Sarah Leavitt (Studevant)

5 Sep 1798 - 5 Apr 1878

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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant)

5 Sep 1798 - 5 Apr 1878
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HISTORY OF SARAH STUDEVANT LEAVITT [Raised in New Hampshire by Presbyterian parents, Sarah Studevant studied regularly the Bible and prayed on her own. Like many early Mormon converts, she was seeking a church similar to the early church described in the New Testament. Sarah married Jeremiah Leavitt
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Life Information

Sarah Leavitt (Studevant)

Born:
Died:

Gunlock Cemetery

98 W 650th N
Veyo, Washington, Utah
United States

Headstone Description

Husband Jeremiah Leavitt II Buried in Boney Parts, Iowa
Transcriber

Głuchy

April 6, 2015
Photographer

toooldtohunt

March 22, 2015

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Sarah Studevant Leavitt

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

HISTORY OF SARAH STUDEVANT LEAVITT [Raised in New Hampshire by Presbyterian parents, Sarah Studevant studied regularly the Bible and prayed on her own. Like many early Mormon converts, she was seeking a church similar to the early church described in the New Testament. Sarah married Jeremiah Leavitt (1797-1846) in 1817, and the young couple moved to Hatley, Quebec, Canada, where Leavitts had been established for some twenty or thirty years. There were Mormon elders in Canada in the 1830's, but none of them found their way to Hatley. A traveler who had attended a Mormon gathering elsewhere loaned the Leavitts a copy of the Book of Mormon and Parley P. Pratt's "A Voice of Warning." "We believed them without preaching," Jeremiah Leavitt later wrote. About 1838, the extended Leavitt family, including nine children of Jeremiah and Sarah, started as a group to gather with the Saints in Missouri. Delays kept them from joining with the Saints at Far West, but they later moved to Nauvoo, and finally to Utah, settling first in Tooele and later in Washington County. The following extract is taken from an autobiographical sketch by Sarah Studevant Leavitt dated April 19, 1875. The sketch was edited and published by Juanita Leavitt Pulsipher (Brooks) in 1919, and an excerpt from the published version has been reprinted here with clarifying material added in brackets and spelling and punctuation standardized. The original is in private possession.] [page 1] [Copied from her history by Juanita Leavitt Pulsipher, June, 1919. I have copied this history exactly as it was written by the hand of Sarah Studevant Leavitt in her record book. The original was very old, yellow and torn, and much of the writings dim; but I was able to decipher it. I have made no effort to revise it in any way, except to put in an occasional punctuation mark or correct an error in spelling. I hope that it may find a place in the hearts and homes of her descendants; that they may profit by her experiences. Juanita L. Pulsipher.] [page 2] April 19, 1875 I was born in the town of Lime, county of Grafton, New Hampshire [date torn off] and am now 76 years, seven months and 15 days old [September 4, 1798]. My father was Lemuel Studevant and my mother was Priscilla Tompson. My parents were very strict with their children, being descendants of the old pilgrims. They taught them every principle of truth and honor as they understood it themselves. They taught them to pray and read the Bible for themselves. My father had many books that treated on the principle of man's salvation and many stories that were very interesting and I took great pleasure in reading them. He was Dean of the Presbyterian Church. For years his house was open to all denominations, so his children had the privilege of hearing the interesting religious conversations, but as I had the privilege of reading the Bible for myself, I found that none of them understood the Bible as I did. I knew of no other way to understand it only as it read. The apostle said, "Though we or angels from heaven preach any other gospel than that which we preach, let him be accursed," and it was very evident to my understanding that they all came short of preaching the doctrine that Paul preached, but I was confident we should have the faith. From childhood I was seriously impressed and desired very much to be saved from that awful hell I heard so much about. I believed in the words of the Savior, that said, "Ask and you shall receive." I prayed much and my prayers were sometimes answered immediately; this was before I made any pretensions to having any religion. When I was 18 years old, the Lord sent me a good husband. We were married at my father's house, March 6, 1817, in the town of Barton, county of Orleans, state of Vermont. The next June we moved to Canada, 15 miles from the Vermont line, into a very wicked [page 3] place. They would swear and drink and play cards on Sunday and steal and do any wicked act their master, the devil, would lead them to. This was very different from what I was brought up to. My father would never suffer any profane language in his house. The next February I had a daughter born. She lived only 12 days. There were some things very strange connected with the birth of this child, which I do not think best to write, but I shall never forget, which I never shall know the meaning of until the first resurrection, when I shall clasp it again in my arms. The next January I had another daughter born. When she was about six months old, I had a vision of the damned spirits in hell, so that I was filled with horror more than I was able to bear, but I cried to the Lord day and night until I got an answer of peace and a promise that I should be saved in the Kingdom of God that satisfied me. That promise has been with me through all the changing scenes of life ever since. When I was getting ready for bed one night, I had put my babe into the bed with its father and it was crying. I dropped down to take off my shoes and stockings; I had one stocking in my hand. There was a light dropped down on the floor before me. I stepped back and there was another under my feet. The first was in the shape of a half moon and full of little black spots. The last was about an inch long and about a quarter of an inch wide. I brushed them with the stocking that was in my hand and put my hand over one of them to see if it would shine on my hand. This I did to satisfy others; as for myself, I knew that the lights were something that could not be accounted for and for some purpose. I did not know what until I heard the gospel preached in its purity. The first was an emblem of all the religions then on the earth. The half moon that was cut off was the spiritual gifts promised after baptism. The black spots were the defects [page 4] you will find in every church throughout the whole world. The last light was the gospel preached by the angel flying through the midst of heaven and it was the same year and the same season of the year and I don't know but the same day that the Lord brought the glad news of salvation to Joseph Smith. It must have been a stirring time among the heavenly hosts, the windows of heaven having so long been closed against all communication with the earth, being suddenly thrown open. Angels were wending their way to earth with such a glorious message--a message that concerns everyone, both in heaven and earth. I passed through all this and not a neighbor knew anything of it, although I prayed so loud that my husband was afraid they would all hear me. After this, there were two of his aunts who came in and commenced talking about being slighted in not being invited to a quilting. I had no relish for any such talk and said nothing. They saw that I made no comment. Being astonished that I was so still, they asked me what I thought about it. I told them I didn't know or care anything about it, and all I cared for was to know and do the will of God. This turned the conversation in the right direction. My telling my experience to these women and the effect it had on their minds was probably of much good, as they spread the news through the neighborhood. The result was, the whole neighborhood was convinced that the manner in which they had spent their time was wrong and instead of taking the name of God in vain, they cried to him for mercy. In short, the whole course of their former lives was abandoned. There were some exceptions, for the leopard cannot change his spots; how then, can men do good that are accustomed to do evil, so says the prophet. But there was a minister who came from the states and formed a church, called the Baptist, which I joined because I wanted to be baptized by immersion. I had been sprinkled when an [page 5] infant, but as I said before, I did not believe in any church on earth, but was looking forward to a time when the knowledge of God would cover the earth, and that glorious time is rolling, all glory to the Lord. I lived very watchful and prayerful, never neglecting my prayers, for I felt that I was entitled to no blessing unless I asked for them and I think so yet. We took a Freewill Baptist paper that I thought always told the truth, but there were a number of columns in this paper concerning a new sect. It had a prophet that pretended he talked with God. They had built a thing they called a meetinghouse, a huge mass of rock and wood, on the shores of Lake Cryenth (I am not sure of the spelling of this word) to make the blue waters of the lake blush for shame. In this Joe would go talk, he said, with the Lord and come out and tell them what the Lord said. But if I should go on and tell all the lies in that paper, how they healed the sick and managed their affairs, it would be too much for me. If you ever read the Arabian Night tales you might guess of what importance they were, for I could compare them to nothing else. No person of common sense would believe a word of it, and yet they wrote it for truth, thinking that would hinder Mormonism from spreading. But in this the devil overshot himself for they were too big lies for anyone to believe. But I will go on with my experience. I had a place that I went every day for secret prayers. My mind would be carried away in prayer so that I knew nothing of what was going on around me. It seemed like a cloud was resting down over my head. And if that cloud would break there was an angel that had a message for me or some new light. If the cloud would break, there would be something new and strange revealed. I did not know that it concerned anyone but myself. Soon after this one of my husband's sisters came in and after spending a short time in the house, she asked me to take a walk with [page 6] her. She had heard the gospel preached by a Mormon and believed it and been baptized. She commenced and related the whole of Joseph's vision and what the Angel Moroni had said the mission he had called him to. It came to my mind in a moment that this was the message that was behind that cloud, for me and not for me only, but for the whole world, and I considered it of more importance than anything I had ever heard before, for it brought back the ancient order of things and laid a foundation that could be built upon that was permanent; a foundation made by Him that laid the foundation of the earth, even the Almighty God; and he commanded his people to build up the kingdom of God upon the foundation he had laid, and notwithstanding the heathen raged and Satan mustered all his forces against the work; it has gone onward and upward for more than 40 years, and will continue until the work is finished. I read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and all the writings I could get from the Latter-day Saints. It was the book of Doctrine and Covenants that confirmed my faith in the work. I knew that no man, nor set of men, that could make such a book or would dare try from any wisdom that man possessed. I knew it was the word of God and a revelation from heaven and received it as such. I sought with my whole heart a knowledge of the truth and obtained a knowledge that never has nor never will leave me. The next thing was to gather with the Saints. I was pondering over in my heart how it was possible for such a journey with what means we could muster. We had a good farm, but could not get much for it, but the voice of the spirit said, "Come out of Babylon, O my people, that you be not partakers of her plagues." From the time the voice spoke so loud, clear and plain to my understanding, I knew the way would be open for us to gather with the Saints. For the Lord [page 7] never gives a commandment to man but what he gives them a chance to obey. From this time we set out in earnest and were ready to start with the rest of the company July 20, 1835. The company was made up of the Leavitt family, Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt and her children, consisting of 23 souls. Franklin Chamberlain, her oldest son-in-law, took the lead. He did not belong to the Church, but his wife did. We had a prosperous journey of 800 miles to Kirtland, Ohio. I had no chance to be baptized and join the Church until I got there. My daughter, Louisa, and myself and some others were baptized at this place and were confirmed. Louisa had been sick for a year, under the doctor's care, and had taken very much medicine, but all to no purpose. She was very feeble, and could sit up but little. She had been in the states with my friends for more than a year. Her father and myself went after her with a light carriage. As she was 18 years old, I gave her her choice to go home with us or stay with my sister. My sister told her if she would stay with her, she should never want for anything, but she said she would go with her father and mother. My sister said, "Louisa, if you ever get well, don't say that Mormonism cured you." So much for her judgment on Mormonism. She was rich, high spirited, and proud and belonged to a church that was more popular than the Latter-day Saints. Now I will go back to my story. We stayed at Kirtland about a week and had the privilege of hearing Joseph preach in that thing the Baptist said they called a meetinghouse [temple], which proved to be a very good house. We went into the upper rooms, saw the Egyptian mummies, the writing that was said to be written in Abraham's day, Jacob's ladder being pictured on it, and lots more wonders that I cannot write here, and that were explained to us. But our money was all spent, we could go no further. We [page 8] had to look for a place where we could sustain ourselves for the present, while the rest of our company went on to Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois. We promised them we would follow them the next year. This was the first of September [1835]. My husband found a place ten miles from Kirtland--Mayfield, a little village with mills and chair factories, and every chance for a living we could wish. Someone asked my husband why he went there. There was everything gathered out of that place that could be saved, but he was mistaken, although it was a very wicked place. There was a man by the name of Faulk that owned almost the whole village. From him we hired a house. It was about 20 feet from his tavern. But they opposed Mormonism, so I said little about it. I thought I would first get their goodwill and then perhaps I could have some influence over them. Of course, so long as they thought me an enemy, it would be of no use to preach over to them. I was persecuted and abused in many ways, but not by Faulk's family. But I paid no attention to vulgar expressions, for I cared nothing about them. I had something of more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones. But it was a hard case when the children would come from school with their noses bleeding and crying, saying that they had been pounded most unmercifully. I went to the teacher very candidly and told her that unless she could stop the scholars from abusing my children, I should have to take them out of school, which I did not want to do. She said she would. I wanted very much to get the goodwill of my neighbors, for I knew that I could have no success in preaching Mormonism unless I did and I was so full of that spirit it was hard to hold my peace. Consequently, I mingled in the society of all, was cheerful and sociable as though I was a great friend, [page 9] but kept on the side of the truth and right. I would go into the tavern when they had balls and help set the table and wait on ladies and was very sociable and talkative. By and by, being free with all, I soon got the goodwill of some of them. If we had commenced telling them of their faults and that they were all wrong, which was the case, and they must repent or they would be damned, we could not have gotten along in that place but should have had to leave. My husband said nothing, only what was necessary to get employment. He got plenty of work with his team, so we got plenty to live upon and something to lay up. But we were watched mighty closely to see if they could discover dishonesty in our dealings. But as they could find nothing to complain of they thought they would leave us alone. There were some that had the mob spirit insomuch that they said Louisa should have a doctor. She was then confined to her bed. They were going to take our team to pay the doctor, so I heard. I thought she had already taken too much medicine. I lay pondering on our situation, thinking we should be undone if our team was taken from us, and prayed earnestly to the Lord to let us know what we should do. There was an angel who stood by my bed to answer my prayer. He told me to call Louisa up and lay my hands upon her in the name of Jesus Christ and administer to her and she should recover. I awakened my husband, who lay by my side, and told him to get up, make a fire, and get Louisa up. She would listen to him sooner than to me, to tell her that an angel had told me to lay my hands upon her head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and administer to her in His name and she should recover. She was perfectly ignorant of Mormonism; all she had ever heard about it was in Kirtland, what few days we stayed there and what we had told her. Her mind was weak, indeed, but she got up and I administered to her in faith, having the [page 10] gift from the Lord. It was about midnight when this was done and she began to recover from that time and was soon up and about, and the honor, praise and glory be to God and the Lamb. So you see, our enemies were defeated in their plan, but knew nothing of the cause of her recovery. We had only been in the Church a short time, perhaps two months. About this time I had a dream. I dreamed there was a deep hole in the place that looked very black and muddy, but there were lots of fish in the hole if by any means we could catch them. It was such a filthy-looking place that it would be a job to get near enough to put a hook in, but I thought I would try. So I got a hook and line and bait and went, and after much trouble I got near enough to throw in my hook. There was a shark in the hole that took the bait every time; I saw that it was of no use to try to catch fish until the shark was out of the way and so I went to fishing for the shark and I soon caught it. It was a savage-looking creature. Then I could catch fish. I caught many fish which pleased me well. After this dream I was sensible that people in that place could be saved, although their outward appearance would indicate no salvation for them. Mr. Faulk, the man in whose house we lived, was noted for his wickedness. He ran headlong into everything that would come in and satisfy his carnal desire, but I had gotten his goodwill, so that he would come in often and have a talk with me. I discovered that there were some good stripes in the man. At last I told him I had some books I wanted him to read, he might have them if he would read them. I gave him the "Voice of Warning." He took it home and read it. Then I gave him other books, all explaining the latter-day message, and at last the Book of Mormon. He would ask questions and answer to my questions, but I could not find out what his mind was concerning what he had [page 11] read. But as it proved afterwards, he believed it to be the truth. There was one of his companions that was often with him who was thrown from his horse and had three of his ribs broken, which caused him great distress. His wife was a good woman for a gentile, but the neighbors neglected her on account of her having such a wicked husband. I would go in and help her all I could. I was talking with one of them and told her that Mrs. Carpenter had too hard a time. She was almost worn out waiting on her husband night and day; the neighbors ought to help her more. She said he was such a wicked man--let him suffer. She did not know that he ought to have much help. I told her she made me think of the words of the Savior to the Jews. He said, "Think not that them on which the Tower of Silom fell and slew were sinners, above all others. I tell you, except you repent you shall all likewise perish." So I say to you, Peter Carpenter was perhaps ahead of you in sin, but you are not on the road to happiness and must alter your course or you cannot be saved. One Saturday night after I had gotten ready for bed, I told my husband that we would go into Carpenter's and if they had watchers we would stay and watch with them. We went in and found him without a watcher and groaning in great distress, and he said that he had had no rest for 24 hours, [and was] screaming to the Lord to have mercy on him. At last I went to the bed and asked him if he meant what he said, if he really wanted the help of God. He looked up and said, "Do you think there is any mercy for me?" I told him I did not know, but I would pray for him and then I could help. I knelt down and prayed and while I was praying the pain all left him and he went to sleep. He was then going to gather up what he had and go with the Mormons. I told him if he would forsake his former practices and do right in all things as duty was [page 12] made known to him he should not only get well, but he would be saved. I said a good deal to him, but I don't remember what so as to write it. The next day--Sunday--I went in. The house was full of people so that I had hard work to get to the bed. He looked up to me and said, "Mrs. Leavitt, if I could feel as well as I did last night when you prayed for me, I should want you to pray again. I told him that if I could do so and do any good by praying I would and I knelt down in the midst of all that gentile throng and the Lord gave me great liberty of speech. I prayed with the Spirit and understanding, also to Him be the glory. The people were astonished and began to think there was some truth in Mormonism notwithstanding the bad reports about them. After this we were treated with respect and Carpenter began to recover and soon became able to walk the streets. He went to the tavern and joined with his old companions, drinking and frolicking, and he was soon down again as bad as ever. I went in to see him. He looked up and said, "Mrs. Leavitt, you said I would get well and here I am again." "Mr. Carpenter," said I, "on what conditions did I tell you that you should get well?" I went on and related to him the conditions. "And instead of you complying with the conditions, as soon as you could get well or walk, you went back to the tavern and joined your old company. Christ did not die to save us in our sins, but from our sins; and if we go on in sin we must reap the reward, which is banishment from the presence of Him who suffered an ignominious death upon the cross to save us. Consequently, the devil will claim us, for the wages of sin is death." I do not remember our conversation so as to write the words, but you have the substance of it. Carpenter was convinced of the truth of what I said and could say nothing in his own defense. [page 13] But I believed he reformed, for he got better and could walk out. Here I must leave him and begin a new subject. The time drew near for our departure. My husband had not only provided for his family, but had gotten considerable besides, but only 30 dollars in money. He told Faulk he wanted to settle with him for his house rent, that he wanted him to take other property as he had but little money. He could get no answer from him, but he was very kind and obliging, so were all of our neighbors. Those who hated us when he came into the place, appeared now our devoted friends. It was to our advantage, for they helped us to get ready for a journey of 500 miles. When we settled with the merchant and I took a bill of goods, I found there was not a charge for thread, needles, buttons or any such trifles, while at one time he gave me a whole card of buttons and told me to put them all on Tom's coat. Tom was his constant visitor. He stayed in the store most of the time. He was four or five years old. But Faulk would not settle with us until we got our team harnessed to start. Now my husband said, "We must settle." The windows were, some of them, broken and we expected the rent would be high. But Faulk would not settle--he did not want a cent, nor would he take a cent. He wanted to see if Mormons were willing to pay their debts. He hallowed to the merchant and said, "Put up a half a pound of tea for this woman and charge to me, and another half pound and charge to yourself. She must not go to the Mormon swamps and drink the water; it will kill her." I will only add that I got the tea, and more favors than I can write here, and that Faulk joined the Church and came to Nauvoo afterward. How many more I don't know and can't say, for I did not see him myself, but my boys did. Now I will start for the Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois. [page 14] Nathaniel Leavitt had come up the lake to Michigan and stopped at a place called White Pigeon. When we got into that place we heard Nathaniel was dead and that his wife had taken all the property and gone back to Canada and left three children that were his first wife's children, among strangers sick with the ague. The oldest boy was ten or twelve years old; he told the folks when he got big enough he was going to hunt his folks. They were with the Mormons somewhere. They told him the Mormons were all killed; he never would find any of them. What a pitiful situation for three sick orphans with hardly clothes enough to cover their nakedness; they did not know if they should see a friend again. They were at three different houses; their names were Nathaniel, Flavilla and John. When we came you may guess what their feelings must have been. We took them along with us, which increased our number to eleven, which I had to cook for and my husband to buy the provisions. We had a hard and tiresome journey. The roads were bad all the way. In one place there was a five-mile pole bridge over a swamp without any gravel or dirt on it and the wagon jolted so it almost took our breath away. After we got over the swamp there were some settlers, but it was a God-forsaken looking place. I don't think we went into a house where there were no deaths, and in some, half of them had died. We stayed one night in what they called a tavern, but everything looked gloomy enough and suspicious and certainly felt gloomy enough. I never had such feelings before and as I understand afterward, there had been a number of murders committed in the house. Lake Michigan was near the house and that contained the body of one that had [page 15] been murdered. I could tell all that I heard and read about it concerned me. I suppose that I saw one of the murderers at the Bluffs. If that place had not the curse of God upon it, I should not have had those gloomy feelings. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is peace and union. Before we left Lake Michigan, we had to stop and work for provisions and horse feed. After a long and tedious journey we at last found ourselves in Illinois at the Twelve Mile Grove. Here we found our friend almost discouraged. They had had much sickness among them and mother Leavitt had died and Weir's oldest son. Weir was sick with a cancer. We had doted much on seeing mother Leavitt, but she alas was sleeping in the grave and had gone to the paradise of God to reap the reward of the just. There was a number among them that had had the spiritual gifts and were in a state of darkness. They had paid out much money for medicine and had much trouble, which had brought them down in bondage because their faith failed. If they had put their trust in their kind Heavenly Father and cried to Him from all this trouble, for He does not grieve us willingly, we must obey His commandments and we have the promise of prospering upon the land. They had bought noble farms. The soil was very rich and brought forth great crops. But it was a sickly place--the fever and ague were located there. But we had to look out for a living. They were making a canal at Juliette [Joliet], 14 miles from this place, and my husband went and engaged to work on it with his team for three dollars a day. We moved out there and I washed for the workmen and we got a good living. But we stayed with our friends until their minds were stirred up and were alive in religion, and tried to comfort and encourage them. Sally Ann Chamberlain, who had formerly had the gifts and now was in the dark, sat looking at me as I was reading a passage where it said righteousness should spring [page 16] out of the earth. She wondered what it could mean. She said, "What is more righteous than angels or what is truer than the Book of Mormon?" "There," she said, "I have got my gift again." They rejoiced much and sought the favor of God until all that ever had the gifts obtained them again and some that never had them. They had never seen a Mormon from the time they left Kirtland until we came, so you see how much need we have of meeting together often and stirring up each other's minds by way of remembrance. The prophets said they that feared the Lord spake often to one another and the Lord harkened and heard and a book of remembrance was kept for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His name, "And they shall be mine," saith the Lord of Hosts, "when I come to make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his only son that serveth him." So you see we have our reward for all our exertions to do good and after we have done all that we can do to advance the cause of God we are still unprofitable servants, because of our weaknesses. But I will return to my history. (A note found at the top of the page.) While I was at Juliette [Joliet], I was alone praying. After continuing in prayer for some time I thought of Joseph and commenced praying for him. As soon as I spoke his name, I burst into tears and my heart was filled with grief and I said, "Oh my God, what is the matter with Brother Joseph?" I learned afterward the mob had him, raving over him. I did not know at this time that there were any mobs gathered. We were at Juliette [Joliet], Illinois, and the mob in Missouri, but the Spirit manifested to me that he was in trouble. I prayed with all the power I had for the prophet of God. "The fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much," saith the Lord. We stayed in Juliette [Joliet] until spring. It was the last of November [page 17] [1835?] when we went there. In the spring [1836?] we went back to Twelve Mile Grove and my husband took a farm on shares at the West Grove, five miles from there, and five cows to make butter and cheese. We raised a fine crop and had a good living. My husband built a house on the prairie a mile and a half from the place where his folks lived, but there was no timber at the grove. We moved in the house in November and had a windy place in the open prairie. In March we lost our only cow. The next day after she died, I was taken sick with the chills and fever and confined to the bed. The sisters would come and wait on me. At last they said if I would go down with them they could take care of me, as they were afraid I would die there alone. They got a bed on a sled and put me on it and carried me down. I remained there about two months before I got able to sit up. When I went down, there was nothing green started out of the earth; when I came back, the grass was ankle high. I had a severe fit of sickness, but shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil. I did not complain, although I had to leave my babe at home, only a year old. I had the chills while I lived at the Five Mile Grove and was reduced so low that the day I had the chill, after the fever was off they had to watch me night and day. If I slept over a few minutes, I was overcome. Louisa and her father watched over me until they were tired out, as they had to work days. My husband said to Louisa: "We must go to bed tonight. We can't be broke of rest so much." I heard what was said and the first thought I had was it would kill me if I was not awakened. The next thought was that the angels will watch over me. I went to sleep and in the night someone touched me and awakened me. I looked to see who it was that had awakened me and I saw a person with his back towards me, going toward the fire. I thought it was my husband, but I felt an unusual [page 18] calmness and peace of mind. The next morning I found that no one had been up in the house, so I thought it was my good angel watching over me. The Lord fed me with a shepherd's care. "My noonday walk He will attend and all my midnight hours defend." But I will return to my history. We had lost our only cow, but my husband made rails and bought another and finally we concluded we would go to Nauvoo, as lots of our friends were going. We never had lived where there was a branch of the Church, but we got together every week and had prayer meetings and the Lord was with us and poured out His spirit upon us insomuch that they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The children took an active part in these meetings. They would talk in tongues and prophesy and it was interpreted. We depended on no leader but the Lord and He led us into all truth; the sick were healed as often as any were taken sick. Before we left the place, there were a number of elders who came and we were made glad indeed. We had not seen a Saint from the time we left Kirtland, and they gave us many instructions and encouraged us so that we felt like urging our passage through all the cares and trials of life until our work was finished on the earth. One night we had a prayer meeting and my husband was praying. He prayed that we might be counted worthy to partake of the tree of life and enter into the gates of the city of the New Jerusalem. Sally Ann Chamberlain had a view of the city and saw throngs passing through the gates. As I was kneeling close to her, she said, "See there, Aunt Sally." She thought because I was close to her that I could see it as well as she. We all had the gifts and blessings promised in the gospel and love and union prevailed. But we were preparing to move to Nauvoo. We started [page 19] for Nauvoo, I think, the first of November [1839?]. My husband bought a place three miles from the city and built a house. There was some land plowed which he sowed to wheat. He had to work very hard for a living. Provisions were scarce and high and most of the Saints were poor. There were some not poor and not fit to be called saints, many of them. I will relate one circumstance that may give you a little idea of the way that many managed. I was sick and had but a few comforts of life. I had no tea and no appetite. My husband went down to the city, expecting some money that was due him. He could not get the money. He went to the store and told Lyons he wanted a quarter of a pound of tea and told him he would have the money the next day. He told him he had been disappointed in getting the money that day, that I was sick and he could not go home without some. He would not trust him, but he had an ax with him and he left it in pawn and took the tea, which was only one case and worth 25 cents. After he came home that night his money came. That was only one case out of a number that were like it. There was an Englishman who bought a farm from Joseph, adjoining ours, and when his land was surveyed, it took in our field of wheat. When the wheat was ripe, my husband took his cradle and went in to cut it. The man, Fox, I think was his name, forbid his cutting the wheat. He said it was on his land and he should have it. My husband went down to Joseph and asked him what he should do. Joseph told him to let Fox have the wheat, but he should be cursed; that the law would bear him out in keeping the wheat, but not to grieve for it, that he (Joseph) would pay him it in flour. And the curses of God did overtake him so much that he did not live to eat the wheat. He and his wife would brag of [page 20] their gold and how much money and every good thing they had, that they had enough to last for years. They would take me to her bureau and show me her nice things, but though I was very poor, I did not covet anything she had. Fox said nobody would dare to come around his house to steal his gold, for he had $50,000 in the house. When he told me that, I had a very curious feeling that he had come among the Saints and had brought deadly weapons to defend his gold and his great treasures. I told him he need be under no fear among the Saints, for if they could take his money without his knowing it, they would feel as Moses said, "Thou God seeth me," and to him that has fed and clothed us all of our lives we have got to give an account. Not long after this we were sent for to his house. He was dying. He did not speak after we went in and soon breathed his last. His goods he had laid up for many years he had to leave behind. How hard it is for those who trust in riches to be saved in the kingdom of God. His wife did not live long after. But it cast a gloom over my mind and a solemnity that kept me awake that night. I lay and thought, what dependent creatures we are, that with all the exertions we can use, our destinies are in the hands of God, and he will deal with us as he sees fit. Not for all the treasures of earth would I give up the hope of eternal life, and am willing to sacrifice every earthly enjoyment if I could know that I found favor in the sight of the Lord. Life is so short and uncertain that we had better work while the day lasts, before the night overtakes us wherein no man can work. There is a land of pleasure where peace and joy forever reign and there I have a treasure, there I hope to visit. But I will go on with my history. We all had to work hard for a living, but with the blessings of God and our exertions [page 21] we soon began to get a good living. We swapped farms with a man, got one by the big mound, seven miles from the city, a fine pleasant place. But Priscilla was born before we moved and we had much sickness. There were four of the boys all sick at once with the black canker. There were many who died in Nauvoo with the same disorder and some of my boys were brought to the very gate of death, to all appearances. But by watching over them day and night and administering, the Lord raised them up; thanks be to his holy name. One of the boys had gotten about and could walk out while the other lay at the point of death. We had to watch over him every moment. The one that could walk as soon as he laid down at night, he took with a toothache and would roll and groan. After a few nights (I had lain down to rest a few moments) he began to groan. I had a strange feeling come over me. I thought it was the power of the devil that was destroying our peace, and I had borne it as long as I would. I jumped out of the bed with about the same feeling I would have to drive a hog out of the house, and as sure he would have to go. I stepped up very spry to the bed and put my hands on his head in the name of Jesus and asked God to rebuke the spirit. I did not say a loud word, but as soon as it was done, he went to sleep and never was troubled any more. I had administered to very many to rebuke disease, but never had the same feeling before or since. Very different were my feelings when Mary had a felon [?] on her finger and she was groaning. My baby was but a few days old. I was very feeble and weak. I felt that I had no power either of body or mind. The felon was growing worse every day. I told her to get up on the bed beside me. I took her hand in mine and asked the Lord to heal it. The pain stopped while I held her hand and she had no more pain. The next day the core came [page 22] out and the hole remains there yet where the core was, and always will be. In this case I said nothing aloud, but I had faith as much as a grain of mustard seed. The Savior told his disciples that if they had faith of a mustard seed they could remove mountains. But oh, the sorrow and trouble that was just at our doors! We knew they had Joseph in prison and threatened to take his life, but that was nothing new nor strange, for his enemies always did that, but we did not believe they could have power to murder him; and he lived above the law. The law could have no power over him, but powder and balls could, so they shot him in Carthage jail. When the news came, the whole city of Nauvoo was thunderstruck; such mourning and lamentation was seldom ever heard on the earth. There were many, myself among them, who would gladly have died if his life could have been spared by doing so. I never had spoken to the man in my life, but I had seen him and heard him preach and knew that he was a prophet of God, sent here by the Almighty to set up His kingdom, no more to be thrown down, and now how was that great and important work to be accomplished? Brigham Young was the man clothed with all the power and authority of Joseph. My husband said that he had the same spirit, the same voice, and if he had not known Joseph was dead, he would actually have thought it was Joseph. Brigham was gone to the east when Joseph was killed. Rigdon tried hard to lead the Church and get established in that place before Brother Brigham got to Nauvoo, but his deceit and lies were proven as the Twelve returned about this time. It was whispered in my ear by a friend that the authorities were getting more wives than one. I have thought for many years that the connections between man and wife were as sacred as the heavens and ought to be treated as such, and I thought that the anointed of the Lord would not get more wives unless [page 23] they were commanded to do so. But still I wanted a knowledge of the truth for myself. I asked my husband if he did not think we could get a revelation for ourselves on that subject. He said he did not know. After we went to bed I lay pondering it over in my mind. I said, "You know, Lord, that I have been a faithful and true wife to my husband, and you know how much I love him, and must I sacrifice him?" The answer was, "No." And then my mind was carried away from the earth and I had a view of the order of the celestial kingdom. I saw that was the order there and oh, how beautiful. I was filled with love and joy that was unspeakable. I awoke my husband and told him of the views I had and that the ordinance was from the Lord, but it would **** thousands. It was too sacred for fools to handle, for they would use it to gratify their lustful desires. How thankful we ought to be that we live in a day when we can know the will of God concerning our duty, and that the darkness that has so long covered the earth has been dispelled and the light of truth has burst upon the benighted world. But what good will this do those who will not come to the light because their deeds are evil, and they choose darkness rather than light. But the honest in heart that seek the Lord in faith will obtain all the knowledge needful for their salvation. I have seen so much wrong connected with this ordinance that had I not had it revealed to me from Him that cannot lie, I should sometimes have doubted the truth of it, but there has never a doubt crossed my mind concerning the truth of it since the Lord made it known to me by a heavenly vision. But as I have commenced to write some of the most important scenes of my life, I will go on. My memory is so much impaired that it will be a jumbled up mess unless I have the spirit of truth to direct me. We went to the city and were there when the bodies of the [page 24] martyred prophets were brought into the city. It was after dark that they passed the house--it was Brother Snow's; a Doctor Clinton and his wife Melissa were there and they expected the mob would come into the city that night to kill the rest of the Saints. There were orders for every man to arm himself and prepare to defend the city. The moon shone uncommonly bright, as we could see quite a distance. Melissa said to her husband, "Doctor, don't you go; you will get killed and then I don't want to live any longer." I said to Melissa, "What do you mean? If I had 40 husbands and as many sons, I would urge them off in a hurry, and if it was the fashion for women to fight, I would step into the ranks and help defend the city." And I am not much of a fighting character either, but I did not value my life very high at that time, for they had killed our beloved prophet and my life did not seem of much value at that time; but it is the Lord's and let Him do with it what seemeth to Him good. They had guards out in every direction; they had a drum that could be heard a number of miles and when there was any danger they would beat that drum, and everyone that was able would take whatever weapon they could get and run to the city and guard it. We lived three miles from the city and I don't know how many nights we left the place when the alarm drum was beaten. All of our men would run to the place appointed, but we had to move to the Mound, seven miles from there. We did so, but the guard had to be kept up at the Mound, for we had enemies on every side, all threatening to exterminate the Mormons. How strange when the Mormons never injured one of them; if they had, the law was open and they could have brought them to justice without killing them. It was their religion that was troubling them. As they often said, if the Mormons would renounce their religion and scatter among the gentiles, they would be good citizens, but to [page 25] pretend to have new revelations and a prophet, it was more than they could bear. When they found they could not turn them from their purpose, they swore they would kill them or they would make them leave the country. But I for one did not fear them, for I knew that we were in the hands of God and He would make the wrath of man praise Him and turn all their threats for the good of His Saints, and it was so, for the Lord wanted His people to get up onto these mountains and raise an ensign that the scriptures might be fulfilled. But he saw that they would not go willingly, so He suffered their enemies to drive them. Nauvoo and the country round about had to be guarded as far as there were any Saints. After we moved to the Mound we had to keep a double watch, as there were two roads, one led to Warsaw and one to Carthage. It was very high land and we could see a great distance. When it was my husband's turn to watch, I sat up with him to make him a cup of tea as he was not a healthy man. One night while we were watching, I got up on the shed and could see two buildings burning. One of them we supposed was a barn containing 400 bushels of cleaned wheat and the other, a dwelling house belonging to some of the brethren. The enemy would ravage, steal, plunder and murder with no power in the United States to stop them! The Mormons could get no help because they believed the gospel was restored to earth by an angel. The priests knew that if that doctrine prevailed, there was no chance for them, and as the ax struck at the root of every denomination, they all joined together to help destroy the work of God. There were many ministers of different denominations that took the lead of mobs and were determined to put a stop to Mormonism. But it has increased the more they have opposed it and will continue to increase until the knowledge of God covers the earth, for all [page 26] their burning buildings and killing the brothers. But there was no fear in my heart, for I knew we were in the hands of God, and He would do all things right. We soon found we had to leave the place if we meant to save our lives, and we with the rest of the brothers got what little we could from our beautiful farm. We had 40,000 bricks that my husband and sons had made to build a house and part of the rock to lay the foundation. For this we got an old bed quilt and for the farm a yoke of wild steers, and for two high post bedsteads, we got some weaving done. Our nice cheery light stand we left for the mob, with every other thing we could not take along with us. I never had a murmuring thought pass my mind, although we left a handsome property and a most beautiful place. We raised one crop on the place which shows the richness of the soil. From a small patch of melons, the boys took a number of wagonloads to market and such large melons. But we gave up the place. Before we left I enjoyed myself all the time and was cheerful and happy and had no fears of being killed, for it was made known to me in dreams of the night that we were safe. We went in an old schoolhouse to stay while we prepared for our journey. After we had been there a short time, it was revealed to me in a dream that we had to leave the place in a hurry or we should be killed. I awakened my husband and told him that we had to hurry right off or we should be killed. It was a rainy morning and we were not ready. Our wagon was not covered nor our things packed up. But he believed what I said, for it was the first word that I had made manifest any fears and the first fears I had had; but I believed that we should get off before they came upon us. It was about eight miles to the Mississippi River where we had [page 27] to go before we should be out of danger. There the brothers were collecting and crossing the river on a ferry boat. We threw our things into the wagon and started off on a bad road. We had a hard and dangerous time on account of high water, but we got safely to the ferry and crossed over into Iowa. There we stopped a week or more. The brothers made a camp with their wagons, drawing them around so as to touch each other, with one place of entrance, and our fires in the center. Our cattle and sheep were on the other side of the river, but they were soon all over safe and there our sheep were sheared. One night, just dark, there came an officer into the door of the camp and commenced talking with the children that were in the entrance. I looked up and saw him and knew that the children did not know enough to talk to him. I stepped up to where he was and said, "What does this gentleman wish?" For I knew he was upon some mischief, for he was dressed in the highest style and had every deadly weapon hanging around him that could be imagined. He asked if there was a man by the name of Bickmore in the camp. I looked down as if in study and I was in study to know what to say to deceive and yet tell the truth. "Bickmore--Bickmore--I heard of that name. There was a man by that name who went in the first company." So I deceived him and told the truth, but the Bickmore that he had a warrant for had gone back over the river for cattle. His wagon stood in our reach and we expected him every moment. The next thing was to keep the officer there until the man could be notified of the danger. Bickmore's wife was there and heard all that was said and they sent the children to tell the men to keep away until the officer had gone. I gave him a seat and sat down by his side. He commenced asking me questions and the Lord gave me answers. "Why, madam," he said, "I see nothing before you but inevitable [page 28] destruction in going off into the wilderness among savages, far from civilization, with nothing but what you can carry in your wagon." I told him I had known for ten years that we had to go and I was glad we had gotten started. "Oh, there, madam, you have something to bear you up under your trials?" Said I, "It is no more trial; I would not go back if I could have the whole country at my command and all the riches in it." "Well, I see nothing before you but starvation." I told him the Lord was able to spread a table for us in the wilderness, for we were going where he wanted us to go. But the Church would not go until the mob drove us. The mob was a rod in the hands of the Almighty to accomplish his purposes." He said, "I understand that you women go armed." "Armed," said I, "indeed they do, and I never felt like giving pain to a mouse unless it was necessary; but if a mob should come on me, I should try to defend myself, and I think I could fight." I can't write half of what there was said, but we talked perhaps an hour. I kept him in conversation until I thought the men were safe and that was all I wanted of Mr. Mob. As to the arms the women carried, they brought them into the world with them and I had reference to no other. It would be a sad sight to see anyone without arms, but not such weapons as the mob carried. I deceived him entirely and told the truth. It is not hard to deceive a fool, but if he is alive now, he must know what I said concerning the Lord furnishing a table for us in the wilderness is true and I often think of that saying when I am sitting to a well-furnished table. Oh! how kind and merciful is our Father in Heaven; he watches over us all the day long and when the night comes he is still our guard. Even the great God that held the reins of government over all his vast dominion, condescends to watch over us poor, weak, frail mortals. Well might David say, "What is man that Thou are mindful of him, or the son of man that [page 29] Thou visiteth him?" All that I say is, "Praise the Lord, oh my soul; and let all that hath breath shout aloud the praises of King Emmanuel, and ye solid rocks weep for joy. To write the love of God above, it would drain the ocean, though the sea was ink, and the earth paper and every stick a pen and every man a scribe. When I try to praise Him in beauty, honor and magnify the name of God, I find I have no language at my command that will do justice to the case, but when I lay aside this weak, frail body, I expect to praise Him in beauty and holiness." Well, when all things were prepared, we started on our journey. As we had let one yoke of oxen to take church property, and had but one yoke on our wagon, with about a ton of loading, you may guess the hardships we had to endure. It was but very little we could ride; we had to wade the sloughs and climb the hills. But what was more remarkable, we never got stuck in a slough. They seemed to know when they came to a mud hole just what they had to do, and would push with such speed that the wagon had no time to settle down in the mud. One night we camped with the company and they said a few miles ahead there was a wide and deep slough that took four yoke of oxen to take a heavy load across, but we could go around it and get back into the road to camp at night. Well, I told my husband that I would go ahead and wade the slough and be there when he came around. When I came in sight of the slough, I saw one wagon stuck about halfway across and another on the opposite bank just ready to start. They said it was ten miles around that slough, and my husband could not get around that night; it was almost night then. Well, I guess how I felt, there alone among all kinds of wild animals; I thought I could not stand that. I began looking off in the direction the wagon had gone [page 30] and at last I saw it, but so far of it was very uncertain whether I could make them hear. I went on to the highest place there was near and raised my voice as loud as I could, and with my pocket handkerchief in one hand stretched as high as I could reach to attract attention. At last they saw me and stopped. I beckoned to them to come down, for they were out of hearing and would have been out of sight in a few minutes. My husband soon came. I told him the fix we were in and told him he must help get the wagon down. We could get across some way if we had to unload and carry our things by hand across the slough, for there was no further chance for us. He brought the wagon down and yoked up a two-year-old bull with a cow and put them on lead, thinking they might help going up the opposite bank. But when they went to go up the bank, they settled back on the oxen. Old Berry, with as much sense as a human being, told the cow to go ahead by putting his crumpled horns into her flank and tore the side open. She jumped up the bank in a hurry and it was done so quickly that the wagon had no time to settle in the mud. I expect Old Berry would have taken the team across better without any help, for he had to drive the cow. My husband said he had not struck them a blow in the whole journey. They knew much better what to do than many men. He unyoked them every time he stopped if it was for one hour. This was the last journey that he ever accompanied me and I want to say that he was very kind to his cattle and children, especially his two little girls--he almost worshipped them. He said he wanted to live to see those girls married and settled down in peace. I had made them a nice linsey dress, both of them. Betsy cut down a **** in the fronts and bound it around to nurse their dolls. When I saw what she had done, I was provoked and commenced scolding. I told her I must whip her. Her father said, "Come here, Betsy, and let me see the [page 31] sewing. If it is done good your mother shall not whip you." He looked at the sewing very carefully. He said, "It is just as good as mother would have done it." He thought everything they did was good. Why I mention this is to let you know how indulgent he was to his children. We got this far and had no material stops. At last we got to Mt. Pisgah. There were a few brethren stopped there and put in a crop and built houses, expecting to winter there. This was in April, 1846, but we had not brought provisions to last until harvest and when my husband had built a house and put in a crop, he started back to Bonaparte for provisions. His son Jeremiah had stopped there and he wanted to bring him along and flour for bread. I forgot to say that we had three extra cows, so we had plenty of milk and butter. He had gotten his cattle that he had let go to draw church property here at Mt. Pisgah, so he had a strong team when he got ready to start back. There was a woman who wanted to go back with him and she offered him two dollars if he would stop one day and that night was worth a thousand dollars to me. He stayed in the house and talked all day and all night. He told me things I never knew before. He was not a man of many words and never flattered and I never knew until that night how much he valued me. I found that he was perfectly satisfied with all of my doings insomuch that I never did a wrong thing in my life in his mind. Oh, how little did either of us think that was our last intercourse! He talked just as if he knew that was our last interview; he was led by the spirit what to say. Among other things he said, "Don't have anything to say to anyone else while I am gone." This astonished me, for I did not believe that he questioned my chastity. I said, "Why do you make that request? Did I ever give you any reason to doubt my honor?" "No," he said, "but it came into my mind to say it and I did." [page 32] Now to look at it, the Spirit knew he would be gone until the resurrection and he did not want me to get married to any other one. When I heard of his death, I thought I will keep that request sacred. Although I have had good offers, I never was tempted to marry. I have lived a lonely life as a widow 27 years, but my heart leaps for joy at the thoughts of meeting him at the great resurrection, never more to part. I had such a feeling about his leaving as I had never had before. I went to him just before he started and told him that it seemed to me that I could not let him go. "Why," he said, "what do you mean? You know that I must get breadstuff. I thought you were a woman of fortitude." I did not know there was one in the place that I had ever seen, but Lorenzo Snow's family was living in their wagon in sight, not far off. His woman came to my house to wash. Some of his women were as handsome as I had seen in any place. One of them came every night and slept with me until I was taken sick, which was about two weeks. I had not to say slept, for we talked almost all night. I thought that I would get much knowledge from her as she belonged to one of the Twelve, and my mind was reaching after all the truth in existence. When my husband had been gone about two weeks, I was taken sick with chills and fever, confined to the bed. I was an entire stranger, except for the acquaintance I had made with the Sisters Snow. Soon after I was taken down, the children all took sick and I got a little girl that could cook to make porridge for us. However, our neighbors were all very kind and helped us all they could. They would come and get my dirty clothes and wash them and if there were any holes, mend them. This they continued to do until they were all taken sick, insomuch that there were none well enough to take care of the sick. [page 33] I was the first one to take sick there and 300 took sick and died after I was and I was spared alive. The bishop visited me often and told me if I needed anything, to call on him and I should have it. I soon heard that he was dead. I was very sick and Mary lay at the point of death. We had watches every night until Mary's fever left her. One morning, after the watchers had left, I looked around the room to see if all was right. Right under the chair where one of the girls had sat all night I saw something that didn't look as if it belonged in the house. I called to Thomas to come and see what that was. We found that it was a monstrous big rattlesnake coiled up on a bench and had lain there all night as harmless as a lamb. It had eight rattles. I told the boys not to kill it; it had not come as an enemy, but on a friendly visit to help the girls watch. He did not help much, only as their companion, but they would have been just as well off without his company, not knowing of his presence. I told them to throw it off the bank and not hurt it, which they did. But the time had come for us to look for my husband. With the greatest anxiety we watched and looked day and night until at last there came a man just before daylight with a letter containing the news of his death. It would be impossible for anyone to imagine my feelings after being confined to my bed more than two weeks and expecting him to come. All things would be all right when he came and it never entered my heart that he could die. When the news came that he was dead, my feelings were too intense to weep. My situation all rushed upon my mind with such force that all I could do or say was to cry to the Lord to sustain me under such untold trials and blessed be the name of Jesus. He did sustain me and preserved my life, which I cared little about until I found that my children had no father. All of the nervous [page 34] fears that I had been suggesting to him while he was alive were taken away when he was dead. I never rested nights in his absence. There was a fear of something, I did not know what, but now all that fear was gone; the being in whose hands my life was placed supported me. How could I have lived if the Lord had not supported me? He has been with me in sick troubles and severe ones, and He has not forsaken me. He says, "Leave thy father's children and I will preserve them alive and let thy widows trust in me," and He has fulfilled these promises to me in all the afflictions I have had to pass through. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. But I will go on with my history. Weir and Lemuel had gone to Council Bluffs and got the news of their father's death and my sickness and Lemuel came to Pisgah with a team and a box of medicine (name gone) which would stop the ague as soon as taken and other things for our comfort. Jeremiah came with the team that my husband had gone to Boneparte with and brought Dudley with him. Thomas was the only boy I had with me that summer, but now there were four with us. My husband died the 20th of August, 1846. He had but two children married, Louisa and Jeremiah, and one grandchild, Jeremiah's daughter, Clarisa. He sang, "Come, let us anew, our journey pursue, roll round with the year and never stand still till the master appear." He sang that hymn as long as he had strength to sing it and then wanted Elisa to sing it. He died without a struggle or a groan. "Blessed are the dead that died in the Lord; yea," saith the Lord, "for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." A few days later we all started for the Bluffs. I took the pills and stopped the chills. My appetite came on in a hurry. I had too much appetite. When we got within a few miles of the Bluffs we bought some green peas. It was at noon and I [page 35] did not have time to cook them, and I ate hearty of them and it put me in colorea morbus in its worst form. As we were near the settlement, I told them to drive on until I could find an elder to administer to me. I had suffered all I could. The water ran out of my mouth and it appeared that I had naught to do but stop breathing. I expect I should not look much different after my breath was gone. Lemuel would come to the wagon, look in and say, "Mother, you must not die." I told him to drive on as fast as he could until he found an elder to administer. He repeated, "Mother, you must not die," a number of times before he found an elder. Then he stopped the wagon and the elder administered to me, but did no good. We went ahead and found another elder and he administered to me, but that did no good. At last we came to another, an old man, and as he put his hands on my head and began to speak, I knew he was the right man. I was soon able to be taken out of the wagon into the tent and had some tea and light food. You see in what a miraculous way my life was spared, thanks be to God for his condescension in hearing our prayers in this trying hour, for if it had not been for the prayer of faith, I no doubt should have died and been at rest. But I wanted to live to take care of my family and try to help them up the rugged path of life. I knew by experience that the way was straight and narrow that leads to eternal life, and one false step would send us into darkness and nothing but sore repentance would restore us into the favor of God. The enemy kept us constantly on the alert to draw us from the path of duty, but if we cling to the word of God as a child to its mother's breast for nourishment, we shall come off conquerors and more than conquerors through Him that has loved us. What shall I render to my God for all His kindness shown? I will try to honor him by confessing His hand in all things and obeying His commandments. [page 36] We soon arrived at the Bluffs where we found some of our friends, Sister Adams, William Snow and his wife Lydia. I don't remember how many others. Sister Adams and Lydia were both sick, and after a long and severe sickness, they both died. We could get no house and had to camp out. This was in November, 1846. I soon took the chills and fever again. The boys made a camp of hay and I crawled into it, glad to get any place of shelter. I had to live there while they built a house and suffered very much for want of proper food and with the cold, as we could have no fire in a hay camp. There was the place that the disorder started in my head that has troubled me ever since. I had a pain in my head that was very severe. I had smoked for eight years before I believed the gospel, and when I believed, before I had seen the Doctrine and Covenants, or heard of an elder, something told me I had better leave off smoking. I obeyed that still small voice and left off smoking for eight years. When I had this pain in my head, I thought if I would smoke, perhaps it would relieve my head. I rolled some tobacco up in a paper and smoked it. It stopped the pain. I continued to do so every time the pain came on. At last I sent and got a pipe and have used one ever since. I don't know whether I did right or not, but I am sure the anger of the Lord is not kindled against me, for I confess His hand in all things and try to keep His commandments. He hears and answers my prayers all of the time, thanks be to His holy name. His kind care and protecting hand is over all so that a sparrow does not fall to the ground without His notice. In all my sickness I have never complained or looked back, for I was sure that there were better days coming. I knew that Mormonism was true and better days would surely come, and it was needful for us to receive chastisements, for there was no other way we could learn so good a lesson. [page 37] In December [1846] I moved into a house the boys had built at Trade Point on the Missouri River where steamboats landed. I got able to do my work and went to washing up our dirty clothes. After working nearly a week, I got them done and hung them up at night. I got up in the morning and every article of clothing was stolen and some new cloth that was not made. That left us almost without clothes. Well, I did not complain, but it taught me a lesson not to leave clothes out overnight. I was not discouraged, although it seemed hard after I had worked when I had little strength to wash clothes that had lain dirty for months for want of strength to wash them. My health was poor all winter. At first I could get but little that was fit for a sick person to eat, but we soon had plenty. The Lord gave us favor in the eyes of the people, so we could get anything we asked for and some that we did not ask for. We lived only a few rods from the Pottowatamie chief. He told the boys if there was anything that they wanted that he had, to come and get it and he would wait until they could pay him. He had two wives, one a very white French woman. They were all a great help to us. But I had very much to pass through in this place, both good and bad. We had not been there long before Betsy was sick with a white swelling on her leg, close to the knee joint, and a most distressing thing it was. For about two months, Dr. Clinton attended her. We kept on egg poultices. It was lanced twice without any effect and at last broke of its own accord. I had her on the trundle bed in the corner, close to the fire, as it was cold weather, and it would take me an hour to change her undersheet. She could not bear any jar or motion, but after a while it broke and there were lots of bone that came out. It was as bad as a felon could be, I suppose, and we expected if the Lord did not help us, she would be a cripple. But He did help [page 38] us, and although she was only seven years old, her leg grew, and it was wonderful, as there were pieces of bone that came out years afterward. The doctor said the flesh must be cut down to the bone and the bone scraped to get the rotten parts off, but I could not consent to that and after we got to the valley, I succeeded with the blessing of God in curing it. While I was at this place, Brother Conlet was shot and killed in front of my house. Brother Conlet had been sick with the ague for some time. One morning he sprang from his bed and told his wife that somebody was going to shoot him. She thought he was crazy and told him to lie down again. He laid down and went to sleep. Soon he sprang from bed again and said, "Don't you see the guns pointing at me?" She still thought him crazy, but he put on his blue overcoat and stepped out. He stepped on Jean's land. Jean stood there with a gun and said if any man stepped onto his land, he would shoot him. The man of the place wanted to make a road through his ground, but Conlet knew nothing about what they were doing, but as he stepped over the line, Jean shot him. After he had been dead a few days, one night after his family had all gone to bed and left a large fire burning and were all asleep but Sister Conlet, he came in and went to the bed where she lay and commenced talking. At first she was frightened, but soon all fear left her and she talked with him without any fear. I forgot most of the conversation, but he told her he wanted his body taken up and buried on high land, as the place where he lay would be washed off into the river. He told her he would always wear that blue coat when he came to see her. She had given the coat to his brothers. He told her some things that she was to tell to no one except the authorities of the Church. She had his body taken up and buried where he wanted it [page 39] and got the blue coat and laid it up. The land where he lay did wash off. A few rods from where Conlet was killed, I saw one Indian kill another with a club. I often thought this might truly be called a place where Satan's seat was, but my whole mind was engaged in preparing for our journey to the valley. I did everything in my power to accomplish this great work. I made eleven fine linen shirts for the merchant; I baked pies and bread and cakes for the grocery the boys kept, as there were lots of gold diggers on the way to California, stopping there, waiting for the grass to grow. We had market for everything. There were lots of big men boarding at the tavern. Some of them came to us for victuals, as their fare at the tavern was very poor. Among these was a Dr. Vaun that visited my house. There was a family by the name of Rolins staying at my house and Vaun visited them. I heard that Mrs. Rolins was a doubtful character, but believed it to be false until I was forced to believe it to be the truth by watching nights. I had one daughter, Mary, who was a grown woman. I kept her very close after I found what characters we were among. They often took evening walks, I mean the young folks. I told Mary she must stop walking out evenings or going to parties in that place. She very readily consented to what I said. One evening, when all of the rest were fixing to walk out, the doctor said, "Is not Mary going?" Mrs. Rolins said, "Oh, no, Mrs. Leavitt is so particular; she won't let Mary go." I always thanked Mary for listening to me. She was glad to get rid of bad company, for Dr. Vaun had a wife and children back in the states. His wife was the sister to the governor. But if I should write all that transpired in this place of note it would be more than I will do. How there was a bogus press found there; and a man drowned in the river [page 40] trying to drive cattle while his companions stood on the bank and saw him drowning. Thomas told them if they would let him have a horse he would go and save him, but they did not like to venture their horses in such a dangerous place. Benway, the merchant, cursed them and told them they had stood on the bank of the river and seen one of their own men drown and not made the least exertion to save him. "There was little Thomas Leavitt that would have gone into the river and would have saved him, too, but you were afraid your horses would drown--Oh, shame!" Benway was a great friend to Thomas and gave him many presents. Thomas was 13 years old and his good conduct made him many friends. Also how Jean's wife had a frightful monster born; and how I had the offer of marriage; and Sister Adams and Lydia Snow both died; and Robert McLean and Father Richards both apostatized, and how many debates I had with them; and a thousand other things, too numerous to relate. But my whole study was to prepare to leave that place and go to the valley. It was a great undertaking, as I had but two boys, the oldest 14 years old, and three girls, two of them young children. My son, Lemuel, had gone in a former company. But through energy and faith and the blessings of God we got a good fit-out; two yoke of oxen and four cows hitched to one wagon. The cows we milked on the road and made butter. We had plenty of flour and groceries and had enough, so I was perfectly contented. Jeremiah and Weir crossed over the river with us and stayed overnight. When we parted in the morning, Weir said, "Mother, you must not go in the next company." And once he said, "Mother, I want to bid you good-bye; I bade father good-bye and never saw him again." He would often say, "Mother, you won't go in the next company, [page 41] will you?" I asked him if he did not want me to go as soon as I could get ready. He said he would rather I would wait until he could go with me. I told him I wanted everyone to as soon as they could get ready. I little thought that if I left him behind, I should never see him again in this world, but so it is. Very likely if I had been with him in his sickness he would not have died. I cast no reflections on myself on that account, however, but I can say, "the will of the Lord be done." We started on our journey and got safely to the valley, but I never saw Weir again. He died in August, the same month his father died; his father in 1845, Weir in 1847. The first person I spoke to after I entered Salt Lake was Dr. Vaun. He came running out of a house and appeared much pleased to see me. He said, "Well, Mrs. Leavitt, I have joined the Church." Of course, I was glad and was in hopes he had repented of his sins and would forsake them. But in this I was disappointed, for he sought the women's company and with the help of love powders succeeded in gratifying his hellish desires. He was called up before the authorities more than once and confessed his sins and asked forgiveness. He was forgiven and he said if he was ever found guilty again, his life should be the penalty. He knew the law of God required it. He was guilty again and was shot and killed. Oh, the weakness and depravity of man, to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, or in other words, sell their souls' salvation for a few moments of carnal pleasure. Oh! Thou Eternal God, roll on that happy day when Satan shall have no power over the hearts of the children of men, but the knowledge of God cover the earth as the water covers the mighty deep. We went to the Deul Settlement, where Brother Fish lived. Lemuel was there. He was engaged to be married to Melvina Thompson, sister to Julia Fish. Julia tried hard to break up [page 42] the match, but failed. Julia slighted me in every way she could. She lived in a room adjoining mine; made a tea party and invited all the neighbors but me. She did not think I was worthy of her company, but it did me no hurt or cause me to commit sin, for I was trying to keep in favor with God and knew that I should look well to my own conduct. I should not have to mention this, but she has left the Church. She is too proud to be a Saint. Lemuel was married there and his wife was sick a long time after they were married, with the worst kind of sickness, for her reason was gone, and although she was about the house most of the time, she did not know what she was doing. I had a severe trial, but I let patience have its perfect work. We lived in that place about three months and then moved to Pine Canyon in Tooele. We lived there until the Indians became so bad that we had to leave with the cattle and horses. They stole five head of horses in one night and all the cattle they could get. Walker's band was in the mountains just above us and he said he was going to kill us off. They kept guards out in every direction. Some of the young men cried and said, "We shall all be massacred." As for myself, I had no fears. I thought we were in the hands of God and it would be all right. [Here her history ends, apparently unfinished.]

Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt Statue

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

In April, 2013 Terry and I visited Santa Clara, Utah, where the memorial to Sarah is. We went to the Santa Clara city park where the statue was supposed to be. We found later that it is beside city hall. Here are a couple of pictures.

Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt Life Story

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt Life story Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt was born in Lyme, New Hampshire, to Lemuel Sturtevant II and Priscilla Thompson. The family descended from Pilgrim stock. The first progenitor who arrived in the new world, was Samuel Sturtevant. He settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts in November 1640. Sarah=s history records something of her inquiring mind and life in the Sturtevant home. AMy parents were very strict with their children, being descendants of old Pilgrims. They taught them every principle of truth and honor as they understood it themselves. They taught them to pray and read the bible for themselves. My Father had many books that treated on the principle of man=s salvation and many stories that were very interesting, and I took great pleasure in reading them. For years his house was open to all denominations, so his children had the privilege of hearing the conversations. But as I had the privilege of reading the bible for my self, I found that none of them understood the bible as I did. I knew of no other way to understand it other than the way it read, and it was very evident to my understanding that they all fell short of preaching the doctrine that Paul preached. But I was confident that we should have faith. I prayed much and sometimes my prayers were answered immediately. This was before I had any pretensions to having any religion. On March 16 1817, eighteen year old Sarah married Jeremiah Leavitt II, at her fathers home in Barton, Vermont. Jeremiah was born May 13 ,1796 at Exeter, New Hampshire, to Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Shannon Leavitt. The earliest progenitor, John Levett, had arrived from England in 1628. Jeremiah and Sarah made their home in Hatley, Quebec, Canada, where Jeremiah=s father had taken his young family to pioneer the settling of that frontier in 1800. For the next twenty years, Sarah and Jeremiah Leavitt in company with the large extended families of Jeremiah=s father farmed the rich soil of lower Canada, establishing a home to nourish and shelter the ten of their children born here. Sarah=s search for the illusive missing truths never slackened. As she studied and prayed, she frequently gained extraordinary insights and even received occasional visions that assured her that the missing doctrines would be eventually restored. When Jeremiah=s sister confided that she had heard the preaching of a traveling AMormon Elder@ and had been baptized, Sarah responded with instant recognition. The two women persuaded the large family that they should turn their attention to this new faith. The next thing was to gather with the Saints. A I was pondering in my heart how it was possible for such a journey with what means we could muster. We had a good farm, but could not get much for it, but the voice of the Spirit said ACome out of Babylon O my people , that ye be not partakers of her plagues.@ Then I knew the way would be open for us to gather with the Saints. The Lord never gives a commandment to man but what he gives them a chance to obey@ For thirty- seven years the Leavitt family had lived in and around Hatley, Quebec, Canada. Now they left their farms and orchards, their barns and home, their thriving fields and flocks and turned their faces westward. On July 20 1837, their several wagons departed Hatley bound for Kirtland Ohio, the nearest branch of the newly-organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 800 miles away. At Kirtland they listened to the prophet Joseph Smith preach at the Kirtland temple. They were baptized . Searching for a spot to begin anew they came, in time, to Nauvoo Illinois. Again they established a home and worked at building the Nauvoo temple. They suffered the anguish of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith their prophet. They endured mobbings and persecutions, On Feb 2 1846, Jeremiah and Sarah received their sacred temple ordinances. On 4 Feb with angry threats of mobs ringing in their ears they fled across the Mississippi with their beleaguered fellow saints. Sarah, strong and resolute, remained firm and in good spirits. She wrote A I paid no attention to their vulgar expressions, I cared nothing for their persecutions. I had something of far more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones@ All along the westward pilgrimage came trials that broke their hearts, but not their spirits. Sons and daughters, grandchildren and friends perished from exposure, starvation, and mysterious maladies. Then came the hardest test for Sarah. Midway between Nauvoo and Council Bluffs, Iowa, Jeremiah died. Jeremiah Leavitt II died 20 Aug 1846 at Bonaparte, Iowa. He is buried there. Sarah, suffering hunger, cold, and debilitating illness, now bearing the deepest anguish of all, continued the trek with her remaining children. When they entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake, in August, 1850, it had been thierteen years from the time they left their homes in Canada. But their journey was not complete. Scarcely settle, new calls came to settle different parts of the expanding territory, separating the clan by wide distances. When the colonization process was complete, Sarah=s children were scattered from the prairies of western Canada to the harsh deserts of southern Utah and southern Nevada and the settlements arduously established in Arizona and New Mexico. Faithful Sarah, uprooted again, came south with sons, Jeremiah, Lemuel, Dudley, and Thomas and their families, along with daughters Mary Amelia, Betsy, and Priscilla, wives of William and Jacob Hamblin, to settle on the banks of the Santa Clara River and to establish the Indian Mission. For twenty-two years she was a participant in taming the southern Utah desert into a habitable place. Always firm in her cherished faith, she became a matriarch among the pioneer women, helping to teach them the skills of self reliance and survival on the harsh frontier, standing as an example of stalwart strength. Sarah Sturtevant died 5 April 1878. She is buried in the Gunlock cemetery Her posterity, now numbered in tens of thousands, is among the largest of any woman in this dispensation.

Dudley Leavitt's Biography

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Dudley was born in 1830 in Hatley, Canada. He was the fourth son of Jeremiah Leavitt II and Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt. During his childhood he participated in his Leavitt family Christian home devotionals. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ came into the Leavitt family in 1836. Their conversion sent him and his family on a unique pioneer path. He turned seven on the trail, as they started their quest and journeys to be a part of Zion in Kirtland, Ohio and Nauvoo, Illinois. He was a lad of only fourteen when their beloved prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. He was in the audience that witnessed “the mantle’ of the prophet as it fell upon Brigham Young. He loved to testify of that spiritual event throughout his life. At the age of twenty while living in Winter Quarters, he became the “man of the house’ as he assumed the responsibility of bringing his mother, younger brother, and sisters across the plains to Utah, arriving in August, 1850. Dudley was well known for his physical abilities and agility. In wrestling, few men were better than he. He also excelled in dancing. He was known as a handsome, cheerful and fun-loving man. He was a man of faith and initiative. If something needed to be done, he did it. In 1853, he and 32 other men were called to the Southern Indian Mission (Native Americans). In the years that followed he had many missionary experiences in the territory from the Pahute tribes in Las Vegas to the Navajo and the Hopi tribes in Arizona. Although he suffered from hunger, exposure and danger, the gracious hand of the Lord preserved him. He was a respected peacemaker and a very good friend among the Indians. In 1857 the rumors of war affected the entire territory, as the US government sent about 2,500 troops to suppress the alleged Mormon rebellion. It was a powder keg of fears and emotions. At that time immigrants were passing through to California. On September 11, 1857 a terrible massacre took place in the Mountain Meadows. This was in the general area where the Leavitts and Hamblins had their summer pasture for their cattle. In the aftermath he went as a scout and witnessed the evidence of that horrible deed. At this time he was First Counselor to the Mission President Jacob Hamblin. He was appointed to assist the next wagon train in its safe passage to California. Of this assignment he said, “It was like taking our lives in our hands. If anyone but the servants of God asked me to go on that trip, I would have refused”. Dudley found the Indians gathered and dressed in war paint and feathers. However, he persuaded them to take only the cattle and let the immigrants go in peace. The next spring he rode the range for three weeks to gather up the remainder of cattle, to be returned to the owners. In reflection many years later he declared with hands stretched forward: “1 thank God that these old hands have never been stained by human blood. He lived during the frontier era when polygamy was accepted in the church. He married Mary Huntsman in 1853, her sister Mariah Huntsman in 1855, Thirza Riding in 1859, Janet Smith in 1860, and Martha Hughes Pulsipher in 1872. They were blessed with a righteous posterity of 47 children who were taught faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to keep His commandments. Through many tender mercies of the Lord they were able to clothe and feed them all, as well as feed the Indians and others in need. After being involved in many settlements, in 1877 he became a co-founder of Bunkerville, Nevada. Here he lived out the remainder of his days. We honor him here for hi remarkable life of devotion and courage.

History of Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Sturtevant

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

JEREMIAH LEAVITT (II) was born May, 30, 1797 in Grantham, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. He was the son of Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Shannon. Prior to Jerry’s birth, his father had moved to Canada just across the border from Vermont into what was then known as lower Canada to the area resulted from large grants of land to companies and individuals. “Two companies were started in Hatley - one by Captain Enenezer Hovey and the other by Colonel He: Cull. These two companies received together a grant of 28,913 acres, March 25, 1803.” It is supposed that the Leavitt family was in one of these companies. However, just when life looked good, tragedy struck. Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt had given birth to her tenth child the day after Christmas, 1805, and the new year held forth a promising future. But Jeremiah (I) suddenly took sick “and died there in the 46th year of his age in full assurence [sic] of a glorious reserection [sic] leaving behind him nine children.” The family records show ten children in the family. Apparently Josiah had died before his father. Blessed with two older boys, Mother Sarah stayed on and fought the good fight. The years passed, the children married and settled in Hatley and Compton and raised their families. Apparently all contact was not lost with friends and relatives in the States, however. Although most of Sarah’s children marred local friends, Jeremiah (II) says, “I returned to Vermont where I married Sarah Sturtevant.” ……………………. We shall introduce this interesting ancestor by quoting from her life history. “I was born in the town of Lime (Lyme), County of Grafton, New Hampshire (her birth date is torn off but was September 5th, 1798) . . . . My father was Lemuel Studevant and my mother was Priscilla Tompson. My parents were very strict with their children, being descendants of the old Pilgrims. They taught them every principle of truth and honor as they understood it themselves. They taught them to pray and read the Bible for themselves. My father had many books that treated on the principle of man’s salvation and many stories that were very interesting and I took great pleasure in reading them. He was Dean of the Presbyterian Church.” Another account differs. “He was an esteemed and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while she was one of the holy women in the membership of the Congregational Church. This mother in Israel was gifted with a strong mind, of much argumentative ability and studious nature given to hospitality and delighting to minister to the temporal wants of the saints.” But to continue with Sarah’s account, “For years his house was open to all denominations, so his children had the privilege of hearing the interesting religious conversations, but as I had the privilege of reading the Bile for myself, I found that none of them understood the Bible as I did. I knew of no other way to understand it only as it read. The Apostle said, ‘Though we or Angels from Heaven preach any other gospel that that which we preach, let him be accursed, and it was very evident to my understanding that they all came short of preaching the doctrine that Paul preached, but I was confident we should have the faith. “From childhood I was seriously impressed with and desired very much to be saved from that awful hell I heard so much about. I believed in the words of the Savior, that said ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ I prayed much and my prayers were sometimes answered immediately; this was before I made any pretentions to having any religion. “When I was 18 years old the Lord sent me a good husband. We were married at my father’s house, March 6, 1817, in the town of Barton, County of Orleans, State of Vermont. The next June we moved to Canada fifteen miles from the Vermont Line, into a very wicked place (Hatley). They would swear and drink and play cards on Sunday and steal and do any wicked act their master, the Devil, would lead them to. This was very different from what I was brought up to. My father would never suffer any profane language in his house. The next February (1818) I had a daughter (Mary Ann) born. She lived only12 days. There was (sic) some things very strange connected with the birth of this child which I do not think best to write, but I shall never forget, which I shall never know the meaning of until the first resurrection, when I shall clasp it (her) again in my arms. “The next January (1819) I had another daughter (Clarissal born. When she was about six months old, I had a vision of the damned spirits of hell so that I was filled with horror more than I was able bear, but I cried to the lord day and night until I got an answer of peace and a promise that I should be saved in the Kingdom of God that satisfied me. That promise has been with me through all the changing scenes of my life ever since.” On January 20, 1820, Jeremiah and Sarah were blessed with their third child, a daughter that they named Louisa. She was born in Hatley as were her two sisters before her. In the spring of this same year, Sarah had a most remarkable vision. She says, “When I was getting ready for bed one night I had put my babe into the bed with its father and it was crying. I dropped down to take off my shoes and stockings; I had one stocking in my hand. There was a light dropped down on the floor before me. I stepped back and there was another under my feet. The first was in the shape of a half moon and full of little black spots. The last was about an inch long and about a quarter of an inch wide. I brushed them with the stocking that was in my hand. This I did to satisfy others (obviously referring to her husband), as for myself, I knew that the lights were something that couldn’t be accounted for and (were) for some purpose. I did not know what until I heard the Gospel preached in its purity. The first was an emblem of all the religions then on the earth. The half moon that was cut off was the spiritual gifts promised after baptism. The black spots were the defects you will find in every church throughout the whole world. The last light was the Gospel preached by the Angel flying ;through the midst of heaven and it was the same year and the same season of the year, and I don’t know but what the same day that the Lord brought the glad news of Salvation to Joseph Smith. It must have been a stirring time among the heavenly hosts, the Windows of Heaven having so long been closed against all communication with earth, having been suddenly thrown open. Angels were wending their way to earth with such a glorious message - a message that concerns everyone, but (sic - not only) in heaven (but also) on earth. I prayed so loud that my husband was afraid they would all hear me. “After this there were two of his aunts came in and commenced talking about being slighted in not being invited to a quilting. I had no relish for any such talk and said nothing. They saw that I made no comment (and) being so astonished that I was so still, they asked my what I thought about it. I told them I didn’t know or care anything about it, all I cared for was to know and do the will of God. This turned the conversation in the right direction. My telling (of) my experience to these women and the effect it had on their minds was probably of much good, as they spread the news through the neighborhood. The result was the whole neighborhood were (sic) convinced that the manner that they had spent their time was wrong and instead of taking the name of God in vain, they cried to him for mercy. In short, the whole course of their former lives were (sic) abandoned. There were some exceptions, for (as) the leopard cannot change his spots, how then, can men do good that are accustomed to do evil, so says the prophet.” Let us pause in this narration to consult another sour Stephen Burbank, on of the early settlers of West Hatley (Massawippi) built the first distillery in the area. Other soon followed. As grandma Leavitt has said, the evils this brought upon the community were felt severely for a long time “Through the confirmed influence of strong drink, many of the early settlers sunk to the most abject poverty, and were compelled to sell out and leave the country.” The changing of this sinful way of life to a better one was not, as grandma Leavitt indicates, the result of her actions alone. “In 1811-12 the Free-will Baptists of Stanstead enjoyed a revival under the labors of Elders Avery Moulton and Robinson Smith… The revival extended to the Church in Hatley … Prosperity seemed to attend the Church and revivals were frequent.” By 1823 the Church numbered about 25 members, among them Jeremiah and Sarah. So, it would appear that a general improvement of conditions resulted from these revivals and the settlement of men like Robinson Smith and Avery Molton in the Hatley area. Grandma Leavitt says, “But there was a minister come from the states and formed a church, called the Baptist which I joined because I wanted to be baptized by immersion. I had been sprinkled when an infant, but as I said before, I did not believe in any church on earth, but was looking to a time when the knowledge of God would cover the earth .. Jeremiah says, “…we joined the freewill baptists and remained with them untill (sic) we saw the Book of Mormon & Covenants and believed them with out (sic) hearing any preaching.” On the 10th of February, 1822, Jeremiah and Sarah Became the parents of their first son, whom they named after his father. The next year Lydia was born on the 4th of July. Jeremiah worked on his farm or with his oxen cleared land for others at $10 to $15 an acre and at times worked on the roads of the county. Once the land was cleared of it’s valuable timber stands it was very productive and produced crops of Indian corn, wheat, rye oats, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, turnips, peas, beans, and grass to feed or range the stock. As the children grew up they began attending school in Hatley. Spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic and grammar were the only courses taught. School was held for three months during the summer and three months during the winter. The teachers were sustained by the people, and “boarded a round.” Before returning to Grandma Leavitt’s account we must catch up on the children. Weare was born in 1825, Lemuel Sturtevant, November 3,1827, Dudley on August 31, 1830, Mary Amelia February10, 1832 and Thomas Rowell on June 30, 1834. As the birth and baptism records for Hatley are non-existant or scarce for this time period we can only surmise that the family remained in Hatley even though many of the family of Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt were in Compton and some were scattered in other townships throughout the area. “We took a Free-will Baptist paper that I thought always told the truth, but there was [sic] a number of columns in this paper concerning a new sect. It had a prophet that pretended he talked with God. They had built a thing they called a meeting house, a huge mass of rock and wood, on the shores of Lake Cryenth … to make the blue waters of the lake blush for shame. In this Joe would go talk, he said, with the Lord and come out and tell them what the Lord had said. But if I should go on and tell all the lies in that paper, how they healed the sick and managed their affairs, it would be too much for me. If you ever read the Arabian Night too, you might guess of what importance they were, for I could compare them to nothing else. No person of common sense would believe a word of it, and yet they wrote it for truth, thinking that would hinder Mormonism from spreading. But in this the Devil overshot himself, for they were too big [of] lies for anyone to believe. “But I will go on with my experience. I had a place that I went [to] every day for secret prayers. My mind would be carried away in prayer so that I knew nothing of what was going on around me. It seemed like a cloud was resting down over my head. If that cloud would break there was an angel that had a message for me or some new light. If the cloud would break there would be something new and strange revealed. I did not know that it concerned anyone but myself. So after this there was one of my husband’s sisters [either Rebecca or Hannah] came in and after spending a short time in the house she asked me to take a walk with her. She had heard the gospel preached by a Mormon and believed it and [had] been baptized. She commenced and related the whole of Joseph’s vision and what the Angel Moroni had said the mission he had called him to. It came to my mind in a moment that this was the message that was behind that cloud, for me and not for me only, but for the whole world, and I considered it of more importance than anything I had ever heard before, for it brought back the ancient order of things and laid a foundation that could be built upon that was permanent; a foundation made by Him that laid the foundation of the earth, even the Almighty God; and he commanded His people to build up the kingdom of God upon the foundation he had laid, and notwithstanding the heathen raged and Satan mustered all his forces against the work; it has gone onward and upward for more than forty years, and will continue until the work is finished. “I read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and all the writings I could get from the Latter-Day Saints. It was the book of Doctrine and Covenants that confirmed my faith in the work. I knew that no man, nor set of men, could make such a book or would dare try from any wisdom that man possessed. I knew it was the work of God and a revelation from Heaven and received it as such. I sought with my whole heart a knowledge of the truth and obtained a knowledge that never has nor never will leave me.” The word of god fell on fruitful ground when it fell among the Leavitt family in Canada. Many of them were baptized and accepted the restored gospel with open hearts. “The next thing was to gather with the saints. I was pondering over in my heart how it was possible for such a journey with what means we could muster. We had a good farm, but could not get much for it, but the voice of the Spirit said, ‘Come out of Babylon, O my people, that you be not partakers of her plagues.’ From the time the voice spoke so loud, clear and plain to my understanding, I knew the way would be open[ed] for us to gather with the Saints. For the Lord never gives a commandment to men but what he gives them a chance to obey. From this time we set out in earnest and was [sic] ready to start with the rest of the Leavitt family, Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt and her children, consisting of twenty-three souls. Franklin Chamberlain, her oldest son-in-law, took the lead. He did not belong to the church, but his wife [Rebecca] did. “We had a prosperous journey of eight hundred miles to Kirtland, Ohio. I had no chance to be baptized and join the church until I got there. My daughter, Louisa and myself and some others were baptized at this place and were confirmed. Louisa had been sick for a year, under the doctor’s care, and had taken very much medicine, but all to no purpose. She was very feeble, could sit up but little. She had been in the states with my friends for more than a year. Her father and myself went after her with a light carriage. As she was 18 years old I gave her her choice to go home with us or stay with my sister. My sister told her if she would stay with her she should never want for anything, but she said she would go with her father and mother. My sister said, ‘Louisa, if you ever get well, don’t say that Mormonism cured you.’ So much for her judgment of Mormonism. She was rich, high spirited, and proud and belonged to a church that was more popular than the Latter-day Saints.” According to Jeremiah “…we went to Kirtland where we was [sic] baptized.” It would seem that none of the rest of the family was baptized at this time except Sarah and Louisa and of course some of the children and grandchildren of Mother Leavitt. The family apparently arrived just after the general assembly of the Church of Latter-day Saints on the 17th of August, 1835 in which the book of Doctrine and Covenants was presented to the Church for its approval. The History of the Church, Vol. III., page 253 states that the Prophet returned from Michigan to Kirtland on Sunday, August 21st. Undoubtedly it was the following day when the family met him and heard him preach on the duty of wives. It would seem, then, that they were very likely baptized that Sunday, August 23rd, prior to his arrival in the city. Sarah says “We stayed at Kirtland about a week and had the privilege of hearing Joseph preach in that thing the Baptists said they called a meeting house, which proved to be a very good house. We went into the upper rooms, saw the Egyptian mummies, the writing that was said to be written in Abraham’s day, Jacob’s ladder being pictured on it, and lots more wonders that I cannot write here, and they were explained to us. “But our money was all spent, we could go no further, We had to look for a place where we could sustain ourselves for the present, while the rest of our company went on to Twelve-Mile Grove in Illinois. We promised them we would follow them the next year. This was the first of September (1835). My husband found a place ten miles from Kirtland - Mayfield, a little village with mills and chair factories, and every chance for a living we could wish. Some one asked my husband why he went there. There was everything gathered out of that place that could be saved, but he was mistaken, although it was a very wicked place. There was a man there by the name of Faulk, that owned almost the whole village. Of him we hired a house. It was about twenty feet from his tavern, so I could stand in my door and talk with those in the tavern. But they opposed Mormonism, so I said little about it. I thought I would first get their good will and then perhaps I could have some influence over them. Of course, so long as they thought me an enemy it would be of no use to preach over to them. I was persecuted and abused in many ways, but not by Faulk’s family. But I pain no attention to vulgar expressions, for I cared nothing about them. I had something of more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones. “But it was a hard case when the children would come from school with their nose(s) bleeding and crying, saying that they had been pounded most unmercifully. I went to the teacher very candid(ly) and told her that unless she could stop the scholars from abusing my children I should have to take them out of school, which I did not want to do. She said she would. “I wanted very much to get the good will of my neighbors, for I knew that I could have no success in preaching Mormonism unless I did and I was so full of that spirit [that] it was hard to hold my peace. Consequently, I mingled in the society of all, was cheerful and sociable as though I was a great friend, but kept on the side of truth and right. I would go into the tavern when they had balls and help set the table and wait on ladies and was very sociable and talkative, By and by, being free with all, I soon got the good will of some of them. If we had commenced telling them of their faults and that they were all wrong, which was the case, and [that] they must repent or they would be damned, we could not have gotten along in that place but should have had to leave. “My husband said nothing, only what was necessary to get employment. He got plenty of work with his team, so we got plenty to live upon and something to lay up. But we were watched mighty close to see if they could discover dishonesty in our dealings. But as they could find nothing to complain of they thought they would let us alone. There were some that had the mob spirit in them so much that they said Louisa should have a doctor. She was then confined to her bed. They were going to take our team to pay the doctor, so I heard. I thought she had already taken too much medicine. “I lay pondering on our situation, thinking we should be undone if our team was took [sic] from us,. And prayed earnestly to the Lord to let us know what we should do. There was an angel stood by my bed in answer to my prayer. He told me to call Louisa up and lay my hands upon her head in the name of Jesus Christ and administer to her and she should recover. I awakened my husband, who lay by my side, and told him to get up, make a fire, and get Louisa up. She would hear to him sooner than to me; to tell her that an angel had told me to lay my hands upon her head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and administer to her in His name and she should recover. She was perfectly ignorant of Mormonism’ all she had ever heard about it was in Kirtland, what few days we stayed there and what we had told her. Her mind was weak, indeed, but she got up and I administered to her in faith, having the gift from the Lord. It was about midnight when this was done and she began to recover from that time and was soon up and about, and the honor, praise and glory be to God and the Lamb. So you see, our enemies were defeated of their plan, but knew nothing of the cause of her recovery.” Some people may not understand the above miracle, but it would seem to be quite clear if we stop and think about it for a minute. The family had been in the Church for only two months. They were in a city where no other members of the Church lived, and Jeremiah did not have the priesthood, but his wife did possess spiritual gifts in rich abundance. “now concerning spiritual gifts, I would not have you ignorant,” said Joseph Smith. He said that some foolish ideas were circulating among the members of the Relief Society against some sisters not doing right in laying hands on the sick. He said that if the people had common sympathies they would rejoice that the sick could be healed. He went on to say that although this was not the proper order of things, yet until the proper order was set up, the Lord was magnifying His name as He deemed best. Hence the appearance of the angel and the command given to Sarah to heal her daughter through the power of faith which she had. “After this dream I was sensible [to the fact] that people in that place could be saved, although their outward appearance would indicate no salvation for them. Mr. Faulk, that man in whose house we lived, was noted for his wickedness. He ran headlong into everything that would come in and satisfy his carnal desire[s], but I had got his good will, so that he would come in often and have a talk with me. I discovered that there was [sic] some good stripes in the man. At last I told him had some books I wanted him to read, [that] he might have them if he would read them. I gave him the Voice of Warning. He took it home and read it. Then I gave him other books, all explaining the L.D.S. message, and at last the Book of Mormon. He would ask questions and [respond with] answers to my questions, but I could not find out what his mind was concerning what he had read. But as it proved afterwards, he believed it to be the truth. “There was one of his companions that was often with him that was thrown from his horse and had three of his ribs broken, which caused him great distress. His wife was a good woman for a gentile, but the neighbors neglected her on account of her having such a wicked husband. I would go in and help her all I could. I was talking with one of them and told her that Mrs. Carpenter had too hard [of] a time. She was almost worn out waiting on her husband night and day; the neighbors ought to help her more. She said he was such a wicked man - let him suffer. She did not know that he ought to have much help. I told her she made me think of the words of the Savior to the Jews. He said, ‘Think not that them on which the Tower of Silom fell and slew were sinners, above all others. I tell you, except you repent you shall all likewise perish.’ ‘So I say to you, Peter Carpenter was perhaps ahead of you in sin, but you are not on the road to happiness and must alter your course or you cannot be saved.’ “One Saturday night after I had gotten ready for bed, I told my husband that we could go into Carpenters and if they had watchers we would stay and watch with them. We went in and found him without a watcher and groaning in great distress and said he had had no rest for four and twenty hours [and was] screaming to the Lord to have mercy on him. At last I went to the bed and asked him if he meant what he said, if he really wanted the help of God. He looked up and said, ‘Do you think there is any mercy for me?’ I told him I didn’t know but I would pray for him and then I could help. I knelt down and prayed and while I was praying the pain all left him and he went to sleep. He was then going to gather up what he had and go with the Mormons. I told if he would forsake his former practices and do right in all things as duty was made known to him he should not only get well, but he would be saved. I said a good deal to him but I don’t remember what so as to write it. “The next day, Sunday, I went in. The house was full of people so that I had hard work to get to the bed. He looked up to me and said, ‘Mrs. Leavitt, if I could feel as well as I did last night, when you prayed for me I should want you to pray again.’ I told him that if I could do so and do any good by praying I would and I knelt down in the midst of all that Gentile throng and the Lord gave me great liberty of speech. I prayed with the spirit of understanding, also to Him be the glory. The people were astonished and began to think there was some truth in Mormonism, not withstanding the bad reports about them. After this we were treated with respect, and Carpenter began to recover and soon became able to walk the streets. He went to the tavern and joined with his old companions, drinking and frolicking, and he was soon down again as bad as ever. I went to see him. He looked up and said, ‘Mrs. Leavitt, you said I would get well and here I am again.’ ‘Mr. Carpenter,’ said I, ‘on what conditions did I tell you that you should get well?’ I went on and relayed to him the conditions. ‘And instead of you complying with the conditions, as soon as you could walk you went back to the tavern and joined your old company. Christ didn’t die to save us in our sins, but from our sins; and if we go on in sin we must reap the reward, which is banishment from the presence of Him who suffered an ignominious death upon the cross to save us. Consequently the Devil will claim us, for the wages of sin is [sic] death.’ I do not remember our conversation so as to write the words, but you have the substance of it. Carpenter was convinced of the truth of what I said and could say nothing in his own defense. But I believed he reformed, for he got better and could walk out.” The above events are spectacular if one understands the history of Mayfield and the surrounding area. “About 1828 a temporary blight affected the growth and impeded the development of the new township. This was nothing more or less than an outbreak of Mormonism. We have referred to the address of Sidney Rigdon at Chagrin Falls in which he predicted that the ‘Saints’ should soon occupy the Chagrin Valley. Mayfield became an especial camping ground for Mormon preachers, priests, and prophets, before this prediction was made, and there were many converts …. Families were broken up by the fanatical Mormonism of some of the households. Besides the resident converts many Mormons moved into the township and ‘squatted’ on land in the sparsely settled portions of the township, on farms in the western and central parts. There were social groups. In some instances there were several families on one farm. But developments at Kirtland and plans of the leaders there changed the drift and in 1831 they moved away to join the westward progress of the colony. Mayfield breathed freer now and the coming of settlers of a character to build up the best interests of the township began. “After the Mormons left, a more enterprising class came in. They brought up the old improvements, paid for their lands in a reasonable time and a change came over the township for the better. Whatever may be said of the thrift of the Mormons in the West, they were not a benefit to Mayfield and insofar as their influence and history touches the township of Mayfield, and thereby enters into the history of Cuyahoga County, they were a blight.” Well, we see both sides of the story. Somewhere between the two, lies the truth, probably closer to the account of our ancestor even though she at times seems to exaggerate to stress a point. But let us continue with her very interesting account. “The time drew near for our departure. My husband had not only provided for his family, but had gotten considerable besides, but only $30.00 in money. He told Faulk [that] he wanted to settle with him for his house rent, that he wanted him to take other property as he had but little money. He could get no answer from him, but he was very kind and obliging. So were all the neighbors; those that hated us when we came into the place, appeared now our devoted friends. It was to our advantage, for they helped us to get ready for a journey of 500 miles. “When we settled with the merchant and I took a bill of the goods, I found there was not a charge for thread, needles, buttons or any such trifles, while at one time he gave me a whole card of buttons and told me to put them all on Tom’s coat. Tom was his constant visitor. He stayed in the store most of the time. He was four or five years old [or according to his birth date, closer to three years old]. But Faulk would not settle with us until we got our team harnessed to start. Now my husband said, ‘We must settle.’ The windows were, some of them, broken and we expected the rent to be high. But Faulk would not settle - he wanted to see if Mormons were willing to pay their debts. He hallowed to the merchant and said, ‘Put up half a pound of tea for this woman and charge it to me, and another half pound and charge it to yourself. She must no go to the Mormon swamps and drink the water, it will kill her.’ I will only add that I got the tea and more favors than I can write here, and that Faulk joined the Church and came to Nauvoo afterward. How many more I don’t know and can’t say for I did not see him myself, but my boys did. “Now I will start for the Twelve-Mile Grove in Illinois. Nathaniel Leavitt had come up the lake to Michigan, stopped to [sic] a place called White Pidgeon [in St. Joseph County]. When we got into that place we heard [that] Nathaniel was dead and that his wife had took [all] all the property and gone back to Canada and left three children that were his first wife’s [Deborah Delano] children, among strangers sick with the ague. The oldest boy was ten or twelve years old; he told the folks when he got big enough he was going to hunt his folks. They were with the Mormons somewhere. They told him the Mormons were all killed; he never would find any of them. What s pitiful situation for three sick orphans with hardly clothes enough to cover their nakedness … [not knowing] if they should see a friend again. They were at three different houses; their names were: Nathaniel, Flavilla and John. “When we came you may guess what their feelings must … [have been]. We took them along with us, which increased our number to eleven [there were 11 in her family - therefore making 14 if all of the family was in the caravan], which I had to cook for and my husband to buy the provisions [for]. We had a hard and tiresome journey. The roads were bad all the way. In one place there was a five-mile pole bridge over a swamp without any gravel or dirt on it and the wagon jolted so it almost took our breath away. “After we got over the swamp, there was [sic] some settlers, but it was a God-forsaken looking place. I don’t think we went into a house where there were no deaths, and in some half of them had died. We stayed one night in what they called a tavern, but everything looked gloomy enough and suspicious and certainly felt gloomy enough. I never had such feelings before and as I understood afterward, there had been a number of murders committed in the house. The Lake Michigan was near the house and that contained the body of one that had been murdered. I could tell all that I heard and read about if it concerned me. I suppose that I saw one of the murderers at the Bluff. If that place had not the curse of God upon it I should not have had those gloomy feelings. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is peace and union. “Before we left Lake Michigan we had to stop and work for provisions and horse feed. After a long and tedious journey we at last found ourselves in Illinois at Twelve-Mile Grove.” Twelve-Mile Grove is located in Wilton Township, Will County, Illinois, and is a place with a fascinating history. “This [Wilton] township was settled about 1832, by Samuel Holcomb, at the eastern end of the ‘Twelve-Mile Grove.’ It is claimed by some that Mr. Joseph Lawton settled before Mr. Holcomb. About 1835 Abram Huyck settled in the ‘Grove.’ In 1837 Frank Chamberlain, James Adams, Horace Fish, and Weir Leavitt settled in the ‘Grove’ …. It is considered one of the finest prairie towns in the county.” “From 1837 to 1840, Frank Chamberlain, James Adams, Horace Fish, Weir Leavitt, Jabez and Hiram Harvey settled there, and many others soon after …. Considerable historical interest attaches to this grove, on the account of the fact that it was originally an Indian Reservation consisting of two sections of land, reserved by the same treaty … generally known as the ‘Se-natch-wine’ Reservation. “In this grove was once an Indian village of which Se-natch-e-wine was chief. This reservation of two sections was deeded by the chief in question, and Joseph Laughton [an Indian], to James Kibbin, in 1840, and one section was conveyed by him to the Nelsons…. “The Indian name of this grove was Ne-be-ne-ka-nong, which roughly translated means ‘Twelve miles from any other place.’ the stream known as Forked Creek runs through the grove.” “The little grove is said to have been one of the finest tracts of timber in Northern Illinois, and was full of deer, wild turkeys and other game, at the time of the earliest settlement by the whites. The fine little stream a branch of Forked Creek, dividing, the township; diagonally into two almost exactly equal parts, flows over a rock bed, along which the grove, on the other side, lies. On every side lies the open prairie, and in approaching the timber one is reminded of the little clumps of timber described by Eastern travelers as appearing on the Great Desert, toward which their anxious eyes and weary limbs ever turn for refreshing shelter and drink for themselves and thirsty animals… “The exodus of the Hocums [Holcombs], the Lawtons and the other Indians, took place about 1835, at which date Abram Huyck came to the township and settled on Section 36, since and still called Huyck’s Grove. For two years the Huyck family were the only inhabitants of the township, and Twelve-Mile Grove was deserted. “When the whites first began to settle here, many traces of the former occupants of the grove were yet visible. Among the most interesting of these, as illustrating their methods of sepulchre, were the tombs of three Indians, supposed, from the profusion of their decorations, to be chiefs. The sepulchre, or whatever it might be called, consisted of a little pen, built up of small sticks, laid one upon the other, to the height of about four feet, being from four to five feet square. The whole was covered with sticks, weighed down with heavy stones. And therein, on a kind of stool, sat the three ‘poor Loes.’ looking lonesome and ghastly enough. The cracks between the sticks composing the pens were sufficiently wide to admit of inspection, while being at the same time too small to allow of their being disturbed by wild animals. In this position, these ghastly remains sat in all of their feathers, beads, and jewelry, with the flesh decaying from their bones, for a number of years, till at length a foolish lad, who lived in the neighborhood, upset their charnal-houses, scattering their bones about the surrounding country. “In 1837, three families from Canada came in and settled at the grove. These were Franklin Chamberlin, Oliver Chamberlin and James Adams. ‘The Chamberlins were father and son. The Chamberlins build the first frame house. The timbers were ‘got out,’ hewed and prepared from the grove, and the boards were brought from Wilmington, where a sawmill had recently been built. Adams occupied the Hocum cabin.” Apparently the Leavitts after leaving Kirtland for Twelve-Mile Grove, got help up in some other place [probably Lake Michigan], because there is a time lapse of a little over a year that is not accounted for in any records that we can find. The family of Jeremiah and Sarah Leavitt must have arrived at the grove in 1838. “Here we found our friends almost discouraged. They had much sickness among them and Mother Leavitt [Sarah Shannon] had died and Weir’s oldest son, Weir, was sick with a cancer. We had doted much on seeing Mother Leavitt, but she alas was sleeping in the grave, and gone to the Paradise of God to reap the reward of the just. There was [sic] a number among them that had had the spiritual gifts and were [now] in a state of darkness. They had paid out much money for medicine and had much trouble, which had brought them down in bondage because their faith failed. If they had put their trust in their kind Heavenly Father and cried to Him from all this trouble, for He does not grieve us willingly [he would have delivered them]. We must obey His commandments and we have the promise of prospering upon the land. “They had bought noble farms. The soil was very rich and brought forth great crops. But it was a sickly place - the fever and ague were located there. But we had to look out for a living. They were making a canal at Juliette [Juliet, Will Co., Illinois - the canal was being built between Channahon and Juliet]. Fourteen miles from this place, and my husband went and engaged to work on it with his team for $3.00 a day. We moved out there and I washed for the workmen and we got a good living. But we stayed with our friends until their minds were stirred up and were alive in our religion , and tried to comfort and encourage them. Sally Ann Chamberlain, who had formerly had the gifts and now was in the dark, sat looking at me as I was reading a passage where it said righteousness should spring out of the earth. She wondered what it could mean. She said, ‘What is more righteous than angels or what is truer than the Book of Mormon?’ “There,’ she said, ‘I have got my gifts again.’ “They rejoiced much and sought the favor of God until all that ever had the gifts obtained them again and some that never had them [before]. They had never seen a Mormon from the time they left Kirtland until we came, so you see how much need we have of meeting together often and stirring up each other’s minds by way of remembrance. The prophet said they that feared the Lord spake often to one another and the Lord harkened and heard and a book of remembrance was kept for them that feared the Lord and thought upon his name. ‘And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, when I come to make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his only son that serveth him.’ So you see we have our reward for all our exertions to do good and after we have done all that we can do to advance the cause of God we are still unprofitable servants, because of our weaknesses….. “While I was at Juliette [sic] I was alone and praying. After continuing in prayer for some time I thought of Joseph and commenced praying for him. As soon as I spoke his name I burst into tears and my heart was filled with grief and I said, ‘Oh my God, what is the matter with Brother Joseph?’ I learned afterward [that] the mob had him, raving over him. I did not know at this time that there were any mobs gathered. We were at Juliette [sic], Illinois, and the mob in Missouri, but the spirit manifested to me that he was in trouble. I prayed with all the power I had for the prophet of God. ‘The fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man availed much,’ saith the Lord. “We stayed in Juliette [sic] until spring. It was the last of November [1838] when we went there. In the spring [1839] we went back to Twelve-Mile Grove and my husband took a farm on shares at the West Grove, five miles from there, and five cows to make butter and cheese. We raised a fine crop and had a good living;. My husband built a house on the prairie a mile and a half from the place where his folks lived, but there was not timber at the grove. We moved into the house in November and had a windy place in the open prairie.” We should stop here to comment on the birth of Betsy Jane Leavitt who was born May 12, 1839 at the Five-Mile Grove, which is in Manhattan Township, Will County, Illinois. “In March [1840] we lost our only cow. The next day after she died I was taken sick with the chills and fever and confined to bed. The sisters would come and wait on me, as they were afraid I would die there alone. They got a bed on a sled and put me on it and carried me down. I remained there about two months before I was able to sit up. When I went down, there was nothing green started out of the earth, when I came back the grass was ankle high. I had a severe fit of sickness, but shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil. I did not complain, although I had to leave my babe at home, only a year old. “I had the chills while I lived at the Five-Mile Grove and was reduced so low that the days I had the chill, after the fever was off, they had to watch me night and day. If I slept over a few minutes, I was overcome. Louisa and her father watched over me until they were tired out, as they had to work days. My husband said to Louisa, ‘We must go to bed tonight. We can’t be broke of rest so much.’ I heard what was said and the first thought I had was it would kill me if I was not waked up. The next thought was that the angels will watch over me. I went to sleep and in the night someone touched me and waked [sic] me up. I looked to see who it was that had waked [sic] me and I saw a person with his back toward me, going toward the fire. I thought it was my husband, but I felt unusual calmness and peace of mind. The next morning I found that no one had been up in the house, so I thought it was my good angel watching over me. ‘The Lord fed me with a Shepard’s care. My noonday walk He will attend and all my midnight hours attend.’ “But I will return to my history. We had lost our only cow, but my husband made rails and bought another and finally we concluded we would go to Nauvoo, as lots of our friends were going. We had never lived where there was a branch of the church, but we got together every week and had prayer meetings and the Lord was with us and poured out His spirit in so much [abundance] that they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The children took part in these meetings. They could talk in tongues and prophesy and it was interpreted. We depended on no leader but the Lord and He led us into all truth, the sick were healed as often as any were taken sick. “Before we left the place there was [sic] a number of elders came and we were made glad indeed. We had not seen a Saint from the time we left Kirtland, and they gave us much instructions and encouraged us so that we felt like urging our passage through all the cares and trials of life until our work was finished on the earth.” One of these elders was King Follett. Says Jeremiah, “I was ordained a teacher under the hand of King Follett [at Twelve-Mile Grove].” Sarah continues. “One night we had a prayer meeting and my husband was praying. While he prayed that we might be counted worthy to partake of the tree of life and enter into the gates to the city of the New Jerusalem, Sally Ann Chamberlain had a view of the city and saw throngs passing through the gates. As I was kneeling close to her, she said, ‘See there, Aunt Sally.’ She thought because I was close to her that I could see it as well as she. We all had the gifts and blessings promised in the Gospel and love and union prevailed.” With the center of the Church moving to Nauvoo, and the desires of the family to be with the Saints, preparations were made to leave Twelve-Mile Grove, Five-Mile Grove, and the loved ones who were buried there. “The Chamberlains remained there until 1845, when they removed to Black Oak, near Chicago.” Why they didn’t go with the rest of the family to Nauvoo is not known, but they did not. Let us return to Sarah’s account. “…we were preparing to move to Nauvoo. We started for Nauvoo, I think the first of November [1840]. My husband bought a place three miles from the city and built a house.” We must pause here because of a need to clarify some facts and add information on the family and add information on the family from other sources. The family continued to reside at this same farm as shown by the 1842 Church Census taken in the spring of that year. As in the earlier census, Clarissa and Lydia are the only ones of the family not at home. The family is given as follows. Jeremiah Levit Sarah Levit Loisa Levit Jeremiah Levit Jr. Weyer Levit Lemuel Levit Dudley Levit Marey Levit Thomas Levit Betsey Levit John Leavitt and family, and Horace Fish and family were in the same ward and apparently lived close to their other Leavitt relatives. The farm which Jeremiah leased was in Township 7 North Range 8 West as can be seen in the following plat map of the Nauvoo area. According to the Tax Assessor’s Record for the year 1842, Jeremiah had $130.00 worth of cattle, a $30.00 wagon, $10.00 in others assets of property not enumerated, and $170.00 of personal property. Now to continue with Sarah’s account. “There was some land plowed which he [Jeremiah] sowed to wheat. He had to work very hard for a living. Provisions were scarce and high and most of the saints poor. There were some not [so] poor and not fit to called saints, many of them. I will relate one circumstance that may give you a little idea of the way that many managed. I was sick and had but a few of the comforts of life. I had no tea and no appetite. My husband went down to the city, expecting some money that was due him. He could not get the money. He went to the store and told Lyons he wanted a quarter of a pound of tea and told him he would have the money the next day. He told him he had been disappointed in getting the money that day, that I was sick and he could not go home without some. He would not trust him, but he had an axe with him and he left it in pawn and took the tea, which, was only one case and worth 25 cents. After he came home that night his money came. That was only one case out of a number that was [sic] like it. There was an Englishman who bought a farm of [from] Joseph [Smith], adjoining ours, and when his land was surveyed it took in our field of wheat. When the wheat was ripe my husband took his cradle and went in to cut it. The man, Fox, I think was his name, forbid his cutting the wheat. He said it was on his land and he should have it. My husband went down to Joseph and asked him what he should do. Joseph told him to let Fox have the wheat, but he should be cursed; that the law would bear him out in keeping the wheat, but not to grieve for it, that he [Joseph] would pay him for it in flour. “And the curses of God did overtake him [in] somuch that he didn’t live to eat the wheat. He and his wife would brag of their gold and how much money and every good thing they had, that they got enough to last four years. They would take me to her bureau and show me her nice things, but though I was very poor, I did not covet anything she had. Fox said nobody would dare to come around his house to steal his gold, for he had fifty thousand in his house. When he told me that, I had a very curious feeling that he had come among the saints and had brought deadly weapons to defend his gold and his great treasures. I told him he need be under no fear among the saints, for it they could take his money without his knowledge of it, they [would] feel as Moses said, ‘Though, God seeth me.’ and to him that had fed us and clothed us all our lives we have got to give an account. “Not long after this we were sent for to his house. He was dying. He did not speak after we went in and soon breathed his last. His goods [that] he had laid up for many years he had to leave behind. How hard it is for those that trust in riches to be saved in the kingdom of God. His wife didn’t live long after. “But it cast a gloom over my mind and a solemnity that kept me awake that night. I lay and thought, what dependent creatures we are, that with all the exertions we can use, our destinies are in the hands of God, and he will deal with us as he sees fit. Not for all the treasures of earth would I give up the hope of eternal life, and am willing to sacrifice every earthly enjoyment if I could know that I found favor in the sight of the Lord. Life is so short and uncertain that we had better work while the day lasts, before the night overtakes us wherin no man can work. There is a land of pleasure where peace and joy forever reign and there I have a treasure, there I hope to visit. “But I will go on with my history. We all had to work hard for a living, but with the blessings of God and our exertions, we soon began to get a good living. We swapped farms with a man, got one by the big mound, seven miles from the city a fine pleasant place. But Priscilla was born before we moved [Sarah Priscilla, born May, 1841 in Hancock Co., Illinois] and had much sickness. There was [sic] four of the boys all sick at once with the black canker. There were many who died in Nauvoo with the same disorder and some of my boys were brought to the very gates of death, to all appearances. But by watching over them day and night and administering, the Lord raised them up, thanks to his Holy name. “One of the boys had got about and could walk while the other lay at the point of death. We had to watch over him every moment. The one that could walk as soon as he lay down at night he took with the toothache and would roll and groan. After a few nights (I had laid down to rest a few moments) he began to groan. I had a strange feeling come over me. I thought it was the power of the devil that was destroying our peace, and I had bore [sic] it as long as I would. I jumped out of the bed with about the same feeling I would have to drive a hog out of the house, and as sure he would have to go. I stepped up very spry to the bed and put my hands on his head in the name of Jesus and asked God to rebuke the spirit. I did not say a loud word, but as soon as it was done he went to sleep and never was troubled any more. I had administered to very many to rebuke diseases, but never had the same feelings before or since. Very different were my feelings when Mary had a felon on her finger and she was groaning. My baby was but a few days old. The felon was growing worse every day. I told her to get up on the bed beside me. I took her hand in mine and asked the Lord to heal it. The pain stopped while I held her hand in mine and she had no more pain. The next day the core came out and the hole remains yet where the core was, and always will be. In this case I said nothing aloud, but I had faith as much as a grain of mustard seed. The Savior told his disciples that if they had faith of a mustard seed they could remove mountains.” Jeremiah advanced in the priesthood while in Nauvoo. “I was ordained into the Sixteenth Quorum [six] of the Seventies by order of the Council.” He does not appear to have held any positions of responsibility in the Church, however, but was a faithful member of the Church, constant in his duties, and possessing the qualities of a true Latter-Day Saint. Shortly after moving to The Mound, Joseph Smith and Hyrum his brother, were murdered at Carthage. Says Sarah, “But oh, the sorrow and trouble that was just at our door! We knew they had Joseph in prison and threatened to take his life, but that was nothing new or strange, for his enemies always did that, but we did not believe they could have power to murder him; and he lived above the law. The law could have no power over him, put powder and balls could, so they shot him in Carthage Jail. When the news came the whole city of Nauvoo was thunderstruck; such mourning and lamentation was seldom ever heard on the earth,. There were many, myself among them, that would gladly have died if his life could have been spared by doing so. I never had spoken to the man in my life, but I had seen him and heard him preach and know that he was a prophet of God, sent here b the Almighty to set up His kingdom, no more to be thrown down, and now how was that great and important work to be accomplished. Brigham Young was the man clothed with all the power and authority of Joseph. My husband said that he had the same spirit, the same voice, and if he had not known Joseph was dead he would actually have thought it was Joseph. Brigham was gone to the east when Joseph was killed. Rigdon tried hard to lead the church and get established in that place before Brother Brigham got to Nauvoo, but his deceit and lies were proved as the twelve returned about this time. “It was whispered in my ear by a friend that the authorities were getting more wives than one. I have thought for many years that the connection between man and wife were [sic] as sacred as the heavens and ought to be treated as such, and I thought that the Annointed of the Lord would not get more wives unless they were commanded to do so. But still I wanted a knowledge of the truth for myself. I asked my husband if he did not think we could get a revelation for ourselves on the subject. He said he did not know. After we went to bed I lay pondering it over in my mind. I said, ‘You know Lord that I have been a faithful and true wife to my husband, and you know how much I love him, and must I sacrifice him?’ The answer was ‘No,’ and then my mind was carried away from the earth and I had a view of the order of the celestial kingdom. I saw that [plural marriage] was the order there and oh, how beautiful. I was filled with hope and love and joy that was unspeakable. I waked [sic] my husband and told him of the views I had had and that the ordinance was from the Lord; but it would **** thousands. It was too sacred for fools to handle, for they would use it to gratify their lustful desires. How thankful we ought to be that we live in a day when we can know the will of God concerning our duty. and that the darkness that has so long covered the earth has been dispelled and the light of truth was burst upon the benighted world. But what good will this do those who will not come to the light because their deeds are evil, and they choose darkness rather than light. But the honest in heart that seek the Lord in faith will obtain all the knowledge needful for their salvation. I have seen so much wrong connected with this ordinance [of plural marriage] that had I not had it revealed to me from Him that cannot lie I should sometimes have doubted the truth of it, but there has never a doubt crossed my mind concerning the truth of it since the Lord made it known to me in a heavenly vision. “But as I have commenced to write some of the most important scenes of my life, I will go on. My memory is so much impaired that it will be a jumbled up mess unless I have the spirit of truth to direct me. “We went to the city and was [sic] there when the bodies of the martyred prophets were brought into the city. It was after dark that they passed the house - it was at Brother Snow’s. A Doctor Clinton and his wife Melissa were there and they expected the mob would come into the city that night to kill the rest of the saints. There was [sic] orders for every man to arm himself and prepare to defend the city. The moon shone uncommonly bright, as we could see quite a distance. Melissa says to her husband, ‘Doctor, don’t you go; you will be killed and then I don’t want to live any longer.’ Says I to Melissa, ‘What do you mean? If I had forty husbands and as many sons I would urge them off in a hurry and if it was the fashion for the women to fight I would step into the ranks and help defend the city.’ And I am not much of a fighting character either, but I did not value my life very high at the time, for they had killed our beloved prophet and my life didn’t seem of much value at the time; but it is the Lord’s and let Him do with it what seemeth to him good. “They had guards out in every direction. They had a drum that could be heard a number of miles and when there was any danger they would beat that drum, and every one that was able would take whatever weapon they could get and run to the city and guard it. We [had] lived three miles from the city and I don’t know how many nights we left the place when the alarm drum was beaten. All of our men would run to the place appointed … but the guard had to be kept up at The Mound [also], for we had enemies on every side, all threatening to exterminate the Mormons. How strange when the Mormon’s never injured one of them, [but] if they had, the law was open and they could have brought them to justice without killing them. It was their religion and scattered among the gentiles they would be good citizens, but to pretend to have new revelation and a prophet; it was more than they could bare. When they found they couldn’t turn them from their purpose they swore they would kill them or they would make them leave the country. “But I for one didn’t fear them, for I knew that we were in the hands of God and he would make the wrath of man praise Him and turn all their hearts for the good of His Saints, and it was so, for the Lord wanted His people to get up into these Mountains and raise an ensign that the scripture might be fulfilled. But he saw that they would not go willingly, so He suffered their enemies to drive them. “Nauvoo and the country ‘round about had to be guarded as far as there were any Saints. After we moved to the Mound we had to keep a double watch, as there were two roads, one led to Warsaw and one to Carthage. It was very high land and we could see a great distance. When it was my husband’s turn to watch, I sat up with him to make a cup of tea as he was not a healthy man. One night while we were watching I got up on the shed and could see 2 buildings burning. One of them we supposed was a barn containing four hundred bushels of cleaned wheat and the other a dwelling house belonging to some of the brethren. “The enemy would ravage, steal and plunder and murder and no power in the U.S. to stop them! The Mormons could get no help because they believed the Gospel was restored to earth by an angel. The priests knew that if that doctrine prevailed, there was no chance for them and as the axe struck at the root of every denomination, they all joined together to help destroy the work of God. There were many ministers of different denominations that took the lead of mobs and were determined to put a stop to Mormonism. But it has increased the more they have opposed it and will continue to increase until the knowledge of God covers the earth, for all their burning buildings and killing the brethren. But there was no fear in my heart, for I knew we were in the hands of God, and He would do all things right.” While at the Mound Branch the family had several of the children blessed. Betsy {this is our great grandmother who was married to William Haynes Hamblin} who was born May 12, 1839 was blessed January 4, 1846; Sarah Priscilla who was born May 8, 1841 was blessed January 4, 1846. The financial well-being and the agricultural pursuits of the family can be seen also by the tithing that they paid. “October 24, 1845 Received of Jeremiah Leavitt, 3 days labor by James W. Leavitt at 8 hours per day; $3.00 as per certificate of A.P. Rockwood, dated October 25, 1845. Also 9 ¼ days labor by Wier Leavitt at 8 hours per day $9.25, as per certificate of T. Curtis dated October 24th 1845; also 9 ¼ days labor by W. Leavitt at 8 hours per day $9.25 As per Jermens time book; also 16 days labor at 8 hours per day $16.00 - and ½ tons of Hay value $6.00; and 9 bushels of Turnips delivered in 1842 at 2 hours per bushel $2.25 as per his own testimony, on tithing. $45.75. “January 14, 1846 Received of Nathaniel Leavitt, 1 Ton of Hay Value $5.00 on tithing. “January 14, 184 Received of Jeremiah Leavitt, 11 ½ bushels of corn at 16 2/3 cents per bushel on tithing $1.92. “We soon found we had to leave the place if we meant to save our lives and we with the rest of the brothers got what little we could from our beautiful farm. We had 40,000 bricks that my husband and sons had made for to build a house, and part of the rock to lay the foundation. For this we got an old bed quilt and for the farm a yoke of wild steers, and for two high-posted bedsteads, we got some weaving done. Our nice cheery light stand we left for the mob, with every other thing we couldn’t take along with us. While in the process of worrying about the many problems involved in moving the family, Jerry and Sally took time to go into Nauvoo and receive their endowments and be sealed for time and eternity. These ceremonies took place February 2, 1846, the last day the temple was suppose to be open according to Brigham Young. Two hundred and thirty-four persons received ordinances that day. Because of the insistence of the Saints, ordinance work continued until the 7th. On the 9th the temple caught fire at the same time the members of the Church were beginning to leave Nauvoo en masse. Many Saints had been recipients of those ordinances which would finalize their candidacy for the Celestial Kingdom. Among these there were those who would die while crossing the plains. Jeremiah was to be among these. Having assured themselves of their temple blessings, the mattes of the world pressed once again upon the Leavitt family. Sara has indicated what they received by way of compensation for their property. The following shows the land transaction as it legally appears, although apparently the money was never received. Returning to Sarah’s account of their departure from this farm that had cost them $200.00 and several years of hard work and diligent improvements, she says, “I never had a murmuring thought pass [through] my mind, although we left a handsome property and a beautiful place. We raised one crop on the place which showed the richness of the soil. From a small patch of melons the boys took a number of wagon loads to market and such large melons. But we gave up the place. Before we left I enjoyed myself all the time and was cheerful and happy and had no fears of being killed, for it was made known to me in dreams of the night that we were safe. “We went in and old school house to stay while we prepared for our journey. After we had been there a short time it was revealed to me in a dream that we had got to leave the place in a hurry or we should be killed. I waked [sic] my husband and told him that we had got to hurry right off or we should be killed. It was a rainy morning and we were not ready. Our wagon was not covered nor our things packed up. But he believed what I said, for it was the first word that I had made manifest [of] any fears and the first fears I had had; but I believed that we should get off before they came upon us. It was about 8 miles to the Mississippi River where we had got to go before we should be out of danger. There the brethren were collecting and crossing the river on a ferry boat. We threw our things into the wagon and started off on a bad road. We had a hard and dangerous time on account of high water, but we got safe to the ferry and crossed over into Iowa. There we stopped a week or more. The brethren made a camp with their wagons, drawing them around so as to touch each other, with one place of entrance, and our fires in the center. Our cattle and sheep were on the other side of the river, but they were soon all over safe and there our sheep were sheared. “One night, just [at] dark, there came an officer into the door of the camp and commenced talking with the children that were in the entrance. I looked up and saw him and knew the children did not know enough to talk to him. I stepped up to where he was and said, ‘What does this gentleman wish?’ First I knew he was upon some mischief, for he was dressed in the highest style and had every deadly weapon hanging around him that could be imagined. He asked if there was a man by the name of Bickmore in the camp. I looked down as if in study and I was in study to know what to say to deceive and yet tell the truth. ‘Bickmore, Bickmore. I [have] heard of the name. There was a man by that name [that] went in the first company.’ So I deceived him and told the truth, but the Bickmore that he had a warrant for had gone over the river for cattle.. His [ unable to read 3 or 4 words] [with] in our reach and we expected him every moment. The next thing was to keep the officer there until the man could be notified of the danger. “Bickmore’s wife was there and heard all that was said and they sent children to tell the men to keep away until the officer had gone. I gave him a seat and sat down by his side. He commenced asking me questions and the Lord gave me answers. ‘Why, madam,’ he said, ‘I see nothing before you but inevitable destruction in going off into the wilderness among savages, far from civilization, with nothing but what you can carry in your wagon. I told him I had know for ten years that we had to go and I was glad we had started. ‘Oh, trials?’ say I, ‘It is not more trial; I would not go back if I could have the whole country in my command and all the riches in it.’ [Said he,] ‘Well I see nothing but starvation for you.’ I told him the Lord was able to spread a table for us in the wilderness, for we were going where he wanted us to go. The mob was a rod in the hands of the Almighty to accomplish his purposes. He says, ‘I understand that your women go armed.’ “Armed,’ said I, ‘Indeed they do, and I never felt like giving pain to a mouse unless it was necessary; but if a mob should come on me I should try to defend myself, and I think I could fight.’ I can’t write half of what there was said, but we talked perhaps an hour. I kept him in conversation until I thought the men were safe and that was all I wanted of Mr. Mob. “As to the arms the women carried, they brought them into the world with them, and I had reference to no other. It would be a sad sight to see anyone without arms, but not such weapons as the mob carried. I deceived him entirely and told him the truth. It is not hard to deceive a fool, but if he is alive now he must know what I said concerning the Lord furnishing a table for us in the wilderness is true, and I often think of that saying when I am sitting to a well-furnished table. Oh, how kind and merciful is our Father in Heaven; he watches over us all the day long and when the night comes he is still our guard. Even the great God that held the reins of government over all his vast domain, condescends to watch over us poor, weak frail mortals. Well might David say, ‘What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the Son of Man that thou visiteth him?’ All that I say is, ‘Praise the Lord, oh my soul; and let all that hath breath shout aloud the praises of King Emmanu and ye solid rocks weep for joy.’ To write the life of God above, it would drain the ocean, though the sea was ink, and the earth paper and every stick a pen and every man a scribe. When I try to praise Him in beauty, honor and magnify the name of God, I find I have no language at my command that will do justice to the case, but when I lay aside this weak, frail body I expect to praise Him in the beauty of holiness. “Well, when all things were prepared we started on our journey. As we had let one yoke of oxen for to take church property, and had buy one yoke on our wagon with about of ton of loading, you may guess the hardships we had to endure. It was but very little we could ride; we had to wade the sloughs and climb the hills. But what was more remarkable, we never got stuck in a slough. They seemed to know when they came to a mud hole just what they had to do, and would push with such speed that the wagon had no time to settle down in the mud. “One night we camped with the company and they said a few miles ahead there was a wide and deep slough that took four yoke to take a heavy load across, but we could go around it and get back into the road to camp at night. Well, I told my husband that I would go ahead and wade the slough and be there when he came around. When I came in sight of the slough I saw one wagon stuck about half way across and another on the opposite bank just ready to start. They said it was 10 miles around that slough, and my husband couldn’t get around that night; it was almost night then. Well, you can guess how I felt; there alone among all kinds of wild animals. I thought I could not stand that. “I began looking off in the direction the wagon had gone and at last I saw it but so far off it was very uncertain whether I could make them hear. I went on to the highest place there was near and raised my voice as loud as I could, and with my pocket handkerchief in one hand stretched as high as I could reach to attract attention. At last they saw me and stopped. I beckoned to them to come down, for they were out of hearing and would have been out of sight in a few minutes. “My husband soon came. I told him the fix we were in and told him he must help get the wagon down. We could get across some way if we had to unload and carry our things by hand across the slough, for there was no further chance for us. He brought the wagon down and yoked up the two-year-old bull with a cow and put them on lead, thinking they might help going up the opposite bank. But when they went to go up the bank they settled back on the oxen. Old Berry, with as much sense as a human being, told the cow to go ahead by putting his crumpled horn into her flank and tore the side open. She jumped up the bank in a hurry and it was all done so quick that the wagon had not time to settle in the mud. I expect Old Berry would have taken the team across better without any help, for he had to drive the cow. My husband said he had not struck them a blow in the whole journey. They knew much better what to do than many men. He unyoked them every time he stopped [even] if it was just for one hour. “This was the last journey that he ever accompanied me [on], and I want to say that he was very kind to his cattle and children, especially his two little girls - he almost worshipped them. He said he wanted to live to see those girls married and settled down in peace. I had made them a nice linsey dress, both of them. Betsy cut down a **** in the fronts and bound it around to nurse their dolls. When I saw what she had done I was provoked and commenced scolding. I told her I must whip her. Her father said ‘Come here, Betsy, and let me see the sewing. If it is done good your mother shall not whip you.’ He looked at the sewing very carefully. He said, ‘Is is just as good as mother would have done it.’ He thought everything they did was good. Why I mention this is to let you know how indulgent he was to his children. We got this far and had no material stops. At last we got to Mr. Pisgah. There was [sic] a few of the brethren stopped there and put in a crop and built houses, expecting to winter there. This was in April, 1846, but we had not brought provisions to last until harvest and when my husband had built a house and put in a crop he started back to Bonaparte for provisions. His son Jeremiah had stopped there and he wanted to bring him along and flour for bread. I forgot to say that we had 3 extra cows, so we had plenty of milk and butter. He had got his cattle that he let go to draw church property here at Mt. Pisgah, so he had a strong team when he had got ready to start back. There was a woman that wanted to go back with him and she offered him two dollars if he would stop one day and that night was worth a thousands dollars to me. “He stayed in the house and talked all day and all night. He told me things I never knew before. He was not a man of many words and never flattered and I never knew until that night how much he valued me. I found that he was perfectly satisfied with all my doings insomuch that I never did a wrong thing in my life in his mind. Oh, how little did either of us think that [that] was our last intercourse. He talked just as if he knew that [it] was our last interview [however]; he was led by the spirit [in] what to say. Among other things he said, ‘Don’t have anything to say to anyone else while I am gone.’ This astonished me, for I did not believe that he questioned my chastity. I said, ‘Why do you make that request? Did I ever give you any reason to doubt my honor?’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘but it came into my mind to say it and I did.’ “Now to look at it, the spirit knew he would be gone ‘til the resurrection and he didn’t want me to get married to any other one. When I heard of his death I thought I will keep that request sacred. Although I have had good offers I never was tempted to marry. I have lived a lonely life as a widow twenty-seven years but my heart leaps for joy at the thoughts of meeting him at the great resurrection never more to part. “I had such a feeling about his leaving as I had never had before. I went to him just before he started and told him that it seemed to me that I couldn’t let him go. ‘Why,’ he said, ‘what do you mean? You know that I must get breadstuff. I thought you were a woman of fortitude.’ “I didn’t know there was one in the place that I had ever seen, but Lorenzo Snow’s family was living in their wagon in sight, not far off. His women came to my house to wash. Some of his women was [sic] as handsome as I had seen in any place. One of them came every night and slept with me until I was taken sick, which was about two weeks. I had not to say slept, for we talked almost all night. I thought that I would get much knowledge from her as she belonged to one of the twelve, and my mind was reaching after all the truth in existence. When my husband had been gone about two weeks I was taken sick with chills and fever, confined to the bed. I was an entire stranger, except for the acquaintence I had made with the sisters Snow. Soon after I was taken down, the children all took sick and I got a little girl that could cook to make porridge [sic] for us. However, our neighbors were all kind and helped us all they could. They would come and get my dirty clothes and wash them and if there were any holes, mend them. This they continued to do until they were all taken sick, insomuch that there were none well enough to take care of the sick. “I was the first one to take sick there and three hundred took sick and died after I was and I was spared alive. The bishop visited me often and told me if I needed something that to call on him and I should have it. I soon heard that he was dead. I was very sick and Mary lay at the point of death. We had watchers every night ‘til Mary’s fever left her. “One morning, after the watcher had left, I looked around the room to see if all was right. Right under the chair where one of the girls had sat all night I saw something that didn’t look as if it belonged in the house. I called to Thomas to come and see what that was. We found that it was a monstrous big rattlesnake coiled up on a bench and had lain there all night as harmless as a lamb. It had eight rattles. I told the boys not to kill it; it had not come as an enemy, but on a friendly visit to help the girls watch. He didn’t help much only as ….a companion, but they would have been just as well off without his company, not knowing of his presence. I told them to throw it off the bank and not hurt it, which they did. “But the time had come for us to look for my husband. With the greatest anxiety we watched and looked day and night until at last there came a man just before daylight with a letter containing the news of his death. It would be impossible for anyone to imagine my feelings after being confined to my bed for more than two weeks and expecting him to come. All things would be all right when he came and it never entered my heart that he could die. When the news came that he was dead my feelings were too intense to weep. My situation all rushed upon my mind with such force that all I could do or say was to cry to the Lord to sustain me under such untold trial and blessed be the name of Jesus. He did sustain me and preserved my life, which I had cared little about until I found that my children had no father. All of the nervous fears that I had been suggesting to him while he was alive was [sic] taken away when he was dead. I never rested nights in his absence. There was a fear of something, I did not know what, but now all that fear was gone; the Being in whose hands my life was placed supported me. How could I have lived if the Lord had forsaken me. He says, ‘Leave they father’s children and I will preserve them alive and let thy widows trust in me.’ and he has fulfilled these promises to me in all the afflictions I have had to pass through. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. “But I will go on with my history. Wier and Lemuel had gone to Council Bluffs and got the news of their father’s death and my sickness and Lemuel came to Pisgah with a team and [a bottle] of medicine [name gone] [which] would stop the ague as soon as taken, and other things for our comfort. Jeremiah came with the team that my husband had gone to Bonaparte [with] and brought Dudley with him. Thomas was the only boy I had with me that summer, but now there were four with me. “My husband died the 20th of August, 1846. He had but two children married, Louisa and Jeremiah, and one grandchild, Jeremiah’s daughter Clarissa. He sang, ‘Come let us anew, our journey persue, roll round with the year and never stand will till the Master appear.’ He sang that hymn as long as he had strength to sing it and then wanted Eliza [his daughter-in-law] to sing it. He died without a struggle or a groan. Blessed are the dead that died in the Lord, yea, saith the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” Jeremiah {missing text} struggle against the elements of nature and the jealousy of the ungodly. Yet, at his passing he had passed life’s tests and his spirit had conquered the weaknesses of the flesh. He died at Bonaparte, Van Buren County, Iowa. His oldest son, Jeremiah, arranged for his burial in the Bonaparte Cemetery, just west of town. The cemetery lies on several low, rolling hills just to the north of the road that leads west out of town. If a tombstone was ever made it had ceased to exist when the author visited the place in 1972. After the children had returned to Pisgah the family prepared to move on. “A few days later we all started for the Bluffs. I took the pills and stopped the chills. My appetite came on in a hurry. I had too much appetite. When we got within a few miles of the Bluffs we bought some green peas. It was at noon and I did not have time to cook them, and I ate hearty of them and it put me in a colorea [sic] morbus in its worst form. As we were near the settlement I told them to drive on until I could find an elder to administer to me. I had suffered all I could. The water ran out of my mouth and it appeared that I had naught to do but stop breathing. I expect I should not look much different after my breath was gone. Lemuel would come to the wagon, look in and say, ‘Mother, you must not die.’ I told him to drive on as fast as he could until he found an elder to administer [to me]. He repeated, ‘Mother, you must not die,’ a number of times before he found an elder. Then he stopped the wagon and the elder administered to me, but did no good. We went ahead and found another elder and he administered to me, but that did no good. We went ahead and came to another, an old man, and as he put his hands on my head and began to speak I knew he was the right man. I was soon able to be taken out of the wagon into the tent and had some tea and light food. “You see in what a miraculous way my life was spared, thanks be to God for his condescension in hearing our prayers in the trying hour, for if it had not been for our prayer of faith I no doubt should have died and been at rest. But I wanted to live to take care of my family and try to help them up the rugged path of life. I knew by experience that the way was straight and narrow that leads to eternal life, and one false step would send us into darkness and nothing but sore repentance could restore us into the favor of God. The enemy kept us constantly on the alert to draw us from the path of duty. But if we cling to the work of God as a child to its mother’s breast for nourishment, we shall come off conquerors and more than conquerors through Him that has loved us. What shall I render to my God for all His kindness shown? I will try to honor him by confessing His hand in all things and obey His commandments. “We soon arrived at the Bluffs where we found some of our friends, Sister Adams, William Snow and his wife Lydia. I don’t remember how many others. Sister Adams and Lydia were both sick, and after a long and severe sickness they both died. We could get no house and had to camp out. This was in November 1846. I soon took the chills and fever again. “The boys made a camp of hay and I crawled into it, glad to get any place of shelter. I had to live there while they built a house and suffered very much for want of proper food and with the cold, as we could have no fire in a hay camp. There was the place that the disorder started in my head that has troubled me ever since. I had a pain in my head that was very severe. I had smoked for eight years before I believed the gospel, and when I believed before I had seen the Doctrine and Covenants, or heard of an elder, something told me I had better leave off smoking. I obeyed that still small voice and left off smoking for eight years. When I had this pain in my head I thought if I would smoke perhaps it would relieve my head. I rolled some tobacco up in a paper and smoked it. It stopped the pain. I continue to do so every time the pain came on. At last I sent and got a pipe and have used one ever since. “I don’t know whether I did right or not, but I am sure the anger of the Lord is not kindled against me, for I confess His hand in all things and try to keep His commandments. He hears and answeres my prayers all the time, thanks be to His holy name. His kind care and protecting hand is over all so that a sparrow does not fall to the ground without His notice. In all my sickness I have never complained or looked back, for I was sure that there was [sic] better day [that] would surely come, and it was needful for us to receive chastisements, for there was no other way we could learn so good a lesson. “In December I moved into a house the boys had built at Trade Point on the Missouri River, where steamboats landed. I got able to do my work and went to washing up our dirty clothes. After working nearly a week I got them done and hung them up at night. I got up in the morning and every article of clothing was stolen and some new cloth that was not made [into clothes yet]. This left us almost without any clothes. Well, I did not complain, but it learned [taught] me a lesson not to leave clothes out over night. I was not discouraged, although it seemed hard after I had worked when I had little strength to wash clothes that had lain dirty for months for want of strength to wash them. “My health was poor all winter. At first I could get but little that was fit for a sick person to eat, but we soon had plenty. The Lord gave us favor in the eyes of the people, so we could get anything we asked for and some that we didn’t ask for. We lived only a few rods from the Pottawattamie chief. He told the boys if there was anything they wanted that he had to come and get it and he would wait until they could pay him. He had two wives, one a white French woman. They were all a great help to us. “But I had very much to pass through in this place, both good and bad. We had not been there long before Betsey was sick with a white swelling on her leg, close to her knee joint, and a most distressing thing it was. For about two months, Dr. Clinton attended her. We kept on egg poultices. It was lanced twice without any effect and at last broke off on its own accord. I had her on the trundle bed in the corner, close to the fire, as it was cold weather, and it would take me an hour to change her undersheet. She couldn’t bear any jarring or motion, but after a while it broke and there was lots of bone came out. It was as bad a felon as could be, I suppose, and we expected if the Lord didn’t help us she would be a cripple. But He did help us, and although she was only 7 years old, her leg grew, and it was wonderful, as there were pieces of bone came out years afterwards. The doctor said the flesh must be cut down to the bone and the bone scraped to get the rotten parts off, but I could not consent to that and after we got to the valley I succeeded with the blessing of God in curing it. “While I was at this place Brother Conlet was shot and killed in front of my house. Brother Conlet had been sick with the ague for some time. One morning he sprang from his bed and told her [his wife] that somebody was going to shoot him. She thought he was crazy and told him to lie down again. He laid down and went to sleep. Soon he sprang from his bed again and said, ‘Don’t you see the guns pointing at me?’ She still thought him crazy, but he put on his blue overcoat and stepped out. He stepped on Jean’s land. Jean stood there with a gun and said if any man stepped onto his land he would shoot him. The man of the place wanted to make a road through his ground, but Conlet knew nothing about what they were doing, but as he stepped over the line Jean shot him. {some missing script} ing and all were asleep but Sister Conlet, he came in and went to the bed where she lay and commenced talking. At first she was frightened, but soon all fear left her and she talked to him without any fear. I forget the conversation, but he told her he wanted his body taken up and buried on high land, as the place where he lay would be washed off into the river. He told her he came to see her. She had given the coat to his brother. He told her some things that she was to tell no one except the authorities of the church. “She had his body taken up and buried where he wanted it and got the blue coat and laid it up. The land where he lay [had lain] did wash off. “A few rods from where Conlet was killed I saw one Indian kill another with a club. I often thought this might truly be called a place where Satan’s seat was, but my whole mind was engaged in preparing for our journey to the valley. I did everything in my power to accomplish that great work. I made 11 fine linen shirts for the merchants, I baked pies and bread and cakes for the grocery the boys kept, as there were lots of gold diggers on the way to California stopping there waiting for the grass to grow. We had market for everything. There was [sic] lots of big men boarding at the tavern. Some of them came to us for victuals, as their fare at the tavern was very poor. “Among these was a Dr. Vaun that visited my house. There was a family by the name of Rolins staying at my house and Vaun visited them. I heard that Mrs. Rolins was a doubtful character, but believed it to be false until I was forced to believe it to be the truth by watching her nights. I had one daughter, Mary, that was a woman grown. I kept her very close after I found what characters we were among. I told Mary she must stop walking out evenings or going to parties in that place. She very readily consented to what I said. “One evening, when all the rest were fixing to walk out, the doctor said, ‘Is not Mary going?’ Mrs. Rolins said, ‘Oh, no, Mrs. Leavitt is so particular; she won’t let Mary go.’ I always thanked Mary for listening to me. We was glad to get rid of bad company for Dr. Vaun had a wife and children back in the States. His wife was the sister to the governor. “But if I should write all that transpired in this place of note it would be more than I will do. How there was a bogus press found there, and a man drowned in the river trying to drive cattle while his companion stood on the bank and saw him drowning. Thomas told him if they would let him have a horse he would go and save him. {missing text} generous place[s]. Benway, the merchant, cursed them and told them they had drown[ed him} and not made the least exertion to save him. ‘There was little Thomas Leavitt that would have gone into the river and would have saved him, too, but you was [sic] afraid your horses would drown. Oh, shame!’ Benway was a great friend of Thomas and gave him many presents. Thomas was 13 years old and his good conduct made him many friends. “Also how Jeanes’ wife had a frightful monster born; and how I had the offer of marriage; and Sister Adams and Lydia Snow both died; and Robert McLean and Father Richards both apostatized, and how many debates I had with them; and a thousand other things, too numerous to relate. “But my whole study was to prepare to leave that place and go to the valley. It was a great undertaking, as I had two boys, the oldest fourteen years old, and three girls, two of them young children. My son, Lemuel, had gone in a former company. “But through energy and faith and the blessings of God we got a good outfit; two yoke of oxen and four cows hitched to one wagon. The cows we milked on the road and made butter. We had plenty of flour and groceries and had enough, so I was perfectly contented. Jeremiah and Wier crossed over the river with us and stayed over night. When we parted in the morning, Wier said, ’Mother, I want to bid you goodbye; I bade father goodbye and never saw him again.’ He would often say ‘Mother, you won’t go in the next company will you?’ I asked him if he did not want me to go as soon as I could get ready. He said he would rather I would wait until he could go with me. I told him I wanted everyone to go as soon as they could get ready. I little thought that if I left him behind I should never see him again in this world, but so it is. Very likely if I had been with him in his sickness he would not have died. I cast no reflections on myself on that account, however, but I can say, ‘the will of the Lord be done.’ “We started on our journey and got safe to the valley, but I never saw Weir again. He died in August, the same month his father died; his father in 1846, Wier in 1847. “The first person I spoke to after I entered Salt Lake was Dr. Vaun. He came running out of a house and appeared much pleased to see me. He said, ‘Mrs. Leavitt I have joined the church.’ Of course I was glad and was in hopes he had repented of his sins and would forsake them. But in this I was disappointed for he sought the women’s company and with the help of love powders succeeded in gratifying his hellish desires;. He was called up before the authorities more than once and confessed his sins and asked forgiveness. He was forgiven and he said if he was ever found guilty again his life should be the penalty. He knew the law of God required it. He was guilty again and was shot and killed. Oh, the weakness and depravity of man, to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, or in other words sell their souls’ salvation for a few moments of carnal pleasure. Oh thou Eternal God, roll out that happy day when Satan shall have not power over the hearts of the children of men, but the knowledge of God covers the earth as the water covers the mighty deep. “We went to the Deul Settlement , where Brother Fish lived. Lemuel was there. He was engaged to be married to Melvina Thompson, sister to Julia Fish. Julia slighted me in every way she could. She lived in a room adjoining mine; made a tea party and invited all the neighbors but me. She didn’t think I was worthy of her company bit it did me no hurt or cause me to commit sin, for I was trying to keep in favor with God and knew that I should look well to my own conduct. I should not have to mention this, but she has left the church. She is too proud to be a Saint. “Lemuel was married there and his wife was sick a long time after they were married, with the worst kind of sicknesses, for her reason was gone and although she was about the house most of the time, she did not know what she was doing. I had a severe trial, but I let patience have its perfect work. “We lived in that place about three months and then moved to Pine Canyon in Tooele. We lived there until the Indians became so bad that we had to leave with the cattle and horses. They stole five head of horses in one night and all the cattle they could get. Walker’s band was in the mountains, just above us and he said he was going to kill us all off. They kept guards out in every direction. Some of the young men cried and said, ‘We shall all be massacred.’ As for myself, I had no fears. I thought we were in the hands of God and it would be all right.” The 1851 Census of Utah shows the family as being somewhat reduced in size, with only six of the children at home. Lemuel is still living with his wife at Sarah’s home. Sarah Leavitt age 53 Born New Hampshire Dudley Leavitt 20 Lower Canada Mary Leavitt 18 Lower Canada Thomas Leavitt 17 Lower Canada Betsey Leavitt 12 Illinois Sarah Leavitt 10 Illinois Lemuel Leavitt 24 Lower Canada Malvina Leavitt 18 New York {text is sketchy here with parts missing. I‘ll type what I have} In the spring of 1855 the crickets came … death and settled over the little settlement. “Be-,,them the fields were left as bare as a floor; the … table gardens had not one spear of green above the ground. It looked as if the people must face a season of famine, or at the best a serious food shortage. Dudley Leavitt and Jacob Hamblin, and several others … for Santa Clara in the Territory’s Dixie in the year … They arrived there on October 15th. Grandmother Sarah Leavitt apparently left the next year. Minerva Dart …d’s journal says: “This fall (1856) Mother Leavitt …e down [from the Tooele area] and being an experienced weaver, taught us the art of weaving. We made thirty yards of cloth.” In the spring of 1857 Jeremiah Leavitt with his brother …uel and their families moved south and were added to the mission on May 22, 1857. William Hamblin’s family arrived in the area shortly thereafter. During the next few years the family generally worked their way up the Santa Clara River, for a time living at St. George, then Santa Clara, then Gunlock. Sarah lived with Dudley for a time, then with Jeremiah, and finally made her home with her daughter Betsey. By this time Sarah’s family was grown and gone. Betsey had married William Hamblin as a plural wife and consequently maintained her own household. Her mother’s company, therefore, was very welcome and desired. The Hamblin family, along with Dudley’s and Jeremiah’s, by 1860 was living on the Mountain Meadows. The 1860 Census shows Betsey’s family as follows. Sarah Levitt Age 62 born New Hampshire Betsy Hamlin 30 Illinois William Hamlin 4 Utah Territory Jane Hamlin 2 Utah Territory From the meadows, these three families built log cabins and planted crops in Gunlock fields located just south of the town. They each planned to make this their permanent home. “On Christmas day 1861, it began to rain, and for thirty days it is reported they never saw the sun, and most of the time it was raining. The Creek kept rising until it was a mad torrent of floating logs, debris and muddy water. As the creek rose, the settlers were forced to leave their homes and move up the ‘Black Ridge.’ Here with little food and no shelter except a few over-hanging rocks, they stayed until it stopped raining and the sun began to shine again.” “Old-timers claim that it rained for forty days. At least the rainy season did last more than a month. Clothes and bedding were wet and could not be dried. Food molded. Fires were hard to keep going and harder to start if they went out. It was a month of misery and suffering for all” Most of the good land had been washed away. The families gathered what little they were able to salvage and moved back downstream to Santa Clara where they remained for a time. In Santa Clara the people had fared as poorly as those in Gunlock. The orchards of fruit trees, tree by tree, slowly gave way to relentless power of the nagging water. “The men had been frantically trying to move the wheat from the store room in the fort. They went until one corner and part of the wall had caved in. But with all their efforts, much of their bread supply was lost. By night fall, the whole little colony was washed away and the people stood shivering and shelter less on top of the hill, their few household effects piled in confusion about them. The flood receded, but somewhere away down the stream, buried in mud, were the grist mill, the molasses mill, and the homemade cotton gin. “Left now to start all over, they decided to locate the town up round the point of the hill from where the fort had been. They lost no time in marking off lots, the men drawing cuts for their locations. Shelters were erected, most of them dugouts against the hill with the fronts held up by poles and thatched with willows and earth to protect them against the cold weather…. “The Indians were another source of trouble for the early settlers…. The settlers were losing their stock, and although the Indians had been warned against this offense, the stealing continued [the Indians were coming down the Santa Clara, driving the cattle back to their camps and using them for food].” These troubles with the Indians increased with the coming of more settlers. Forced by these charging conditions, the various families moved to Panaca. From Panaca, Sarah and Betsey moved to Clover Valley where Jeremiah and his family were. Dudley removed to Hebron and Lemuel had remained at Santa Clara. Sarah is given as age 73 and her birthplace is given as Vermont. Clover Valley was far removed from the other settlements and the Indians were a continuous problem there. {missing text} where relations of a friendlier nature had already been established with the Indians. This they did. It was at this time of her life, in 1873, that Sarah felt the urge to write her history. She had begun to feel the weight of leaving to her posterity the testimony of that way of life which she and her husband had embraced. Her life story shows very uniquely the kind of individual she was and reflects the full scope of her feelings for righteousness and her contempt for sin and hypocrisy. On November 9, 1974, Sarah received her patriarchal blessing from William G. Smith at St. George. It is recorded as follows. Sarah the Beloved of your Heavenly Father: I place my hands upon your head and seal upon you a Father’s blessing. Your line is pure, and thy blood is of Joseph that was sold into Egypt, and you are a lawful heiress to the fulness of the priesthood. Your Father placed His hands upon your head and gave you a name, and blest you and sent you to this earth to receive a body, and He said “in due time, you would hear this gospel and come into His Covenant. And you would be numbered as one of His jewels at His coming and some of your posterity would be very great in His Kingdom.” He had your name recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life and there it will remain forever and ever, and that your last days would be your best days, for you will see your redeemer in the flesh and the glory of His presence will be upon you, for the mist of darkness will be taken from before thine eyes and you will see the Heavens open and angels ascending and descending. They will come unto you in your beautiful mansion, that shall be prepared for you and they will talk with you as with an old friend. They will hand you a roll and in that shall be the names of your dead that shall receive the gospel, and you will enter into the House of the Lord and with one of your sons redeem your dead and they will visit you from time to time in the morning of the first resurrection in your own beautiful mansion. You will be at that great feast, the marriage supper of the Lamb, and sit down at the table and partake of its rich bounties, there you will drink wine with your redeemer that will be as pure as crystal. There you will see Him again in the power of His glory. You will partake in part of His likeness and I seal the blessings of life, health, and strength upon your body that you may do this work for the glory of God, and seal you up unto eternal lives, and upon your head a crown of celestial glory in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.   Sarah’s Children built her a log cabin near the home of Jeremiah Leavitt and Mary Ellen Huntsman at Hebron. Jeremiah and Mary Ellen were given the responsibility of caring for Sarah during the last few years of her life. Jeremiah says, “I was the oldest son of twelve children and had the responsibility of earning for the family as well as for my grandmother, Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt who was old and had buried her husband in Iowa before coming to Utah. Her children were all married and had built her a log cabin near our own, so we could look after her. She died two years after I was married and we laid her to rest in the Gunlock cemetery, being 80 years old at her death.” Apparently Sarah died at Hebron as Jeremiah and Mary Ellen were still there at the time. Her tombstone which can still be seen at the Gunlock Cemetery reads:  IN MEMORY OF SARAH STUDEVANT LEAVITT Born Sept. 5, 1798 Died Apr. 5, 1878 

Betsy Jane Leavitt Hamblin

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Betsy Jane Leavitt Hamblin Written by Peggy Tueller 712 East 4200 South Salt Lake City, Utah 84107 (801) 266-6148 July 1995 Information from family genealogy of Arrilla Hamblin and Susie Hamblin Clawson Born in Hancock County, Illinois, to parents who were already deeply committed to the religion their hearts exulted in, she was seven years old when her parents, Jeremiah and Sarah Sturdevant Leavitt, were forced to flee from their home near Nauvoo with few provisions. Depositing his family at Mt. Pisgah, her father took Dudley, her sixteen year old brother, to Bonaparte to work for supplies so they could complete their trek West with the Saints come springtime. Dudley returned a few weeks later with the devastating news that their father was dead. He had been stricken with an illness soon after reaching Bonaparte. The family was stranded for three years in Iowa trying to gather enough provisions for the journey. One day Dudley found a purse with $150.00 in it. On advice from one good brother, they used the unclaimed money to buy their supplies for the three month trek to Utah. On the 31st day of August, 1850, Sarah's family reached the Salt Lake Valley from a trip eleven year old Betsy Jane would later describe as an unending adventure. Betsy said, “We played with other children, at camp time racing among the wagons in games of tag or hide and seek. We hunted flowers and pretty rocks, waded the creeks and even improvised dolls out of knotted sticks or bleached bones.” Settling in Tooele, Utah, their life took on the uneventful tasks that are so necessary to survival. Betsy's older sister Mary had married William Haynes Hamblin soon after coming to the Valley and because he was away much of the time, Betsy stayed with her, and fit into the family comfortably. After a few years, Betsy's mother and Mary agreed with William that Betsy would make a fine plural wife. So at fifteen years of age she married William. Betsy and Mary were left with the responsibility of their home and raising their families because of the many business ventures and exploring trips of William. During one of his absences, nineteen year old Betsy showed her courage and common sense. Indian warriors came through the small settlement of six families directly to Betsy's cabin. (She had gone to stay near her brother, Thomas Leavitt, and his wife, Ann, while William was absent. Thomas went out to meet the Indians. Mimicking every gesture and out yelling Thomas, the Chief gave Thomas a huge bear hug and said he was too brave to kill. The Chief said that if Thomas would give him all the food, warm clothing and cattle that was there, he would spare the cabin, women and children. Thomas stepped inside to talk to Betsy. She figured if they were indeed not yet dead, they would be by the time they tried to make it into Salt Lake with no food, coats or animals for milk or riding. Betsy had a plan which they agreed upon. Thomas returned to the Chief telling him those inside the cabin had a rifle trained on the Chief's heart and, though they might die, so would the Chief. If they would take the two white oxen Betsy had brought from Salt Lake, because they were fit for a chief, they could go in peace. And so they did. William was away in San Francisco, vowing to rebuild the finances that had been stolen from him by a partner who had been left in charge of a farm and its crops while William was on an exploration trip up the Colorado with his brother, Jacob Hamblin, and some other men. The man, named Henderson, had sold all the crops and the farm and left the country. For two years the two women heard nothing from him and thought him dead. One day a message came that William was coming home! He brought three wagons filled with clothing, shoes, linens, food, and all the things they were so sorely in need of. They moved to Gunlock, Utah, a community named for William because of his expertise with a gun. Because of her husband’s absences, Betsy spent some time at Mountain Meadows with Jacob Hamblin, her brother-in-law. After a few years, William moved his family to Clover Valley, Nevada, where he and a partner, Rone Stone, claimed the Pioche mine [Nevada], but the ownership was in dispute with another group of investors. In April 1872, William had gone to Carson City, Nevada, to attend the court hearing concerning the ownership of the mine, taking a doctor friend and a lawyer with him. Despite both Mary and Betsy's warning to eat or drink nothing in a public place, in his nervousness he sipped the coffee that had been automatically poured at the table. Standing he gasped "I've been poisoned and fell to the floor. The doctor rushed him to a room and began to treat him immediately. When he came around, the men waited until he was well enough to travel and loaded him into a wagon and took him home. Dr. Ivans, his friend, could not stay for a long time to treat William, so when it was safe to leave, he had to go. William was recuperating when an unknown man came to the home saying he was the new doctor coming to see how William was doing, and gave him some new medicine which harmed him further and William died. Sarah Priscilla Leavitt was born to Betsy December 27, 1872, seven and a half months after her father’s death. The horrible circumstances, the pregnancy, and grief caused Betsy to come down with "Brain Fever" and she was ill for months. During her illness the strong box given to her care because she had the eldest son, was broken into and the legal papers proving ownership of the mine, the business holdings and the titles to extensive property in California, and money loaned were all stolen. Despite the evidence the family found that Rone Stone, the partner, had hired a man to poison William and steal the papers, the women were too sick to fight him. He later claimed all rights to everything. The responsibility for the family fell onto sixteen year old Billy Hamblin. He injured his leg severely while riding after cattle one day so Jane, the next child became the rancher of the family, doing such a good job that she continued after Billy recovered. In 1873, the Betsy and Mary, along with several other families, moved to Pahreah, Kane County, Utah, and lived with the John Mangum family until they could get their own small farm. There is where Billy met, fell in love with and married Abigail Mangum in a double wedding. Bill Hamblin married Abigail Mangum and Jane Hamblin married George Mangum. Five years were spent on the Pahreah and then the John Mangum family, Billy Hamblin, Duane Hamblin and George Mangum were called to a farming mission in Arizona. Lacking funds to get enough supplies together for many months survival, Billy set out with his uncle Jacob Hamblin to obtain money for them. They came to a fork in the road, trying to choose which road to take, Jacob decided on the right fork. They rode not a long way when they came upon Apostle George Albert Smith who exclaimed a greeting and the fact that "for a time he had wanted to see Billy and give him the two thousand dollars William had loaned him. Shortly after this incident Brother Heber C. Kimball came forward and said he owed William one thousand dollars. Thus they were able to buy supplies to go to Arizona and begin a new life. They met Jane at Lee's Ferry where she had preceded them by a few weeks and had her baby there. Then they stopped and built a cabin by the Colorado River six weeks into the journey to spend a time and let Almira, another daughter, give birth to her first child, and two months more in Springerville, Arizona, before reaching Bush Valley, (Alpine) Arizona. They lived in a cellar while the boys built a cabin large enough for all of them, plus a small fort had to be built because of the Indians. Scarlet fever caused the death of the two new babies of Almira and Jane. Billy took a contract from Brigham Young's son, W.W. Young, to build the rail road from Old Fort Wingate (San Rapheal, New Mexico) to Flaqstaff, Arizona. Hiring his brothers, brother-in-law and four Adair brothers, they worked many months on the job, finishing the contract, but was never paid. Every time W.W. Young was approached for money, the excuses were many. No wages were ever drawn, but the Union Pacific Railroad allowed them to draw from the commissary to help them out. In the spring of 1882, they moved further up the mountain. The warm climates of Southern Utah and Nevada made the cold winters doubly hard to bear. So Fred Hamblin, William's younger brother, talked them into moving to peaceful, beautiful Nutrioso, where they lived without fear of the Indians and could sleep soundly at night until Geronimo and his band of Indians stampeded them all away one day when two of the boys were guarding them. The angry men were gathering to go after the Indians and get their horses back when Betsy said that more horses could be gotten, but if the Indians captured the men, they would be tortured to death and the women and children could never get them back, never! So the men listened and let the Indians go. Because the men, if finances were needed, had to find work where ever they could, they were gone many weeks at a time. Of course, the women had to take over all the raising of the children, the cattle, the crops, illnesses, Indians, parties, romances, births and deaths by themselves. Betsy did work for a family one time when she was older. She cooked for a wealthy family and enjoyed it but deciding it was not to her liking to mop their floor on her hands and knees, she quit. When asked how she could let a job go that paid such good money, she replied she didn't care that much about money. She lived with Billy and Abby most of her widowhood and they moved many times. After the birth of Abby's seventh child, her health seemed to fade and Billy sold his crops and cattle and just walked away from the house and land he had acquired in Alpine, declaring that Abby's health meant more to him than all the ranches in the world. Betsy’s last years were spent with her youngest child, Sarah Priscilla, in southern Arizona. She died at 78 years of age. After resting in bed two days she announced to her family, "I have seen your father," He wants me to come to him." She seemed to sleep again and in a very short time she passed from this life. Betsy was a woman of spunk and love who gave all the strength she had to her children.

History of Joseph Hamblin

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

HISTORY OF JOSEPH HAMBLIN Youngest Son of William Haynes Hamblin and Mary Amelia Leavitt (as dictated to his daughter, Aloha) My mother was living in Pinto, Utah (which is on the California trail) when I was born. Father had another place at Gunlock where Aunt Betsy and her family lived. She was Father's other wife and Mother's younger sister. The place was named for my Father by George Albert Smith, who after spending the night with him asked him what they called the place and he told them it was known as upper Santa Clara Creek. "We will name it officially after you since everyone calls it Gunlock Hamblin's place anyway." That was in August 1857 when Apostle Smith came down to warn them of Johnston's army. My half sisters, Elmira and Annie were born in Gunlock and Duane while Eliza, Vernon, and Tom were born at the Santa Clara. Then we moved to Pinto. My Grandmother, Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt was with mother when most of the children were born. It was only about 23 miles from there to Pinto. While we were here Father was gone for over 3 years. Two of my sisters were out looking for the cows. They had been gone for sometime and they began to cry when a Man with a long white beard appeared and told them the cows were over the next draw and their father was on his way home. They were so happy they started running to the draw when they stopped to thank the gentleman and could find no trace of him, but the cows were where he said and their Father came home as he said. After talking it over we thought it must have been one of the three Nephites, who were given the same promise as John the Beloved that he should not taste death until the Savior comes again. Richard S. Robinson was the presiding Elder of the Pinto Ward. Then the following year, July 11, 1867, he was made bishop. My parents were on an Indian Mission among the Piute Indians. They weren't free to move whenever they desired, but were counseled to move to Clover Valley 80 miles northwest of St. George as there were more people than the land would support. When Father returned he had wagons full of supplies; enough to open a store, so in Clover Valley we had several rooms that were divided in half, one for us and one for Aunt Betsy with a large front room that could be divided and opened up that we used as sort of a trading store. As the houses were built close together in the shape of a fort with the town ditch running through the center. It was twenty miles from Panaca where father's mine was. Mother would not move there among the heathen men for they were greedy and would kill or do anything. Here Luke Syphus presided in 1870. There were 12 or 15 families. We were attached to the Hebron Ward 30 miles southwest. The Indians were quite peaceable when we first moved here. They would bring dried berries and pine nuts to trade, but later the winters were bad and then some prospectors came to the lower end of the Meadows and began to shoot the Indians if they stole anything. They became restless and old Bush-head was the head of the trouble- makers so we had to gather our cattle in at night and keep a strong watch around the corral. One night Mr. Hunt shot an Indian and was afraid the other Indians would find out who did it and shoot him, so he moved away. Later we were advised for those living in scattered communities to move together for safety. Uncle Frank and Fred Hamblin were living in Eagle Valley. They moved to Kanab. Uncle Dudley and Jeremiah Leavitt moved to Hebron. We didn't want to move at all. It wasn't the Indians we were afraid of, but bad white men. It was at Clover Valley Sarah Daphne, my oldest sister was married to Edgar Deal in June 1871, and the next year she and her baby girl were buried there. Then Father was poisoned in May of 1872. All I remember of him in his coffin and before that I remember my Mother put a pink dress on me and I tore it in shreds getting it off. If she didn't spank me she should of done. I don't know if it was for punishment or she had nothing else to put on me. Another time the old cat had some kittens and they were going to drown them and I said I want at least one, but they threw them all in and I jumped in and got the little white one. After Father's death, Mother began talking about moving to Arizona. Before we left, Eliza and Amelia got married the same day, July 11, 1872. Then in November started for Kanab. It was on the border between Utah and Arizona. It took eight days to go from St. George to Kanab, 120 miles. We stayed in Santa Clara with Grandma a few days. Some of the Mangums caught up with us and said they were down on the Paria, so after visiting with Aunt Pricilla in Kanab, we went down there for Christmas. Then Amelia was going to have a baby so Mother and I went back to Clover Valley. We left Rachel and Tom with Eliza on the Paria. The baby was born August 9, 1874, so I must have been six or seven. We all came back the first of September so Mother could take care of Eliza when her first baby was born. Then the United Order was started the 1st of October 1874. I gave my little pinto pony and Mother gave her cows and all she had. And when Bishop Stewart died 1877, his sons claimed everything, but Mother got her old cows back because father's brand was on them, and a man gave me a little colt mare racing horse. I traded it to the Navajos for part of our equipment and clothes. Mother talked Aunt Betsy and all of us to go to the St. George temple which was just finished April 6, 1877. We must have been there for the dedication for all the people there hauled logs and lumber from the Buckskin Mountains on the Kaibab Forest. During the year 1875 one hundred men were engaged at the temple in construction work. One hundred more were at the rock quarries and forty were engaged in furnishing lumber, totaling 240 men. Over a million feet of lumber were used in constructing the building. Some of the beams were exceedingly large being 12" by 24" by 26' to 46' long. Much of it was hauled by ox team. We wanted to cross the Colorado River when it was low in the fall and early enough before the snows fell in the Buckskin Mountains. It was in November we went over the Mountains and camped at House Rock. Mother and Rachel and Tom and I camped in front of the fort and Eliza on one side and Amelia and her three babies on the other side. Aunt Betsy and her family inside and I think Aunt Pricilla too came at the same time. This was the fixing-up-place before we crossed the desert. It was about here we saw the camels Lieutenant Edward Beal brought in from Syria. They carried three times a mule-load and were declared ideal for pioneer uses and his survey of the 35th parallel across Arizona in 1857 and 1859, but our land was too hard for their feet and they were turned loose on the plains when he made Minister to Austria in 1878. In taking the cattle across the Colorado River, some would swim and some were ferried across and some of them were so obstinate they would swim back every night and had to be crossed as many as three times. At House Rock Mother traded a cow and calf for an ox that ran off the next day which we never recovered. We heard later they had been sold countless times, but always would find its way back to its original owner who knew its trait and that he had traded it to a poor widow. John Will Mangum traded his fine black matched horses for oxen. We were told that any one that ever tried to go to Arizona with horses was sure sorry they didn't have oxen for the roads were just trails, either rough chunky rocks or sand so deep that the spokes buried out of sight, and the little Colorado was dangerous with quicksand beds. At Moenkopi where Father had been several times, my pony Mother had given me to take the place of the one we traded to the Navajos was stolen as were all the horses. So I joined a party to hunt them and didn't see Mother for three months, but found the mare and got a start from her, and gave my sister colts from which they got their start. When we found the folks forty miles away from St. Johns, they were living at Milligans Fort where the Mexicans had shot it to pieces. They would gamble and fight and kill. There was a stream of water running Northwest which was frozen up, so they couldn't run the saw mill or grist mill and their supplies were running out and the snow was three feet deep. They went to Nutrioso and traded for some barley so we lived on barley bread and hogs heads. Mr. Milligan had about 300 head. He got Charley Webb and John Will Mangum to kill them for him for the heads and that is how I found Tom cleaning hogs heads. Then they got a contract to log some pines out of the mountains. Tom and I helped, then we went to McNary where Emily and Warren Follett lived and worked all summer from daylight until dark for one dollar a day to earn enough lumber to build a log cabin and did the chores for the man before daylight until dark, and built a two room log cabin for our Mother near Springerville. She was kept busy as a midwife. James Harvey Mangum was born February 4, 1880. Then my other sister Amelia had Charles Webb April 8, 1889 and Aunt Pricilla had Dudley May 5, 1880. Then my sister Emily Follett had Rachel near McNary at the Forks of the road in 1881. Mother was called from all over for she was so kind and had such good luck she was in great demand. My sister Rachel married Albert Lewis, step-son of John Wesley Norton. This was the 2nd marriage in Amity and she had Sarah. She was engaged to her cousin Lym. In 1881 the Apache Indians were raiding the country so we moved into a fort. Then Bishop A. V. Greer laid out the town October 29, 1882 and called it Amity which means friendship. While we were at the Fort here my brother Billy was living at the Fort in Alpine where Uncle Fred located and my sister Almira Adair, where John Dudley Hamblin was born 8 July 1882 and LeRoy Adair was born 22 January 1882. Then Almira, and Billy and Amelia and Eliza and Rachel all moved to Nutrioso. The climate was better than Alpine and the cows could be kept out in the fields longer. My sister Betsy Mangum was there in 2 July 1884 where George Haynes was born. Then she too moved to Nutrioso. It was about this time we got squatter's rights in a little cove on the divide which was later known as the Dudley Hamblin place. Abe Martin lived there before Dudley; before that Billy. One morning mother went to the door to go to the spring when a big brown bear ran right in front of her. We had a large place there where all the young people would come and spend the weekends. We would go to the lower valley for the winter for the roads would be snowed in. The summertime was the time to make press cheese and butter and we would put the cheese in brine water and it would keep all winter, eggs too. We would salt our pork and some beef this way too. We could go out anytime and kill us a deer or turkey. There were plenty of lions around. Whenever the cows would come in we could tell a lion was near. Our clothes were made of buckskin too, at least the pants. I remember I was on the mountain with the cows and one of those sudden summer showers came up before I could take cover. (Sometimes it rained every afternoon.) I came into a cow camp and was bent over trying to keep warm when my buckskins dried in that position. I went over to the chuck wagon to get some beans and one old man thought he would get the laugh on me. He said, "For goodness sakes, Joe, if you're going to jump, jump." I noticed his buckskins were about in the same shape as mine. To get the cows to market we would have to drive them to Magdelina, New Mexico where the railroad was and bring a freight back for some store to make the trip pay. Then we began to hear about the Gila Valley. A lot of the people were moving there. More work for cash and the climate wasn't so cold. You could raise so many more things and a larger valley. Tom made a trip in 1881. Annie married Ezra Lee in September 1882, and they went down and Clara went to stay with Annie and married Frank Lee in December 1888. Pricilla married Tom Alger in December 1891 in Nutrioso and they moved down. He was the first bishop of Lebanon. Tom married Irene Copelan in June and they moved to Gila. We went as far as McNary with them and stayed with Emily until they got ready to go. (She hasn't been right since she was out riding on a half wild horse and hit her head on a limb and knocked her off. It was quite awhile before she was found.) From then on Mother thought she should be near her to help with the children. She had one more born to her in the Gila Valley. Now that they had captured Geronimo, it was safe, for he was the one who stirred up trouble. As a rule most of the Indians never bothered the white people, but hated the Mexicans since Coronado took all those Indians captive so they had war ever since. They treated the white man as the white man treated them. Charley Webb and John Will Mangum got a sawmill in the Graham Mountains, which was first J. K. Roger's and then Harve Blain and Mr. Jeddar, a school-teacher got it, and they got it from them. The mountains were so rough we had to haul the logs out on a point and shoot two logs tied together to the bottom. If you wasn't careful they would bust like match sticks. We would call down to watch the children for we were going to shoot. Later we had a cabin in back of where the Arcadia Ranger's Station is. It was here in the Graham Mountains when mother died 12 August 1893. (They sent Will Follett to town for the doctor). A panther followed him all the way. It must have been locked bowels that she died of. All the girls dressed in white dresses and with tree limbs followed all the way to Pima to keep the flies away. After she was buried, the railroad went by the spot so we had to move the grave in 1899. In moving it some of us wanted to see how things were and when the air hit the body it fell like a balloon, but her hair, which was jet-black and long had grown quite a bit. She is now at rest in the Pima Cemetery.

Betsey Jane Leavitt

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

By Josephine Alger Pursley I was born on May 12, 1839, the eleventh child of Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Sturdevant Leavitt. At the time of my birth, my parents lived in Hancock County, Illinois. Beginning from the eldest, my brothers and sisters were: Louisa, Jeremiah, Lydia, Weir, Lemuel, Dudley, Mary Amelia, and Thomas Rowell. Before I was born, two other children had died at a very young age. Since 1835, my family had been on the move, living a few months or a year at a place as they could get work. In 1841, my father got a farm by the Big Mound, seven miles from Nauvoo. At last, we were established in a permanent home. We could go into town for conferences and special meetings, and could keep in touch with the people. The farm was in a fine location with the site for the new home we planned to build on top of the mound. There was every promise that we would soon be prosperous. Dudley was then eleven years old, Lemuel fourteen, Weir seventeen, and Jeremiah twenty. With such a group of strappling young fellows to help him, father could soon get a fine farm all in shape. Everything seemed to be working for our benefit until the year 1844. Then our troubles began with the mobbing of the Mormons. We were quite lucky though, only once did a mob threaten us, and then, without harm. We worked on our farm all the spring of 1844, conscious only of the troubles when we went into town on Sunday. When the word came that the Prophet Joseph Smith had been killed, we were all thunderstruck. My brother, Dudley, remembered his first impression of Joseph Smith. To his mind, here was a Prophet who talked with God (page 2) and angels, so he seemed a little more than human. Later in his life, Dudley was to have closer association with Joseph Smith, an association which seemed only to strengthen his first impression. Now the Prophet had been killed. With our Prophet and leader gone, what could we do? The persecutions, which were temporarily stopped after the Prophet's death, began anew after Brigham Young took over as the head of the Church. At the Mound, we kept a constant watch, for two roads went directly past our home, one from Warsaw and one from Carthage, and we had to be alert for enemies from either. It soon became evident that we must leave the state or renounce our religion. This last we would not do. By this time, I had a new little sister, name Priscilla. It was a year and a half after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith before the Mormons left Nauvoo. Early in 1846, we had our orders to leave the state. Somtime in February, our family left the farm and gathered with neighbors and friends at an old school house. That night, we crossed the Mississippi River to the opposite side and made our first camp. It was April in 1846 before we reached Mt. Pisgah, one hundred and fifty miles west of Nauvoo. My father started out with us, but left his family at Mt. Pisgah and went back to Bonaparte to work and get provisions to take our family on with the company in the spring. While there, he was stricken with a sickness and died soon afterward. Soon after father left, Mother came down and was very ill with the chills and fever. Then all the children became ill, until there was not one to wait upon the others. Though we were strangers, we were among our own people, and our neighbors were very kind, coming in to prepare meals and do the washing. (page 3) Mother was almost prostrate at the word of father's death, and the children all rallied around her. As soon as the boys had all gathered, they decided to move on to Council Bluffs. We lived there for two years, and all the family worked to make a living. By this time, Weir had died, Jeremiah was married and had taken his family to Utah, and Lemuel went ahead with an earlier company. This left Dudley and Thomas at home with my Mother, two sisters and me. [After the order from Brigham Young to evacuate the plains] the first Mormon wagon train crossed the Mississippi on the first day of June, 1850, with Captain Milo Andrus in charge, and made its real start west on June third. The company got along very well as far as Salt Creek. Here the stream was so swollen that the bridge had been carried away. Nothing daunted, we set about making rafts on which to cross. Our family had an uneventful trip. Dudley and Mary cared for the team and the cattle; Mother looked after the cooking and camp arrangements; Thomas gathered wood and carried water and chored around generally. For Priscilla and me, now nine and eleven years old, it was one unending adventure. We played with other children, at camp time racing among the wagons in games of tag or hide-and-seek; we hunted flowers and pretty rocks, waded the creeks, and even improvised dolls out of knotted stocks or bleached bones. The morning dawned bright and clear. An air of eager expectancy hung over the entire camp. Today we would be in Zion! Three long, hot moths we had been on the road. We left on the third of June, and here it was the last day of August. On the whole, it had been a good trip. Though there was sickness and death before and behind us in other wagon trains, we had had remarkable good health. We had one birth and one (page 4) death in our company, so arrived in Salt Lake Valley with the same number we had when we started out. At the first glance, the Valley was covered with a mist, but even as we watched, it dispersed, melted in the sunlight. There lay the broad lake, glistening; there were squares of brown earth freshly plowed, and green and yellow fields outlined with young cottonwood trees for fences; there were city squares etched in black and green. Mother wiped her eyes and moved her lips in a prayer of thanksgiving. Mary, sober and sweet, stood with some other girls, while Priscilla and I climbed on the wagon wheel, waved our sunbonnets and shouted, "Hurrah for Zion! Hurrah for Zion!" Home at last; no more drivings or burnings or mobbings. No more trouble. Now we could settle down and make a home and be happy, free of fear of any enemies. My brother, Lemuel, who had come to the valley the year before, had a log house all built out at Duel Settlement; he had worked for flour and potatoes, and he had a young beef ready to kill. This was truly a homecoming, especially for a tired family and our poor, hard-working mother. All that winter, we stayed at Duel Settlement, and in the spring moved out to Tooele where a new town was started with better opportunity for farms. We soon fitted into the life of the little village. Lemuel had already married Melvina Thompson and had set up an establishment of his own. Later that winter, Mary was married to William Hamblin at Salt Lake City in the Tabernacle. This was the year 1850. After her marriage, it left only Dudley, Thomas, Priscilla, and me at home. We made ourselves quite comfortable in a log cabin with homemade furniture. Although we worked hard, we had our good times, too, with dances, candy pulls, husking bees and quilting for entertainment. (page 5) Five years had passed since William and Mary had been married, and they now had three children, all girls. As Mary was alone a great deal, I stayed with her a lot of the time and helped with the children. As time went on, William and Mary decided that since I fit into the family so nicely, and the fact that Mary and I got along well together, that William would take me for his second wife. Polygamy was being practiced in the Church at this time, and so I felt that this was perfectly all right. As William and Mary had talked the matter over concerning his forthcoming marriage to me, he decided to consult Mother Leavitt about the matter. Mother Leavitt gave her consent and was very pleased for me. It was not long until William and I were married on May 1, 1855, in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle. I was fifteen years old at the time, being sixteen in twelve days. My first child was born on January 20, 1856, a short time before my 17th birthday. He was a fine boy, and Mother Leavitt named him William Dudley. She felt that since he was the first son born, that his name should be after his father. Just two years and three days later, Betsey Jane, our first daughter was born. As time went on, and William's family grew larger, we required a bigger and better home. He had a large house built and divided it into two apartments, one for Mary and one for me. A long living room, with folding doors which could slide back, was used for dancing and parties. Usually all the countryside was invited. Mary could make delicious pies, and I made cakes and cookies. It was in this home that William Dudley, my son, was born. A year or so later, William again moved our family. This time we moved with six other pioneer families to a small clearing near the point of a low hill. The rough trail, which wound its way through the (page 6) clearing, passed over a large mountain, and had its beginning in Salt Lake. My cabin was farthest from the point of the hill, and the one beside it belonged to my brother, Thomas Leavitt and his young wife Ann. We had moved here to spend the spring and summer making butter and cheese. This was a very profitable business, for, by hauling our products regularly into Salt Lake City, we were assured a ready market and good prices. Emigrant trains enroute to California eagerly bought up all the fresh dairy and farm products available. This particular morning dawned clear and chill with a stiff breeze blowing off the snow-capped mountains gleaming in the distance. I had gone to live close to Thomas and Ann while William was on a trip to San Francisco. Along with Billy, two and a half years old, and Jane, only three months old, I had bought a few milk cows and two white oxen, which had drawn my wagon from Salt Lake City. Ann and I were washing in my cabin, while Thomas, having nothing more urgent to do, sat on the hearth making bullets for our guns. Beside him lay a powder horn and bullet mould. Over the glowing coals, he held a frying pan in which a large bar of lead was slowly melting. It was now nearing noon, and I decided to build up the fire in the huge fireplace and prepare dinner. Needing wood and not wanting to disturb Thomas, I ran out to the woodpile a short distance away. As I bent over gathering the wood, my ears caught the thud of hoofs. I glanced toward the trail just as the first of a band of mounted Indians appeared around the point. After the first stunned moment, I snatched the two keen-bladed axes and with an arm load of wood, raced for the house. "Indians!" I said in a low-strained voice to Thomas. "Indians! Lots of them." By this time, the Indians had been seen by the settlers. (page 7) Ann sat on the bed resting and thinking as she held baby Jane. It would only be a few months until she would be holding her own child in her arms. Startled, she look up at my hasty entrance. Then she caught the dreaded word, "Indians!" "Dear Lord, have mercy upon us!" she cried. Then she fell back upon the bed in a dead faint, the baby slipping from her arms to the bed. Thomas sprang to her side and took her gently in his arms. Meanwhile, I snatched Billy off the floor and placed him on the bed beside the baby. I told Thomas to put Ann beside the children and to help me push the bed into the corner so that the foot was behind the door. Then I told him to talk to the Indians if they came to the cabin, while I made more bullets. I quickly busied myself at the fire, and took a long, thin pole, newly sharpened at one end and used as a poker, to stir the coals until they glowed. Picking up the pan which held the lead Thomas had started to melt, I sat down on the hearth and went to work. At almost the same instant I had sighted the Indians, they had also been seen by others. Amid cries from the women and hoarse shouts from the men, all rushed into their cabins. Doors were shut and bolted, and guns snatched from their brackets above the beds. Now grim-faced men watched the approach of the band through the cabin's port-holes. Strange to say, the Indians did not stop when they reached the first of the cabins, but as silent, grim, and forbidding as their chief who led them, they filed past, not pausing until they had reached our little cabin where they quickly formed a semi-circle in front of the cabin. They quickly dismounted, securely holding their horses by the lariats which were tied about the horses' necks. Their bows and arrows were held in their other hands. The chief took his place in the center (page 8) facing the white man Thomas now standing in the door. The picture they formed as they crowded their horses together was one to chill the heart of a much older and harder man than Thomas, who was only twenty-three. There must have been a hundred savages. Their bodies, save for a loin cloth at the waist, were naked and painted. Their hair had been plastered down with black mud with feathers stuck in the back. But the most horrible part of the picture was the scalps dangling from the savage waists. Beautiful brown tresses of some unfortunate young girl and long grey hair of an elderly woman were only two of the many pitiful reminders of recent savage brutality. It seemed a lifetime while Thomas waited for silence among the Indians. When the last horse was quieted, he stepped out into the circle and called a greeting to the chief. A grunt was the only answer as the chief glowered at him, hate and lust to kill in his black eyes; but Thomas started bravely on with his speech, speaking slowly and weighing each word carefully. "We are peaceful people. We have never harmed you or your people, and we ask you not to harm us." "Ug!" again grunted the chief. "White men liars! We kill all white men. My braves want blood - revenge for brothers killed." In his hand, he held a long, thin pole, sharpened at one point. Now he raised his hand and threw it to the ground with such force it stood upright, buried in the earth deep enough to hold the rest of its weight. Immediately, scores of arrows from the bows of the warriors encircled it. Thomas stepped quickly back into the cabin. Coming to me, he said, "Do you know what that means"" I told him that of course I knew, but we could not give up hope. Thomas seized the poker from beside the fireplace; then, standing (page 9) in the doorway, he raised to his toes and threw it with all his strength close beside the chief's spear. The makeshift spear stuck just as proud at the chief's in the circle of arrows. A surprised grunt came from the chief, and he eyed Thomas with less hostile eyes. Thomas walked boldly to where the chief stood beside his horse. Immediately, the silence was broken as the savages, keeping time with their moccasined feet, started a low, weird chanting of their war song, which when heard, can never be forgotten. Thomas joined his voice with those of the warriors, singing as he had never sung before in his life. After the song ended, each warrior placed his hand over his mouth and gave a blood-curdling war whoop. The chief, laying his hand over Thomas' heart, said, "White man brave. White man not afraid." Thomas spoke again. "My sister and I and the other people in the other cabins do not want to die, but we are not afraid to die. We want to live and be friends with the red men. Do you love your warriors"" At once the chief swept the circle with his hand, then placed his hand over his heart. Yes, he loved them very much; they were like brothers to him. Thomas immediately took advantage of this. "We may die, but some of your warriors that you say you love will also die - maybe even you will die - for inside of those cabins are men with guns watching you through little holes in the walls. It you start to kill us, they will kill many of you." At the point, the warriors began the war chant. The stench from the Indians's bodies, the horses, and the scalps made Thomas deathly sick. With an effort he pulled himself together. He stepped back into the house and came quickly to my side. "Betsey," he said in a (page 10) steady voice, "the chief says we are brave people and because we are so brave, he will be good to us and those who are so afraid in their locked cabins. If we will give them all our cattle, food, and clothing, they will let us go peacefully over the mountains to Salt Lake." As the full import of the proposition struck me, I told Thomas that we would not do that. It would only mean death, if not from cold, then from starvation. We could never hope to get over that mountain - there was still snow in the pass. We would die fighting first. Thomas agreed with me and again stepped out to talk with the Indians. He was back in a few minutes, and the Indians had told him to accept these terms and maybe they would not take everything. I told Thomas that if the Lord had made the Indians merciful enough to suggest terms at all when they could take everything by killing us and the price would be the lives of only a few of their warriors, then I thought that He must be opening the way to have our lives spared. I told him to tell the savages that they could have the two white oxen and that was all. If they wouldn't take them, to tell the chief that I had my gun aimed straight at his heart and that he would be the first ot die, but to tell him this was a last resort. Again, Thomas stepped out into the semi-circle. He strode up to where the chief stood by his horse waiting. Stopping only a few feet from the Indian, he drew himself up, and, looking the chief full in the face, he spoke swiftly in the Indian dialect. "My brave sister and I cannot accept your terms because we would all die anyway. We could not get through the deep snow in the pass with no coverings for our bodies, for we are not tough like you and your warriors. My sisters says for you to take her two white oxen because they are the best we have and are fit (page 11) even for an Indian chief. Take these and go in peace." Thomas held his breath while the Indian eyed him with a grim, stolid look. Suddenly the chief seized Thomas in his long, brawny arms. He hugged him as though he could not restrain his admiration for this white man's bravery. I almost fainted, watching from the cabin, for I thought surely he was being killed. I breathed easily when the Indian finally released Thomas and broke the strained silence. "White man and squaw talk brave, very brave. We no kill, take oxen and go." Over his shoulder he threw a few gutteral sentences. Immediately the warriors turned their horses and, rounding up the two white oxen, started back over the point of the hills from which they had come. At that point, the chief stopped, turned, and raised his hand to Thomas and then vanished around the point of the hill. Later, as time went on, the Indians became more peaceable, and there was less trouble with them. The purpose of William's journey to San Francisco was to straighten out the failure of a farm he had as partnership with a Mr. Henderson. William furnished the money, and Henderson was to look after the farm and crops. When William was gone on an exploration trip, Mr. Henderson sold the crops along with the farm, and left the country. William felt unhappy about this, and so he decided to work in California and make up for the money he had lost through Mr. Henderson. He told Mary and me that he would "bring back as much as Mr. Henderson stole from me or I won't come back!" If William ever wrote to us, the letters were lost as we never heard from him and assumed he must be dead. He had been gone almost two years, when one day we received a letter from him. He said that (page 12) he was well, and that he would be home in a short time. When William finally arrived, I was away from home weaving material for a dress. Word was sent to me to come home immediately, which I did. Everyone was overjoyed to have the husband and father home who had been gone so long. William brought three wagon loads of goods home with him which included clothing, materials, shoes, bedding, and all kinds of badly needed food items. After William's homecoming, we moved to Gunlock, Utah. This small town had been named after William because of his skill with guns. Another daughter, Elmira, was born October 26, 1860, and then a son, Duane on August 10, 1862. Ann Eliza was born February 1, 1864, and Hyrum was born December 6, 1867, but lived a short time and died in May of 1868. These children were all born while we were in Gunlock. Then we moved to a nice little place in Nevada called Clover Valley in Lincoln County. Here Clara, another daughter, was born on October 26, 1870. About this time, William was dealing with two mining companies, and had to travel to Pioche, Nevada, in company with a doctor and a lawyer. While in this town, there was a lawsuit, and William was the star witness for one of the companies. On his departure, Mary and I had cautioned him not to eat or drink anything at a public eating place. I remember that he said with a laugh, "Don't worry about me - nothing could happen to me as I have both a doctor and a lawyer with me. I'll be all right." Before the trial in Pioche, the men were eating a small meal at a public eating place. They were all anxious and worried, and as they sat waiting, they were served coffee. William didn't drink coffee, but (page 13) as he was thirsty and worried, he drank part of his coffee. He immediately arose to his feet and left the table, saying, "I am poisoned," then fell to the floor. He was taken to the doctor's office and received immediate treatment. He felt some better, so they put him in a spring wagon and took him home to Clover Valley. A runner was sent ahead to break the bad news. William's companion, Dr. Ivins, came home with him, and William soon became much better. The doctor could not stay long, and another doctor came in his stead. The new doctor prescribed medicine for William which harmed, rather than helped him. After William had been home about ten days, he got up and dressed himself. The exertion proved to be too much. He had a stroke, and soon passed away without saying a word to anyone. This was on May 8, 1872. After William's death, it was hard for us to go on, knowing we would no longer have him with us. My health became poor with worry, grief, and hard work, and after the birth of my baby girl, Sarah Priscilla, born seven months and twenty days after the death of her father, I became seriously ill. After months of illness, I slowly regained my strength, and we decided it would be a good thing to move to Utah with several other families leaving at this time. After an uneventful trip, we arrived at our destination and settled on the Pahrea on a small farm. We raised mostly corn and cane. We had Indian trouble continuously, so it was a relief when the "call" came for us to go to Arizona. It took a great deal of preparation, for we had to take good to last us many months, as there would be no food there upon our arrival. On October 28, 1879, our little company of ten wagons started for (page 14) the far-off country of Arizona. The first part of our journey was very pleasant. When we reached the Big Colorado River, most of the adults and children alike were frightened at the prospects of crossing such a large stream of water. However, we did make it perfectly across on rafts, and a few on rowboats, and everyone rejoiced when we reached the other side. As we continued our journey, I could hear my son Billie singing, "When you go to Arizona, be sure you have enough of flour, beans, and bacon, and other kinds of stuff. For if you do not do it, you will find it rather tough, before you raise a crop in Arizona!" Our journey seemed pleasant and free from worry, and not at any time or any place can I recall hearing anyone speak a harsh or angry word. We camped along the side of the Little Colorado River after six weeks of travel. There, the men built a log cabin, for we remained here several weeks. Most of the hardships seemed to fall upon my shoulders. The weather was getting colder, and some mornings there was snow on the ground. We soon left and drove on into Round Valley, later called Springerville. Tired and weather-worn, we stayed here about two months, but the boys wanted to travel on to Bush Valley, later called Alpine. Our journey to Arizona ended when we stopped at Bush Valley. There were about eight families living there before us, and during the first spring, we lived in a cellar. The cellar was large and roomy which made it quite comfortable. We lived in this cellar until the boys finished building a large log cabin in which to live. During this time, we also had a few Indian scares. Because of this, a small fort was built for protection against the Indian raids. It was awfully cold in the winter time at Bush Valley, and I can clearly remember the snow reaching the top of the fence posts. In the (page 15) spring of 1882, we moved farther up toward the mountain where there was more farming land. The next winter was the coldest we had seen since coming to Arizona. All the men had left for work on the Union Pacific Railroad, and as a result, all the chores were left up to the girls and me. In the fall of 1882, we moved to Nutrioso. At first, we lived in tents, but it seemed so good to be in a place where we could sleep at night without fear of Indians. The mountains were so beautiful with tall bunches of grass, raspberry, gooseberry, and currant bushes, red pine, oak, clumps of white-barked quaking asps [aspen], springs of sweet water with clear streams running from the mountains. Soon after we settled in Nutrioso, the rest of our boys who had been working on the railroad came home. That fall, some of the younger children were able to attend school. Up until this time, I had been the only school teacher, and had taught them to read from newspapers which papered the walls of our cabin. It was very cold again this winter. I remember the boys calling me and the girls to see a frozen calf. Sure enough, there it stood frozen to death. Twice the boys, who were herding our horses, came running and yelling, "The Indians have our horses." All the women and children ran to the fort. The men held a council to see if they would follow the Indians and take the horses back. I was listening and urged them not to go, as the Indians might ambush and kill them, then raid the fort. We could get more horses, but never get our men back. What then would the women and children do" The men decided against going, and strengthened the fort and built a good corral for the horses. My son, Billie, would tie a big red stallion by the door each night, and when the children asked about this, I told them if the Indians even come (page 16) close, this horse would let us know when he smells them by making a disturbance and this will be an alarm to us. Later, Mexicans stole our work horses and the men did follow and keep on their trail until they got most of the horses back. It was getting late in the season with some snow, and we were low on food stuffs, especially flour. Neute Mangum, my grandson, said he would drive me to the store, so we put our feather mattress and quilts in the wagon, took food to last us on the way, and drove the wagon and oxen, Buck and Brandy. I took my youngest child, Priscilla, wrapped tight in a big shawl, and started out to Julius Becker’s store in Round Valley. While on this trip, we visited Jacob Hamblin and his wife, Priscilla, my youngest sister. They had come to Arizona the year before we had come. It was a very happy reunion. We returned home with our provisions, safe and happy. In 1881, work commenced on the Union Pacific Railroad from Fort Wingate, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona. My sons, Billie and Duane, and son-in-laws, George Mangum and George Adair and wives, left to get work on the railroad. In September, 1891, I was asked to give up my last child, Sarah Priscilla, as Thomas Alger, a nice young man, asked for her hand and they prepared to be married in December. My son, Billie and I had planned to go to a new part of Arizona on the Gila River, but this changed my plans. Thomas and Priscilla stayed with me until we moved down to the Gila Valley in 1899. The remaining years of my life were very pleasant, as I lived with Tom and Priscilla and helped with the babies as they came along. I was really needed, as they had thirteen children, and Priscilla was rather frail. (page 17) Their first son died as a baby, the next child, a daughter, died when she was nineteen, and the next baby, another boy, died when a baby. All the others lived to adulthood. I enjoyed raising chickens and turkeys to help out, and for spending money of my own. I remained strong and well most of the time. I have lived the remainder of my life with Tom and Priscilla. Betsey Jane Leavitt Hamblin passed away at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Priscilla and Tom Alger at the age of seventy-eight, on October 16, 1917 and was buried in Lebanon Cemetery. She was always a dearly beloved mother and grandmother.

Life History of Sarah Priscilla Leavitt Hamblin

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Life History of Sarah Priscilla Leavitt Hamblin by Myrl Tenney Arrott (Condensed Version) Jeremiah Leavitt, Priscilla's father, married Sarah Sturtevant, Priscilla's mother in Vermont. He moved his new bride to Hatley, Canada, just fifteen miles from the Vermont line. The soil was deep and fertile, and the timber was plentiful. Here they would establish their home and rear their family. The change was a sore test for the eighteen-year-old bride. Sarah had been brought up in a strict Puritan home where Bible reading and family prayers were an established daily ritual, and where the Sabbath Day was observed to the letter. Hatley, Canada was little more than a boisterous lumber camp. The swearing and the drinking, along with general disregard for things religious and refined, tried her bitterly. But she adjusted, and developed into a mature and resourceful woman, still devoutly religious. Always of a serious nature, she read the scriptures, meditated much and prayed often. Sarah bore ten children while in Hatley. Sarah had joined the Baptist Church because she believed in baptism by immersion. Through the paper which was published by her church, she read of a strange new sect which claimed that their prophet received revelation directly from God. The stories were much distorted, and so fantastic that they were comical. Yet, strangely, Sarah was interested in the idea of new revelation. During her prayers and meditations, she had been impressed she was to receive new light from some source. One afternoon, one of her husband's sisters called on her and asked her to go for a walk. When they were out in the field where they could not be overheard, she told Sarah she had been to listen to some Mormon elders preach. She found Sarah to be a sympathetic listener, so she went on to say how she believed this was really the true church of Christ restored again. Suddenly, it flashed through Sarah's mind that this was the new light she, herself, and been looking for. Returning home, Sarah told her husband of the incident and together they went to a Mormon meeting. They accepted all of the literature given to them and spent long evenings reading from it, comparing it with scriptures, and discussing it. Sarah's real conversion came when she read from the Doctrine and Covenants. In her journal, written after she had grown older, she said, "I know that no man nor set of men could make such a book; or would dare try, from any wisdom that man possessed. I knew that it was the word of God, and a revelation from heaven and received it as such. I sought with my whole heart a knowledge of the truth. That never has left me nor never will." The older children were all baptized when their parents were. Most of Jeremiah's family was also baptized. The popularity of the new sect had grown in and around Hatley, and the new converts felt that they should gather with the body of the Church at Kirtland, Ohio. This was a tremendous undertaking for Jeremiah and Sarah. It meant taking their large family and moving to a new place. But they were determined to move with the rest of the saints. They left Hatley, Canada on July 20, 1835 in a company of twenty-three souls, including Jeremiah's mother, Sarah Shannon Leavitt, and her children and grandchildren. Her oldest son-in-law, Frank Chamberlain, was in charge of the group. In Jeremiah's wagon, besides the parents, were eight children: Louisa, Lydia, Jeremiah Jr., Weir, Lemuel, Dudley, Mary and Thomas. The company traveled in order, resting on the Sabbath and whenever it was necessary to wash clothes, repair wagons, rest the team or get supplies. It was a good experience for the children to cook over the campfire and sleep under the stars. Thus, the training of the young men of the Leavitt family as frontiersmen, began early. They learned to read the signs of nature, and gained skill in tracking with keen observation. Also, these young men learned resourcefulness and the ability to meet emergencies. They arrived in Kirtland early in September, 1835. They would always remember their first meeting with the Prophet Joseph Smith. Here was a man who talked with God and angels, so he seemed more than human. The family was to have closer association with the Prophet in the days to come. When they arrived in Kirtland, the family's money was gone and they could go no further. They went ten miles on to the village of Mayfield where there was a mill and some chair factories. Here Jeremiah and his older sons found work. Since most of the townspeople were bitter against the Mormons, the Leavitts tended strictly to their own business. Often some of the younger boys came home with bloody noses from defending the Mormon religion. The Leavitts were trustworthy and honest; so in spite of the hatred toward the Mormons in general, the Leavitts left town with the good feelings of the people. The day they left the merchants of the town canceled part of their bills and gave them a few luxuries, such as a card of buttons for the baby's coat and a paper of tea. Through their influence, a few people of the town later joined the Mormon Church. The second journey was to take them another five-hundred miles west, to Twelve Mile Grove near Nauvoo, Illinois. It was a long, tiresome journey. Near Lake Michigan, they had to stop again while the father, Jeremiah, earned some money so they could go on. Here, Jeremiah found the three orphaned children of his brother, Nathaniel. The mother had died some years before and Nathaniel had married again. Then Nathaniel died and his wife left the children in the care of some neighbors and went back to Canada. Their children's names were Nathaniel, Flavilla and John; the oldest was only twelve years of age. The roads were bad all the way to Twelve Mile Grove. In one place, there was a five-mile bridge over a swamp, made only of poles without a dirt covering. Traveling over this crude bridge almost jolted them to pieces. They arrived at Twelve Mile Grove to find the other part of the family sick and discouraged. Jeremiah's mother, Sarah Shannon Leavitt, had died from the hardships, cold and exposure. Many of the company were ill; all were in low spirits. They all had bought good farms, but many of them had malaria fever. Those who did not have the chills and fever were still not in good health. Some of them had begun to doubt the truth of this new church that had cost them so much. Jeremiah and Sarah brought new hope and new zeal to the group. The parents knew they must find work at once. With so many children to care for and feed, it took all of them doing their best at whatever jobs they could find. Fourteen miles away the great canal at Juliett was being built. Jeremiah could get work at $3.00 a day with his team. By taking in washings from the workmen, Sarah could have the girls help her; and the older boys would help Jermiah. The others would take odd jobs here and there. So they went to Juliett and did very well. They stayed there until Spring, then returned to Twelve Mile Grove to join their family and other saints. Jeremiah decided to take up a piece of virgin land on the prairie. With the help of his older sons, they soon had a house on it and the family moved out to the new place. They had five good milk cows for milk, butter and cheese, and were able to raise good crops. Everything went well until Sarah, the mother, took sick with malaria fever. The malaria kept Sarah dangerously ill for a month; first burning with fever, then shaking with chills. By now, they had one milk cow left; the other cows had been sold to keep them in supplies until they could raise a crop. Then the last milk cow became sick and died. Jeremiah split rails and sold them to buy another cow; they had to have milk. As soon as Sarah was well enough, Jeremiah decided to move on with the other saints to Nauvoo. Most of their friends and family were going, and they wanted to be with the body of the Church. They started in November, and upon arriving in Nauvoo, bought a place three miles from the city. They ploughed and sowed the land with wheat. Before it was ready to harvest, they found something wrong with the title or deed to the land because of a problem with the survey, and they lost the property. They then bought another farm out by the "Big Indian Mounds" just seven miles east of Nauvoo. Their eleventh child, Betsy, was born May 12, 1839, in Nauvoo (Twelve Mile Creek). This was in 1841; for six years they had been moving from one place to another, whenever they could find work. They were now close enough to town so they could go to their meetings and conferences. This way, they could keep in touch with their people. The undeveloped land was in a fine location. On the big mound, they planned to build their new home. With such a group of strapping young men to help him, Jeremiah felt they could put the land in shape and be ready to cultivate in a short period of time. They did well in their new location, in spite of some reverses. One season, the boys all came down with the "black canker"; each had his turn. It seemed that death hung over the household. But with careful nursing, and the power of the Priesthood used with great faith, they were all made well. At another time, nine-year-old Mary had a falon on her finger, which caused her great pain and suffering. Again, the Lord blessed them and Mary was healed. Then, "On a beautiful spring morning, 8 May, 1841, happiness and joy visited this neat little home of the Leavitts. A sweet little baby girl was born as the twelfth and last child of Sarah and Jeremiah Leavitt. She was given the name of Sarah Priscilla Leavitt." (The foregoing information was taken from Sarah Leavitt's journal that she has so faithfully kept all of her pioneer life. In Alpine, Arizona, during the years 1925-27, I read this journal to my grandmother Sarah Priscilla Leavitt Hamblin; and the following story is written in my grandmother's words as she remembered how she as a child and young lady lived and experienced these events. By Myrl Tenney Arrott) Among my first recollections and faintest memories was the fear and sorrow in our home concerning the mob violence and the persecution of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. They had been driven for months, jailed, tarred and feathered, and harassed constantly. I remember clearly of going with my parents and family to the docks on the Mississippi River to meet a boat on which the Prophet Joseph Smith and brother Hyrum were coming into Nauvoo, Illinois. It was after one of their many trips for the Church, or to answer to one of the many trumped up charges the enemy had brought against them. A lot of saints had gathered with their children at the docks to meet these brethren as they came in. They wanted to get a glimpse of these "Holy Men of God." Oh, how these saints loved them! As this stalwart, humble man came up the pathway toward us, we children all crowded as close to the path as we could get. A thrill I will never forget came over me as he took my hand, patted me on the head, and said, "May the Lord bless you child." He was not in a hurry, but took, his time greeting all of the children as he passed along the path to his waiting carriage. He also shook hands with my parents and many of the saints as he went by. I can remember how my parents and others said they knew he was a prophet of God. By the good, peaceful feeling it gave us just to be near him and hear his voice, we all knew he was a prophet. "This testimony has stayed with me through life; and it helped sustain all of the family when we were faced with the mobbings, persecutions, burnings and suffering that followed holy men of God. It was hard for a child to understand why these wicked men would torture and persecute these holy men of God (Mother explained to me that they were "wicked men and Satan's demons of the worst kind"). From our mound at the farm, we could see the burning buildings at night. It seemed that the violence and mobbing became worse after the Prophet Joseph and brother Hyrum had returned from the last trip. The mob hadn't gotten far enough out to bother us yet. We hoped they would "leave us alone," as others put it. But one day, they did threaten us. A group of dirty, rough-looking men came riding up to our gate, dismounting with a clatter. As they started through the gate, my older brother Weir, a young giant of twenty-two, walked calmly out of the house to meet them. "Come on in fellows," he said in a friendly voice. "Let's have a drink!". This sort of greeting surprised the roughnecks; they hadn't expected this kind of reception. They followed him around to the wine cellar where Weir poured a pitcher of wine and passed it to them to drink. Then picking up the barrel, he drank out of the ********. They watch him with amazement. They noticed how his muscles bulged under his shirt; they saw the fearless coolness of his eyes as he looked at them. Perhaps they noticed, too, the tense watchful attitude of the younger brothers, Lem, Thomas and Dudley. They were only boys, but boys with fight in them. The mobbers got on their horses and rode away. The family was never molested again. This was not much comfort when we could see things that were going on around us and hear of the whippings, tar and featherings, and other stories of cruelty told us by our neighbors. We stayed close to the farm, only going to town on Sundays to go to church or to conference. "We heard in the spring of 1844 that the Prophet Joseph and Brother Hyrum and other brethren had been sent to prison. But they had been sent to prison before, and God had always protected them; He had helped them to escape their persecutors! When the word came that Joseph and Hyrum Smith had been 'killed in jail', my family was thunderstruck. They hurried to the city and could see crowds of grief-stricken people milling or passing on the streets; or gathered in groups, talking in hushed whispers. Most were just standing with heads bowed. With their beloved Prophet and leader gone, what could they, or would they do? The next day, the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum Smith lay in state at the Mansion House. Their bodies were guarded by a large group of priesthood members. My father and older brothers were among the guard. My older sister and younger brothers stayed with us smaller girls. Mother went to be with the Relief Society sisters and to view the sad sight. These were very trying times for all. This sad, dark time for the saints of the Church seemed to strengthen the testimonies of my family and all the faithful members. Though they were all downcast and sad, they seemed to comfort each other as they prayed to the Lord together for strength, and for His help and comfort. The family gathered to my older sister's home. Lydia was married to William Snow, and a mutual feeling of kinship was felt at the Snow home. The children and women sat in a dark room, while the men and older boys stood guard. "Arm and be ready" a rider shouted. "The mob is out to destroy every Mormon," one of the women began to cry, begging her husband not to go. "If I had forty husbands and as many sons, I would urge them all to go," mother Sarah told the woman. "If I could, I would go myself." With Joseph and Hyrum dead, the mob was quiet for a few months. The saints worked and lived in peace for a short time, but they needed a leader in order to get organized and move forward. I remember going with my family to a meeting called by Brother Brigham Young. As he rose to speak, he seemed to have the voice and physical appearance of our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith. The spirit of this great and solemn occasion was poured out on the saints. My family, with all the others, then knew that Brother Brigham was the one to be chosen as our leader. A spirit of peace and comfort was felt and it gave the saints a sense of security and strength to carry on. They united as a body to face the great task ahead of them. When the mob saw that the saints were reunited and determined to carry on with the new leaders, they again started their fiendish tortures and persecutions. The beautiful temple was burned, along with some homes, and destruction was loosed again. My mother and father broke down and wept when they heard the temple was destroyed. My father and older brother had labored day after day, with only parched corn and sometimes jerky to sustain them as they helped build this beautiful edifice to the Lord. Next to the murder of their Prophet, it was one of the hardest trials they had to endure. "Marauding bands scoured the countryside at night, as well as day. The Leavitt family at the Mounds had to stay armed to guard at all hours in order to protect our farm and crops from being burned. We also had to protect our very lives. For me, a child of four or five, these events left a lasting impression on my memory that affected me throughout my life. Two roads ran by our farm; one was from Warsaw and one from Carthage. Since both roads had to be watched, my mother and my younger brothers took turns at the guard post day and night. It soon became evident that the Mormons would have to leave the state of Illinois or denounce their religion, which they would not do. They knew Mormonism was true. They then chose to move out of the state. Father had about forty thousand brick, and almost enough good rock quarried out, to build a new home upon the Mound. Father and the boys traded these for an old bed quilt. For the beautiful farm they received a yoke of wild steers. They had some weaving done in exchange for two high-poster beds. They had to abandon a nice little cherry stand to the mob. "The Leavitt family was on the road again to find a new home, where they could live and work in peace and where they could live their religion. Their forefathers had fought and died to help found this nation for religious freedom. Had it all been in vain? It was February and wintertime when my family pulled up on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. There were gathered several hundred wagons and families on that bitter cold day. The river would have to be crossed on the ice. The Leavitt family found an old schoolhouse to stay in for shelter. Mother woke my father, Jeremiah, in the night to tell him she had a dream and a premonition to get out of Illinois or they would all be killed. The next morning they loaded what scanty supplies they had, stretched the cover on the wagon, and pulled out on the ice to cross over to the Iowa side of the river. We were not prepared for any kind of a journey. We camped on the west side of the Mississippi river in order to help others and get our stock across. The Leavitt's camped there with a number of other wagons, and all formed a circle with a huge fire built in the center. It snowed and was terribly cold, and several deaths occurred from the exposure. Many old people and newborn babies lost their lives. Because my family gave one of our teams and wagons to the Church to help move church property, it was more difficult moving this time. It was April, 1846, before we reached Mt. Pisgah, one-hundred and fifty miles west of Nauvoo. This was to be one of the permanent camps, so my father and three brothers, Weir, Lemuel and Dudley, went back to Bonaparte, located between Nauvoo and Mt. Pisgah, to earn flour and other provisions to sustain the family until the crops could be harvested. My mother and we four children remained at Mt. Pisgah. Weir was married while there in Bonaparte. This was a difficult time for the family. My mother took sick with chills and fever, and then all the children became ill; but through faith and prayer, we were all healed and our lives spared. About three hundred of the saints died there. My father also became ill back in Bonaparte. My brother, Weir and his wife cared for him; but Father died. He had known when he left us that we would never see him again in this life. At the side of his deathbed, they had sung his favorite hymn, 'Come Let Us Anew'. When they reached the verse that says, "I have fought my way through, I have finished the work thou didst give me to do", he joined in; and his last words were, "Well and faithfully done, enter into thy joy and sit down on thy throne". His voice stopped then and, with Weir and Lemuel holding him, he died on those last sad notes. Of course, they had to bury Father there at Bonaparte. Then Weir and his wife, and Lemuel and Dudley came on to Mt. Pisgah to help the family get ready to move to the great Salt Lake Valley. We would never be all together again. My father died in August, 1846; my sister, Lydia Snow, also died in 1846; and Weir died in the summer of 1847, making three in the family who had passed away within one year. In 1846, the boys moved us on to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where Weir and Lemuel had already planted some crops. We arrived there in November; and since they had no house built for us, we had to camp out. Mother took the chills and fever again. The boys fixed up a shelter of hay until they could build a house, which they built at a trading post on the Missouri River. "The steamboats landed here, leaving empty hogsheads or barrels to be taken to the maple groves. There they would be refilled with maple sugar or syrup. Sometimes large chunks of maple sugar would stick to the sides of the barrel. We girls would chip this sugar off into a bucket, and take it home for our own use. We would gather many wild greens and asparagus, and we had plenty of fish. In the tall grasses were wild strawberries, service berries, blackberries and wild currants. The following summer, these wild foods were all plentiful and we gathered them. As soon as Mother was well, she took in boarders, did fine sewing, and made butter, bread and pies to sell to the emigrants and travelers that passed by daily. My brother, Dudley, found work at a trading post owned by a man named Peter Maughn. Peter liked Dudley because he was a big, strong lad who knew how to work. He was very proud of Dudley's strength. It was through Peter Maughn that the Leavitt family got enough money to outfit us for the trip to Zion. One day, Dudley was walking along the road where hundreds of emigrant wagons passed on their westward trek. Looking down, he saw a large black purse at the side of the road. He picked it up and found one-hundred and fifty dollars in it. Hurriedly, he ran to the trading post and asked Peter if he should start looking for or inquiring about the owner. Peter told him to say nothing about it, because the owner was probably miles down the road; and someone who was not the rightful owner might try to claim it. He told Dudley to keep the purse; and if anyone did inquire about it, he would know that was the owner. After a week had passed without a claim, Peter told Dudley that it was possible this was the Lord's way in helping Sarah Leavitt get her family to Zion. Peter took the money, saying to Dudley, "See how hard your mother works, and all of your family; it takes most of it just to keep you fed and clothed". With the money, Peter bought the family a good wagon, or prairie schooner, two yoke of strong oxen, four cows, and a good supply of flour, meal and other provisions. They were now ready to start for Zion. This year, 1850, was the peak year for the 'gold rush' to California. The total emigration for the year was estimated at fifty thousand persons. Five thousand of these were Mormon emigrants on the road to Utah. Joining Captain Milo Andrus' company, we left to cross the Missouri River on June 3, 1850. Our company consisted of 51 wagons, 206 persons, 9 horses, 6 mules, 184 oxen, 122 cows, 46 sheep, 6 yearlings, 19 dogs, 2 pigs and 2 ducks. Just before we left the Missouri River, Apostle Orson Hyde called us all together and spoke to us. He told us that if we would be faithful and live our religion, we would be blessed with health and our lives would be spared. He especially admonished us not to take the Lord's name in vain, but to reverence it. He said, "Keep God's name sacred and your lives and your property will be preserved." Many of the company did not want to follow their leaders. They wanted to hurry ahead, instead of staying in line and waiting for the slower wagons. Hearing of this, Captain Andrus told those who were unwilling to stay together and help one another to go on ahead. But those that were obedient would camp for a few days to allow the disobedient ones to get far enough ahead to be on their own; then they would follow. He also said the obedient saints would reach Zion in peace and safety; however, he had no promise for those who would not heed counsel. After this talk, none wanted to go ahead. For us children, this journey was a great adventure. Dudley and Mary cared for the teams and cattle, Mother did the cooking and was in charge of setting up camp. Thomas herded the cattle with the other drovers in the company, then took his turn driving the wagon. We had a milk cow hitched on to the back of the wagon and Thomas milked her night and morning. The milk was strained into a wooden churn, and when we stopped at night, we had a ball of yellow butter to be worked over, washed and salted. The butter would be churned with the jolt of the wagon as we traveled along. We would then divide the butter, and share it with less-fortunate people. (As we walked alongside our wagon) My sister Betsy, and I had the chore of gathering sticks and roots, along with buffalo chips, for the evening fire. We had some grass-sack aprons that mother had made to tie around our waists; and when we found a dry twig, stick, or buffalo chip, we would put it into our apron sack. When the apron was filled, we would dump it into a large box in the back of the wagon. By night, we would have enough fuel for our night fire, to cook our evening meal, and for hot water to wash our dishes and our faces and hands. When the fuel box was filled, we would then play along the way, finding pretty rocks or playing jacks and other games. We also picked the pretty flowers that grew in the rocks and damper places. One day, as Betsy and I were looking for pretty rocks and pebbles in the bottom of a large dry wash, we heard a roaring sound like thunder. Looking up, we saw a cloud of dust and knew it was a great herd of buffalo that had been stampeded by hunters or Indians. We looked around for some shelter and saw some overhanging rocks which formed a ledge above the wash. We hurried under it just as the first wild beast leaped down the bank. We huddled back against the rock and kept very quiet. Then as the last shaggy hump went over us, we realized how worried and frightened our mother would be. We surely would have been trampled to death if it hadn't been for that overhanging ledge. As the dust cleared away at last, we saw a horseman riding toward us at a long fast lope. We could see that the wagon train had formed a circle for safety; for a large herd of stampeding buffalo could wreck a wagon train if it were hit broadside. As we neared the wagon, my mother came running out after us, scolding and crying as she ran. The scout who had rescued us was also very upset. We were never again allowed to wander away from the wagons so far that our mother couldn't call us at all times. One day, I was riding in the back of the wagon. I had my hair braided in two long braids; and because I was in the shade of the wagon cover, I pushed my sunbonnet back off my forehead. Then I saw four Indians with painted faces riding toward the back of our wagon. One of them, apparently a chief wearing his headdress of feathers, rode up very close to me and pointed to my long, blond braids. He then rode around to the front of the wagon to say something to my mother, and pointed at me again as he talked. The scout, seeing the Indians following our wagon, hurried up to see what they wanted. The chief made it known to the scout that he wanted to trade for me, because he liked my blue eyes and white hair. My mother became afraid and made me get up beside her on the wagon seat. Angrily, she shook her head at the chief; and the Indians, sensing her anger, turned and rode away. We thought we were through with them; but that night, we heard the wolves howling and other strange sounds. What the night guard thought was a big wolf raised up on his hind legs, apparently trying to peer into our wagon. The guard shot it and the next morning, they found a dead Indian wrapped in a wolf skin. The cover on the wagon had been tied down securely, and we knew nothing of the incident until morning. For several days, our mother was very careful to keep us back out of sight in the wagon. My brother, Thomas, was a very good shot, and did his part in keeping the wagon train in fresh meat. The wild game and buffalo were fat and plentiful. Each week, we stopped on Friday night to clean up our clothes and to get ready for the Sabbath Day. At night we also danced and sang around the huge campfire. If we had meat that was going to spoil, we would dry it for jerky. Dipping the pre-cut strips of meat in hot, boiling salt water, we would then thread the meat on wire or hang it over a rope before an open fire to let it dry. Each night it was hung by the fire again until it was cured and dry, ready to be eaten. We also cured fish the same way, when we had good catches. The Indians called jerky, 'pemmican', which they would pound and put in their stews. We had our Sacrament meetings and our fast and testimony meetings on the Sabbath, we rested, sang hymns and prayed. We also had our prayers every night and morning in our own family. One Monday morning, Thomas could not find one of our yoke of oxen. Mother became very upset because most of the other wagons were ready to go. She did not want to try to go on with just one yoke of steers. We had a heavy load, and she knew we had some steep grades to climb. Afraid that we could never make it with half the oxen, she gathered us children by the wagon wheel to pray. We bowed our heads as she prayed to our Father in Heaven to "lead her to our oxen that she was so in need of." She then sent Thomas in one direction, and she went down the creek we were camped on. There under a big clump of willows, she found the oxen, lying in the tall grass and weeds. She led them to the wagon, the boys yoked them up, and we were on our way. We passed many wagons who had been in too much of a hurry to stop and help us find our oxen. They were having problems and delays because of small breakdowns and tired teams. When we came to the steeper grades and harder climbs, we all knew then we never could have made it if we hadn't found our oxen. That night, humbly and earnestly, we thanked our Father in Heaven for His help and kind protective care that day. The next morning, everyone was up with the dawn, eagerly pushing to get started. We would be in the 'Valley of Zion' that evening. A great excitement filled the camp. We were soon on our way, and by noon had pulled around the last sharp curve and out into the opening. Captain Andrus and the other leaders took off their hats and bowed their heads in prayer. My sister, Betsy, and I climbed upon the wagon wheel. Taking off our bonnets and swinging them high in the air, we shouted and yelled loud and long: "Hurrah for Zion! Hurrah for Zion!" A mist lay over the valley below but just before noon, on August 3, 1850, it seemed to lift and there was the great Salt Lake at last! Everyone seemed to feel they could not get enough of the scene. Peace and rest in safety at last-could it be real? It was about five o'clock in the afternoon when we passed through Salt Lake City. It was a town of about five thousand people at this time. Captain Andrus had two big banners painted and fastened to the cover on his wagon, with the words 'Hail to the Governor of Deseret', and 'Holiness to the Lord'. Then people began to come out of their homes to wave to us, and welcome us to Zion. This, indeed, seemed like Zion, a haven for weary-worn travelers. Just before sunset, led by Captain Andrus on his fine horse, all of the wagons pulled into the Union Square. Captain Andrus, wearing a clean kerchief and a large black hat, with his black coat brushed clean, sat on his horse more erect than usual. Even his horse seemed to sense this important occasion, for it curved its neck and pranced more than it had done for days along the road. When the last wagon was in place, Captain Andrus stepped off his horse; and, removing his hat, he held up his hand for attention. "Brethren and Sisters, we are at the end of our long journey, at last. We have been greatly blessed; the hand of God has been over us. After we separate, it will be up to each of you to locate according to your desires and judgment, as well as the counsel of the authorities". Then, raising his hand and bowing his head, he said, "Let us be united in prayer and thanksgiving to God, who brought us here in safety." Instantly, a hundred heads were uncovered as men, women and children bowed their heads in prayer and humble thanksgiving. As soon as the 'Amen' was said, the bustle began. People from town had gathered to meet relatives and friends, or to inquire about others still on the road. This was truly a homecoming for Mother, who was tired and worn out from the long trek she had just endured-the mobbing, and the death of our father and other loved ones. Now she could rest with her remaining family in peace, to work and worship in Zion. We stayed at Duel Settlement that year. Then the next spring, my family took up land at Tooele, Utah. They built a log house, with homemade furniture, near the fort for protection. They prospered, and found peace and happiness, until the Indians began raiding and stealing their cattle. Betsy, Dudley, Thomas and I were the only children at home now. Mary had married William Hamblin, and Lemuel had married Melvina Thompson. Jacob Hamblin and his family had also been sent to Tooele to settle there. I became well-acquainted with Sister Rachael, Jacob's wife. Jacob had been called to help stop the Indian raids, and to try to make peace between the Indians and the whites. He was called away from home frequently, and Sister Rachel had to care for a house full of children herself. I would go over to help her at times when she needed it. She was not at all well, almost an invalid, and she had to stay in bed a lot. Mother had delivered her baby, and I took care of the other children, so we became very close. Also, Dudley, my brother, was called by Jacob Hamblin to help in the Indian troubles. "The years we spent in Tooele were some of the happiest days I can remember. We had square dances, molasses candy pulls, and many kinds of games and contests. We enjoyed the basket dances and contest parties; and had picnics, house-raising, and quiltings every few days. Everyone was so good to each other and there was very little gossip and contention. Then in 1854, Jacob Hamblin was called by Brigham Young to establish an Indian mission at Santa Clara, in the southern part of Utah. This would be the furthermost mission from any settlement established up to that time. The Indians had to be taught the Gospel. The missionaries must try to promote friendship with them so that the two races may understand each other. Jacob's family had to remain at Tooele until a fort could be built. This new frontier must be a little more settled before women and children could be moved there. I spent a lot of time in the Hamblin home while Jacob was away. I grew to love Sister Rachel and her fine family. In 1855, after they had a fort established and some log homes built, Jacob Hamblin called Dudley Leavitt and his two wives, with several other families, to move to Santa Clara Mission. His brother, William, had by now married my sisters, Mary and Betsy. They were to also help settle southern Utah. I was the only one left at home to be with my mother. Dudley thought it would be better if we all moved to southern Utah. He persuaded my mother to go along so that he could care for us. Jacob Hamblin moved his family to Santa Clara at first; then in the summer, he kept them at the 'Mountain Meadows', where he kept his sheep and cattle. They made butter and cheese for the winter there, and cared for the stock. Rachel had not been well and another baby was expected, so I was again called to help in the Hamblin home. She never regained her health and strength after this baby was born. One day, as Jacob sat on Rachel's bed talking to her, she told him to ask me to be his wife so that he would have someone to care for his children when she was gone. Calling me to them, Rachel put my hand in Jacob's, and Jacob asked me to become his wife. It was the law of the Church that the first wife must give her consent before a man could take another wife. I told them that I would have to talk to my mother first; but thanked them for their faith in me. The next morning, I talked to my mother and she said she thought the Jacob Hamblin family were very fine people; and that if, after we prayed about it, I felt that I wanted to take this important step, I had her blessing to do so. The next morning, I went back to the Hamblin home to help with the morning meal. After breakfast was finished, I found Jacob in Rachel's room. I told them both that I had asked my mother and my Heavenly Father; and had decided that I loved this family well enough to help them, and to give them my love and care. Since Brother Jacob had to be away from home so much on Church business and missionary work with the Indians, I felt very humble in accepting this great responsibility. On his trip to Salt Lake City, Jacob took me along; and we were married in the Endowment House on September 11, 1857. Because it took about a week to go to Salt Lake City from Santa Clara, another couple accompanied us as chaperons. The trip home was not very eventful. Jacob seemed to be worried and depressed about something. The day we were to arrive at the Mountain Meadows, we saw in the distance someone coming on horseback, seemingly at great speed. It was Albert, Jacob's Indian boy, whom he had adopted many years before. Albert was now about seventeen years old, and it was his duty to care for the sheep and cattle at the Mountain Meadow ranch for Jacob. As he came riding up to the light spring wagon, he seemed very pale and nervous. He told Jacob to take his horse and go at once--that a terrible thing had happened at the Mountain Meadow ranch. Indians, led by some white men, had massacred most of the people of a wagon train that had camped at the Mountain Meadows, with Jacob's permission. All but a few children had been killed. Jacob then told me to lay down in the back of the covered wagon. "Lie very still," he said. There was no time for grief or tears. There was work to do and loads to lift. I believe that work was the thing that saved us all--the eternal, never-ending work to keep us in food, clothing, and shelter. I had five babies born to me at Santa Clara; Sarah Olive, Melissa, Lucy, Jacob Vernon Jr., and Ella Ann. My children brought me a great deal of comfort and joy. My real life's happiness was wrapped up in them. No mother took more pride and joy in her family than I did. My third daughter, Lucy, was a very sweet child; but she seemed very weak and frail. When she was six-years-old, we took her to Salt Lake City to see the doctors there; and they found she had a tapeworm. They tried every known remedy to get rid of it, but to no avail. Often, after taking certain medication, she would pass yards of it; then it would grow back. Just after Christmas, December 28,1871, she died in Jacob's arms. This was a sad time, but we were relieved to see her rest from her pain. She had suffered for two years. "One morning, just before daylight, Jacob started for Cedar City with a load of grain. I had been in the orchard drying peaches. Upon returning to the house, I saw two buck Indians come riding into the yard. They inquired, "Where is Jacob?" "He has gone with grain to Cedar City," I replied. With a grunt, they whirled their horses; and, in a great cloud of dust, dashed down the road. A queer, cold feeling came over me and I felt they were up to some mischief. I worried all day. That night, after we had gone to bed, I heard them gallop by. Somehow I felt relieved and was able to go to sleep. When he returned, Jacob told me that the Indians had overtaken him; and riding up to him, they said, "We have come to kill you, Jacob." He sat quietly for a second; then pulling his shirt back, he said, "Well, go ahead and kill me, I have no gun to defend myself." Looking surprised and very embarrassed, they said, "You have our hearts, Jacob; we can't kill you." And turning their horses around, they went back the way they had come. One day, after Jacob had been gone for several months to the Indian villages across the river, the authorities became very worried about him. They called a special meeting to organize a party of men to look for him. With a prayer in my heart, I waited days for him to return; but my baby Ella was small and I was unable to go to the meeting. As I sat down to tend Ella, a light rap came at the door--and in walked my Jacob. My heart beat so hard it nearly stifled me; I was so happy to see him safely at home! He looked so tired. I wanted to comfort him with a hot bath, clean clothes, and a good warm meal; but he could not take time just then. He had just come by to let me know he was all right. He then went straight to the meeting to let the authorities know he was safe. Melissa, my second daughter, who had been at the meeting, came home so embarrassed that her father had come to the meeting so 'dirty and shabby'. She said, "His clothes were really ragged and he needed a shave and a haircut. Just a clean shirt would have helped some!" Soon, her father came in and told her that some things were more important than a clean shirt, haircut, and shave. One time, while Jacob was away, I was frightened by a band of painted Indians. One of the bucks rode his horse into the yard, up on the porch , and into the kitchen. I had the broom in my hand, sweeping the floor; and when he started to reach for some biscuits on the stove, I began beating his horse over the ahead with the broom. The frightened horse almost threw its rider as it backed out the door, with me and my broom right behind them. The Indian gave a loud grunt, saying, "Hump! Jacob has heap brave squaw!" I am sure that if I had shown the least bit of fear, they would have all come in and taken the food in the house from me. Indians respect bravery, and detest cowards. When he got home, I told Jacob about the incident. He knew the Indians, and gave them a good talking to. They told Jacob that I was very brave, and that they would never molest me again. And they didn't. In 1870, Jacob was called to help settle Kanab. With regrets, we left the big rock house in Santa Clara; this had been our first real home. This was where I had accepted my greatest responsibilities. Death, sickness, childbirth, fear and loneliness, and many other things had happened to us here. It seemed that we were finally realizing something from our hard labors. At last, we had our home, garden and orchard. But duty called, and gladly we answered. The journey to the big Hurricane hill was not very eventful. But when we started up the hill, I took the children out of the wagon to walk. We stopped to rest at a number of places, and finally reached the top. The wagon was waiting for us there. Just as we started to get in, our baby girl, Ella, started crying. She had left her little china doll back down the hill by a big rock. I tried to lift her into the wagon, but she only cried louder. I told her that we could not take the time to go back for the doll. The trip was so long; and I could not ask her father to wait while someone went back for it, even though it was a nice doll--it would probably take an hour to return for the doll, and an hour lost in those days of traveling was a great loss. Her father heard her smothered sobs and asked what was wrong with her. I told him; and to my surprise, he picked her up and dried her tears. He asked her if she knew what big rock she left it by. Then he went back down the hill to look for it. After a time, he came back into sight with his head down and his hands behind him, just as he always walked. "Oh, oh! He doesn't have it!" Ella cried, and began to sob again. When he finally reached the wagon, he handed the doll up to her. "Now you hang on to it tight, my little one. I can't go back for it again." She held it clutched in her arms all the rest of the way to Kanab. We built another home in Kanab, and began the new venture of raising silkworms. The worms were kept in the loft of the barn in big wooden bins. The children would gather mulberry leaves to put in the bins for the worms to eat. They made a loud, chomping noise as they chewed the leaves. The worms were white, about the size of your forefinger. They would spin the silk cocoon around themselves, after attaching themselves to a small twig or straw. The worms produced the fine silk threads from the mulberry leaves they ate. This was interesting work, but not too profitable. It was such a small operation, and we could not produce much silk in this crude fashion. Also, Jacob was away from home so much and did not have time to help us. Jacob brought Major Powell, the river explorer, to our home in Kanab. He came with Jacob on a couple of trips. Major Powell was a very interesting man and seemed delighted to share in our home life. I decided to make him a pair of buckskin gloves from some soft, white buckskin the Indians had given me. One of his arms was partly missing, and the gloves had nice, wide gauntlets that covered his injured arm. He seemed so pleased and happy with his new gloves. Jacob had a wife, Louisa, whom he had married shortly after Rachel's death. Louisa still lived in Santa Clara; and on one of his trips back to see her, Jacob met with Brigham Young and some of the other church authorities. They had blessed him in his work with the Indians; and on December 15, 1876, Jacob was formally ordained by President Brigham Young as an apostle to the Lamanites. In Kanab, we had a nice young orchard. Jacob moved his other wife, Louisa, and her one child born in Santa Clara to Kanab. Louisa had four children born to her in Kanab. There I had two more daughters: Mary Elizabeth, born September 25, 1872; and Clara Melvina, born November 5, 1876. Besides our new orchard and home, we also had some cattle, big roan Durham cows that were very good milkers, horses, chickens, pigs, and a good garden spot. Once again we were able to have a good living. I also did a lot of nursing and delivering babies in Kanab. Again the call came--to Arizona this time. Jacob asked me to go with him, and he left Louisa there at the home in Kanab. As we drove out of Kanab and started the climb to Jacob's Lake in the Buckskin Mountains, Jacob noticed the tears of sadness in my eyes. Turning to me he said, "Now my Pet, I will take you back if you are going to be so depressed and upset. I know it is asking a lot of you to go with me. The trip will be a long, hazardous journey, with many miles of weary travel." "No, no!" I told him; "I'm willing to follow you wherever you want me to go and be by your side. So just drive on!" While crossing the Colorado River and Lee's Backbone, I felt as though I was going into 'Dante's Inferno'. In Arizona, we again found the rugged responsibilities of pioneering a new state. There were hard times beyond anything so far experienced. Bread was made from frostbitten barley, when we had bread. Some days passed with only a crust of bread in the house. To see my children wanting and needing the bare necessities of life, and suffering from hunger and exposure, was the hardest trial for me. It was more than I could have borne had it not been for the love and help of my children. My load was lifted and my life made easier by the love of my oldest son, Jake Jr. and my sweet daughter, Ella Ann. They worked at any odd jobs they could find. They pulled weeds for the Mexican farmers, and Jake helped cultivate the fields and harvest the crops. We were living at Milligan's Fort in Amity, near Springerville, which is above Eagar on the Little Colorado River. Mr. Milligan would have odd jobs around his gristmill for Jake to do; and Ella found washings and ironing to do along with other housework. These loved ones bought clothing and shoes for the younger children. Jake would often come home with a leg of fresh mutton, or twenty-five pounds of flour from the gristmill. The older boys had driven five, nice Durham cows from Utah for us, but we needed other things besides milk. Also, feed was so scarce the first year that there wasn't enough for the cow to eat in order to produce milk. The older boys had gone back to Utah, and Jacob was away from home a lot. The Mexican farmers liked Ella and Jake to pull weeds for them better than they did their own men, because they worked faster and longer. They did not finish a row, then sit down and smoke for long periods of time. The farmers paid Jake and Ella more money too, which made the Mexican laborers mad. They argued that young people should not make more than grown men. It was good experience for Ella and Jake, and they were so happy they could find these jobs to help out. "Two little boys were born to me at Amity, Arizona: Jabez Dudley, born May 5, 1880; then Don Carlos, born February 16, 1882. Jacob had to be away often doing missionary work with the Navajo Indians. At that time, the renegade Apache, Geronimo, was on the warpath. Though they were never able to do much teaching to the Apache, the missionaries did bring a sense of peace and honor to these remote places. Brother Ammon Tenney was a very good Indian missionary. He went with Jacob Hamblin on several hazardous trips, and his faith and influence helped the missionaries through some of the most trying ordeals. In 1876, President Wilford Woodruff visited the Arizona settlements. He set me apart as a midwife. I had been in this work since I was a girl, assisting my mother and Jacob's sister, Melissa, who were both trained and very competent. President Woodruff gave me a very choice blessing and told me that I would never lose a mother or child; if I prayed often and would heed the warnings of the spirit. This blessing came true because I never did lose a mother or baby; and the Lord blessed me and directed me on several occasions when nature was not working just right. I received a lot of satisfaction in this field of work. I had yet another Mormon settlement, in Pleasanton, New Mexico, to help pioneer; and another state to help develop. We found a nice farm on the Frisco River, where the land fertile and rich, and the climate was good. It seemed we could again have our orchard of fruit and a good garden; we had plenty of water. Jacob had to be gone from home so much. By then, he had also moved Louisa from Utah, and we both had started to build our homes. Jacob was working at Coony Canyon for a mining company, taking a contract to get out stulls or timbers used in the mines at Mogollon. It was August, 1886, and we had all come down with chills and fever. I couldn't raise my head from the pillow, and my two youngest boys, Dudley and Carl, were very sick. My two daughters, Mary and Clara, were sick but were able to feed and care for the rest of us. Louisa came in several times to see about us, and bring us food and broth. During the night, I thought I heard a horse and someone ride up. I woke Clara and sent her to see who it was. Her father, Jacob, had gone into Louisa's place. Clara put on her dress and went over to see if he was all right. After a little while, she came back and said her father was so sick he did not know where he was. 'Old Bowlegs', the little mule he rode, had brought him home. Clara had helped Louisa take his clothes off and get him into bed. He never came out of his delirium to recognize anyone. We called the elders, Brothers Johnson and Maxwell, to administer to him. I lay in bed not able to go to him, but I prayed for the return of his health. Not only was Jacob tired and sick, but he was poor as well. The privations and hardships of his many years of travel had weakened him, and he suffered from malaria. On that memorable day, August 31, 1886, with only a small part of his family at his bedside; and in a small cabin in the high mountains of New Mexico, where he had helped blaze enduring trails of peace, my beloved Jacob slipped away to join the prophets in death. He was buried there at Pleasanton, New Mexico. Then, three years later, his brother, Fredrick Hamblin, moved his remains to Alpine, Arizona. Alpine, a tiny crossroads, where the 'Peacemaker to the Lamanites' sleeps the eternal sleep, is near the ancient Indian trails where red men and white men now pass in the peace he taught them by the Gospel and by Christian example. I had to gather up my children, as soon as I could travel, and go back to Nutrioso, Arizona. My son, Jake, lived there as well as my daughter Ella Ann Tenney, who had married Warren M. Tenney. My son and wonderful son-in-law helped me purchase a neat little home that had been owned by a Brother Brown. Upon Jacob's death, the Church gave each of us widows $500 apiece. I then had a few dollars to purchase a milk cow and team and wagon, which were so necessary at that time. We did not realize anything from our Pleasanton property. A man by the name of Mr. Wheeler came back and foreclosed on all the property he had sold to the Mormon people. Everyone lost their farms and homes. Some of the Saints went to old Mexico to the Mormon colonies there; others went to the Gila Valley settlements in Arizona; some of us went back to the White Mountains of Arizona. My four oldest children were married and living in Arizona. Mary and Clara had married while living in Nutrioso. Clara had married Orsa Nichol from Ramah, New Mexico, and Mary married Edward Beeler, who became sheriff of Apache County, Arizona. "I found peace and much happiness here in the small village of Nutrioso where all my loved ones helped and shared with me so much. Edward Beeler, Mary's husband, had made some enemies while he was in office. He had not been out of office long when he was ambushed and shot on his ranch north of St. John's. His hired man could not get him into the ranch house before he died. Since he and Mary did not have any children, Mary then came to live with me. Dudley was called on a mission for the Church to the Southern States. Ed Beeler had been from Tennessee; so when Dudley left, Mary went with him to visit Ed's sisters and other relatives there. When Mary returned from Tennessee, she persuaded me to sell our home in Nutrioso, Arizona. We then bought a place in Eagar, Arizona, and had a very nice, new home built on it. "My oldest son Jake, was elected sheriff of Apache County, Arizona. Then several years later, he was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives from our county. Mary went with him and took a job, at the capitol building in Phoenix. She later filled a mission for the Church to the Northwestern states for two years. I stayed with my sweet daughter, Ella Ann Tenney, in Alpine. Her good husband was a bishop of the Alpine Ward for many years. She had ten boys and three girls, all of which I delivered, and they grew up around me. We had such a deep love for one another. In my years as a midwife, I delivered over one-thousand babies, many of them members of my own family. In the summer months, we would go up to the milk ranch on Coyote Creek, high up in the mountains. There they took their cattle for the summer to make cheese and butter, and to raise pork for their winter use. Lyman, Jacob's son was married and lived close to us. He played the violin at young peoples' parties and dances, and I enjoyed going and listening to him play. My last years have been such happy ones. Though I am almost blind, my loving family sees that I am happy, with plenty of attention, as well as the necessities of life. Sarah Priscilla Leavitt Hamblin died 24 July, 1927. She is buried in the Alpine Cemetery at Alpine, Arizona next to her beloved husband, Jacob Vernon Hamblin.

Stories of William Haynes Hamblin

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

William Haines Hamblin was born at Bainbridge Ohio October the 28th 1830. William lived at home with his parents until the age of 15. About this time as the saints were being driven out of Missouri and were moving west William decided to join up with them, he went to see George A. Smith who was one of the Twelve Apostles of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and also Captain of his company and he made William a scout and hunter for his company. William lived in the home of the Smith family for several years after coming to Utah and in the Salt Lake Valley he made his home with them. He worked in a blacksmith shop owned by George A. Smith and made all kinds of fixtures for guns such as gunlocks, bullet molds for making bullets, also horse shoes, he was a very handy man to have around and George A. Smith appreciated him very much and he in turn loved the Smith family. At the age of 20 years, William was a very handsome young man and had commenced thinking of finding him a wife and settling down on a farm so it’s no wonder his thoughts went back to the pretty girl Mary Leavitt daughter of Jeremiah and Sarah Sturdevant Leavitt, whom he met for the first time while crossing the plains. She too was a member of the Smith family, acting in the capacity of a governess to the Smith children and after coming to the Rocky Mountains and meeting at conference and other times, the liking that had sprang up for one another in the desert turned in to love and he asked Mary to be his wife. He was 20 and she 18. They were married in the tabernacle at Salt Lake City (Oct 1850) Utah. From then on life became a joy and worry to William and his family. The early days were fraught with danger and peril from Indians and William was away from home a great deal of the time teaching the Indians how to farm and trying to make peace between them and the white people. Through all their trials they were a very happy family. William loved his family very much and often put something aside that he had planned on doing to take wife and children out of town and up into the mountains where there was a lovely spring of cold water and stay for a week or until the little ones got over their sick stomachs and he often would come in and take a baby on each knee and start singing his favorite songs, a few of which were “My Wild Irish Rose” and “Highland Mary” and “The Last Rose of Summer”. In the early days about the first thing the people learned was to be on the alert for Indians. The Southwest was pretty much infested with them so through the years since the Hamblin family had come into Utah in the Rocky Mountains their lives had more or less been mixed up with depredations and troubles of some kind or other with the Indians. William was a very young man when he first started out for himself and after he was married and was being sent on exploring expeditions to find out what the country looked like near the Colorado River and to find out where the Indians were located as they were suspected of sly depredations. The cattle and horses were being taken out of the pastures and potatoes, squash and corn out of the fields not in large amount but the people were getting worried and the news was carried to Salt Lake City to the President Brigham Young and he said that something should be done to locate their rendezvous and find out how strong they were. So at an April conference 41 good and trusted men were at the April 15th conference in 1855 and called by President Brigham Young under the direction of Alfred N. Billings, to establish a mission among the Ute Indians who resided in the vicinity of Elk Mountain near Moab, Grand County, Utah and they were accompanied by Arrapeen a converted chief. The company consisted of 41 men, 15 wagons, 65 oxen, 16 cows, 13 horses, 2 bulls, 1 calf, 2 pigs, 12 chickens, 4 dogs, farming implements, and seed grain provisions. This company left Manti, Sanpete County, Utah May 21st 1855 on Monday and after a hard journey they arrived at Grand River on the evening of June the 11th. On the 12th they crossed the river, came to some land that was cultivated by some Indians who were friendly to the white people and wanted them to settle among them. This valley being the Rendezvous of several tribes of Indians who after their meetings together would separate and go up into their mountain retreat, the people were afraid that they were planning some mischief so they thought they would herd the lion in his den and find out what the result would be. After establishing themselves in the valley and done some farming they started to build a stockade. By July they had finished the stockade and corral of logs set three feet in the ground and six feet above and had put in their grain etc then started work on a stone fort. The fort was finished by July the 19th on Sunday September 22nd. “We changed herd ground as a feeling of apprehension of mischief intended by some of the Indians, as they were very saucy and impudent and were inquiring why we had changed our herd ground.” The boys began loading their guns, which caused the Indians to settle down somewhat. They went off quite a distance to consult together. Soon three of them started off for the field in the direction of the cattle and in a few minutes James W. Hunt started with a larriet to get his horse. Charles, a son of St. John, followed him on horseback. He kept telling Hunt to go ahead of him asking what he was afraid of. Hunt kept turning his head occasionally toward him as though having apprehension about something. They got almost a mile from the fort when Charles told him to look at the stock. He did so raising himself on tip toes. That instant Charles shot him then shouted to another Indian not far off to run and take the horses. After the Indian had shot him, ___________his horse toward the cattle and the __________ from the fort had witnessed the shooting of Hunt and they ran and bot __________-blanket 4 of them hurried to where he had fallen from his horse. William hurried with his gun to stand off the Indians while the rest brought him into the fort. A few shots was fired just as the men had made half the distance to the fort. One of the shots clipped the end off the Captains little finger _____________his corner blanket and ran for the ______________. William who was guarding the men ran and picked up the ________________________blanket and helped to the wounded_______________ fort, after an examination_________ and that he was seriously _____________. The ball entered Hunt’s back and ranging downwards about one and a half inches from the back bone on the left side and four inches from the small of the back. This happened about half past 12 o’clock. Ephraim Wright and Sheldon B. Cutter were herding the stock. The Indians left and went back across the river and the men began to make everything as secure as possible and a heavy guard was placed around the fort and the wounded man was fixed as comfortably as possible. During the night William Hamblin taking his place with the guard while sitting close to the corral that held the stock, he thought he discerned a slight movement at one end of the corral where the ditch came under the fence. He was a little worried and slipped carefully along the fence in the direction of the corral. He hadn’t gone far when he thought there was a white speck that appeared to move but before he took any action he investigated a little farther when all of a sudden he decided that it was an Indian crawling through the ditch and on into the corral so he took good aim on that white spot and fired. Of course it aroused the whole fort and men were running in every direction and finally after they quieted down he told them what had happened and sure enough an Indian had tried to get into the corral where he would of stampeded the horses and they could of killed some of the men while they were trying to get the horses back. The Indians gave them no more trouble that night. Early next morning the Indian Chief Arrapeean went off to find the Indians and try to find out what they intended to do. He found some of them and they said if the white men would give them all their stock and horses they could keep enough to get back to Manti and all their provisions and of course their crops. Then they could leave in peace. Well the two young men that had joined their party some time before had gone hunting against the advice of their Captain, Alford N. Billings, who told them the Indians were acting in a strange manner and for them to stay at the fort. But the first chance they got they slipped away and some of the men said they saw two Indians riding their horses as they never came back to the fort everyone decided that they had been waylaid and killed. The man who had been shot died during the night and was buried in one corner of the fort. The men were all feeling so worried and sorryful over the events of the day. A party of Indians had went up in to the mountain and men in the fort thought they might be going for reinforcements and they knew if they had, they could raid the fort and massacre the last one of them. They gathered for council and it was decided that they would put up their loose tack and crap all that they wouldn’t be able to take with them into the hands of the friendly Indians and later on could get them back, which they did with the exception of a few heads. Preparations commenced to leave at once they just were taking what they could possibly live on till they could get home and they didn’t know but what the Indians would attack them at the river before they could get across and they should place accordingly so they picked their strongest and best men to lead the party and in between they placed those that wasn’t feeling so well as usual and also the pack animals with their food and bedding and cooking utensils. They started out with William and 5 other men leading as guards. They got to the river without any trouble and they all were thankful when they were on the other side, but their trip back wasn’t nigh as easy, they got back feeling as though they hadn’t accomplished very much as they had last one of their men and had to leave their cattle and the work they had done on their fort and all their farming implements left behind but in the long run they were lucky to get back with their lives. Five years had passed since William and Mary had been married and they now had three children all girls and as Mary was alone a great deal, her sister Betsey stayed with her a lot of the time and helped with the children and as time went on William and Mary decided as she fit into the family so nicely and she and Mary got along so well together and they both loved her so much, that William decided they would try and get her as his second wife. Polygamy was being practiced in the church at this time so William went to see Mother Leavitt so he did and told her he wanted Betsey for his second wife and if she would give her consent she said your first wife is my daughter and I’ve never found any fault with the way you have treated her-- you are a good man and I am proud to give my consent and of course Betsey suspected what William went to see her mother for and he didn’t let any grass grow under his feet till he found out what her answer was. She told him he had a lot of nerve to ask her mother before he even found out if she loved him or not. Well it wasn’t long till they were married. Betsey was 15 years old when she married and her first child was born a short time after her 16th birthday. It was a boy and Grandmother Leavitt named him after his father and uncle. ____________(missing copy) larger he decided they needed bigger and better homes so he had a large house built and divided it into two apartments, one for Mary and one for Betsey, with a long living room with folding doors between which they could slide back and leave a large hall which they could use for dancing and they would sometimes give a supper and dance in their own home and all the country side was invited. Mary could make delicious pies and Betsey was an expert at making cake and cookies so they really had a wonderful and happy time and as they made a small _____ for the supper it helped in the family budget as we would say now a days. Mary had 2 bed rooms and a kitchen. Betsey had the same and they could help one another if there was sickness in either family. I believe this home was built in Tooele for there is where Betsey’s oldest child was born and Grandmother Leavitt named him after his Father and Uncle William Dudley Hamblin. He had red hair and after he grew old it turned yellow. _________________________missing copy) Once he fought a sham duel with his trainer a man who had come into that part of the country and was teaching some of the men and boys the art of using the sword and it was a very fascinating and different kind of sport and Gunlock Bill was among the of very best of them who was taking lessons. The trainer said to him one day, “ Bill I believe you are almost as good as I am,” and Bill said, “I believe I’m a little quicker on the draw.” The trainer got a little angry and said well we will prove it by fighting a sham duel, so they set the time and place and the people of the town sent out the word of the duel that would be fought between Gunlock Bill and his trainer and of course there was a large crowd to witness the battle as they called it, the crowd gathered early and Bill was there waiting for his opponent. Finally he came and they touched swords. Each took his place. Each man handed his sword to his opponent which was tested for sharpness and strength then handed back and the duel began. After a short time William could see that his opponent was getting angry. Finally Bill decided that he intended doing him harm so with an upward thrust of his sword and a disastrous twist of his wrist brought the back of his sword down across the trainer’s sword hilt and broke his sword and also his arm. The man was furious and said terrible things, “you have injured my arm and broken my sword. If I had another one I’d kill you.” Bill said “Oh, no you wouldn’t. I did know you disliked me but not so much as to try to kill me and so I decided to disable you before you went any farther.” The swords used in this sham duel were made of strong birch or Hickory wood and was polished as bright as steel and almost as strong. William was a fine singer and often after he had been gone away on one of his trips, he would come in and take two of his babies on his knee and start singing. He would sing “The Last Rose of Summer”, and “My Wild Irish Rose.” Both songs were favorites of his and often he and Mary and Betsey would sing together. The three of them made a very nice chorus. William and Jacob whenever they were together would sing and their voices blended beautifully in “Raise Me Comrad, ” “Slowly gently let me rest my head on you,” and another one “Warron and Fuller.” In 1856 Pipe Spring was located and named by a company that had been sent out by Brigham Young, President of the Mormon Church. This company composed of the following men–Jacob Hamblin, Dudley Leavitt, Amon Tenny and William Haynes Hamblin, brother of Jacob. This party was sent out to explore and report on the country lying in and around the Colorado River and if possible make a treaty of peace with the Navajo Indians living on the South side of the river. Jacob Hamblin was Captain of the party while camping at the spring which was then without a name. Some of the men thinking to play a joke on William Hamblin who was considered one of the best rifle men in the southwest where good shooters. Hamblin somewhat vexed by the joke turned to Amon Tenney and dared him to put his Pipe on the rock near the spring which was some distance away so the mouth of the bowl faced directly toward the party. Hamblin was wagering he could shoot the bottom out of the pipe without touching the rim. Tenny accepted the wager, laid his pipe on the rock and Gunlock Bill promptly and neatly shot the bottom out without touching the rim, whence the party named the spring Pipe Spring and the name remains till this day and there is a beautiful large stream of clear cold delicious water gushing from the foundation of the fort and runs off into a flume which carries it to a large pool of water in front which is lined on both sides with lovely shade trees and flowers. A bridge spans the pool through the center where the water is carried in ditches to the little Valley below. The fort consists of two large buildings above and below and with a large court yard between them the spring is in the corner of one of these rooms. There is large double doors of oak reinforced with bars across the entire width of the enclosure. A stairway leads to the balcony and rooms above all of which is furnished with old relics of the early day pioneers. About the year William went into partnership with a man by the name of Henderson to buy a farm Henderson was to look after the farm and William was to furnish the money to carry on the business. With everything going along all right. William had gone on one of his exploring trips. When he came back Henderson had sold the farm along with the crop and left the country. He didn’t know which way he had gone but William was terribly worked up and as there was nothing he could do decided he would go to California. He said to his family “I must go and I’ll bring back as much as he stole from us or I’ll never some back” and he left and one year passed and no word from him in all that time. He didn’t write but as it took months to get letters or papers from California. If William ever wrote to his family they never received any word from him for over 2 years after he left. Then one day a letter came saying he was alive and well and had plenty of money and would be home in a short time and one day he did come and his family welcomed him home and they didn’t have a thing to do, only just answer questions that William asked, and to tell them about himself, and why he stayed so long. He didn’t bring any money with him but he brought two wagons loaded with everything he could get packed into those wagons--big trunks and little trunks packed to the limit with skirts, cloth, shoes, table silver for both families, slippers, dishes, beautiful Belmbrel skirts--one for each of the older girls, bolts of lovely silk for dresses, barrels of sugar, boxes of tea, cans of honey and everything that he couldn’t get in Utah. Not long after William came back home he got mixed up with two mining companies who were having a lawsuit and William was the star witness for one of the company as he had witnessed the deal between the two and he was preparing to leave home and go to Pioche. They were leaving and Betsey and Mary were telling him to be careful and not to go to an eating house for anything to eat or drink and he said “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m all right. I have a doctor and a lawyer with me.” The day before the trial they had gone to a place where there was meals being served and of course on account of the anxiety over the trial that afternoon one of the men who were interested in the outcome of this trial felt much like eating, William especially. While they were waiting to be served they were discussing things in general and the docor said to William, “How do you feel?” and he said “I never felt better in my life.” Everyone was waiting for ___________ and coffee was brought for each one of them and when as William didn’t drink coffee but as he was worried and thirsty, he picked up his cup and drank part of it. In a few minutes he jumped up from the table started for the door. All the people were excited and Dr. Ivins who was with William said “What is the matter Bill?” and he said “I am poisoned” and just at that moment, he fell to the floor. They rushed him to the Doctor’s office and pumped his stomach and done everything possible to save his life. After working over him for hours he finally recovered and they got a spring wagon to take him home in. A runner was sent ahead to let his family know of his condition. This particular afternoon Betsey was having a quilting and there was quite a number of women at her home and as they were outside under the big tree in front of the house they could see for a mile straight up the road from where they were quilting and an old lady from Scotland was there and when they saw the horseman coming she said he is bringing bad news and Betsey said it is William. The man on the horse soon reached the door and jumped off and ran to Betsey and said they are bringing William home and he is pretty sick. Soon the place was neat as a pin. Doctor Ivins came with him and he continued to get better. The doctor had to go back as he had other patients needing him, so another doctor was sent to take Ivin’s place. After he had been there a while he took the medicine Dr. Ivins was giving William and threw it out and gave him some that he had brought. He only stayed a few days then left and gave Betsey instructions about how to give the medicine to William and both doctors said that he shouldn’t get on his feet or sit up for at least two weeks. After William had been home 10 days, one day Betsey had gone over to Mary’s for something. When she came back William was up and had put his clothes on. She said she felt terrible afraid and made him get right back in bed, but the exertion in getting his clothes and putting them on was too much and in a few hours he had a stroke and passed away without being able to speak a word to anyone. William left his families well ___ a plenty of money. William was fond of good clean sports and whenever a crowd gathered for fun there you’d find Gunlock Bill who was noted for his skill with a rifle and he could out jump anyone of the crowd, was the best wrestler and could beat anyone at pitching horseshoes, and George A. Smith said Gunlock Will could make anything for a gun out of leather, even a gunlock and make it work. He said he was a handy man to have around and that he would like to keep him as long as he could, working for him in his shop but the boy Bill was anxious to get out and see the country so he appreciated the fact that he was needed as a minute man and as such he became always ready to go at a minute’s notice. A healthy and sturdy pioneer and a true latter day saint.

History of Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt

Contributor: Głuchy Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Contributed By Sherrie Chynoweth Bills · 2014-05-06 16:50:36 GMT+0000 (UTC) · 0 Comments History of Sarah Studevant Leavitt (Copied From Her History by Juanita Leavitt Pulsipher, June, 1919.) [Stamped November 4, 1948 by the Genealogical Society of Utah; written in pen from Luella Abbott Leavitt; cataloged at P.B.A. #49, and stamped by The Genealogical Society of Utah with a number 36933 - Lyman De Platt] "I have copied this history exactly as it was written by the hand of Sarah Studevant Leavitt in her record book. The original was very old, yellow and torn, and much of the writings dim; but I was able to decipher it. I have made no effort to revise it in any way, except to put in an occasional punctuation mark or correct an error in spelling. I hope that it may find a place in the hearts and homes of her descendants; that they may profit by her experiences." Juanita L. Pulsipher. [There are portions which she did not correctly decipher.] April 19, 1875 I was born in the town of Lime, County of Grafton, New Hampshire (date torn off) and am now 76 years, seven months and fifteen days old. My father was Lemuel Studevant and my mother was Priscilla Tompson. My parents were very strict with their children, being descendants of the old Pilgrims. They taught them every principle of truth and honor as they understood it themselves. They taught them to pray and read the Bible for themselves. My father had many books that treated on the principle of man's salvation and many stories that were very interesting and I took great pleasure in reading them. He was Dean of the Presbyterian Church. For years his house was open to all denominations, so his children had the privilege of hearing the interesting relgious conversations, but as I had the privilege of reading the Bible for myself, I found that none of them understood the Bible as I did. I knew of no other way to understand it only as it read. The Apostle said, "Though we or Angels from Heaven preach any other gospel than that which we preach, let him be accursed," and it was very evident to my understanding that they all came short of preaching the doctrine that Paul preached, but I was confident we should have the faith. From childhood I was seriousloy impressed and desired very much to be saved from that awful hell I heard so much about. I believed in the words of the Savior, that said, "Ask and you shall receive." I prayed much and my prayers were sometimes answered immediately; this was before I made any pretensions to having any religion. When I was 18 years old the Lord sent me a good husband. We were married at my father's house, March 6, 1817, in the town of Barton, County of Orleans, State of Vermont. The next June we moved to Canada, fifteen miles from the Vermont line, into a very wicked place. They would swear and drink and play cards on Sunday and steal and do any wicked act their master, the Devil, would lead them in. This was very different from what I was brought up to. My father would never suffer any profane language in his house. The next February I had a daughter born. She lived only 12 days. There was some things very strange connected with the birth of this child, which I do not think best to write, but I shall never forget, which I never shall know the meaning of until the first resurrection, when I shall clasp it again in my arms. The next January I had another daughter born. When she was about six months old I had a vision of the damned spirits in hell, so that I was filled with horror more than I was able to bear, but I cried to the Lord day and night until I got an answer of peace and a promise that I should be saved in the Kingdom of God that satisfied me. That promise has been with me through all the changing scenes of life ever since. When I was getting ready for bed one night I had put my babe into the bed with its father and it was crying. I dropped down to take off my shoes and stockings. I had one stocking in my hand. There was a light dropped down on the floor before me. I stepped back and there was another under my feet. The first was in the shape of a half mmon and full of little black spots. The last was about an inch long and about a quarter of an inch wide. I brushed them with the stocking that was in my hand and put my hand over one of them to see if it would shine on my hand. This I did to satisfy others, as for myself, I knew that the lights were something that could not be accounted for and for some purpose. I did not know what until I heard the Gospel preached in its purity. The first was an emblem of all the religions then on the earth. The half moon that was cut off was the spiritual gifts promised after baptism. The black spots were the defects you will find in every church throughout the whole world. The last light was the Gospel preached by the Angel flying through the midst of Heaven and it was the same year and the same season of the year and I don't known but the same day that the Lord brought the glad news of Salvation to Joseph Smith. It must have been a stirring time among the Heavenly hosts, the windows of Heaven having so long been closed against all communication with the earth, being suddenly thrown open. Angels were wending their way to earth with such a glorious message - a message that concerns every one, both in heaven and earth. I passed through all this and not a neighbor knew anything of it, although I prayed so loud that my husband was afraid they would all hear me. After this there were two of his aunts came in and commenced talking about being slighted in not being invited to a quilting. I had no relish for any such talk and said nothing. They saw that I made no comment. Being astonished that I was so still, they asked me what I thought about it. I told them I didn't know or care anything about it, all I cared for was to know and do the will of God. This turned the conversation in the right direction. My telling my experience to these women and the effect it had on their minds was probably of much good, as they spread the news through the neighborhood. The result was, the whole neighborhood were convinced that the manner that they had spent their time was wrong and instead of taking the name of God in vain they cried to Him for mercy. In short, the whole course of their former lives was abandoned. There were some exceptions, for the leopard cannot change his spots, how then, can men do good that are accustomed to do evil, so says the prophet. But there was a minister come from the states and formed a church, called the Baptist, which I joined because I wanted to be baptized by immersion. I had been sprinkled when an infant, but as I said before, I did not believe in any church on earth, but was looking forward to a time when the knowledge of God would cover the earth, and that glorious time is rolling, all glory to the Lord. I lived very watchful and prayerful, never neglecting my prayers, for I felt that I was entitled to no blessing unless I asked for them and I think so yet. We took a freewill Baptist paper that I thought always told the truth, but there was a number of columns in this paper concerning a new sect. It had a prophet that pretended he talked with God. They had built a thing they called a meeting house, a huge mass of rock and wood, on the shores of Lake Cryenth (I am not sure as to the spelling of this word) to make the blue waters of the lake blush for shame. In this Joe would go talk, he said, with the Lord and come out and tell them what the Lord said. But if I should go on and tell all the lies in that paper, how they healed the sick and managed their affairs, it would be too much for me. If you ever read the Arabian Night tales you might guess of what importance they were, for I could compare them to nothing else. No person of common sense would believe a word of it, and yet they wrote it for truth, thinking that they would hinder Mormonism from spreading. But in this the Devil overshot himself, for they were too big lies for anyone to believe. But I will go on with my experience. I had a place that I went every day for secret prayers. My mind would be carried away in prayer so that I knew nothing of what was going on around me. I seemed like a cloud was resting down over my head. If that could would break there was an angel that had a message for me or some new light. If the cloud would break there would be something new and strange revealed. I did not know that it concerned anyone but myself. Soon after this there was one of my husband's sisters came in and after spending a short time in the house she asked me to take a walk with her. She had heard the gospel preached by a Mormon and believed it and been baptized. She commenced and related the whole of Joseph's vision and what the Angel Moroni had said the mission he had called him to. It came to my mind in a moment that this was the message that was behind the cloud, for me and not for me only, but for the whole world, and I considered it of more importance than anything I had ever heard before, for it brought back the ancient order of things and laid a foundation that could be built upon that was permanent; a foundation made by Him that laid the foundation of the earth, even the Almighty God; and he commanded his people to build up the kingdom of God upon the foundation he had laid, and notwithstanding the heathen raged and Satan mustered all his forces against the work; it has gone forward and upward for more than forty years, and will continue until the work is finished. I read the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and all the writings I could get from the Latter-day Saints. It was the book of Doctrine and Covenants that confirmed my faith in the work. I knew that no man, nor set of men, could make such a book or would dare try from any wisdom that man possessed. I knew it was the word of God and as revelation from Heaven and received it as such. I sought with my whole heart a knowledge of the truth and obtained a knowledge that never has nor never will leave me. The next thing was to gather with the saints. I was pondering over in my heart how it was possible for such a journey with what means we could muster. We had a good farm, but could not get much for it, but the voice of the Spirit said, "Come out of Babylon, O my people, that you be not partakers of her plagues." From the time the voice spoke so loud, clear and plain to my understanding, I knew the way would be open for us to gather with the Saints. For the Lord never gives a commandment to man but what he gives them a chance to obey. From this time we set out in earnest and was ready to start with the rest of the company July 20, 1835. The company was made up of the Leavitt family, Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt and her children, consisting of twenty-three souls. Franklin Chamberlain, her oldest son-in-law, took the lead. He did not belong to the church, but his wife did. We had a prosperous journey of eight hundred miles to Kirtland, Ohio. I had no chance to be baptized and join the church until I got there. My daughter, Louisa, and myself and some others were baptized at this place and were confirmed. Louisa had been sick for a year, under the doctor's care, and had taken very much medicine, but all to no purpose. She was very feeble, could sit up but little. She had been in the states with my friends for more than a year. Her father and myself went after her with a light carriage. As she was 18 years old I gave her her choice to go home with us or stay with my sister. My sister told her if she would stay with her she should never want for anything, but she said she would go with her father and mother. My sister said, "Louisa, if you ever get well, don't say that Mormonism cured you." So much for her judgment on Mormonism. She was rich, high spirited, and proud and belonged to a church that was more popular than the Latter-day Saints. Now I will go back to my story. We stayed at Kirtland about a week and had the privilege of hearing Joseph preach in that thing the Baptist said they called a meeting house, which proved to be a very good house. We went into the upper rooms, saw the Egyptian mummies, the writing that was said to be written in Abraham's day, Jacob's ladder being pictured on it, and lots more wonders that I cannot write here, and that were explained to us. But our money was all spent, we could go no furrther. We had to look for a place we could sustain ourselves for the present, while the rest of our company went on to Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois. We promised them we would follow them the next year. This was the first of September. My husband found a place ten miles from Kirtland - Mayfield, a little village with mills and chair factories, and every chance for a living we could wish. Some one asked my husband why he went there. There was everything gathered out of that place that could be saved, but he was mistaken, although it was a very wicked place. There was a man by the name of Faulk, that owned almost the whole village. Of him we hired a house. It was about twenty feet from his tavern, so I could stand in my door and talk with those in the tavern. But they opposed Mormonism, so I said little about it. I though I would first get their good will and then perhaps I could have some influence over them. Of course, so long as they thought me an enemy it would be of no use to preach over to them. I was persecuted and abused in many ways, but not by Faulk's family. But I paid no attention to vulgar expressions, for I cared nothing about them. I had something of more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones. But it was a hard case when the children would come from school with their nose bleeding and crying, saying that they had been pounded most unmercifully. I went to the teacher very candid[ly] and told her that unless she could stop the scholars from abusing my children I should have to take them out of school, which I did not want to do. She said she would. I wanted very much to get the good will of my neighbors, for I knew that I could have no success in preaching Mormonism unless I did and I was so full of that spirit it was hard to hold my peace. Consequently, I mingled in the society of all, was cheerful and sociable as though I was a great friend, but kept on the side of truth and right. I would go into the tavern when they had balls and help set the table and wait on ladies and was very sociable and talkative. By and by, being free with all, I soon got the good will of some of them. If, we had commenced telling them of their faults and that they were all wrong, which was the case, and they must repent or they would be damned, we could not have got along in that place but should have had to leave. My husband said nothing, only what was necessary to get employment. He got plenty of work with his team, so we got plenty to live upon and something to lay up. But we were watched mighty close to see if they could discover dishonesty in our dealings. But as they could find nothing to complain of they thought they would let us alone. There were some that had the mob spirit in so much that they said Louisa should have a doctor. She was then confined to her bed. They were going to take our team to pay the doctor, so I heard. I thought she had already took to much medicine. I lay pondering on our situation, thinking we should be undone if our team was took from us, and prayed earnestly to the Lord to let us know what we should do. There was an angel stood by my bed to answer my prayer. He told me to call Louisa up and lay my hands upon her head in the name of Jesus Christ and administer to her and she should recover. I awakened my husband, who lay by my side, and told him to get up, make a fire, and get Louisa up. She would hear to him sooner than to me; to tell her that an angel had told me to lay my hands upon her head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and administer to her in His name and she should recover. She was perfectly ignorant of Mormonism; all she had ever heard about it was in Kirtland, what few days we stayed there and what we had told her. Her mind was weak, indeed, but she got up and I administered to her in faith, having the gift from the Lord. It was about midnight when this was done and she began to recover from that time and was soon up and about, and the honor, praise and glory be to God and the Lamb. So you see, our enemies were defeated of their plan, but knew nothing of the cause of her recovery. We had only been in the church a short time, perhaps two months. About this time I had a dream. I dreamed there was a deep hole in the place that looked very black and muddy, but there was lots of fish in the hole if by any means we could catch them. It was such a filthy looking place that it would be a job to get near enough to put a hook in, but I thought I would try. So I got a hook and line and bait and went, and after much trouble I got near enough to throw in my hook. There was a shark in the hole that took the bait every time; I saw that it was of no use to try to catch fish until the shark was out of the way and so I went to fishing for the shark and I soon caught it. It was a savage looking creature. Then I could catch the fish. I caught many fish which pleased me well. After this dream I was sensible that people in that place could be saved, although their outward appearance would indicate no salvation for them. Mr. Faulk, the man in whose house we lived, was noted for his wickedness. He ran headlong into every thing that would come in and satisfy his carnal desire, but I had got his good will, so that he would come in often and have a talk with me. I discovered that there was some good stripes in the man. At last I told him I had some books I wanted him to read, he might have them if he would read them. I gave him the "Voice of Warning." He took it home and read it. Then I gave him other books, all explaining the latter-day message, and at last the "Book of Mormon." He would ask questions and answer to my questions, but I could not find out what his mind was concerning what he had read. But as it proved afterwards he believed it to be the truth. There was one of his companions that was often with him that was thrown from his horse and had three of his ribs broken, which caused him great distress. His wife was a good woman for a gentile, but the neighbors neglected her on account of her having such a wicked husband. I would go in and help her all I could. I was talking with one of them and told her that Mrs. Carpenter had too hard a time. She was almost worn out waiting on her husband day and night; the neighbors ought to help her more. She said he was such a wicked man - let him suffer. She did not know that he ought to have much help. I told her she made me think of the words of the Savior to the Jews. He said, "Think not that them on which the Tower of Silom fell and slew were sinners, above all others. I tell you, except you repent you shall all likewise perish." So I say to you, Peter Carpenter was perhaps ahead of you in sin, but you are not on the road to happiness and must alter your course or you cannot be saved. One Saturday night after I had got ready for bed I told my husband that we would go into Carpenters and if they had watchers we would stay and watch with them. We went in and found him without a watcher and groaning in great distress, and said he had had no rest for four and twenty hours, a[nd] screaming to the Lord to have mercy on him. At last I went to the bed and asked him if he meant what he said, if he really wanted the help of God. He looked up and said, "Do you think there is any mercy for me?" I told him I did not know, but I would pray for him and then I could help. I knelt down and prayed and while I was praying the pain all left him and he went to sleep. He was then going to gather up what he had and go with the Mormons. I told him if he would forsake his former practices and do right in all things as duty was made known to him he should not only get well, but he would be saved. I said a good deal to him, but I don't remember what so as to write it. The next day - Sunday - I went in. The house was full of people so that I had hard work to get to the bed. He looked up to me and said, "Mrs. Leavitt, if I could feel as well as I did last night when you prayed for me, I should want you to pray again. I told him that if I could do so and do any good by praying I would and I knelt down in the midst of all that Gentile throng and the Lord gave me great liberty of speech. I prayed with the spirit and understanding, also to Him be the glory. The people were astonished and began to think there was some truth in Mormonism notwithstanding the bad reports about them. After this we were treated with respect and Carpenter began to recover and soon became able to walk the streets. He went to the tavern and joined with his old companions, drinking and frolicking, and he was soon down again as had as ever. I went in to see him. He looked up and said, "Mrs. Leavitt, you said I would get well and here I am again." "Mr. Carpenter," said I, "on what conditions did I tell you that you should get well?" I went on and related to him the conditions. "And instead of you complying with the conditions as soon as you could get well or walk you went back to the tavern and joined your old company. Christ did not die to save us in our sins, but from our sins; and if we go on in sin we must reap the reward, which is banishment from the presence of Him who suffered an ignominious death upon the cross to save us. Consequently the Devil will claim us, for the wages of sin is death." I do not remember our conversation so as to write the words, but you have the substance of it. Carpenter was convinced of the truth of what I said and could say nothing in his own defense. But I believed he reformed, for he got better, and could walk out. Here I must leave him and begin a new subject. The time drew near for our departure. My husband had not only provided for his family, but had got considerable besides, but only $30 in money. He told Faulk he wanted to settle with him for his house rent, that he wanted him to take other property as he had but little money. He could get no answer from him, but he was very kind and obliging. So were all our neighbors, those that hated us when we came into the place, appeared now our devoted friends. It was to our advantage, for they helped us to get ready for a journey of five hundred miles. When we settled with the merchant and I took a bill of the goods, I found there was not a charge for thread, needles, buttons or any such trifles, while at one time he gave me a whole card of buttons and told me to put them all on Tom's coat. Tom was his constant visitor. He stayed in the store most of the time. He was four or five years old. But Faulk would not settle with us until we got our team harnessed to start. Now my husband said, "We must settle." The windows were, some of them, broken and we expected the rent would be high. But Faulk would not settle - he did not want a cent, nor would he take a cent. He wanted to see if Mormons were willing to pay their debts. He hallowed [hollared] to the merchant and said, "Put up a half a pound of tea for this woman and charge to me, and another half pound and charge to yourself. She must not go to the Mormon swamps and drink the water, it will kill her." I will only add that I got the tea, and more favors than I can write here, but that Faulk joined the church and came to Nauvoo afterward. How many more I don't know and can't say, for I did not see him myself, but my boys did. Now I will start for the Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois. Nathaniel Leavitt had come up the lake to Michigan, stoped to a place called White Pigeon. When we got into that place we heard Nathaniel was dead and that his wife had took all the property and gone back to Canada and left three children that were his first wife's children, among strangers sick with the ague. The oldest boy was ten or twelve years old; he told the folks when he got big enough he was going to hunt his folks. They were the Mormons somewhere. They told him the Mormons were all killed; he never would find any of them. What a pitiful situation for these three sick orphans with hardly clothes enough to cover their nakedness, did not know if they should see a friend again. They were at three different houses; their names were Nathaniel, Flavilla and John. When we came you may guess what their feelings must be [have been]. We took them along with us, which increased our number to eleven, which I had to cook for and my husband to buy the provisions [for]. We had a hard and tiresome journey. The roads were bad all the way. In one place there was a five mile pole bridge over a swamp without any gravel or dirt on it and the wagon jolted so it almost took our breath away. After we got over the swamp there was some settlers, but it was a God-forsaken looking place. I don't think we went into a house where there were no deaths, and in some half of them had died. We stayed one night in what they called a tavern, but everything looked gloomy enough and suspicious and certainly felt gloomy enough. I never had such feelings before and as I understand afterward, there had been a number of murders committed in the house. The Lake Michigan was near the house and that contained the body of one that had been murdered. I could tell all that I heard and read about if it concerned me. I suppose that I saw one of the murderers at the Bluffs. If that place had not the curse of God upon it I should not have had those gloomy feelings. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is peace and union. Before we left Lake Michigan we had to stop and work for provisions and horse feed. After a long and tedious journey we at last found ourselves in Illinois at the Twelve Mile Grove. Here we found our friend[s] almost discouraged. They had had much sickness among them and Mother Leavitt had died and Weir's oldest son. Weir was sick with a cancer. We had doted much on seeing Mother Leavitt, but she alas was sleeping in the grave, and gone to the Paradise of God to reap the reward of the just. There was a number among them that had had the Spiritual gifts and were in a state of darkness. They had paid out much money for medicine and had much trouble, which had brought them down in bondage because their faith failed. If they had put their trust in their kind Heavenly Father and cried to Him from all this trouble, for He does not grieve us willingly [he would have heard their cries]. We must obey His commands and we have the promise of prospering upon the land. They had brought noble farms. The soil was very rich and brought forth great crops. But it was a sickly place - the fever and ague were located there. But we had to look out for a living. They were making a canal at Juliette, fourteen miles from this place, and my husband went and engaged to work on it with his team for $3 a day. We moved out there and I washed for the workmen and we got a good living. But we stayed with our friends until their minds were stirred up and were alive in our religion, and tried to comfort and encourage them. Sally Ann Chamberlain, who had formerly had the gifts and now was in the dark, sat looking at me as I was reading where it said righteousness should spring out of the earth. She wondered what it could mean. She said, "What is more righteous than angels or what is truer than the Book of Mormon?" "There," she said, "I have got my gifts again." They rejoiced much and sought the favor of God until all that ever had the gifts obtained them again and some that never had them. They had never seen a Mormon from the time they left Kirtland until we came, so you see how much need we have of meeting together often and stirring up each other's minds by way of remembrance. The prophet said they that feared the Lord spake often to one another and the Lord harkened and heard and a book of remembrance was kept for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His name, "And they shall be mine," saith the Lord of Hosts, "when I come to make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his only son that serveth him." So you see we have our reward for all our exertions to do good and after we have done all that we can do to advance the cause of God we are still unprofitable servants, because of our weaknesses. But I will return to my history. (A note found at the top of the page.) While I was at Juliette I was alone a praying. After continuing in prayer for some time I thought of Joseph and commenced praying for him. As soon as I spoke his name I burst into tears and my heart was filled with grief and I said, "Oh, my God, what is the matter with Brother Joseph?" I learned afterward the mob had him, raving over him. I did not know at this time that there were any mobs gathered. We were at Juliette, Illinois, and the mob in Missouri, but the spirit manifested to me that he was in trouble. I prayed with all the power I had for the prophet of God. "The fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much, saith the Lord." We stayed in Juliette until spring. It was the last of November when we went there. In the spring we went back to Twelve Mile Grove and my husband took a farm on shares at the West Grove, five miles from there, and five cows to make butter and cheese. We raised a fine crop and had a good living. My husband built a house on the prairie a mile and a half from the place where his folks lived, but there was no timber at the grove. We moved in the house in November and had a windy place in the open prairie. In March we lost our only cow. The next day after she died I was taken sick with the chills and fever and confined to the bed. The sisters would come and wait on me. At last they said if I would go down with them they could take care of me, as they were afraid I would die there alone. They got a bed on a sled and put me on it and carried me down. I remained there about two months before I got able to sit up. When I went down, there was nothing green started out of the earth; when I came back the grass was ankle high. I had a severe fit of sickness, but shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil. I did not complain, although I had to leave my babe at home, only a year old. I had the chills while I live at the Five Mile Grove and was reduced so low that the day I had the chill, after the fever was off they had to watch me night and day. If I slept over a few minutes I was overcome. Louisa and her father watched over me until they were tired out, as they had to work days. My husband said to Louisa: "We must go to bed tonight. We can't be broke of rest so much." I heard what was said and the first thought I had was it would kill me if I was not waked up. The next thought was that the angels will watch over me. I went to sleep and in the night some one touched me and waked me up. I looked to see who it was had waked me and I saw a person with his back towards me, going toward the fire. I thought it was my husband, but I felt unusual calmness and peace of mind. The next morning I found that no had been up in the house, so I thought it was my good angel watching over me. The Lord fed me with a Shepherd's care. "My noonday walk He will attend and all my midnight hours defend." But I will return to my history. We had lost our only cow, but my husband made rails and bought another and finally concluded we would go to Nauvoo, as lots of our friends were going. We never had lived where there was a branch of the church, but we got together every week and had prayer meetings and the Lord was with us and poured out His spirit upon us in so much that they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The children took an active part in these meetings. They would talk in tongues and prophesy and it was interpreted. We depended on no leader but the Lord and He led us into all truth, the sick were healed as often as any were taken sick. Before we left the place there was a number of elders came and we were made glad indeed. We had not seen a saint from the time we left Kirtland, and they gave us much instructions and encouraged us so that we felt like urging our passage through all the cares and trials of life until our work was finished on the earth. One night we had a prayer meeting and my husband was praying. While he prayed that we might be counted worthy to partake of the tree of life and enter into the gates to the city of the New Jerusalem, Sally Ann Chamberlain had a view of the city and saw throngs passing through the gates. As I was kneeling close to her, she said, "See there, Aunt Sally." She thought because I was close to her that I could see it as well as she. We all had the gifts and blessings promised in the Gospel and love and union prevailed. But were were preparing to move to Nauvoo. We started for Nauvoo, I think, the first of November. My husband bought a place three miles from the city and built a house. There was some land plowed which he sowed to wheat. He had to work hard for a living. Provisions were scarce and high and the most of the saints poor. There were some not poor and not fit to be called saints, many of them. I will relate one circumstance that may give you a little idea of the way that many managed. I was sick and had but a few of the comforts of life. I had no tea and no appetite. My husband went down to the city, expecting some money that was due him. He could not get the money. He went to the store and told Lyons he wanted a quarter of a pound of tea and told him he would have the money the next day. He told him he had been disappointed in getting the money that day, that I was sick and he could not go home without some. He would not trust him, but he had an ax with him and he left it in pawn and took the tea, which was only one case and worth twenty-five cents. After he came home that night his money came. That was only one case out of a number that was like it. There was an Englishman who bought a farm of Joseph, adjoining ours, and when his land was surveyed it took in our field of wheat. When the wheat was ripe my husband took his cradle and went in to cut it. The man, Fox, I think was his name, forbid his cutting the wheat. He said it was on his land and he should have it. My husband went down to Joseph and asked him what he should do. Joseph told him to let Fox have the wheat, but he should be cursed; that the law would bear him out in keeping the wheat, but not to grieve for it, that he (Joseph) would pay him it in flour. And the curses of God did overtake him so much that he did not live to eat the wheat. He and his wife would brag of their gold and how much money and every good thing they had, that they got enough to last for years. They would take me to her bureau and show me her nice things, but though I was very poor, I did not covet anything she had. Fox said nobody would dare to come around his house to steal his gold, for he had fifty thousand in the house. When he told me that I had a very curious feeling that he had come among the saints and had brought deadly weapons to defend his gold and his great treasures. I told him he need be under no fear among the saints, for it they could take his money without his knowing it, they feel as Moses said, "Thou God seeth me," and to him that has fed us and clothed us all of our lives we have got to give an account. Not long after this we were sent for to his house. He was dying. He did not speak after we went in and soon breathed his last. His goods he had laid up for many years he had to leave behind. How hard it is for those that trust in riches to be saved in the kingdom of God. His wife did not live long after. But it cast a gloom over my mind and a solemnity that kept me awake that night. I lay and thought, what dependent creatures we are, that will all our exertions we can use, our destinies are in the hands of God, and he will deal with us as he sees fit. Not for all the treasures of earth would I give up the hope of eternal life, and am willing to sacrifice every earthly enjoyment if I could know that I found favor in the sight of the Lord. Life is so short and uncertain that we had better work while the day lasts, before the night overtakes us wherein no man can work. There is a land of pleasure where peace and joy forever reign and there I have a treasure, there I hope to visit. But I will go on with my history. We all had to work hard for a living, but with the blessings of God and our exertions we soon began to get a good living. We swapped farms with a man, got one by the big mound, seven miles from the city, a fine pleasant place. But Priscilla was born before we moved and we had much sickness. There was four of the boys all sick at once with the black canker. There were many who died in Nauvoo with the same disorder and some of my boys were brought to the very gate of death, to all appearances. But by watching over them day and night and administering, the Lord raised them up, thanks be to his Holy name. One of the boys had got about and could walk out while the other lay at the point of death. We had to watch over him every moment. The one that could walk as soon as he lay down at night he took with the toothache and would roll and groan. After a few nights (I had laid down to rest a few moments) he began to groan. I had a strange feeling come over me. I thought it was the power of the devil that was destroying my peace, and I had bore it as long as I would. I jumped out of the bed with about the same feeling I would have to drive a hog out of the house, and as sure he would have to go. I stepped up very spry in the bed and put my hands on his head in the name of Jesus and asked God to rebuke the spirit. I did not say a loud work, but as soon as it was done he went to sleep and never was troubled any more. I had administered to very many to rebuke diseases, but never had the same feeling before or since. Very difficult were my feelings when Mary had a felon on her finger and she was groaning. My baby was but a few days old. I was very feable and weak. I felt that I had no power either of body or mind. The felon was growing worse every day. I told her to get up on the bed beside me. I took her hand in mine and asked the Lord to heal it. The pain stopped while I held her hand and she had no more pain. The next day the core came out and the hole remains there yet where the core was, and always will be. In this case I said nothing aloud, but I had faith as much as a grain of mustard seed. The Savior told his disciples that if they had the faith of a mustard seed they could remove mountains. But oh, the sorrow and trouble that was just at our doors! We knew they had Joseph in prison and threatened to take his life, but that was nothing new nor strange, for his enemies always did that, but we did not believe they could have power to murder him; and he lived above the law. The law could have no power over him, but powder and balls could, so they shot him in Carthage jail. When the news came the whole city of Nauvoo was thunderstruck; such mourning and lamentation was seldom ever heard on the earth. There was many, myself among them, that would gladly have died if his life could have been spared by doing so. I never had spoken to the man in my life, but I had seen him and heard him preach and know that he was a prophet of God, sent here by the Almighty to set up His kingdom, no more to be thrown down, and now how was that great and important work to be accomplished? Brigham Young was the man clothed with all the power and authority of Joseph. My husband said that he had the same spirit, the same voice, and if he had not known Joseph was dead he would actually have thought it was Joseph. Brigham was gone to the east when Joseph was killed. Rigdon tried hard to lead the church and get established in that place before Brother Brigham got to Nauvoo, but his deceit and lies were proved as the twelve returned about this time. It was whispered in my ear by a friend that the authorities were getting more wives than one. I have thought for many years that the connections between man and wife were as sacred as the heavens and ought to be treated as such, and I thought that the Annointed of the Lord would not get more wives unless they were commanded to do so. But still I wanted a knowledge of the truth for myself. I asked my husband if he did not think we could get a revelation for ourselves on that subject. He said he did not know. After we went to bed I lay pondering it over in my mind. I said, "You know, Lord, that I have been a faithful and true wife to my husband, and you know how much I love him, and must I sacrifice him?" The answer was, "No." And then my mind was carried away from the earth and I had a view of the order of the celestial kingdom. I saw that was the order there and oh how beautiful. I was filled with love and joy that was unspeakable. I waked my husband and told him of the views I had and that the ordinance was from the Lord; but it would damn thousands. It was too sacred for fools to handle, for they would use it to gratify their lustful desires. How thankful we ought to be that we live in a day when we can know the will of God concerning our duty, and that the darkness that has so long covered the earth has been dispelled and the light of truth has burst upon the benighted world. But what good will this do those who will not come to the light because their deeds are evil, and they choose darkness rather than light. But the honest in heart that seek the Lord in faith will obtain all the knowledge needful for their salvation. I have seen so much wrong connected with this ordinance that had I not had it revealed to me from Him that cannot lie I should sometimes have doubted the truth of it, but there has never a doubt crossed my mind concerning the truth of it since the Lord made it known to me by a heavenly vision. But as I have commenced to write some of the most important scenes of my life, I will go on. My memory is so much impaired that it will be a jumbled up mess unless I have the spirit of truth to direct me. We went to the city and was there when the bodies of the martyred prophets were brought into the city. It was after dark that they passed the house - it was Brother Snow's, a Doctor Clinton and his wife Melissa were there and they expected the mob would come into the city that night to kill the rest of the saints. There was orders for every man to arm himself and prepare to defend the city. The moon shone uncommonly bright, as we could see quite a distance. Melissa says to her husband, "Doctor, don't you go; you will get killed and then I don't want to live any longer." Says I to Melissa, "What do you mean? If I had forty husbands and as many sons I would urge them off in a hurry, and if it was the fashion for women to fight I would step into the ranks and help defend the city." And I am not much of a fighting character either, but I did not value my life very high at that time, for they had killed our beloved prophet and my life did not seem of much value at that time; but it is the Lord's and let Him do with it what seemeth to him good. They had guards out in every direction; they had a drum that could be heard a number of miles and when there was any danger they would beat that drum, and every one that was able would take what ever weapon they could get and run to the city and guard it. We lived three miles from the city and I don't know how many nights we left the place when the alarm drum was beaten. All of our men would run to the place appointed, but we had to move to the Mound, seven miles from there. We did so, but the guard had to be kept up at the Mound, for we had enemies on every side, all threatening to exterminate the Mormons. How strange when the Mormons never injured one of them, if they had the law was open and they could have brought them to justice without killing them. It was their religion that was troubling them as they often said, if the Mormons would renounce their religion and scatter among the gentiles they would be good citizens, but to pretend to have new revelations and a prophet; it was more than they could bear. When they found they could not turn them from their purpose they swore they would kill them or they would make them leave the country. But I for one did not fear them, for I knew that we were in the hands of God and He would make the wrath of man praise Him and turn all their threats for the good of His saints, and it was so, for the Lord wanted His people to get up onto these mountains and raise an ensign that the scriptures might be fulfilled. But he saw that they would no go willingly, so He suffered their enemies to drive them. Nauvoo and the country round about had to be guarded as far as there were any saints. After we moved to the Mound we had to keep a double watch, as there were two roads, one led to Warsaw and one to Carthage. It was very high land and we could see a great distance. When it was my husband's turn to watch I sat up with him to make a cup of tea as he was not a healthy man. One night while we were watching I got up on the shed and could see two buildings burning. One of them we supposed was a barn containing four hundred bushel of cleaned wheat and the other a dwelling house belonging to some of the brethren. The enemy would ravage, steal and plunder and murder and no power in the United States to stop them! The Mormons could get no help because they believed the Gospel was restored to earth by an angel. The priests knew that if that doctrine prevailed there was no chance for them, and as the ax struck at the root of every denomination, they all joined together to help destroy the work of God. There were many ministers of different denominations that took the lead of mobs and were determined to put a stop to Mormonism. But it has increased the more they have opposed it and will continue to increase until the knowledge of God covers the earth, for all their burning buildings and killing the brethren. But there was no fear in my heart, for I knew we were in the hands of God, and He would do all things right. We soon found we had to leave the place if we meant to save our lives, and we with the rest of the brothers got what little we could from our beautiful farm. We had forty thousand bricks that my husband and sons had made for to build a house, and part of the rock to lay the foundation. For this we got an old bed quilt and for the farm a yoke of wild steers, and for two high post bedsteads, we got some weaving done. Our nice cheery light stand we left for the mob, with every other thing we could not take along with us. I never had a murmuring thought pass my mind, although we left a handsome property and a most beautiful place. We raised one crop on the place which shows the richness of the soil. From a small patch of melons the boys took a number of wagon loads to market and such large melons. But we gave up the place. Before we left I enjoyed myself all the time and was cheeful and happy and had no fears of being killed, for it was made known to me in dreams of the night that we were safe. We went in an old school house to stay while we prepared for our journey. After we had been there a short time it was revealed to me in a dream that we had got to leave the place in a hurry or we should be killed. I waked my husband and told him that we had got to hurry right off or we should be killed. It was a rainy morning and we were not ready. Our wagon was not covered nor our things packed up. But he believed what I said, for it was the first word that I had made manifest any fears and the first fears I had had; but I believed that we should get off before they came upon us. It was about eight miles to the Mississippi River where we had got to go before we should be out of danger. There the brothers were collecting and crossing the river on a ferry boat. We threw our things into the wagon and started off on a bad road. We had a hard and dangerous time on account of high water, but we got safe to the ferry and crossed over into Iowa. There we stopped a week or more. The brothers made a camp with their wagons, drawing them around so as to touch each other, with one place of entrance, and our fires in the center. Our cattle and sheep were on the other side of the river, but they were soon all over safe and there our sheep were sheared. One night, just dark, there came an officer into the door of the camp and commenced talking with the children that were in the entrance. I looked up and saw him and knew that the children did not know enough to talk to him. I stepped up to where he was and said, "What does this gentleman wish?" For I knew he was upon some mischief, for he was dressed in the highest style and had every deadly weapon hanging around him that could be imagined. He asked if there was a man by the name of Bickmore in the camp. I looked down as if in study and I was in study to know what to say to deceive and yet tell the truth. "Bickmore - Bickmore - I heard of that name. There was a man by that name went in the first company." So I deceived him and told the truth, but the Bickmore that he had a warrant for had gone back over the river for cattle. His wagon stood in our reach and we expected him every moment. The next thing was to keep the officer there until the man could be notified of the danger. Bickmore's wife was there and heard all that was said and they sent children to tell the man to keep away until the officer had gone. I gave him a seat and sat down by his side. He commenced asking me questions and the Lord gave me answers. "Why, madam," he said, "I see nothing before you but inevitable destruction in going off into the wilderness among savages, far from civilization, with nothing but what you can carry in your wagon." I told him I had known for ten years that we had got to go and I was glad we had got started. "Oh, there, madam, you have something to bear you up under your trials?" Says I, "It is no more trial; I would not go back if I could have the whole country at my command and all the riches in it." "Well, I see nothing before you but starvation." I told him the Lord was able to spread a table for us in the wilderness, for we were going where he wanted us to go. But the church would not go until the mob drove us. The mob was a rod in the hands of the Almighty to accomplish his purposes. He says, "I understand that your women go armed." "Armed," said I, "indeed they do, and I never felt like giving pain to a mouse unless it was necessary; but if a mob should come on me I should try to defend myself, and I think I could fight." I can't write half of what there was said, but we talked perhaps an hour. I kept him in conversation until I thought the men were safe and that was all I wanted of Mr. Mob. As to the arms the women carried, they brought them into the world with them and I had reference to no other. It would be a sad sight to see anyone without arms, but not such weapons as the mob carried. I deceived him entirely and told the truth. It is not hard to deceive a fool, but if he is alive now he must know what I said concerning the Lord furnishing a table for us in the wilderness is true and I often think of that saying when I am sitting to a well furnished table. Oh! how kind and merciful is our Father in Heaven; he watches over us all the day long and when the night comes he is still our guard. Even the great God that held the reins of government over all his vast dominion, condescends to watch over us poor, weak, frail mortals. Well might David say, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visiteth him?" All that I say is, "Praise the Lord, oh my soul; and let all that hath breath shout aloud the praises of King Emmanuel, and ye solid rocks weep for joy. To write the love of God above, it would drain the ocean, though the sea was ink, and the earth paper and every stick a pen and every man a scribe. When I try to praise Him in beauty, honor and magnify the name of God, I find I have no language at my command that will do justice to the case, but when I lay aside this weak, frail body I expect to praise Him in the beauty of holiness. Well, when all things was prepared we started on our journey. As we had let one yoke of oxen for to take church property, and had but one yoke on our wagon with about a ton of loading, you may guess the hardships we had to endure. It was but very little we could ride; we had to wade the sloughs and climb the hills. But what was more remarkable, we never got stuck in a slough. They seemd to know when they came to a mud hole just what they had to do, and would push with such speed that the wagon had no time to settle down in the mud. One night we encamped with the company and they said a few miles ahead there was a wide and deep slough that took four yoke of oxen to take a heavy load across, but we could go around it and get back into the road to camp at night. Well, I told my husband that I would go ahead and wade the slough and be there when he came around. When I came in sight of the slough I saw one wagon stuck about half way across and another on the opposite bank just ready to start. They said it was ten miles around that slough, and my husband could not get around that night; it was almost night then. Well, I guess how I felt; there alone among all kinds of wild animals. I thought I could not stand that. I began looking off in the direction the wagon had gone and at last I saw it, but so far off it was very uncertain whether I could make them hear. I went on to the highest place there was near and raised my voice as loud as I could, and with my pocket handkerchief in one hand stretched as high as I could reach to attract attention. At last they saw me and stopped. I beckoned to them to come down for they were out of hearing and would have been out of sight in a few minutes. My husband soon came. I told him the fix we were in and told him he must help get the wagon down. We could get across some way if we had to unload and carry our things by hand across the slough, for there was no further chance for us. He brought the wagon down and yoked up a two-year-old bull with a cow and put them on lead, thinking that they might help going up the opposite bank. But when they went to go up the bank they settled back on the oxen. Old Bery, with as much sense as a human being, told the cow to go ahead by putting his crumpled horn into her flank and tore the side open. She jumped up the bank in a hurry and it was all done so quick that the wagon had no time to settle in the mud. I expect Old Berry would have taken the team across better without any help, for he had to drive the cow. My husband said he had not struck them a blow in the whole journey. They knew much better waht to do than many men. He unyoked them every time he stopped if it was [even] for an hour. This was the last journey that he ever accompanied me and I want to say that he was very kind to his cattle and children, especially his two little girls - he almost worshipped them. He said he wanted to live to see those girls married and settled down in peace. I had made them a nice linsey dress, both of them. Betsy cut down a slit in the fronts and bound it around to nurse their dolls. When I saw what she had done I was provoked and commenced scolding. I told her I must whip her. Her father said, "Come here, Betsy, and let me see the sewing. If it is done good your mother shall not whip you." He looked at the sewing very carefully. He said, "It is just as good as mother would have done it." He thought everything they did was good. Why I mention this is to let you know how indulgent he was to his children. We got this far and had no material stops. At last we got to Mt. Pisgah. There was a few of the brethren stopped there and put in a crop and built houses, expecting to winter there.. This was in April, 1846, but we had not brought provisions to last until harvest and when my husband had built a house and put in a crop he started back to Bonaparte for provisions. His son Jeremiah had stopped there and he wanted to bring him along and flour for bread. I forgot to say that we had three extra cows, so we had plenty of milk and butter. He had got his cattle that he let go to draw church property here at Mt. Pisgah, so he had a strong team when he had got ready to start back. There was a woman that wanted to go back with him and she offered him two dollars if he would stop one day and that night was worth a thousand dollars to me. He stayed in the house and talked all day and all night. He told me things I never knew before. He was not a man of many words and never flattered and I never knew until that night how much he valued me. I found that he was perfectly satisfied with all of my doings insomuch that I never did a wrong thing in my life in his mind. Oh, how little did either of us think that was our last intercourse! He talked just as if he knew that was our last interview; he was lead by the spirit what to say. Among other things he said, "Don't have anything to say to anyone else while I am gone." This astonished me, for I did not believe that he questioned my chastity. I said, "Why do you make that request? Did I ever give you any reason to doubt my honor?" "No," he said, "but it came into my mind to say it and I did." Now to look at it, the spirit knew he would be gone till the resurrection and he did not want me to get married to any other one. When I heard of his death I thought I will keep that request sacred. Although I have had good offers I never was tempted to marry. I have lived a lonely life as a widow twenty-seven years, but my heart leaps for joy at the thoughts of meeting him at the great resurrection, never more to part. I had such a feeling about his leaving as I had never had before. I went to him just before he started and told him that it seemed to me that I could not let him go. "Why," he said, "what do you mean? You know that I must get breadstuff. I thought you were a woman of fortitude." I did not know there was one in the place that I had ever seen, but Lorenzo Snow's family was living in their wagon in sight, not far off. His women came to my house to wash. Some of his women was as handsome as I had seen in any place. One of them came every night and slept with me until I was taken sick, which was about two weeks. I had not to say slept, for we talked almost all night. I thought that I would get much knowledge from her as she belonged to one of the twelve, and my mind was reaching after all the truth in existence. When my husband had been gone about two weeks I was taken sick with chills and fever, confined to the bed. I was an entire stranger, except for the acquaintance I had made with Sister Snow. Soon after I was taken down the children all took sick and I got a little girl that could cook to make porridge for us. However, our neighborns were all very kind and helped us all they could. They would come and get my dirty clothes and wash them and if there were any holes, mend them. This they continued to do until they were all taken sick, insomuch that there were none well enough to take care of the sick. I was the first one to take sick there and three hundred took sick an died after I was I was spared alive. This bishop visited me often and told me if I needed anything to call on him and I should have it. I soon heard that he was dead. I was very sick and Mary lay at the point of death. We had watches every night till Mary's fever left her. One morning, after the watchers had left, I looked around the room to see if all was right. Right under the chair where one of the girls had sat all night I saw something that didn't look as if it belonged in the house. I called to Thomas to come and see what that was. We found that it was a monstrous big rattlesnake coiled up on a bench and had lain there all night as harmless as a lamb. It had eight rattles. I told the boys not to kill it; it had not come as an enemy, but on a friendly visit to help the girls watch. He did not help much, only as their companion, but they would have been just as well off without his company, not knowing of his presence. I told them to throw it off the bank and not hurt it, which they did. But the time had come for us to look for my husband. With the greatest anxiety we watched and looked day and night until at last there came a man just before daylight with a letter containing the news of his death. It would be impossible for anyone to imagine my feelings after being confined to my bed more than two weeks and expecting him to come. All things would be all right when he came and it never entered my heart that he could die. When the news came that he was dead my feelings were too intense to weep. My situation all rushed upon my mind with such force that all I could do or say was to cry to the Lord to sustain me under such untold trials and blessed be the name of the Jesus. He did sustain me and preserved my life, which I had cared little about until I found that my children had no father. All of the nervous fears that I had been suggesting to him while he was alive was taken away when he was dead. I never rested nights in his absence. There was a fear of something, I did not know what, but now all that fear was gone; the Being in whose hands my life was placed supported me. How could I have lived if the Lord had not supported me? He has been with me in sick troubles and severe ones, and He has not forsaken me. He say, "Leave thy father's children and I will preserve them alive and let the widows trust in me," and He fulfilled these promises to me in all the afflictions I have had to pass through. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. But I will go on with my history. Wier and Lemuel had gone to Council Bluffs and got the news of their father's death and my sickness and Lemuel came to Pisgah with a team and a box of medicine (name gone) would stop the ague as soon as taken and other things for our comfort. Jeremiah came with the team that my husband had gone to Bonaparte [with] and brought Dudley with him. Thomas was the only boy I had with me that summer, but now there were four with us. My husband died the 29th of August, 1846. He had but two children married, Louisa and Jeremiah, and one grandchild, Jeremiah's daughter, Clarisa. He sang, "Come, Let Us Anew, Our Journey Pursue, Roll Round With the Years and Never Stand Still Till the Master Appear." He sang that hymn as long as he had strength to sing it and then wanted Elisa to sing it. He died without a struggle or a groan. Blessed are the dead that died in the Lord, yea, saith the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. A few days later we all started for the Bluffs. I took the pills and stopped the chills. My appetite came on in a hurry. I had too much appetite. When we got within a few miles of the Bluffs we bought some green peas. It was at noon and I did not have time to cook them, and I ate hearty of them and it put me in a colorea [sic] morbus in its worst form. As we were near the settlement I told them to drive on until I could find an elder to administer to me. I had suffered all I could. The water ran out of my mouth and it appeared that I had naught to do but stop breathing. I expect I should not look much different after my breath was gone. Lemuel would come to the wagon, look in and say, "Mother, you must not die." I told him to drive on as fast as he could until he found an elder to administer. He repeated, "Mother, you must not die," a number of times before he found an elder. Then he stopped the wagon and the elder administer[ed] to me, but did no good. We went ahead and found another elder and he administered to me but that did no good. At last we came to another, an old man, and as he put his hands on my head and began to speak I knew he was the right man. I was soon able to be taken out of the wagon into the tent and had some tea and light food. You see in what a miraculous way my life was spared, thanks be to God for his condescention in hearing our prayers in this trying hour, for if it had not been for the prayer of faith I no doubt should have died and been at rest. But I wanted to live to take care of my family and try to help them up the rugged path of life. I knew by experience that the way was straight and narrow that leads to eternal life, and one false step would send us into darkness and nothing but sore repentance could restore us into the favor of God. The enemy kept us constantly on the alert to draw us from the path of duty, but if we cling to the word of God as a child to its mother's breast for nourishment, we shall come off conquerors and more than conquerors through Him that has loved us. What shall I render to my God for all His kindness shown? I will try to honor him by confessing His hand in all things and obeying His commandments. We soon arrived at the Bluffs where we found some of our friends, Sister Adams, William Snow and his wife Lydia. I don't remember how many others. Sister Adams and Lydia were both sick, and after a long and severe sickness they both died. We could get no house and had to camp out. This was in November, 1846. I soon took the chills and fever again. The boys made a camp of hay and I crawled into it, glad to get any place of shelter. I had to live there while they built a house and suffered very much for want of proper good and with the cold, as we could have no fire in the hay camp. There was the place that the disorder started in my head that has troubled me ever since. I had a pain in my head that was very severe. I had smoked for eight years before I believe the gospel, and when I believed before I had seen the Doctrine and Covenants, or heard of an elder, something told me I had better leave of smoking. I obeyed that still small voice and left off smoking for eight years. When I had this pain in my head I thought if I would smoke perhaps it would relieve my head. I rolled some tobacco up in a paper and smoked it. It stopped the pain. I continued to do so every time the pain came on. At last I sent and got a pipe and have used one ever since. I don't know whether I did right or not, but I am sure the anger of the Lord is not kindled against me, for I confess His hand in all things and try to keep His commandments. He hears and answers my prayers all of the time, thanks be to His holy name. His kind care and protecting hand is over all so that a sparrow does not fall to the ground without His notice. In all my sickness I have never complained or looked back, for I was sure that there was better days coming. I knew that Mormonism was true and better days would surely come, and it was needful for us to receive chastisements, for there was no other way we learn so good a lesson. In December I moved into a house the boys had built at Trade Point on the Missouri River, where steamboats landed. I got able to do my work and went to washing up our dirty cloths. After working nearly a week I got them done and hung them up at night. I got up in the morning and every article of clothing was stole and some new cloth that was not made. They left us almost without clothes. Well, I did not complain, but it learned me a lesson not to leave clothes out over night. I was not discouraged, although it seemed hard after I had worked when I had little strength to wash clothes that had lain dirty for months for want of strength to wash them. My health was poor all winter. At first I could get but little that was fit for a sick person to eat, but we soon had plenty. The Lord gave us favor in the eyes of the people, so we could get anything we asked for and some that we did not ask for. We only lived a few rods from the Pottowatamie chief. He told the boys if there was anything that they wanted that he had to come and get it and he would wait until they could pay him. He had two wives, one a very white French woman. They were all a great help to us. But I had very much to pass through in this place, both good and bad. We had not been there long before Betsy was sick with a white swelling on her leg, close to the knee joint, and a most distressing thing it was. For about two months Dr. Clinton attended her. We kep on egg poultices. It was lanced twice without any effect and at last broke on its own accord. I had her on the trundle bed in the corner, close to the fire, as it was cold weather, and it would take me an hour to change her under sheet. She could not bear any jar or motion, but after a while it broke and there was lots of bone came out. It was as bad as a felon could be. I suppose, and we expected if the Lord did not help us she would be a cripple. But He did help us, and although she was only seven years old, her leg grew, and it was wonderful, as there were pieces of bone come out years afterward. The doctor said the flesh must be cut down to the bone and the bone scraped to get the rotten parts off, but I could not consent to that and after we got to the valley I succeeded with the blessing of God in curing it. While I was at this place Brother Conlet was shot and killed in front of my house. Brother Conlet had been sick with the ague for some time. One morning he sprung from his bed and told his wife that somebody was going to shoot him. She thought he was crazy and told him to lie down again. He laid down and went to sleep. Soon he sprang from bed again and said, "don't you see the guns pointing at me?" She still thought him crazy, but he put on his blue overcoat and steeped out. He stepped on Jean's land. Jean stood there with a gun and said if any man stepped onto his land he would stood him. The man of the place wanted to make a road through his ground, but Conlet knew nothing about what they were doing, but as he stepped over the line Jean shot him. After he had been dead a few days, one night after his family had all gone to bed and left a large fire burning and were all asleep but Sister Conlet, he came in and went to the bed where she lay and commenced talking. At first she was frightened, but soon all fear left her and she talked with him without any fear. I forget most of the conversation, but he told her he wanted his body took up and buried on high land, as the place where he lay would be washed off into the river. He told her he would always wear that blue coat when he came to see her. She had given the coat to his brothers. He told her some things that she was to tell to no one except the authorities of the church. She had his body took up and buried where he wanted it and got the blue coat and laid it up. The land where he lay did wash off. A few rods from where Conlet was killed I saw one Indians kill another with a club. I often thought this might truly be called a place where Satan's seat was, but my whole mind was engaged in preparing for our journey to the valley. I did everything in my power to accomplish this great work. I made eleven fine linen shirts for the merchant; I baked pies and bread and cakes for the grocery the boys kept, as there were lots of gold diggers on the way to California, stopping there waiting for the grass to grow. We had market for everything. There was lots of big men boarding at the tavern. Some of them came to us for victuals, as their fare at the tavern was very poor. Among these was a Dr. Vaun that visited my house. There was a family by the name of Rolins staying at my house and Vaun visited them. I heard that Mrs. Rolins was a doubtful character, but believed it to be false until I was forced to believe it to be the truth by watching nights. I had one daughter, Mary, that was a woman grown. I kept her very close after I found what characters we were among. They often took evening walks, I mean the young folks. I told Mary she must stop walking out evenings or going to parties in that place. She very readily consented to what I said. One evening, when all the rest were fixing to walk out, the doctor said, "is not Mary going?" Mrs. Rolins said, "Oh, no, Mrs. Leavitt is so particular; she won't let Mary go." I always thanked Mary for listening to me. She was glad to get rid of bad company, for Dr. Vaun had a wife and children back in the states. His wife was the sister to the governor. But if I should write all that transpired in this place of note it would be more than I will do. How there was a bogus press found there; and a man drowned in the river trying to drive cattle while his companions stood on the bank and saw him drowning. Thomas told them if they would let him have a horse he would go and save him, but they did not like to venture their horses in such a dangerous place. Benway, the merchant, cursed them and told them they had stood on the bank of the river and seen one of their own men drown and not made the least exertion to save him. "There was little Thomas Leavitt that would have gone unto the river and would have saved him, too, but you were afraid your horses would drown - Oh, shame!" Benway was a great friend of Thomas and gave him many presents. Thomas was thirteen years old and his good conduct made him many friends. Also how Jeanes' wife had a frightful monster born; and how I had the offer of marriage; and Sister Adams and Lydia Snow both died; and Robert McLean and Father Richards both apostatized, and how many debates I had with them; and a thousand other things, too numerous to relate. But my whole study was to prepare to leave that place and go to the valley. It was a great undertaking, as I had but two boys, the oldest fourteen years old, and three girls, two of them young children. My son, Lemuel, had gone in a former company. But through energy and faith and the blessings of God we got a good fit-out [outfit]; two yoke of oxen and four cows hitched to one wagon. The cows we milked on the road and made butter. We had plenty of flour and groceries and had enough, so I was perfectly contented. Jeremiah and Wier crossed over the river with us, and stayed over night. When we parted in the morning, Weir said, "Mother, you must no go in the next company." And once he said, "Mother, I want to bid you good-bye; I bade father good-bye and never saw him again." He would often say, "Mother, you won't go in the next company, will you?" I asked him if he did not want me to go as soon as I could get ready. He said he would rather I would wait until he could go with me. I told him I wanted everyone to as soon as they could get ready. I little thought that if I left him behind I should hever see him again in this world, but so it is[was]. Very likely if I had been with him in his sickness he would not have died. I cast no reflections on myself on that account, however, but I can say, "the will of the Lord be done." We started on our journey and got safe to the valley, but I never saw Wier again. He died in August, the same month his father died; his father in 1847, Wier in 1847. The first person I spoke to after I entered Salt Lake was Dr. Vaun. He came running out of a house and appeared much pleased to see me. He said, "Well, Mrs. Leavitt, I have joined the church." Of course, I was glad and was in hopes he had repented of his sins and would forsake them. But in this I was disappointed, for he sought the women's company and with the help of love powders succeeded in gratifying his hellish desires. He was called up before the authorities more than once and confessed his sins and asked forgiveness. He was forgiven and he said if he was ever found guilty again his life should be the penalty. He knew the law of God required it. He was guilty again and was shot and killed. Oh, the weakness and depravity of man, to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, or in other words, sell their souls' salvation for a few moments of carnal pleasure. Oh! thou Eternal God, roll on that happy day when satan shall have no power over the hearts of the children of men, but the knowledge of God cover the earth as the water cover the mighty deep. We went to the Deul Settlement, where Brother Fish live, Lemuel was there. He was engaged to be married to Melvina Thompson, sister to Julia Fish. Julia tried hard to break up the match, but failed. Julia slighted me in every way she could. She lived in a room adjoining mine; made a tea party and invited all the neighbors but me. She did not think I was worthy of her company, but it did me no hurt or cause me to commit sin, for I was trying to keep in favor with God and knew that I should look well to my own conduct. I should not have to mention this, but she has left the church. She is too proud to be a saint. Lemuel was married there and his was was sick a long time after they were married, with the worst kind of sickness, for her reason was gone and although she was about the house the most of the time, she did not know what she was doing. I had a severe trial, but I let patience have its perfect work. We lived in that place about three months and then moved to Pine Canyon in Tooele. We lived there until the Indians became so bad that we had to leave with the cattle and horses. The stole five head of horses in one night and all the cattle they could get. Walker's band was in the mountains, just above us and he said he was going to kill us all off. They kept guards out in every direction. Some of the young men cried and said, "We shall all be massacred." As for myself, I had no fears. I thought we were in the hands of God and it would be all right. Here her history ends, apparently unfinished. [Original in Platt Family Records Center, Document 158]

Life timeline of Sarah Leavitt (Studevant)

1798
Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was born on 5 Sep 1798
Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 6 years old when The Lewis and Clark Expedition departs from Camp Dubois and begins its historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition from May 1804 to September 1806, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. It began near St. Louis, made its way westward, and passed through the Continental Divide of the Americas to reach the Pacific coast. The Corps of Discovery was a selected group of US Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark.
1804
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 20 years old when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founds Singapore. Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, FRS was a British statesman, Lieutenant-Governor of British Java (1811–1815) and Governor-General of Bencoolen (1817–1822), best known for his founding of Singapore and the British Malaya.
1819
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 27 years old when The Erie Canal opens: Passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie. The Erie Canal is a canal in New York, United States that is part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System. Originally, it ran 363 miles (584 km) from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie. It was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. When completed in 1825, it was the second longest canal in the world and greatly affected the development and economy of New York, New York City, and the United States.
1825
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 33 years old when Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution. Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
1831
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 42 years old when Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph. Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an American painter and inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.
1840
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 61 years old when Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well. Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.
1859
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) was 64 years old when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring the freedom of all slaves in Confederate territory by January 1, 1863. Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through the American Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.
1862
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Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) died on 5 Apr 1878 at the age of 79
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for Sarah Leavitt (Studevant) (5 Sep 1798 - 5 Apr 1878), BillionGraves Record 13423517 Veyo, Washington, Utah, United States

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