no complaints, but left when I thought I could stand it no longer.
I do not remember of seeing Joseph but once to speak to after I left the Mansion House and that was just before he started for Carthage. His looks spoke the sorrow of his heart although his words were guarded.
That morning when the word was brought to Nauvoo that Joseph and Hyrum were slain – well, my dear children, I can’t tell you. The bodies were brought to Nauvoo and placed in the large dining room of the Mansion House. The doors were open for all the people to come and take a last look of their beloved Prophet and Patriarch. I went with the rest, as a stranger, none suspecting the extra sorrow that was in my heart. Those were sorrowful times. I cannot even now write this without weeping. I have never been sorry that I yielded obedience at that time. It has been to me as an anchor cast within the veil, and has been a comfort in many dark hours of my life. I called on Emma once after that to see the baby David. She was very gracious, for there was no Joseph to be jealous of then.
Time went on, and the temple was finished. I received my annointing in the same way and again entered into plural marriage. According to the law of proxy, I became the wife of Brigham Young and received my blessings in the Temple at Nauvoo. The Saints were again driven from their homes, and I crossed the Mississsippi River about the middle of February, 1846, and was again without home or shelter, an outcast and a wanderer in the dreary wilderness, without even the necessaries of life. When the people of Nauvoo were forced to leave their homes, I took my infant and crossed the river and was again houseless and homeless in the cold and inclement weather of February 1846. My friends had not yet crossed the river, so I wandered from one fire to another. Some gave me food, others a place in their tent to sleep. President Young had to look after the welfare of the whole people; no very small task. So you will see that he had not much time to devote to his family. But as soon as he could, he made such arrangements for his family’s comfort as his means would admit. We were not very well prepared for such a journey.
I will show you one or two pictures, if you will look on the western banks of the Mississippi River, you will see a large camp of exiled saints, in a heavy snow storm, and if you look a little farther, you can see boats crossing the river loaded with wagons (I am not sure if we crossed on the ice instead of the boats. I think we crossed on the ice) and men, women and children fleeing from their homes, trusting in the Lord for protection and support. Look again. You can see a young woman with a child clasped in her arms, seated on a log, cold and hungry, and a little dejected. You cannot tell what she has on for the snow is falling fast and she is covered with snowflakes. The other is the same camp in another place. I think it is Sugar Creek. Look on the bank of a creek you will see a woman trying to wash. She has placed her boy on the ground close by, but she keeps her eye on him for the bank is very sloping and she fears he will topple over and roll into the creek. Many such pictures might be shown. I don’t expect that you see them as I can, for there are some things connected with them that cannot be portrayed on paper. Sometimes our food was very scarce. A small piece of jonny cake and a little bacon fat to sop it in, constituted a meal. Sometimes we had a little more, and sometimes less.
At one time when my shoes gave out, I put on father’s boots and wore them till I could have a pair of shoes made.
I traveled with the company as far as Pisgah, where a few of the saints were to stop in order to raise crops and recruit themselves and teams. Father Huntington was appointed President. He was my stepfather. I concluded to stop with Mother, for I was not entirely weaned from her yet. It was rather lonesome when the company started on, leaving us in the wilderness without home or shelter. My baby was very sick at the time, which made it seem much worse. The privations and exposures of the journey were too much for Father Huntington. He soon broke down and lay a corpse. He was buried in the soil of Mt. Pisgah.
We had no male friend left, neighbors were some distance from us, but we had gotten into a log hut without any door or window, with a hole in the roof for the smoke to pass out when we had a fire. Mother and all the family were sick that summer. There was generally one of us able to be up at a time. When cool weather came, we began to get better health. There I cut down my first and only tree for firewood. It began to be very cold where we were. Night bands of wolves would surround us, and if they had been disposed, they could have crawled through the crack and come in the door, as there was only a blanket hung up at the door.
The brethren built us a shanty town in the timber. Wood was handier to get and we spent a very comfortable winter.
While in Nauvoo, I had kept my child a secret, and only a few knew I had one. But after I started on my journey, it became publicly known, and people would stop at our house to see a “spiritual child,” and one told me years after that he was the handsomest child she had ever seen. I asked if she didn’t think they are as smart as other children, and she said no, that she did not think they were. There was a good deal of that spirit at that time and sometimes it was very oppressive.
In the spring the saints began to move on to overtake the main camp at Winter Quarters, and as we did not care to stay alone, we picked up and went too. When we got to the Missouri River, we felt like rejoicing. We could look across and see the camp where our friends were. It was not long after that Brother Young started for the Valley, returning before winter. The next spring he started with his family. We were more comfortably fitted out than we had been at any time before, but on account of ill health, the journey was most unpleasant. I do not wish to think of that time.
When we arrived in the valley, we found comfortable rooms prepared for us to go into the fort. The next spring, the people began to move out from the fort and settle on their lots. I moved the 1st of March into a room in Brother Lorenzo Young’s house, and about 9 o’clock that night, my oldest daughter, Emily, was born.
Well, I cannot tell you everything. I will skip over a few months and tell you about my first housekeeping. When some of the saints began to make other settlements, there were quite a number of vacant houses. Your father got one for me in the 12th Ward. The day I was to move, something hindered us, and it was dark before I got started. I did not know where the place was for I had not been to look at it. The road seemed long. I thought we must be going a good way from where I had been but it was too dark to see anything outside of the house. I lit a candle and took a look inside. Well, I don’t know, but if my sister, Lydia, had not come with me to help me, I should have gone back with the team. There was one good sized room with a very good floor, but there was no window except a hole where a log had been cut out. No latch was on the door, there was no heat, and I had to step down one or two feet to get at the fire. I had one chair and one small chest that served for a table. I had six plates, knives and forks, one tin tumbler that served to drink from and also for a candlestick. But enough of this, I did not stay here long.
I moved into a more comfortable house nearer my friends. In 1852 my three children were sick and on the 26th of September, my little Eddie died. I went to stay with my mother for a short time. My youngest child, Carlie, was like a little skeleton. She would not have her hood or shoes and stockings, or any of her clothes off night or day, but she lay so quiet all night that I could hardly tell whether she breathed or not. I think I came nearest giving up at this time than I ever did before or since. It seemed to me that another straw would break the camel’s back, but the straw was not forthcoming.
I had four children after this – one son, Carlos, and three girls, Mamie, Josephine, and Lura. Lura died when about seven months old.
When I look aback and remember the great responsibility that rested upon my father’s head as first bishop– his poverty and privations, and the hardships that he had to endure, the accusations of false brethren, the fault-finding of the poor, and the persecutions of our enemies – I do not wonder at his early death. And when I remember his conversations with my mother, and cannot comprehend, in my mature years, his extreme weariness of soul, it brings to my mind a clause of his blessing, which says, “Thou shalt stand in thy office until thou shalt desire to resign it, that thou mayest rest for a little season.”
I have been associated with this Church almost from my earliest recollection and I have been intimately acquainted with the leaders of this people, and I know they are good men. And I can testify of their worth. They are very far from being the bad characters their enemies represent. And I will say a word for the women. I think there are some of the best women in this Church the world affords.
Written expressly for my children - January 7, 1877
Emily D.P. Young
After these many years, I can truly say, “Poor Emma. She could not stand polygamy, but she was a good woman, and I never wished to stand in her way of happiness and exaltation. I hope the Lord will be merciful to her, and I believe He will. It is an awful thought, to contemplate the misery of a human being. If the Lord will, my heart says to let Emma come up and stand in her place. Perhaps she has done no worse than any of us would have done in her place. Let the Lord be the Judge.
Written November 4, 1883
Emily D.P. Young