Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845
Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845; handwriting of and Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; 337 pages; CHL.Note: , the mother of Joseph Smith, dictated a rough draft version of her history to Martha Jane Knowlton Coray (with some additional scribal help from Martha’s husband, ) beginning in 1844 and concluding in 1845. In 1845, the Corays inscribed this fair copy of the history under Lucy’s direction.
In June 1844, the church suffered the loss of its president and prophet, JS, and his brother, church patriarch . The Smith family, already devastated, endured another heartbreak a few weeks later with the death of JS’s brother . That fall their widowed mother, , perhaps in part as a salve to her grief, began recording her family’s story. Writing to her only surviving son, , on 23 January 1845, Smith informed him, “I have by the council of the 12 [Apostles] undertaken a history of the family, that is my Fathers Family and my own.” She added:People are often enquiring of me the particulars of Joseph’s getting the plates seeing the angels at first and many other thing which Joseph never wrote or published I have told over many things pertaining to these matters to different persons to gratify their curiosity indeed have almost destroyed my lungs giving these recitals to those who felt anxious to hear them I have now concluded to write down every particular as far as possible and if those who wish to read them will help me a little they can have it all in one piece to read at their leasure—To help defray the cost of publication she asked William to start a subscription to raise about $100 to buy paper to print her history (Lucy Mack Smith, Nauvoo, IL, to William Smith, 23 Jan. 1845, CHL).Later that year on 8 October, at a general conference of the church being held in the , spoke of the completion of her project. According to the conference minutes she “gave notice that she had written her history, and wished it printed before we leave this place” (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Nov. 1845, 6:1014). However, arrangements could not be made for its publication prior to the Saints’ departure from Nauvoo. It was eventually printed by in 1853 in , England.Years later, Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, writing from Provo, Utah, in June 1865, responded to a request from for information regarding her role in the drafting and publication of ’s history. Regarding Smith, Coray wrote, “I was her amanuensis at the time the Book was written.” She then cited her own practice of “noting down everything, I heard and read which possessed any peculiar interest to me. . . . I was occupied, from time to time as occasion offered, in making notes of sermons, and other things which I thought reliable such as: discourses by yourself, the twelve, and other responsible men.” She then related that this practice “made it an easy task for me to transmit to paper” what Smith dictated to her. She added, “ and Joseph were dead, and thus without their aid, she [Lucy] attempted to prosecute the work, relying chiefly upon her memory. . . . There were two Manuscripts prepared, one copy was given to Mother Smith, and the other retained in the Church” (Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, Provo, UT, to Brigham Young, 13 June 1865, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL).The two completed manuscripts Coray referenced in her letter to were preceded by a draft, sometimes referred to as the “rough draft manuscript.” Martha Jane Coray and her husband, , composed this draft as they met with during the fall and winter 1844–1845. Then, in early 1845, utilizing the rough draft and other notes and sources, the Corays apparently penned two revised, or “fair,” copies. The sole extant fair version is titled “The History of Lucy Smith Mother of the Prophet.” Miscellaneous fragments included with the rough draft copy suggest that the Corays may also have produced an intermediate draft prior to transcribing the two fair copies. Assuming an intermediate draft once existed in some form, most of it has been lost.obtained a U.S. copyright for her manuscript on 18 July 1845. (Copyright for Lucy Mack Smith, “The History of Lucy Smith,” 18 July 1845, Robert Harris, Copyright Registry Records for Works Concerning the Mormons to 1870, CHL). According to the “History of Brigham Young,” on 10 November of that same year, and several members of the Twelve “consulted on the subject of purchasing the copy right of Mother Smith’s History; and concluded to settle with Brother for his labor in compiling the same” (History of the Church, 7:519). No currently extant record indicates whether Smith was actually approached about selling her copyright to the church, nor is it known if the Corays were compensated as indicated above.As previously noted, one of the two prepared fair copies was given to by the Corays. There are varying accounts regarding what happened next, but by March 1853, Smith’s copy was in the possession of in . Pratt took it to England where he had it printed by the end of that summer under the title Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, by Lucy Smith, Mother of the Prophet. The fair copy adapted for the , England, publication by Pratt apparently is no longer extant.The second fair copy was apparently given to the church before the Saints departed from and was taken west by them. An entry for “Mother Smith’s History” is listed in the first extant Historian’s Office inventory, compiled in Nauvoo in 1846 by clerk . Records of a 4 April 1855 inventory of the Historian’s Office included an entry for “Mother Smiths Mss History” (Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” ; “Inventory, Historian’s Office, 4th April 1855,” , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL). It seems that the Corays retained the rough draft and transported it to Utah.had not consulted with or other church leaders before publishing the 1853 edition of ’s history. Young had not authorized its publication and believed it contained historical errors. In 1865, Young and his counselors in the First Presidency of the church formally recalled the Liverpool edition. According to ’s journal for 22 April 1866, Young asked Woodruff to request church historian and JS’s uncle, , to revise the text so that it could be reissued in a corrected edition. However, despite expectations, a revised version was not issued during Young’s lifetime. It was not until 1901 that the church released an authorized edition, in serial form in the Improvement Era. The serial began in the November 1901 issue under the title “History of the Prophet Joseph Smith” and concluded in the January 1903 issue. When published in book form in 1902, it bore the title History of the Prophet Joseph Smith by His Mother Lucy Smith as Revised by George A. Smith and Elias Smith. Subsequently, other popular editions have appeared.Much of the value of ’s account lies in her offering a wife and mother’s perspective on her family’s role in the early church. She illuminates the family setting that fostered the birth of Mormonism and retells incidents and interactions recounted nowhere else. Though there are errors in the dating of some events and occasionally in place and individual names, overall her account is of inestimable value, providing a rarely heard woman’s voice as it traces JS’s life from beginning to end. She was present at many seminal events and offered insights no one else could provide.Beginning with details of her New England ancestors, related an account of her family’s early experiences and support of JS during the founding era of the church. Adversity and persecution are vividly evident, as are hard work, faith, love, and testimony. Many details that we know about early church history can be attributed to Lucy, such as JS’s leg operation when he was a child; the death of JS’s oldest brother, ; the dreams, visions, and blessings of ; and a wife and mother’s grief as she buries her “beloved husband” and many of her children. She also provided details and perspective about missions, moves, travels, mobbings, and arrests that are not available elsewhere.Published here is the the Corays’ 1845 fair copy retained by the church. (The 1844–1845 rough draft is also available on this website.)
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The History of Mother of the Prophet
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The birth of , the father of — An extract from his narrative
My father, , was born in the Town of Lime, New London County, and State of Connecticut Sept. 26th. 1735. His father, Ebenezer Mack, was a man of considerable property; he lived in good style and commanded all of that attention and respect which are ever shown to those who who live in fine circumstances and habits of strict morality; and, for a length of time, he fully enjoyed the fruits of his former industry, but this state of things did not always continue— a series of misfortunes visited him, by which he was compelled to throw his children upon the charity of a cold unfeeling world.
My was taken into the family of a neighboring farmer, where he remained until he was nearly 21 years of age; about [p. 1] which time he enlisted in the services of his .
I have a sketch of my ’s life, written by himself, in which is detailed an account of his several campaigns and many of his advenures while in the army: From this I extract the following.—
“At the age of 21 years, I left my master; shortly after which I enlisted in the services of my , under the command of Cap. Henry, and was annexed to the regiment commanded by Col. Whiting.
“From we marched to Fort Edwards. We were in a severe battle fought at Half-way brook in 1755.
“During this expedition I caught a heavy cold, which rendered me unfit for business until the return of warm weather. I was carried the ensuing spring (1756) to .
“In the year of 1757, I had two teams in the King’s service; which were employed in carrying the Gen.’s baggage. While thus engaged I went one morning as usual to yoke my team; but three of my oxen were missing. When this came to the knowledge of the officer he was very angry, and, drawing his sword threatened to run it through me.
“He then ordered me to get three others; which I accordingly did, and proceeded with <the> baggage to Fort Edwards, and the next day returned in order to find my oxen.
“While I was performing this trip, the following circumstance occured: about half way from Still-water to Fort Edwards, I espied four Indians nearly 30 rods distant coming out of the woods. They were armed with scalping knives, tomahawks, and guns.— I was alone; but about 20 rods behind me was a man by the name of Webster— I saw my danger, and, that there was no way to escape unless I could do it by stratagem. So I rushed upon them, calling in the meantime at the top of my voice, ‘rush on! rush on my boys! we’ll have the devils.’ The [p. 2]
only weapon I had was a walking staff; yet, I ran towards them; and, as the other man appeared just at that instant, it gave them a terrible fright, and I saw no more of them.
I hastened to Stillwater the next day, as aforementioned; and finding my oxen soon after I arrived there, I returned the same night to Fort Edwards— a distance of seven miles, the whole of which <was> a dense forest.
“In 1758, I enlisted under Major Spenser, and went immediately over Lake George with a company who crossed in boats to the western side, where we had a bloody and hot engagement with the enemy; in which Lord Howe fell at the onset of the battle. His bowels were taken out and buried; but his body they <was> embalmed and carried to England
“The next day we marched to the breast work; but were unsuccessful, being compelled to retreat with a loss of 300 men killed, and as many more wounded.
“In this contest myself <I> narrowly escaped: a musket ball passed under my chin within half an inch of my neck. The army then returned to Lake George; and on its way thither a large scouting party of the enemy came round by Skeensborough, and at Half-way brook distroyed a large number of both men and teams; upon this 1000 of our men were detached to repair immediately to Skeensborough in pursuit of them; but when we arrived at Southbay, the enemy were entirely out of our reach.
“The enemy then marched to Ticondaroga <N. York> in order to procure supplies; after which they immediately pursued us; but we eluded them by hastening to Wood-creek, and then to Fort Ann. Where we arrived on the 13th day of the month. We had but just reached this place, when the centry gave information that the enemy were all round us. In [p. 3]
consequence of which we were suddenly called to arms— Maj. Putnam led the company, and Maj. Rogers brought up the rear— We marched but three quarters of a mile when we came suddenly upon a company of Indians that were lying in ambush. Maj. Putnam marched his men through their ranks— upon this the Indians fired, which threw our men into <some> confusion.— Maj. Putnam was captured by them; and would have been killed by an Indian had he not been rescued by a French Lieutenant.
“The enemy rose like a cloud, and fired a whole volley upon us; and, being in the foremost rank, the retreat of my company brought me in the rear— The tomahawks and bullets flew like round me like hail stones. As I was running, I saw, not far before me, a windfall <(fallen timber)>; which was so high, that it appeared to me insurmountable; however, I succeeded, by making great exertion, in getting over it. Running a little farther I observed a man, who, in this last conflict had been badly wounded— and the Indians were close upon him; nevertheless I turned aside for the purpose of assisting him; and succeeded in getting him into the midst of our army in safety.
“In this encounter a man named Gershom Bowley had nine bullets shot through his clothes; but received no <personal> injury. Ensign Worcester received nine wounds, was scalped and tomahawked; notwithstanding, he lived and finally recovered.
“The above engagement commenced early in the morning, and continued until about 3. o.clock P. M.; in which half of our men were either killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. In consequence of this tremendous slaughter, we were compelled to send to Fort Edwards for men in order to assist in carrying our wounded; which were about 80 in number. The distance which we had to [p. 4]
carry them, was nearly 14 miles. To carry so many thus far, was truly fatigueing; insomuch, that, when we arrived at the place of destination, my strength was about exhausted.
“I proceeded immediately to for the purpose of getting supplies; and returned again to the army as soon as circumstances would admit.
“Autumn having now arrived I went home; where I tarried the ensuing winter.
“In the spring of 1759 the army marched to Crownpoint, where I received my discharge. In the same year I became acquainted with an accomplished young woman, a school teacher, by the name of Lydia Gates. She was the daughter of one Nathan Gates, who was a man of wealth living in the Town of East Haddam <Con.>. To this young woman I was married, shortly after becoming acquainted with her
“Having received a large amount of money for my services in the army, and deeming it prudent to make an investment of the same in real estate, I contracted for the whole town of Granville <New York>; <and,> on the execution of the deed, I paid all the money that was required in the stipulation. Which stipulation also called for the building of a number of log houses; I accordingly went to work to fulfill this part of the contract; but laboring a short time I had the misfortune to cut my leg, which subjected me during the rem that season to the care of the physician. In order to fulfill the my part of the contract, I hired a man to do the work, and paid him in advance—; but he ran away with the money, without performing the labor, and the result<consequence> was, I lost the land altogether
“In 1761, we moved to the town of Marlow; in which <where> we remained until we had four children. When we moved there it was no other than a desolate and [p. 5]
dreary wilderness: only 4 families resided within 40 miles.
“Here I was thrown into a situation to appreciate more fully the talents and virtues of my excellent wife; for, as our children were deprived of schools, she assumed the charge of their education, and performed the duties of an instuctress as none save a mother is capable of:— Precepts, accompanied with examples such as hers, are calculated to make an impression on the minds of the young, never to be forgotton. She, besides instructing them in the various branches of an ordinary education, was in the habit of calling them together both morning and evening, and teaching them to pray; meanwhile urging upon them the necessity of love towards each other, as well as devotional feelings <towards> Him who made them.
“In this manner my first children became confirmed in habits of piety, gentleness, and reflection; which afforded great assistance in guiding those who came after them into the same happy channel.
“The education of my children would have been a more difficult task, if they had not inherited much of their mothers excellent disposition.
“In 1776, I enlisted in the services of my ; and was for a considerable length of time in the land forces. After which I went with my two sons, Jason and Stephen, on a privateering expedition, commanded by Cap. Havens. Soon after we set sail we were driven upon Horse neck; we succeeded, however, in getting some of our guns on shore, and bringing them to bear upon the enemy, so as to exchange many shots with them; yet, they cut away our rigging and left our vessel much shattered. We then hauled off and cast anchor; but, in a short time. we espied two Row gallies, two Sloops, and two Schooners— we qui [p. 6]
ckly weighed anchor and hauled to shore again, and had barely time to post four cannon in a position in which they could be used before a sanguinary contest commenced. The balls from the enemies guns tore up the ground, cutting assunder the sapplings in every direction. One of the row-gallies went around a point of land with the view of hemming us in; but we killed 40 of their men with our small arms, which caused them to abandon their purpose.
“My son Stephen, in company with the cabin boys, was sent to a house not far from shore with a wounded man. Just as they entered the house an eighteen pounder followed them. A woman was engaged in frying cakes at the time, and being somewhat alarmed she concluded to retire into the cellar, saying as she left, that the boys might have the cakes as she was going below. The boys at this were highly delighted, and they went to work cooking and feasting upon the lady’s sweet cakes, while the artillery of the contending armies was thundering in their ears, dealing out death and destruction on every hand.
“At the head of this party of boys, was Stephen Mack my second son, a bold and fearless stripling of fourteen.
In this contest the enemy was far superior to us in point of numbers; yet we maintained our ground with such valour that they thought it better to leave us, and accordingly did so. Soon after which we hoisted sail and made for New London.
“When hostilities had ceased, and peace and tranquillity again restored, we freighted a vessel for Liverpool. Selling both ship and cargo in this place, we embarked on board Cap. Foster’s vessel. Which vessel I afterwards purchased; but, in consequence of storms and wrecks, I was compelled to sell her; and I was left completely destitute. [p. 7]
“I struggled a little longer to obtain property in making adventures, then returned to my family after an absence of four years from them about pennyless. After this I determined to follow phantoms no longer; but devote the rest of my life to the service of God and my family.”
I shall now lay aside my ’s journal, as I have made such extracts as adapted to my purpose; and take up the history of his children
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History of Jason Mack
Jason, my oldest brother was a studious and manly boy. Before he attained his sixteenth year he became what was then called a Seeker; and believing, that, by prayer and faith the gifts of the gospel might be attained which were enjoyed by the ancient disciples of Christ, he labored almost incessantly to convert others to the same faith. He was also of the opinion, that God would, at some subsequent period, manifest his power as he anciently had done— in signs and wonders.
At the age of 20 he became a preacher of the gospel; and, in a short time after this he formed an acquaintaince with a young woman of wealthy parentage, by the name of Esther Bruce from the State of New Hamphshire. She was the pride of the place in which she resided, not [p. 8] so much on account of her splendid appearance, as the soundness of her mind and her stately deportment, joined with an unaffected mildness of disposition and condescension of maners; which were admirably suited to the taste and principles of my brother. Jason became deeply in love with her; insomuch that his heart was completely hers. And it would have been as easy to have convinced him that he could exist without his head, as, that he could live and enjoy life, without being united with her in marriage. These feelings I believe were mutual: and they entered into an engagement to be married; but as they were making arrangements for the solemnization of their nuptials my received a letter from Liverpool containing information that a large amount of money was collected for him; and, that it was ready for his reception.
On account of this intelligence it was agreed, that the marraige of my brother, (as my <> desired that he should accompany him to Liverpool) should be defered until their return. Accordingly, my brother left his affianced <bride> with a heavy heart, and with this understanding: that he would write to her and his sister conjointly, at least once in three months during his absence.
In three months after their departure, according to agreement a letter arrived; which, indeed, met with a very warm reception; but it was never followed by another from him: a young man who kept the Post Office, where she received her letters formed in his heart a determination to thwart, if possible, my brother in his matrimonial prospects, in order to obtain the prize himself. He commenced by using the most dissuasive arguments against her marrying my brother him—: but not succeeding in this he next detained his letters, and then reproached him for neglecting her. Being still unsu [p. 9]ccessful, he forged letters purporting to be from a friend of Jason; which stated, that he (Jason Mack) was dead and his friends might cease to expect him. He then urged his suit again; but she still rejected him; and continued to do so until within four months of Jason’s return, when she concluded that she had wronged the young man; and that he was really more worthy than she had expected. The appointed time for <which> Jason’s was to be absent, having expired and he did not come, she believed that the reports concerning his death must be true; So she accepted the hand the hand of this young man, and they were united in the bands of matrimony.
As soon as Jason arrived he repaired immediately to her father’s house. When he got there she was gone to <her> brother’s funeral— he went in and seated himself in the same room where he had once paid his addresses to her— In a short time she came home— when she first saw him she did not know him; but when she got a full view of his countinance she recognized him, and instantly fainted.
From this time forward she never recovered her health but lingering for two years died the victim of disappointment.
Jason remained in the neighborhood a short time; and then went to sea; but he did not follow the sea long; he soon left the main, and <again> commenced preaching, which he continued until his death. [p. 10]
A sketch of the life of Lovisa [Mack] and Lovina [Mack]
The history of Lovisa and Lovina, my two oldest sisters, are so connected and interwoven, that I shall not attempt to separate them. They were one in faith, in love, in action, and in hope of eternal life— they were always together; and, when they were old enough to understand the duties of a christian, they united their voices in prayer and songs of praise to God. This sisterly affection increased with their years, and strengthened with the strength of their minds; and the pathway of their lives was never clowded with a gloomy shadow until Lovisa married and removed from <home>; which left Lovina very lonely.
In about two years after Lovisa’s marriage she was taken very sick, and sent for Lovina. Lovina, as might be expected, came immediately, and remained with her sister during her illness, which lasted two years, baffling the skill of the most experienced physicians At the expiration of this time she revived a little, and showed some symptoms of recovery.
I shall here relate a circumstance connected with her sickness, that may try the credulity of some of my readers; yet hundreds were eye witnesses, and and doubtless many of them are now living, who, if they would, can testify to the fact which I am about to mention: As before stated, after the space of two years she began to manifest signs of convalescence; but soon a violent reatack brought her down again, [p. 11] and she grew worse and worse, until she became entirely speechless, and so reduced that her attendants were not allowed to even turn her in bed. She took no nourishment except a very little rice water. She lay in this way situation three days and two nights. On the third night about 2 0’clock she feebly pronounced the name of Lovina; who had all the while hovered over her pillow like an attendant angel; watching every change and symptom with the deepest emotion. Startled at hearing the sound of Lovisa’s voice, Lovina now bent over the emaciated form of her sister with thrilling interest; and said “My sister! my sister! what will you”?
Lovisa then said, emphatically, “the Lord has healed me, both soul and body— raise me up and give me my clothes— I wish to get up.” Her husband told those who were watching with her, to gratify her; as, in all probability, it was a revival before death, and he would not have her crossed in her last moments. They did so, though with reluctance; as they supposed she might live a few moments longer, if she did not exhaust her strength too much by exerting herself in this manner.
Having raised her in bed they assisted her to dress; but, when they raised her to her feet, her weight dislocated both of her ancles; yet she would not consent to return to her bed, but insisted upon being set in a chair and having her feet drawn gently in order to have her replace ancle joints replaced her ancle joints. She then requested her husband to bring her wine sling: saying, if he would do so she would do quite well for the present.
Soon after this, by the her request, of she was assisted to cross the street to her father-in-law’s, who, at that time, was prostrate upon a bed of sickness. When she [p. 12] entered the house he cried out, in amazement, “Lovisa is dead and her spirit is now come to warn me of my sudden departure from this world.” “No, father, she exclaimed, “God has raised me up, and I have come to tell you to prepare for death” She conversed an hour or so with him; then, with the assistance of her husband and those who were tending tended upon her that night, she crossed the street back again to her own apartment.
When this was noised abroad a great multitude of people came together, both to hear and see concerning the strange and marvelous circumstance of which they had heard. She talked to them a short time, and then dismissed them; promising, to meet them the next day at the village church, where she would tell them all about the strange manner in which she was had <been> healed.
The following day, according to promise, she proceeded to the meeting house; and when she arrived there a large congregation had collected. Soon after she entered the house, the minister arose, and remarked as follows: that, as many of the congregation had doubtless come to hear a recital of the strange circumstance which had taken place in the neighborhood, and as he himself felt more interested in it, than in hearing a gospel discourse, he would open the meeting, then give place to Mrs. Tuttle. The minister then requestsed her to sing a hymn; she accordingly did so, and her voice was as high and clear as it had ever been. Having sung, she arose and addressed the audience as follows: “I seemed to be borne away to the world of spirits, where I saw the Savior, as though a vail [p. 13] which appeared to me about as thick as a spider’s web, and he told me, that I must return again to warn the people to prepare for death— that I must exhort them to be watchful, as well as prayerful; and I must declare faithfully unto them their accountability before God, and the certainty of their being called to stand before the judgment seat of Christ:— And, that if I would do so, my life should be prolonged.”
After which she spoke much to the people upon the uncertainty of life. When she sat down her husband and sister, as well as those who were with her during the last night of sickness, arose and [2 words illegible] C◊◊c◊r◊ing testified to her appearance just before her sudden recovery. Of these things she continued to speak boldly for the space of three years; at the end of which she was seized with the consumption, which terminated her earthly existence.
A short time before Lovisa was healed, in the miraculous manner, as above stated, Lovina was taken with a severe cough; which ended in consumption. She lingered three years. During this time she spoke with much calmness of her approaching disolution, contemplating death with all that serenity, which is characteristical of the last moments of those, who fear God and walk uprightly before him. She conjured her young friends to remember, that life upon this earth cannot be eternal: hence the necessity of looking beyond ‘this vail of tears to a glorious inheritance’, ‘where moths do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.’
The care of Lovina during her illness devolved chiefly upon myself. Which task, though a melancholy one, I cheerfully performed; and, although she [p. 14] had much other attention, I never allowed myself to go, an hour at a time, beyond the sound of her voice while she was sick. A short time before she breathed out her last moments, (which was in the night) she awakened me and requested, that I should call and mother, for she wished to see them, as she would soon be gone. When they came she said, “ and mother, now I am dying and I wish you to call my young associates, that I may speak to them before I die.” She then requested me to place her in a chair; and, as soon as the young people were seated who were called in, she commenced speaking. After talking a short time to the<m> young folks she stopped; and turning to the her mother said: “Mother, will you get me something to eat— it is the last time you will ever bring me nourishment in this world. When my mother had complied with her request, she eat a small quantity of food with apparent appetite, then gave back the dish, saying, “there, mother, you will never get me anything to eat again.” After which she turned to the company, and proceeded with her remarks, thus: “I do not know when I received any material change of heart, unless it was when I was ten years old— God at that time heard my prayers and forgave my sins; and ever since then, I have endeavored to serve him according to the best of my abilities; and I have called you here to give you my last warning— to bid you all farewell, and beseech you to endeavor to <meet> me when parting shall be no more”
Shortly after this, holding up her hands and looking upon them as one would upon a trifling <thing> unobserved thing before, she said with a smile upon her countenance [p. 15] “See the blood is settling under my nails.’ Then placing the fingers of her left hand across her right, she continued thus: “Tis cold to there— soon this mortal flesh will be food for worms.” Then turning to me, said, “Now, sister will you help me into bed.” I did as I was requested, carrying her in my arms just as I would a child: Although I was but thirteen years old, she was so emaciated I could carry her with considerable ease. As I was carrying her to her bed my hand slipped— at this she cried out; “Oh! , that hurt me.” This, indeed, gave me bitter feelings. I was well assured, that this was the last time sad office I should ever perform for my sister; and the thought that I had caused her pain in laying her on her death bed wounded me much.
Soon after this she passed her hand over her face and again remarked: my nose is now quite cold.” Then slightly turning and straightening herself in bed, she continued: , mother, brothers, , and dear companions, all farewell— I am going to rest, prepare to follow me: For,
“‘Death! ’tis a melancholy day
To those that have no rest God,
When the poor soul is forced away
To seek her last abode.
“‘In vain to heaven she lifts her eyes;
But guilt a heavy chain,
Still drags her downwards from the skies,
To darkness fire and pain. [p. 16]
“‘Awake and mourn, ye heirs of hell
Let stubborn sinners fear;
You must be driven from earth and dwell
A long Forever there!
“‘See how the pit gapes wide for you,
And flashes in your face;
And thou my soul look downward too,
And sing recovering grace.
“‘He is a God of Sovoreign love,
Who promised heav’n to me
And taught my thoughts to soar above,
Where happy spirits be.
“‘Prepare Lord, for thy right hand,
Then come the joyful day;
Come death, and some celestial band,
To bear my soul away.’”
After repeating this hymn she folded hands across her brea[s]t, and then closed her eyes forever.
Having led my readers to the close of Lovina’s life, I shall again turn to return to Lovisa; of whom there remained only the closing scene of her earthly career. In the course of a few months subsequent to the death of sister Lovina, my received a letter from South Hadly; stating that Lovisa was very low of the consumption; and, that she earnestly desired him to come and see her, as soon as possible; as she was expected to live but a short time.
My set out immediately; and when he arrived there, he found her in rather better health than he expected. In a few days after his arrival, she resolved [p. 17]
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in her heart to return with him at all hazards. To this <her> unwillingingly consented; and making the requisite preparations they started for Gilsum. They travelled about 4 miles, and came to an Inn, kept by a man by the name of Taff. Here her halted, and asked her if she did not wish to tarry a short time, and rest herself. She replied in the affirmative; and by the assistance of the Lanlord she was soon seated in an easy chair. My then stepped into the next room to procure get a little water and wine for her— he was absent but a moment; but when when he returned it was too late; her spirit had fled from its earthly tabernacle, to return no more until recalled by the trump of the Archangel.
My immediately addressed a letter to mother, informing her of Lovisa’s death, lest the shock of seeing the corpse unexpectedly, would overcome her. As And, as soon as he could get a coffin, he proceeded on his journey for Gilsum— a distance of 50 miles.
She was burried by the side of her sister Lovina; which was according to her own request. The following is part of a hymn, composed by herself, a few days previous to her decease.
Lord may my thoughts be turned to thee;
Lift thou my heavy soul on high;
With thou, Oh Lord, return to me
In mercy, Father, ere I die.
My soaring thoughts now rise above;
Oh fill my soul with heavenly love.
and mother, now farewell;
And husband, partner of my life [p. 18]
“Go, to my ’s children tell
That lives no more on earth thy wife:
That while she dwelt in cumbrous clay
For them she prayed both night and day.
“My friends, I bid you all adieu;
The Lord hath called, and I must go;
And all the joys of this vain earth,
Are now to me of little worth.
’Twill be the same with you as me,
When brought as near eternity.
Thus, closes this mournful recital; and when I pass with my readers into the next chapter, with them probably will end the momentary sympathy aroused by this rehearsal; but with me it must last while life endures.
Life of Stephen Mack
My brother Stephen, who was next in age to Jason, was born in the Tow[n] of Marlow June 15th 1766. I shall pass his childhood in Silence, and say nothing about him until he attained to the age of 14; years at which time he enlisted in the army. The circumstances of which were as follows: A recruiting officer came into the neighborhood to draft soldiers for the revolutionary war: and he called out a company [p. 19] of militia to which my brother belonged in order to take therefrom such as were but qualified to do military duty. My brother, being very anxious to go into the army at this time, was so fearful that he, would be passed by on account of his age, that the sweat stood in large drops of sweat stood on his face, and he shook like an aspen leaf. As luck would have it, the officer made choice of him among others; and he entered the army; and continued in the services of his until he was seventeen. During this time he was in many battles, both on land and sea. And several times narrowly escaped death by famine; but, according to his own account, whenever he was brought into a situation to fully realize his entire dependence upon God, the hand of Providence was always manifested in his deliverance.
Not long since, I met with an acquaintance of my brother; I requested him to furnish me such facts as were in his possession concerning him (Stephen), and he wrote the following brief, yet comprehensive account, for the gratification of my readers:—
“I, Horace Stanly, was born in Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, Aug. 21st 1798. I have been personally acquainted with Maj. <Col.> Mack and his family ever since I can remember, as I lived in the same Township within one mile and a half of the major’s <Col’s> farm, and two miles from his store at a place called [blank] which is eight miles from Chelsea, the County seat of ; where he conducted the merchantile and tinning business. My eldest brother went to learn the tinnery business of the Major’s <Col’s> workmen. The Maj. <Col.> being a man [p. 20]
of great enterprise, energetick in business. and possessed of a high degree of patriotism, he launched forth on the frontiers at in the year 1800; (if I recollect right;) where he immediately commenced trading with the Indians. He left his family in Tunbridge on his farm; and while he was engaged in business at he visited them, sometimes once a year, eighteen months, and two years— just as it happened.
“I visited Nov. 1st 1820. where I found the Maj. merchandizing upon quite an extensive scale; having six clerks in one store; besides this he had many other stores in the ; as well as stores in various parts of . His business at Pontiac, was principally farming and building; but in order to facilitate these two branches of business he set in opperation, a saw and grist mill, and afterwards added the different branches of mechanism. He made the turnpike from to Pontiac at his own expense. He also did considerable other <public> work for the purpose of giving employment to the poor. He never encouraged idleness or the man above his business. ¶ In 1828, having been absent from a short time I returned: the Maj. was then a member of the council of the , in which he had acted a very conspicuous part in enhancing its prosperity and enlarging its settlement; and it was a common saying, that he had done much more for the than any other individual:— in short the Maj. was a man of talents of the first order: he was energetick and entiring; and always encouraging industry. And he was verry cautious how he applied his acts of charity.
Horace Stanly [p. 21]
My brother was in the city of in 1812; the year of Hull’s campaign; by whom the was surrendered to the Brittish Crown <Gen. Brock.>. He, being somewhat celebrated for his prowess, was selected by Gen. Hull to take the command of the <a> company as Cap. After a short service in this office he was ordered to surrender. At this his indignation was roused to the highest pitch— he severed his sword across his knee, and throwing it into the Lake, exclaimed: that he would never submit to such a disgraceful compromise, while the blood of an American continued to run through his veins. This drew the especial vengeance of the army upon his head; and his property doubtless would have been sacrificed to their resentment, had they known the situation of his affairs; but this they did not know, as his housekeeper deceived them by a stratagem; related by Mr. Stanly, as follows:—
“At the surrender of , the Maj., not having as yet moved his family hither, had an elderly lady, by the name of Trotwine, keeping house for him. The old lady took in some of the most distinguished <brittish> officers as boarders. She justified them in their course of conduct towards the Yankees; and, by her shrewdness and tact, she gained the esteem of the officers, and thus secured through them, the good will of the soldiery, so far as to prevent their burning (what they supposed to be) her store and dwelling:— both of which were splendid buildings.
“The Maj. never forgot this service done him by the old lady; for he ever afterwards sustained her hansomely.”
¶ Thus, was a great amount of goods and money saved from the hands of his enemies. But this is [p. 22] not all, the news came to her ears, that they were about to burn another establishment belonging to the Maj. and without waiting to consult him, she went immediately to the store, and took from the counting room several thousand dollars; which she secreted until the Brittish left the city: the building and goods were burned.
As some as the english left the , he recommenced business; and moved his family to . Here they remained but a short time, when he took them to Pontiac; and, as soon as they were well established, or settled in business this place, he himself went to the city of ; where he built a saw-mill. But, in the midst of his prosperity he was called away to experience another state of existence with barely a moments warning; for, he was sick only four days from the time he was first taken; and even on the fourth day, and in the last hour of his illness, he was not supposed to be at all dangerous until his son, who sat by his bed-side discovered that he was dying.
He left his family with an estate of $50 000,00 clear of encumbrance. He was a moral man and a man of business; besides he was a man of great courage and resolution, which he fully manifested in the defence of his .
A sketch of the life of Lydia Mack
Of my sister Lydia I shall say but little; not that I loved her less, or that she was less deserving of honorable mention; but she seemed to float more with [p. 23] the stream of common events than those who have occupied the foregoing pages: hence, fewer incidents of a striking character are furnished for the mind to dwell upon.
She sought riches and obtained them; yet, in the day of prosperity she remembered the poor; for she dealt out her substance <to the needy> with a liberal hand, to the end of her days, and died the object of their affection: as she was beloved in life, so she was bewailed in death.
Daniel comes next in order. He was rather worldly minded, yet he was not vicious; and, if he had any peculiar trait of character, it was this: he possessed a very daring and philanthropic spirit, which led him to reach forth his hand to the assistance of those, whose lives were exposed to danger, even to the hazard of his own life. For instance: he was once standing on the bank of Millers river, in the town of Montague, in company with several others, when one of the number proposed taking a swim— Daniel objected; saying, it was a dangerous place to swim; yet they were determined, and three went in; and, in going into the stream rather too far they were overpowered by the current of a kind of eddy which they fell into, and they sunk immediately. At this, said Daniel: “now, gentlemen, these men are drowning, who will assist them at the risk [p. 24] of his life”— no one answered. Upon <At> this he sprang into the water; and diving to the bottom, found one of them fastenend to the bottom some small roots.— He took hold of him and tore up the roots to which he was clinging, and brought him out. He then told the bystanders to get [illegible] <a> barrels for the purpose of rolling him on them <it>, in order to make them him disgorge the water which they he had taken in. He then went in again and found the other two in the same situation as the first, and saved them in like manner. <x> After rolling them a short time on barrels he took them to the house, and gave them every possible attention, until they had so far recovered as to be able to speak. As soon as they could talk one of them fixing his eyes upon Daniel said, Mr. Mack, we have reason to look upon you as our Savior; for you have delivered us from a watery grave; and I would that I could always live near you. We are now assured that you have not only wisdom to counsel, but when men have spurned your advice, you have that greatness of soul which still leads you to risk your own life to save your fellow man— No, I will never leave you as long as I live, for I wish to convince you that I ever remember you, and, that I will never slight your counsel again. In this they were all agreed, and carried out the same in their future lives.
My youngest brother, Solomon was born, bred, and married in the town of Gilsum, and State of New- [p. 25]Hampshire; where he is still living. And, although he is now <71> years old, he has never travelled farther than ; to which his business leads him twice a year.
He has gathered to himself in this <that> rockey region fields, flocks, and herds; which multiply and increase upon the mountains. He has been known at lea[s]t twenty years, as Cap. Solomon Mack of Gilsum. But as he lives to speak for himself, and, as I [illegible] speak <have to do> chiefly with the dead, and not the living I shall leave him, hoping, as he has lived peaceably with all men, he may die happy.
I have now given a brief account of all of my ’s family save myself; and what I have written has been done with the view of discharging an obligation, which I considered as resting upon me, inasmuch as they have all passed off the stage of action except myself and youngest brother. And seldom do I meet with an individual with whom I was ever acquainted in my early years; and I am constrained to exclaim: the friends of my youth, where are they? The tomb replies, “here are they; but, through my instrumentality,
“Safely truth to urge her claims presumes
On names now found alone on books and tombs”
Early life of — her marriage with
I shall now introduce to the attention of my readers the history of my own life: I was born in [p. 26] the town of Gilsum, Cheshire county, and State of New Hampshire July 8th, 1776. When I arrived at the age of 8 years, my mother had a severe fit of sickness: she was so low, that her <friends> as well as herself entirely despaired of her recovery. During this sickness, she called her children around her bed, and, after exhorting them, to always remember the instructions which she had given them: to fear God and walk uprightly before him, she gave me to my brother Stephen [Mack]; requesting him to take care of me and bring me up as his own child, then bade each of us, farewell.
This my brother promised to do; but, as mother shortly recovered, it was not necessary, and I consequently remained at my ’s house until my sister Lovisa [Mack] was married; <some time> after which I went to South Hadly, where my sister was living, to pay her [illegible] Lovisa a visit who was living there. In this last named place, lived one Col. Woodbridge, who purchased a large church bell, which was suspended while I was visiting with my sister: immediately after it was hung myself in company with a number of my young associates, went to see the bell, and it so happened that I was the first person who rang it. This Col. Woodbridge afterwards built a large establishment for the education of poor children.
After visiting about six months with Lovisa I returned home, and remained with my parents until the death of Lovina [Mack]. Soon after which my brother Stephen, who was living at Tunbridge, came to my ’s on a visit, and he insisted, so earnestly on my accompanying him home, that my parents consented: The grief, occasioned by the death of Lovina, was preying upon my health, and threatened [p. 27] my constitution with serious injury, and they hoped, that, to accompany my brother home, it might serve to divert my mind; and thus prove a benefit to me; for I was pensive and melancholy, and often in my reflections thought, that life was not worth possessing. In the midst of this anxiety of mind I determined to obtain that which I had heard spoken so much of from the pulpit: a change of heart. To accomplish this, I spent much of time my time in reading the Bible and praying. But, notwithstanding my great anxiety to experience a change of heart, another matter would always interpose in all my meditations: if I remain as I am (a member of no church) all religious people will say, I am of the world; and, if I join some one of the different denominations, all of the rest will say I am in an error. No church will admit that I am right, except the one with which I am associated; and this makes them witnesses against each other; and how can I decide in such a case as this, seeing they are all unlike the church of Christ, as it existed in former days?
While I remained at Tunbridge, I became acquainted with a young man by the name of ; (to whom I was subsequently married). I continued with my brother one year, then went home: I was at home but a short time. when my brother came after me again, and insisted so hard upon my returning with him, that I concluded to do so; and <this time> I remained with him until I was married; which took place the next January. [p. 28]
Seven generations of the family
Here I would like to give the early history of my ; for many facts might be mentioned, which, doubtless would be highly interesting; but, as I am not [illegible] able to give them in order I shall decline making the attempt; and, in the place thereof, shall insert a transcript from the record of his family; beginning with Samuel Smith who was the son of Robert [Smith] and Mary Smith, who came from Old England <¶ The above Samuel Smith was born Jan., 26, 1666 , Topsfield, Essex Co., Mass., and was married to Rebeca Curtis, daughter of John Curtis, Jan. 25, 1707.>
Children of Samuel and Rebecca Smith
|— Phebe||Jan. 8th 1708||To Stephen Averel <March 27th 1740 1733>|
|1st Mary||Aug. 14th 1711||" Amos Towne <May 29th 1732>|
|2d Samuel||Jan. 26th 1714||" Priscilla Gould||Nov 14th 1785|
|<Rebecca>||<Oct 1, 1715>||<" John Balch June 17th 1740>|
|— Elizabeth||July 8th 1718||" Eliezer Gould <April 17th 1740>||March 1753|
|— Hephzibah||Mar. <May.> 12th 1722||" William Gallop <July 11th, 1745>||Nov. 15th 1774|
|— Robert||Apri. 25th 1724|
|Susanna||Mar. <May.> 2d 1726||May 5th 1741|
|Hannah||Apri 5th 1729||" John Peabody||Aug. 17th 1764|
1st Samuel Smith died July 12th 1748 and his wife, Rebecca Smith, Mar. 2d. 1753. [p. 29]
Children of 2d Samuel [Smith] and 1st Priscilla Smith; which Samuel was the son of the 1st Samuel and Rebecca Smith
|Priscilla||Sept. 26th 1735||To Jacob Kimball) Sep. 15th 1755)|
|3d Samuel||Oct. 28th 1737||" Rebecia Towne) Jan. 2d 1760)|
|Vashti||Oct. 5th 1739||" Solomon Curtis) Sep. 15th 1763.)|
|" Jacob Hobbs) in 1767— her second) consort)|
|Susanna||Jan 24th 1742||" Issac Hobbs) in 1767)|
|1st Asael||Mar 1st <18th> 1744||" Mary Duty Feb. 12th 1767||<Oct. 31, 1830.> <Mary Duty> <May 27, 1836> <in >|
<2nd Samuel Smith was married to Priscilla the daughter of Zaccheus Gould May 27, 1734.>
Children of 1st Asael [Smith] and Mary Smith; which Asael was the son of 2d Samuel and Priscilla Smith
|1st Jesse||Apri. 20th 1768||To Hannah Peabody Jan. 20th 1792|
|Priscilla||Oct 27th <21st> 1769||" John C Waller Aug. 24 1796|
|<1st >||<July 12, 1771>||< Jan 24, 1796>||<Sep 14, 1840>|
|2d||May 21st 1773||" Betsey Schillinger Mar. 21st 1802||<July 17 21, 1848>|
|Mary||June 4th 1775||" Israel <Isaac> Pierce <Dec. 22nd. 1796>|
|4th Samuel||Sept 15th 1777||<Frances Wilcox> <Feb 1816>||<April 1, 1830.>|
|1st Silas||Oct 1st 1779.||" Ruth Stevens) Jan. 29th 1806)|
|1||" Mary Atkins <Aiken>) second wife Mar.) 4th 1828)|
|1st John||July 16th 1781||To Clarissa Lyman Sept. 11th 1815|
|3d Susanna||May 18th 1783|
|Stephen||Apri 1◊th <23rd> 1785|
|Sarah||May 17th <16th> 1789||To Joseph Sanford Oct. 15th 1809||May 27th 1824|
Children of 1st Jesse [Smith] and Hannah Smith; which Jesse was the son of 1st Asael and Mary Smith
|Benjamin <G> <P>.||May 2d 1793|
|Eliza||Mar. 9th 1795|
|Ira||Jan. 30th 1797|
|<Harvey> Harry||Apri 1st, 1799|
|Harriet||Apri 8th, 1801|
|Stephen||May 2d, 1803|
|Mary||May 4th, 1805|
|Catharine||July 13th 1807|
|Royal||July 2d. 1809|
|Sarah||Dec 16th 1812|
Children of John C. [Waller] and Priscilla Waller; which Priscilla was the daughter of 1st Asael Smith
|Calvin C.||June 6th 1797||<died>|
|Dolly||Oct 16th 1799||<June 20 1800>|
|Marshall||Mar. 18th 1801|
|Royal <H.>||Nov. 29th 1802|
|Dudley C.||Sept. 29th 1804|
|Bushrod <W.>||Oct 18th 1806.|
|Silas B.||Jany. 1st 1809|
|Sally P.||Oct. 31st 1810|
|John H.||Sept. 9th 1812||<Nov. 5 1812.>|
Children of 1st and , which was the son of 1st Asael and Mary Smith
|<First child, not named>|
|Feby. 11th 1798||—||Nov. 19th 1824|
|Feby. 9th 1800 Tunbridge Vermont||To ) Nov. 2d. 1826) in ) New. York) To ) 1837||Murdered June 27th, 1844 in jail, <Hancock Co. Illinois> while under the protection of Gov. .|
|May 18th <16th,> 1803 Tunbridge Vermont||To Dec. 30th 1827 N. Y.|
|2d Joseph||Dec. 23d. 1805 Sharon Windsor Co. Vermont||To daughter of , in South-Bainbridge Shenango Co. N. Y. June 18th. 1827.||Assassinated by a mob June 27th. 1844, while relying upon the faith of the , pledged by the for their safety, in jail Hancock Co. and State of Illinois,|
|Mar. 13th 1808||To ) Aug. 13th 1834) To Lovina Clark) Apri 29th 1842)||Died of a fever, occasioned by over exertion in getting away from a mob when his brothers were killed, July 30th 1844.|
|Mar. 13th 1810||——||Mar. 24th 1820|
|Mar. 13th 1811 Royalton Vt.||To Caroline Grant Feby. 14th 1833|
|July <2>8th 1812 Lebanon New Hampshire||To June 8th 1831|
|Mar. 25th 1816||To July 30th 1835. Ohio||Aug. 7th 1841|
|July 18th 1821||To June 4th. 1840||Aug. 7th 1841|
Children of 2d and Betsey Smith, which was the son of 1st Asael and Mary Smith
|Elias||Sept 6th 1804|
|Emily||Sept. 1st 1806|
|Jesse <J.>||Oct 6th 1808||<July 1, 1834>|
|Esther||Sept 20th 1810||<Oct 30 1856>|
|Mary J.||Apri 29th 1813|
|Julia P||Mar 6th 1815|
|2d Silas Martha||June 5th 9th 1822 1817|
|Martha 2d Silas.||June 5th <6th> 1822|
Children of Israel <Isaac> [Pierce] and Mary Pearce <Pierce>, which Mary was the daughter of 1st Asael & Mary [illegible] Smith
|Eunice||Apri. 29th 1799)||Laura||Feby. 8th 1814|
|Miranda||June 17th 1803)||Eliza A.||Sept 2d 1817|
|Horace||June 8th 1805)|
|John S||Mar. 6th 1807)|
|Susan||June 20th 1809)|
|Mary||Apri. 25th 1811)|
<Here insert 4th Samuel [Smith]’s children.>
Children of 1st and RuthSmith, which was the son of 1st Asael and Mary Smith
|Charles||Nov. 11th 1806||<May 7, 1809.>|
|Charity||Apri. 1st 1808||<Mar>|
|Curtis S.||Oct. 29. 1809|
|6th Samuel||Oct. 3d. 1801 <1811>||<March 7, 1826.>|
|Stephen||June 8th 1815|
|Susan||Oct 19th 1817|
|3d Asahel||Oct 12th 1819|
Children of and Mary, his second wife
|Silas S. Smith||was born Oct 26th 1830|
|John A Smith||do do July 6th 1832|
|<Jesse> Nathaniel J Smith||do do Dec. 2d 1834|
Children of 1st and Clarissa Smith, which was the son of 1st Asael and Mary Smith
|)||June 26th 1817|
|Caroline)||June 6th 1820|
|John L<yman>)||Nov. 17th 1823<, 8> <(1828.)>|
Children of <1st> and , which was the son of 1st and .
|Lovina Smith)||Sept. 16th 1827|
|Mary Smith)||June 27th 1829||<May 29, 1832.>|
|John Smith)||Sept 22d 1832|
|<2d.> Hyrum Smith)||Apri. 27th 1834||<Sep. 21, 1841>|
|Jerusha Smith)||Jany. 13th 1836|
|Sarah Smith)||Oct. 2d. 1837|
Children of and , his second wife
|4th Joseph <F.>)||Nov 13th 1838|
|Martha <Ann>)||May 14th 1841|
Children of 2d Joseph the Prophet and , which Joseph was the son of 1st and
|<adopted daughter>)||Apri. 30th 1832 1831||— adopted daughter|
|3d )||Nov. 6th 1832|
|)||June 20th 1836|
|)||June 2d 1838|
|)||Jun 13th 1840|
|)||Nov. 18th 1844|
Children of 5th and , which was the son of 1st and
|)||Oct. 27th 1835|
|Mary B.)||Mar 27th 1837|
|Samuel H.)||Aug. 1st 1838|
|Lucy B.)||June 31st 1841|
Children of and Lovina, his second wife
|Levira C||May 30th 1842.|
|Levira A. C. Smith)||Apri. 29th 1842|
|Lovisa C. Smith)||Aug. 28th 1843|
|Lucy J. C. Smith)||Aug. 20th 1844|
Children of and Caroline Smith, which Children was the son of 1st and
|Mary J. Smith.||Jan. 1835|
|Caroline L Smith||Aug. 1836|
Children of and which was the son of 1st and
|Agnes C.)||Aug. 7th 1836.|
|Sophronia C.)||Apri 25th 1838.|
|Josephine D.)||Mar. 10th 1841.|
Children of and
|Eunice Stodard||Mar. 22d 1830|
|Maria Stodard||Apri 12th 1832|
Children of and
|Elizabeth||Apri. 9th. 1832|
|Lucy||Oct. 3d 1834|
|Solomon I <J>||Sept. 18th 1835|
|Alvin||June 7th 1838|
|Don. C.||Oct. 25th 1841|
|Emma C.||Mar. 25th 1844|
Children of and
|Don Carlos.||Oct. 13th 1843|
son of <1st> & Clarissa Smith was married to Bathsheba <W> Bigler July 25th 1841.
Names of their children
Names and births of their children
|George Albert Smith||was born July 7th, 1842|
|Bathsheba Smith||do do Aug. 14th 1844|
To the foregoing record, I shall subjoin the names of my <grand-> father’s family, also the children of my brother, Solomon Mack:—
My Grandfather, Ebenezer Mack, had three sons: Elisha; Samuel, and ; and one daughter, whose name was Hephsebeth.
Children of my brother, Solom<on> Mack
|Calvin Mack||1797 Nov. 28th 1797)|
|Orlando Mack||Sept 23d. 1799)|
|Chilon Mack||July 26th 1802)|
|3d Solomon Mack||May 23d 1805)|
|Amos Mack||May 1st 1807)|
|Denis Mack||Oct. 18th 1809)|
|Merrill Mack||Sept 14th 1812)|
|Esther Mack||Apri. 2d 1815)|
|Rizpah Mack||June 5th 1818)|
A present of one thousand dollars from <John> Mudget and Stephen Mack
Soon after I was married, we, (my and ,) went to see my parents; and, as we were about setting out on this visit, my brother Stephen, and and his partner in business, (John Mudget) were conve[r]sing upon the subject of my leaving them, when the conversation turned upon making me a marriage present:
“Well,’ said Mr. Mudget, “ ought to have something worth naming, and I will give her just as much as you will”
“Done’ said my brother, ‘I will give her 500 dollars in cash”
‘Good’ said the other, ‘and I will give her 500 dollars more.” And they, accordingly, wrote a check on their banker for 1000 dollars, and presented me with the same. This check I laid aside, having other means by me, sufficient to purchase my house-keeping furniture.
Having visited my and mother, we returned again to Tunbridge, where my owned a handsome farm; which upon <which we> settled ourselves, upon it and began to cultivate the soil. We lived on this place about six years, tilling the earth for livlihood.
In 1802, we rented our farm in Tunbidge and moved to the Town of Randolph, where we opened a merchantile establishment. We had two children, and when we moved to this place [p. 38]
Sickness in Randolph.
We <had> lived in Randolph but six months, when I took a heavy cold, which caused a severe cough; and, to relieve which, every possible exertion was made; but all in vain. A hectic fever set in, which threatened to prove fatal; and the physician pronouned my case to be, confirmed consumption. During this sickness my mother watched over me with much anxiety, sparing herself not pains, in administering to my comfort; yet, I continued to grow weaker and weaker until I could scarcely endure, even a foot fall upon the floor, except in stocking foot; and no one was allowed to speak in the room above a whisper. While I was in this situation, a Methodist exhorter, hearing of my sickness, came to see me. When he came to the door, he knoocked in his usual manner; and his knocking so, agitated me, that it was a considerable length of time before my nerves became altogether quieted again.
My mother motioned him to a chair, and, in a whisper informed him of my situation, which prevented his asking me any questions. He tarried some time, and while he sat he seemed to meditate deeply upon the uncertainty of my recovering; also to have a great desire to converse with me upon the subject of my dying. As he thus sat pondering, I fancied to myself, that he was going to ask me, if was prepared to die; and I dreaded to have him speak to me; for then I did not consider myself ready for such an awful event, inasmuch as I knew not the ways of Christ; besides, there appeared to be a dark and lonesome chasm between me and the Savior, which I dare not attempt to pass. I thought [p. 39] I strained my eyes, and I could discern a faint glimmer of the light that was beyond the gloom, which lay immediately before me. While thus contemplating upon death, my visitor left. Soon after which my came to my bed, and took me by the hand and said: “Oh ! my wife, my wife! you must die! The doctors have given you up; and all say you cannot live.” I then looked to the Lord, and begged and plead with him to spare my life, in order that I might bring up my children, and be a comfort to my . My mind during the whole night was much agitated: sometimes I contemplated heaven and heavenly things; then my thoughts would turn upon those of the earth— my babes, <and> my companion.
During the night I made a solemn covenant with God: that, if he would let me live, I would endeavor to serve him according to the best of my abilities. Shortly after this I heard a voice say to me: “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you— let your heart be comforted, ye believe in God, beleive also in me.”
In a few moments my mother came in, and, looking upon me, exclaimed: “, you are better.” My speech returning just at that instant, I replied; “yes, mother, the Lord will let me live, if I am faithful to the promise which I made him, to be a comfort to my mother, my, and my children.
I continued to gain strength until I became quite well, as to my bodily health; but my mind was considerably disquieted— it was wholly occupied upon the subject of religion. As soon as I was able I made all dilligence in endeavoring to find some one, who was capable of instructing me, more perfectly, in the way of life and salvation: as, [2 words illegible] Among others, I visited one Deacon Davis [p. 40] a man whom I regarded as exceedingly pious; and, as he was apprised of my sudden and miraculous recovery, I expected to hear something near the same that I had heard from my mother: “The Lord has done a marvelous work; let his name have the praise thereof.” But No: from the time I arrived at his house, until I left, I heard nothing except, “Oh! has come, help her in— run, build a fire— make the room warm— fill the tea kettle— get the great-arm chair” & etc. Their excessive anxiety for my bodily comfort and convenience, without being seasoned with one word about Christ, or Godliness, sickened and disgusted me; and I returned home sorrowful and disappointed.
In order to abide the covenant which I had made with the Lord: (that I would serve him according to the best of my abilities,) I went from place to place, for the purpose of getting information, and finding, if possible, some congenial spirit, who could enter into my feelings, and thus be able to strengthen and assist me in carrying out my resolutions. I heard that a very devout man was to preach the next Sabbath in the Presbyterian church <meeting house>; so, when Sabbath arrived, I went to meeting with the full expectation of hearing, that which my soul desired,— the Word of Life. When the Minister commenced speaking I fixed my mind with deep attention upon the spirit and matter of his discourse; but, hearing him through, I returned home well convinced, that he neither understood nor appreciated the subject upon which he spoke; and I said in my heart: there was not then upon earth the religion, which I was seeking after. And I resolved to examine my, and taking Jesus and disciples for my guide, to endeavor to obtain from God, what man can neither give nor [p. 41] take away. Notwithstanding this. I would hear all that could be said, as well as read all that was written upon the subject of religion; but the Bible should be my guide to life and Salvation.
This course I pursued a number of years; but finally, regarding it as my duty to be baptized, and finding a minister who was willing to baptize me, without compelling me to join any religious denomination, I stepped forward and received the ordinance of baptism. After which I continued to read the Bible as formerly, until my oldest attained his 22d year.
looses his property and becomes poor— receives a visit from Jason Mack— history of [illegible] the latter concluded.”
My , as before stated, followed the merchantile business <for a short time> in the town of Randolph. Soon after he commenced trading in this place here he learned that chrystalized gen-sang <Gin seng> root, bore a very high price in China; that it was used there as a remedy for the plague, which was then raging in that country; and he therefore, concluded to embark in a traffick of this article; and consquently appropriated all his means, as was necessary <to> carry on a business of this kind.
When he had obtained a large quantity, [7 words illegible] of the root and chrystalized the same, a merchant by the name of Stevens from Royalton offered him three thousand [p. 42] dollars for what he had; but my refused his offer, as it was only about two thirds of its real value; and told the gentleman, that he would rather venture shipping it himself.
In a short time my went to the city of with the view of shipping his gen sang <Ginseng>; and finding a vessel, which was soon to <set> sail, he made arrangements with the captain in this wise: that for the captain was to sell this gen sang <Ginseng> in China and take it bring him <the> avails of the [illegible] thereof to my : which the captain (the captain) bound himself to do, in a written obligation.
Mr Stevens, hearing of this, repaired immediately to the , above mentioned; and, by taking much pains assistance found the ship vessel, on board of which had shipped his gen sang <Ginseng>; and having some of the same article on hand himself, he made arrangements with the Captain to take his also; and he was to send his son along with it, in order to take charge of it. According to circumstances which afterwards which afterwards transpired, the gen sang <it Ginseng> was taken to China, and disposed of there to good advantage, or at a high price; but not to much advantage to us; for we never received aught except a small chest of tea from this adventure. When the vessel returned, Stevens the younger returned with it; and, as soon as my became aware of this fact, he went immediately to him, and inquired respecting the success of the Captain in selling his <Ginseng> gen-sang. Mr. Stevens told him quite a plausible tale, the particulars of which I have forgotton; but the amount was, that the sale had been a perfect failure, and the only thing which had been brought for him from China, was a small chest of tea, which had been delivered into his care [p. 43] had been placed in his care to be delivered to him ()
by In a short time afterwards, young Stevens hired a house of my brother Stephen, and employed eight or ten hands, and commenced the business of chrystalizing gen sang <Ginseng>. When he had got fairly at work, Stephen went to see him, and, as it happened, found him considerably intoxicated. When My brother, <on> approached approaching him, he spoke him him thus: “Well, Mr. Stevens, you are doing a fine business; you will soon be ready for another trip to China.” Then, in quite a careless and indifferent manner, observed again: “Oh, Mr. Stevens how much did ’s adventure bring?” Being under the influence of liquor, he was not on his guard; and he took my brother by the hand, and led him to a trunk; then opening it, he said; “there, sir, are the proceeds of ’s gen sang <Ginseng>;” Showing him a vast amount of Silver and gold.
My brother, at this, was much astounded; however, he disguised his feelings; and talking with him a short time on different subjects, that he returned home; and that night about 10 o’clock started for Randolph to see [illegible] of my .
Mr. Stevens, on overcoming his intoxication, began to reflect upon what he had done; he immediately made inquiry concerning my brother, and ascertaining that he had gone to Randolph, and conjecturing his business, namely, that he had gone to see respecting the gen sang <Ginseng> adventure, went immediately to his establishment, dismissed his hands, called his carriage, and fled with his cash to Canada; and I have never heard aught concerning him since.
My pursued him awhile, but finding pursuit vain, returned home much dispirited at the [p. 44] at the state of his affairs. He immediately went to work to overhaul his accounts, in order to see [3 words illegible] how he stood with the world. Whereupon he discovered, that, in addition to the loss sustained by the China adventure, he had lost about two thousand dollars in bad debts. Furthermore, he was owing 1800 dollars in the city of for store goods, when he sent his venture to China; which was to be settled on the return of the same. But in consequence of his misfortunes, he was unable to do so, with the property which remained in his hands; as his principal dependance consisted in the Tunbridge farm, upon which we were then living; having moved hither soon after sending the adventure to China. This farm, which was worth about $1500, my sold for $800. in order to make a speedy payment on the debt, and, not having used the thousand dollar <check> before mentioned, we added it to the $800. obtained for the farm; and, in this manner discharged the debt.
While we were living on the Tunbridge farm, my brother Jason made us a visit. He brought with him a young man by the name of William Smith, a friendless orphan, whom he had adopted; and of previous to this time he had kept him constantly with him, but now thought best to leave him with us, in order to have him sent to school: he remained with us only six months, when my brother came again, and took him to New Brunswick; where they afterwards made it their home; and where my brother had gathered together some 30 families, on a tract of land which he had purchased for the benefit [p. 45] of the poor. He planned their work for them, and, when they raised anything which they wished to market, he took it to market for them; and as he owned a schooner he commonly took their produce to Liverpool, as this place was the best market.
Before Jason set out to make us the above mentioned visit, he purchased a quantity of store goods, which he intended as presents for his friends, especially his mother and sisters; but on his way he found so many objects of charity, that he gave, not only all his goods, but most of his cash away before he arrived at his ’s house: on one occasion he saw a woman who had just lost her husband; and she was very destitute. He gave her $15. in money and a<n> p◊◊◊◊ entire suit of clothes for herself, and each of her children, being six in number.
This was is the last interview I have ever had with him; but 20 years afterwards, he wrote the following letter to my brother Solomon [Mack]; which is about all the intelligence I have received from him since I saw him.
South Branch of Ormucto Province of New Brunswick June 30th 1835
My Dear Brother Solomon,
You will no doubt be surprised to hear, that I am still alive, although in an absence of 20 years I have never written to you before; but I trust you will forgive me when I tell you, that, for most of the 20 years, I have been so situated that I have had little or no communication with the lines, and have been holding meetings day and night from place to place; besides, my mind has [p. 46]
been so taken up with the deplorable situation of the earth, the darkness in which it lies, that, when my labors did call one near the lines, I did not realize the opportunity which presented itself, of letting you know where I was. And again; I have designed visiting you long since; and annually have promised myself, that the succeeding year, I would certainly seek out my relatives, and enjoy the privilege of one pleasing interview with them before I passed into the valley and shadow of death. But last, though not least,— (let me not startle you when I say), that, according to my early adopted principles of the power of faith, the Lord has, in his exceeding kindness bestowed upon me the gift of healing by the prayer of faith, and the use of such simple means as seem congenial to the human system. (But my chief reliance is upon him, who organized us at the first, and can restore, at pleasure, that which is disorganized.
The first of my peculiar success in this way, was 12 years since; and from nearly that date I have <had> little rest: in addition to the incessant calls which, I in a short time have had, there was the most overwhelming torrent of opposition poured down upon me that I ever witnessed; but it pleased God to take the weak to confound the wisdom of the wise. I have in the last 12 years seen the greatest manifestations of the power of God in healing the sick, that what, with all my sanguinity, I ever hoped or imagined. And when the learned Infidel has declared with sober face, time and again, that disease had obtained such an ascendency, that death could be resisted no longer; that the victim must wither beneath his potent arm. I have seen the almost lifeless clay [p. 47]
slowly, but surely resuscitate and revive till the pallid monster fled so far that the patient was left in the full bloom of vigorous health. But it God that hath done it, and to him let all the praise be given.
I am now compelled to close this epistle; for I must start immediately on a journey of more than 100 miles to attend a heavy case of sickness; so God be with you all; farewell.
The next intelligence we received from Jason, was, that himself, his wife, and oldest son, were dead. <And> this concludes my account of brother Jason.
The ’s dream
While we were living in the town of Tunbridge my mind became deeply impressed with the subject of religion; which probably was occasioned by my singular experience during my sickness at Randolph: I commenced attending Methodist meetings; and, in order to oblige me, my accompanied me for a few times; but, when this came to the ears of his father and oldest brother, they were highly displeased, and said so much concerning the matter, that he (my ) thought best to desist; and said, that he considered it as hardly worth our while to attend meetings my longer, as it would prove but little advantage to us; besides, this, it gave our friends such disagreeable [p. 48] feelings.
At this I was considerably hurt; yet I made no reply. I retired to a grove not far distant, and prayed to the Lord in behalf of my : that his heart the true gospel might be presented to him; and, that his heart might be softened, so as to recieve it; or, that he might be more religiously inclined.
After praying some time in this manner I returned to the house much depressed in spirit; which state of feeling continued until I retired to my bed; soon after which I fell asleep, and had the following dream:
I thought that I stood in a large and beautiful meadow, which lay a short distance from the house in which we were living; and, that every thing around me wore an aspect of peculiar pleasantness. The first thing that attracted my special attention in this magnificent meadow, was a very pure and clear stream of water which ran through the midst of it; and, as I traced this stream I discovered two streams trees standing upon its margin, both of which were on the same side of the stream. These trees were very beautiful: they were well proportioned, and towered with majestic beauty to a great hight; their branches which added to their symmetry and glory, commenced near their top and spread themselves in luxurious grandeur around. I gazed upon them with wonder and admiration; and after beholding them a short time, a bright light surrounded one of them, which appeared like a belt of burnished gold, but far more brilliant. Presently a gentle breeze passed by; and the trees encircled with this golden zone, bent gracefully before the wind and waved its beautiful branches [p. 49] in the light air. As the wind increased this tree assumed the most lively and animated appearance, and seemed to express in its motions the utmost joy and happiness. If it had been an intelligent creature, it could not have conveyed by the power of language, the idea of joy and gratitude so perfectly, as it did. And even the stream that rolled beneath it, shared apparently every sensation felt by the tree; for, as the branches danced over the stream, it would swell gently and then recede again with a motion as soft as the breathing of an infant, but as lively as the dancing of a sun beam. The belt also partook of the same influence; and, as it moved in unison with the motion of the stream, and of the tree, it increased continually continued to increase in refulgence and magnitude until it became exceedingly glorious.
I turned my eyes upon its fellow which stood <near> opposite; but it was not surrounded with the belt of light as the former; and it stood erect and fixed as a pillar of marble: no matter how strong the wind blew over it, not a leaf was stirred, not a bow was bent; but obstinately stiff it stood scorning alike the zephyr’s breath, or the power of the mighty storm.
I wondered at what I saw, and said in my heart, what can be the meaning of all this. And the interpretation given me was, that these personated my and his oldest brother (Jesse Smith); that the stubborn unyielding tree, was like Jesse, and the other, more pliable and flexible one, was (my husband): that the breath of heaven which passed over them, was the pure and undefiled gospel of the son of God; which gospel— Jesse would always resist; but, when should be more advanced in life, that [p. 50] he would hear the pure gospel, receive it with his whole heart, and rejoice therein; and unto him would be added intelligence, happiness, glory, and everlasting life.
1st vision <of >— the box— 2d vision— the tree and spacious building
After selling the Tunbridge farm, we moved to the Town of Royalton, which was only but a short distance. Here we resided but a few months, then moved again to Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont.
In the latter place my rented a farm of my , which he cultivated in the summer, [2 words illegible] and taught school in the winter season. In this way my he continued laboring for a few years; during which time our circumstances gradually improved, until we found ourselves quite comfortable again.
Meantime we had a son whom we called Joseph, after the name of his . He was born December 23d, 1805; whom I shall speak more particularly of, by and by.
Thence, we moved to Tunbridge; here we had another son, whom we named : he was born Mar. 13th 1808. We lived in this place a short time, then moved to Royalton. Here was born March 13th 1810. We continued here until we had another son, born March 13th, 1811, whom we called . [p. 51]
About this time my ’s mind became much excited upon the subject of religion; yet, he would not subscribe to any particular system of faith, but contended for the ancient order, as established by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and his Apostles. One night he retired to his bed in a very thoughtful state of mind, contemplating the confusion and discord that reigned in the religious world. He soon fell asleep; and before he awoke he had the following Vision; which I <shall> relate in his own words as he told it to me the next morning:—
“I seemed’ said he, “to be travelling in an open barren field; and I turned my eyes towards the East, the west, the North, and the South, but could see nothing save dead fallen timber: not a vestige of life, either animal or vegetable could be seen; besides, to render the scene still more dreary, the most death-like silence prevailed: no sound of any thing animate could be heard in all the field. I was alone in this gloomy desert, with the exception of an attendant spirit; who kept constantly by my side. Of him I inquired the meaning of what I saw; and why I was thus travelling in such a dismal place. He answered thus: ‘this field is the world which now lieth inanimate and dumb in regard to the true religion, or plan of salvation; but travel on, and, by the way-side, you will find on a certain log, a box; the contents of which, if you eat thereof, will make you wise, and give unto you wisdom and undertstanding.’ I carefully observed what was told me by my guide; and proceeding a short distance, I came to the Box. I took it immediately and placed it under my left arm; then, with eagerness, raised the lid, and began to taste its contents. Upon this all manner of beasts, horned [p. 52] cattle, roaring animals, rose up on every side in the most threatening manner possible; tearing the earth, tossing their horns, and bellowing in the most terrifick manner, all around me. They finally came so close upon me, that I was compelled to drop the Box, and fly for my life;— yet, in the midst of all this terror, I was perfectly happy; though I awoke, trembling with fear.”
From this forward my seemed more confirmed than ever in the opinion: that there were no order or class of religionists who knew any more concerning the Kingdom of God, than those of the world; or such as made no profession of religion whatever.
In 1811, we moved from Royalton <Vermont> to Lebanon <New Hampshire>. And shortly after we arrived in the here latter place, my had another very singular Vision; which I is as follows:
“I thought,” said he, “I was travelling in an open desolate field, which appeared to be very barren; and while thus travelling, the thought suddenly came into my mind, that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing before I went any farther. So I asked myself, what motive can I have in travelling here, and what place can this be? My guide who stood by me, said; ‘this is the desolate world; but travel on.’ The road was so broad and barren, that I wondered why I shall should travel in it; for, said I to myself, broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting Life, and few there be that go in thereat.” I travelled a short distance farther, and came to a narrow path; I entered it, and traveling a short proceeding some distance farther, beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to the west. Of this stream, I could see neither the source nor the outlet <its mouth>; but [p. 53] as far as my eyes could extend, I could see a rope running along the bank, about as high as a man could reach; and beyond me was a low but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree, such as I had never seen before: it was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration: its beautiful branches spread themselves, somewhat, in the form of an umbrella; and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape, much like a chesnut burr, and as white, or whiter than snow:
“I gazed upon the fruit with considerable interest— presently the burrs or shells began to open, and shed their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness. I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description; and, as I was eating, I said in my heart, I cannot eat this alone, I must bring my and children, that they may partake with me. Accordingly, I went and brought the family; which consisted of a wife and seven children; and we all commenced eating and praising God for this blessing— we were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed. While we were engaged in this manner, I beheld a spacious building, standing opposite the valley that we were in, which building appeared to reach to the very heavens. It was full of doors and windows, and they were all filled with people that were very finely dressed: when these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us; and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt. But their contumely we utterly disregarded. I soon turned to my guide, and inquired of him, the meaning of the fruit. He told me it was the pure [p. 54] love of God shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him and keep his commandments. He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children— I told him we were all there. ‘No; he replied, ‘look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also.’ So I raised my eyes, and I saw two small children, standing some distance off. I immediately went to them and brought them to the to the tree; and they commenced eating with the rest; and we all rejoiced together. The more we eat the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees, and scooped it up, eating it by double-hand-fulls.
“After feasting in this manner a short time, I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building that I saw. He replied, ‘it is Babylon, it is Babylon; and it must fall: the people in the doors and windows, are the inhabitants thereof; who scorn and despise the saints of God because of their humility.’ I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy.”
Sickness at Lebanon. and— ’s miraculous recovery
We moved, as before mentioned, to the town of Lebanon: <New Hampshire>: here we settled ourselves down, and began to reflect with joy and satisfaction upon the prosperity which had attended our recent exertions; and we doubled our diligence to obtain more of this world’s [p. 55] goods in order to assist our children; besides, as is quite natural, we looked forward to the decline of life, and were making provisions for its wants, as well as its comforts. And, as our children had in a measure been debarred the privilege of schools, we began to make arrangements to attend to this important duty. To this end we established our second Son () in an academy at Hanover; and the rest that were of sufficient age, we sent to a common school, which was quite convenient; meanwhile and were doing all that our abilities would admit of, for the future welfare and advantage of the family, and were greatly blessed in our labors.
But this state of things did not long continue. The typhus fever came into Lebanon, and raged tremendously; and among the number seized with this complaint; was first , and then , who was taken while at School and came home sick; next was attacked: in short, one after another was taken down, till all of the family, with the exception of myself and , were prostrated upon a bed<s> of sickness.
had a heavy seige. The physician tended upon her 89 days; but, on the 90th day, he said, she was so far gone, that medcine could be of would be of no benefit to her; consequently he discontinued his visits. That night she lay altogether motionless, with her eyes wide open; and with that peculiar aspect which bespeaks the near approach of death. As she thus lay, I gazed upon her, as a mother looks upon the last shade of the life of in a darling child. In this moment [p. 56] of distraction my and myself clasped our hands, fell upon our knees by her bedside, and poured out our grief to God in prayer and supplication, beseeching him to spare our child, yet a little longer. Did the Lord hear our petition? Yes, he most assuredly did; and <before> we arose to our feet, he gave us a testimony that she should recover. When we first arose from prayer, our child had, to all appearance, ceased breathing. I caught a blanket, <&> threw it around her; then, taking her in my arms, commenced walking the floor. Those present remonstrated against my doing this; and said, “, it is all of no use— you are certainly crazy— your child is dead.” Yet, I would not, for a moment, relinquish the hope, of again seeing her breathe and live.
This recital, doubtless, will be uninteresting to some; but those who have experienced in life something of this nature, are susceptible of feeling; and can sympathize with me.
Are you a mother who has been bereft of a child? feel for your heart strings, and then tell me how I felt with my expiring child pressed to my bosom— Would you at this trying moment feel to deny that God had “power to save to the uttermost all who call on him”? I did not then neither do I now.
At length she sobbed— I still pressed her to my breast, and continued to walk the floor— she sobbed again,— then looked up into my face and commenced breathing quite freely— My soul was satisfied but my strength was gone.— I laid her on the bed and sunk by her side, completely overpowered by the intensity of my [p. 57] feelings.
From this time forward she continued mending until she entirely recovered.
Extraction of a large The sufferings of Joseph Smith Jr. with a fever sore— extraction of large fractures <fragments> of bone from one of his legs.
Joseph, our third son, after something like two weeks sickness, having and having about recovered from the typhus fever, screamed out, while sitting in a chair with a severe pain in his shoulder; and in a very short time appeared to be in such agony, that we apprehended <feared> the consequence would be something serious. We immediately sent for a doctor; who, after his arrival, examined the patient and said, that his opinion was, that the pain was was occasioned by a sprain. But the child declared, this could not be the case; as he had received no injury whatever; but, that a severe pain had seized him all at once; and of the cause of which he was entirely ignorant. of However, the physician still insisted that it must be a sprain, and therefore anointed his shoulder with some bone linament; but this was of no advantage to him: the pain continued the same as before.
Two weeks of extreme suffering having elapsed, the attendant physician concluded to make closer examinination; and he found that a large fever sore had gathered [p. 58] between his breast and shoulder. He lanced it, and it discharged fully a quart of matter. When the sore had discharged itself, the pain (using his own terms) left it, and shot like lightning down his side into the marrow of the bone of his leg; and soon became very severe. My poor boy at this was in almost total despair, and cryed out, “Oh , the pain is so severe, how can I bear it?”
His leg in a short time began to swell; and he continued to suffer the greatest agony for two weeks longer. During this period I carried him much of the time in my arms, to releive, as much as possible, his suffering; on account of which I was taken very ill myself: the anxiety of mind that I experienced together with over physical exertion, was too much for my constitution, and [3 words illegible] my nature sunk under it.
, who was always rather remarkable for his tenderness and sympathy, now desired that he might take my place. As he was a very trusty, good boy we concluded that he might; and, in order to make him the task as easy for him as possible, we laid Joseph upon a low bed; and , for some length of time, sat beside him almost day and night, holding the affected part of his leg in his hands; and pressing it between them in order that his afflicted brother might, the better be enabled to endure the pain, which was so excrutiating, that he was scarcely able to bear it.
After the lapse of three weeks, we thought it best to send again for the Surgion: when he came he made an incission of eight inches on the front side of the diseased leg, between the knee and ankle. This releived the pain in a great measure; and the was quite comfortable until the wound began to heal, when the pain becam as violent as ever. [p. 59]
The surgion was called again: he this time enlarged the wound, cutting his leg even to the bone. It commenced healing the second time, soon after which it began to swell again; and it continued swelling till we considered it wisdom to call a council of surgions; which being done, it was determined that amputaion was the only remedy.
Shortly after he they came to this conclusion, they rode up to the door; and I invited them into a room aparte from the one in which Joseph lay. And when they were seated, I thus addressed them: “gentlemen,’ said I, “what can you do to save my boy’s leg”?
“We can do nothing,’ answered they; ‘we have cut it open to the bone, and find it so affected, that we consider it as incurable; and amputation absolutely necessary to save his life.”
This was like a thunderbolt— I appealed to the principal physician; appealed saying, “Dr Stone, can you not make another trial? Can you not, by cutting around the bone, take out the diseased part?— and perhaps that which is sound will heal over— and by this means you will save his leg— You will not, you must not take off his leg until you try once more.— I will not consent to have you enter the room, until you make me this promise.”
After a few moments consultation, they agreed to comply with my request; and then went in to see my suffering son. One of the doctors on approaching his bed, said: my poor boy, we have come again.”
“Yes,’ said Joseph, ‘I see you have; but you have not come to take off my leg, have you, Sir? [p. 60]
“No,’ replied the Surgion; ‘it is your mother’s request that we make one more effort; and this is what we have now come for.”
The principal Surgion, after a few minutes conversation, ordered cords to be brought, for the purpose of binding Joseph fast to a bedstead. To this Joseph objected; but the Dr insisted that he must be bound; finally Joseph said, very decidedly: “No, Dr, I will not be bound: I can bear the opperation much better, if I have my liberty.”
“Then,’ said Doctor Stone, “will you drink some brandy?”
‘No, returned Joseph, “not a drop.”
“Will you take some wine”? rejoined the Dr. “you must take something, or you never can endure the severe opperation to which you must be subjected.”
“No,’ exclaimed Joseph, “I will not touch one particle of liquor, neither will I be tied down; but I will tell you what I will do: I will have my sit on the bed and hold me in his arms, and then I will do what is necessary to be done in order to have the bone taken out.” Then looking at me, he said: “, I want you to leave the room: I know you cannot bear to see me suffer so: can stand it; but you have carried me so much and watched over me so long, you are almost worn out.” Then looking up into my face, (his eyes swimming in tears) he continued: “Now, , promise me that you will not stay, will you? the Lord will help me, and I shall get through with it.”
To his request I consented; getting and getting a number of folded sheets, and laying them under his leg, [p. 61] I went several hundred yards from the house, in order to be out of hearing.
The surgion soon commenced opperation: he bored first on one side of the bone, which was affected, then on the other side: after which, he broke it off with a pair of pincers; and in this manner, took away large pieces of the bone.
On breaking off the first piece, Joseph screamed out so loudly, that I could not forbear running to him. When I entered his room he cried out: “Oh, , go back, go back; I do not want you to come in— I will try to tough it out, if you will go away.”
When the third fracture <piece> was taken away I burst into the room again. And Oh my God! what a spectacle for a mother’s eye! the wound torn open, and the blood still gushing from it— and the bed litterally covered with blood. Joseph was as pale as a corpse, and large drops of sweat were rolling down his face; whilst every feature the utmost agony was depicted in every feature.
I was immediately forced from the room, and detained until the opperation was completed. When this was done, Joseph put on a clean bed, then and the room cleared of every appearance of blood, as well as the instruments removed which were used on the accasion, I was allowed again to enter. I now beheld him quiet, and, in a measure, free from pain; although pale as a corpse from exhaustion and loss of blood.
Joseph immediately commenced getting better; and from this onward continued to mend, until he became strong and healthy.
Having so far recovered as to be able to [p. 62] travel, he went with his uncle Jesse Smith to for the benefit of his health, hoping the sea-breezes would be of service <to him>; and in this he was not disappointed.
After about a year of sickness and distress, health again returned to our family; and we indeed realized the blessing, and felt to acknowledge the hand of God, more in preserving our lives through such a tremendous scene of affliction, than had we seen nothing but health and prosperity, in the same time.
moves to Norwich— thence to — his dream of the Images— of the Judgment.
When [illegible] health returned to our family, as one would naturally suppose, it found us in quite low circumstances: and <we> were compelled to strain every energy to provide for our present necessities, with that instead of making arrangements for the future; as we had previously contemplated.
Shortly after sickness left us, we moved to Norwich, in the state of . Here we establised ourselves on a farm, belonging to one Esq Moredock. The first year our crops failed. Yet, by selling fruit that grew on the place, we obtained bread for the family; and thus <we were enabled,>, by making considerable exertion, we were enabled to sustain ourselves. [p. 63]
The second year the crops were as the year previous— a perfect failure. now determined to plant once more; and, if he should have had no better success, than he had had the two years previous, he would go to the State of , where wheat was raised in abundance. The next year an untimely frost destroyed the crops; which, being the third year in succession in which that the crops had failed, almost caused a famine.
This was enough. My was now altogether decided upon going to . He came in one day in quite a thoughtful mood and sat down. After meditating some time he observed, “that, could he so arrange his affairs, he would be glad to go start with one Mr. Howard for , who was going in a short time.; but, that he could not leave consistently, as the situation of the family would not admit of his absence; besides, he was owing some, that must be first paid.” I told him it was my opinion, he might get, both his creditors and debtors together, and arrange matters between them in such a way, as to give satisfaction to both parties: and, in relation to the family, I thought I could make every necessary preparation to follow, as soon as he would be ready for us. So he called upon all with whom he had any dealings and settled up his accounts with them. But some of his creditors, in the time of settlement, neglected to bring forward their balancing account books, and they were not balanced, or there were no entries made in them to show settlement; but in cases of this kind he called witnesses, that there might be evidence of the fact.
Having thus arranged his buisness, set [p. 64] out for , New York, in company with Mr. Howard. After his departure myself and family toiled faithfully to prepare ourselves for the journey; and when we considered ourselves <about> ready to leave, at a moments warning we we received a communication from , requesting us to <make> ourselves ready to take up a journey for ; and in a Short time after this a team came for us. We were soon ready for the journey; and, as we were about setting off, several of those gentlemen, who had kept their books back in the time of settlement, now brought them forward and claimed the accounts which had been settled, and which they had, in the presence of witnesses, agreed to cross, or erase.
Being all ready for the journey, and teams waiting on expense, I thought, under these circumstances, that it would be more advisable to pay their unjust claims, than to hazzard a lawsuit; I therefore paid accordingly <raised the required amount and discharged> their demands; which was were $150,
A gentleman by the name of Flagg, a wealthy setler living in the Town of Hanover; also a Mr. Howard who resided in Norwich, were both acquainted with the circumstance above mentioned; and were very indignant at it: they requested me to give them time sufficient to get the witnesses together and endeavor to recover what had been taken from me by fraudulent means. I told them I could not do so; for my had sent teams for me which were on expense; besides, there was an uncertainty in getting the money back again, and in case of failure, I would not be able to raise, the means necessary to take move the family, where we [illegible] of moving where we thought of going. They then proposed raising some money by subscription; [p. 65] saying, “we know the people feel as we do concerning this matter; and if you will receive it, we will make you <a> handsome present.” This I utterly refused: the idea of receiving assistance in such a way as that, was indeed very repulsive to my feelings; and I rejected their offer.
My aged mother, who had lived with us some time, assisted in preparing for the journey; she also came with us to Royalton, where she stopped and remained until she died; which was two years afterwards; Her death was occasioned by an injury, which she received while travelling with us in getting upset in a wagon.
On arriving at Royalton I had a scene to pass through, and it was truly a severe one: one to which I shall ever look back with peculiar feelings. Here I was to take leave of my affectionate mother. The parting hour came— my mother wept over me long and bitterly— she told me, that it was not probable she should ever behold my face again— “but my dear child, said she, I have lived long— my days are nearly numbered— I must soon exchange the things of this world, for that which pertains to another state of existence, where I hope to enjoy the society of the blessed.— And now, as my last admonition, I beseech you to continue faithful in the service of God to the end of your days, that I may have the pleasure of embracing you, in another and fairer world above.”
This parting scene was at one Willard Pierce’s a tavern keeper. From his house my mother went to Daniel Mack’s; with whom she afterwards lived until her decease. [p. 66]
We had travelled but a short distance when we discovered that Mr. Howard (our teamster) was an unprincipled, unfeeling wretch, by the way he handled both our goods and money, as well as his treatment to my children, especially Joseph; whom he would compel to travel, for miles together on foot although he was still quite lame. We bore patiently with his abuse, until we got about 20 miles west of Utica; when, one morning as we were getting ready to pursue our journey, my oldest came to me and said: “ Mr. Howard has thrown the goods out of the wagon, and is about starting off with the team.” Hearing this, I told him to call the man in; which he did; and I met him (the teamster) in the bar-room in the presence of a large number of travellers, both male and female. I demanded his reason for the course which he was taking. He told me, the money which I had given him, was all expended, and he could go no farther. At this I turned to those present and said: “Gentlemen and ladies, please give your attention for a moment: now, as sure as there is a God in heaven, that team, as well as the goods, belong to my ; and this man intends to take them from me, or at least the team, leaving me with eight children, without out the means of proceeding on my journey.’ Then turning to Mr. Howard, I said: ‘Sir, I now forbid your touching the team, or driving it one step farther— you can go about your own business, for I have no use for you— I shall take charge of the team myself, and hereafter tend to my own affairs.” I accordingly did so; and proceeding on our journey, we arrived in a short time at , with a small portion of our effects, and barely two cents in money.
When I again met my at , we were much reduced; not from indolence, but on account of many reverses of fortune, with which our lives had been rather [p. 67] singularly marked; but, notwithstanding our misfortunes, and the embarrasments with which we were surrounded, I was quite happy in once more having the society of my , and in throwing myself and children upon the care and affection of a tender companion and father.
We all now sat down, and counselled together, relative to the course which was best for us to adopt in our destitute circumstances; and we came to the conclusion to unite our energies, and endeavor to obtain a piece of land.
As I had done considerable at painting oil cloth coverings for tables, stands &c &c, I set up the business; and did extremely well: I furnished all the provisions for the family, besides doing considerable towards replenishing our household and kitchen furniture.
My and his sons ( and ) set themselves to work to pay for 100 acres of land; for which had contracted with a land agent. In a year, besides erecting a log house and clearing about 30 acres of land, they made nearly all of the first payment. I shall now deviate a little from my subject in order to relate another very singular dream, which my had about this time; which is this as follows:—
“I’ dreamed, said he, “that I was travelling on foot; and I was so sick, and lame I could hardly walk. My guide, as usual, attended me. After travelling some time together, I became so lame I thought I could go no farther: I informed my guide of this, and asked him what I should do. He told me to travel on till I came to a certain garden. So I arose and started for the garden for the same; and on my way thither, I [p. 68] asked my guide how I should know the place. He said, ‘proceed until you come to a very large gate; open this and you will see a garden blooming with the most beautiful flowers, that your eyes ever beheld; and here you shall be healed.” By limping along with great difficulty, I finally reached the gate; and entering it I found myself in the above mentioned garden; which was indeed beautiful beyond description, being filled the most delicate flowers of every hue and description. In this garden were walks about 3½ feet wide, which were set on both sides with marble stones; and one of which ran from the gate through the center; and on each side, was a very richly carved seat, and on each seat were placed six wooden images, each of which was the size of a very large man.
“On coming to the Image on the right side, it arose and bowed to me with much defference. I then turned to the one which sat opposite, on the left; side; and it arose and bowed to me in the same manner as the first: I continued turning first to the right and then to the left, until the whole twelve made their obeisance; after which I was entirely healed. I then asked my guide, the meaning of all this; but, before I received and answer, I awoke.”
I will now resume the subject of the farm: When the time for making the second payment drew nigh, left home in order to raise the money; and after considerable fatigue and hardship returned with the requisite sum. This payment being made, we felt relieved; for this was the only thing that troubled us; as we had a snug log house, neatly furnished, and the means of living comfortably: (and it was now only two years since we left entered , almost destitute of money, property, or acquaintances). [p. 69] The hand of friendship was extended on every side; and we blessed God with our whole heart, for his mercy which endureth forever: and not only temporal, but <also> Spiritual blessings were bestowed upon us; as the scripture which saith, “Your old men shall dream dreams.” was fulfilled in the case of my : about this time he had another Vision; which I shall here relate. This, with one more, is all of his that I shall obtrude upon the attention of my readers: although he had two others, but I cannot rem[em]ber them distinctly enough to rehearse them. The following, which was the sixth, ran thus:
“I thought I was walking alone, I was much fatigued, nevertheless I continued travelling. It seemed to me that I was going to meeting; that it was the day of judgment, and I was going to be judged. When I came in sight of the meeting house, I saw multitudes of people coming in every direction, and pressing with great anxiety towards the door of this great building; but I thought I should get there in time, hence there was no need of being in a hurry. But, on arriving at the door, I found it shut: I knocked for admission, and was informed by the porter, that I had come too late. I felt exceedingly troubled, and prayed earnestly for admittance. Presently I found that my flesh was perishing but:— I continued to pray; still my flesh was withered upon my bones. I was in a state of almost total despair, when the porter asked me, if I had done all that was necessary, in order to receive admission. I replied, that I had done all that was in my power to do. Then observed the porter, “Justice must be satisfied, after this, Mercy hath her claims.” It then occured to me to call upon God in the name of his son Jesus; and I cried out in the agony of my soul, “Oh Lord God, I beseech thee [p. 70] in the name of Jesus Christ, to forgive my sins. After this I felt considerably strengthened, and I began to amend. The porter then remarked, that it was necessary to plead the merits of Jesus, for he was the Advocate with the Father, and a Mediator between God and man. I was now made quite whole; and the door was opened; but on entering, I awoke.”
On the following spring we commenced making preparations to build us another house— one that would be more comfortable, for persons in advanced life.
History of Joseph the Prophet commences— 7th vision of
I now come <to> the history of Joseph. By refference to the table you will find the date and place of his birth; besides this, and what has already been said, I shall say nothing respecting him until he arrived at the age of fourteen; yet I am aware that some of my readers, in this, will be disappointed; for, I am led to suppose, by questions which are frequently asked me, that it is thought by some, I will be likely to tell many very remarkable incidents, connected with his childhood; but, as nothing occurred during his early life, excepting those trivial circumstances which are common to that state of human existence, I pass them in silence. [p. 71]
At the age of fourteen an incident occured which alarmed us much, as we knew no cause for the same; besides, as Joseph was a remarkably quiet, well disposed child, we did not suspect that any one had aught against him:— He was out one evening on an errand; and, as he was crossing the door-yard on his return, a gun was fired across his <path>, with the evident intention of shooting him. Joseph sprang to the door, much frightened. Ascertaining Upon ascertaining that he had received no injury, we went immediately in search of the assassin; but could find no trace of him that evening; but the next morning but the next morning we found his tracks under a wagon, where he lay when he fired; furthermore that the balls which were discharged from his gun had were lodged in the head and neck of a cow that was standing opposite the wagon in a dark corner.
The man, who attempted this murder, we have not as yet ascertained; neither can we imagine the cause thereof.
In 1819 my had his seventh and last Vision; which was as follows:—
“I dreamed’ said he, that a man with a peddler’s budget on his back came in, and he addressed me thus: ‘Sir, will you trade with me to day? I have now called upon you seven times, have traded with you each time, and have always found you strictly honest in all your dealings: your measures are always heaped, and your weights overbalance; and I have now come to tell you, that this is the last time I shall ever call on you: and, that there is but one thing which you lack in order to secure your salvation’. As I earnestly desired to know what I thus lacked it was, I requested him to write the same upon paper. He said he would do so. So I sprang to get some paper; but in my excitement I awoke.” [p. 72]
Shortly after my received the foregoing vision, there was a great revival in religion; which extended to all the denominations of Christians in the surrounding country in which we resided. Many of the worlds people becoming concerned about the salvation of their souls, came forward and presented themselves as seekers after religion; most of whom [2 words illegible] wished to unite with some church, but were not decided as to the particular faith, which they would subscribe to. When the meeting was about breaking up, and the candidates, and the various leading church members began to consult upon the subject of receiving the former into some church or churches, as the case might be, a terrible dispute arose, and there was great contention among them.
While these things were going forward, Joseph’s mind became considerably troubled excited upon the subject of religion; and the following extract from his history (Times & Seasons) will show, more clearly than I can express, the state of his feelings and the result of his reflections on this occasion:
“I was at this time in my 15th year, my ’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, , my brothers (, and , and my sister .
“During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection, and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often pungent still I kept myself aloof from all those parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit: but in process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the [p. 73]
Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them, but so great was the confusion and strife amont the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person, young as I was and so unacquainted with men and things to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. My mind at different times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult was so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all their powers of either reason or sophistry to prove their errors, or at least to make the people think they were in error: on the other hand the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous their own tenets, and disprove all others.
“In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself, what is to be done? who of all these parties are right? or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right which is it, and how shall I know it?
“While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists; I was one day reading the epistle of James, 1st Chapter and 5th verse, which reads, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth unto all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.’ Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man, than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing, that if any person lacked wisdom from God I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, would never know; for the teachers of religion of the [p. 74]
different sects understood the same passage so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible. At length I came to the conclusion, that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination ‘to ask of God,’ concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture. So in accordance with this my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life, that I had made such an attempt; for, amidst all my anxieties, I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally. After I had retired into the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power, which entirely overcame, and had such astonishing influence over me, as to bind my tongue, so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time, as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy, which had seized upon me, and, at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair, and abandon myself to destruction, not to an imaginary ruin; but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who [p. 75]
had such a marvelous power, as I had never before felt in any being. Just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun; which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages (whose brightness and glory defy all description) standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other) “This is my beloved Son, hear him.”
“My object in going to inquire of the Lord, was to know which of all these sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner therefore did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages, who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right, (for, at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) and which I should join. I was answered, that I should join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said, that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight, that those professors were all corrupt, they draw near me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrine the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’ He again forbade me to join any of them: and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself laying on my back, looking up into heaven. Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in [p. 76]
company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active, in the before mentioned religious excitement, and conversing with him upon the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior: he treated my communication, not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying, it was all of the devil, that there was no such thing as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased ceased with the apostles; and, that there never would be any more of them. I soon found, however, that my telling the story, had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution which continued to increase, and though I was an obscure boy, only between 14 and 15 years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make me a boy of no consequence in the world; yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a hot persecution; and this was common among all the sects: all united to persecute me. It has often caused me serious reflection, both then and since, how very strange it was, that an obscure boy, of a little over 14 years of age, and one too who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintainance, by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, so as to create in them a spirit of the hottest persecution and reviling. But strange or not so it was, and was often the cause of great sorrow to myself. However, it was, nevertheless, a fact I had had a vision. I have thought since, that I [p. 77]
felt much like Paul when he made his defence before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he “saw the a light and heard a voice.” But still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled; but all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise, and though they should persecute him unto death yet he knew and would know unto his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking to him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.— So it was with me, I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two personages, and they did in reality speak unto me, or one of them did; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision; yet it was true, and while they were persecuting me, reviling me and speaking all manner of evil against me falsly for so saying, I was led to say in my heart, why persecute for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision, and “who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny, what I have actually seen; for I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dare I do it, at least I knew, that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”
From this time until the 21st of Sep. 1823, Joseph continued as usual to labor with his ; and nothing during this interval occured of very great importance; though he suffered, as one would naturally suppose every kind of opposition and persecution [p. 78] from the different orders of religion.
On the evening, of the 21st <September> 1823, he retired to his bed in quite a serious and contemplative state of mind; he shortly betook himself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God, for a manifestation of his standing before him; and while thus engaged, he received the following vision (Extract from his history, Times & Seasons).
“While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in the room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air; for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. I[t] was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant; his hand<s> were naked and his arms also a little above the wrist: So also were his feet naked, as were his legs a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright, as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and, that his name was Nephi. That God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil, among all nations, kindreds, and tongues; [p. 79]
or, that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said, that the fullness of the everlasting gospel, was contained in it, as delivered to the Saviour to the ancient inhabitants. Also, that there were two stones in Silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted Seers, in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the pupose of translating the Book. After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament, he first quoted part of the 3d chapter of Malichi; and he quoted also, the fourth of the last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bible. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus: ‘For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble, for they that cometh shall burn them, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ And again, he quoted the 5th verse thus: ‘Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’ He also quoted the next verse differently. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers, if it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly [p. 80]
wasted at His coming,’ In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying, that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of acts, twenty second and twenty third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come, when ‘they, who would not hear his voice, should be cut off from among the people,’ but soon would come. He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the 28th to the last verse. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled; but was soon to be. And he further stated, that the fulness of the gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations, which cannot be mentioned here. Again he told me, that when I got these plates, of which he had spoken, (for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled) I should not show them to any person, neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim, only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them, if I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind, that I could see the plates where the plates were deposited, and that so clerely and distinctly, that I knew the place again when I visited it.
After this communication I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark except just around him, when instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended up till he entirely disappeared, and the room was left, [p. 81]
as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.
“I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told me by this extraordinary messenger, when in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered, that my room was again beginning to get lighted, an in and, in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger, was again by my bedside. He commenced and related the very same things, which he had done at his first visit without the least variation, which having done, he informed me of great judgments. which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things, he again ascended as he had done before.”
When the angel ascended the second time, he left Joseph overwhelmed with astonishment, yet gave him but a short time to contemplate the things, which he had told him, when the angel made his reappearance and rehearsed the same things over, adding a few words of caution and instruction: thus, that he must beware of covetousness; and he must not suppose the record is to be brought forth with the view of getting gain; for this was not the case; but that it was to bring forth light and intelligence, which had for a long time been lost to the world: and, that when he went to get the plates, he must be on his guard, or his mind would be filled with darkness. The angel then told him to tell his all which he had both seen and heard. [p. 82]
The angel visits Joseph again— Joseph tells his what he has seen and heard— Joseph <he> is permitted to behold the plates— receives further instructions— communicates the same to the family— takes the plates into his hands— they are taken from him, and he is reproved— his disappointment
The next day, and and Joseph, were reaping together in the field, when Joseph stopped quite suddenly; and seemed to be in a very deep studdy. , observing this, hurried him, saying, “we must not slacken our hands, or we will not be able to complete our task.” Uppon which, Joseph went to work again, and after laboring a short time, he stopped just as he had done before. As this was something quite unusual and strange, it attracted the attention of his ; and <upon> <which> he discovered, that Joseph was very pale; and supposing that he was sick, told him to go to the house, and have his doctor him. [illegible] Joseph, accordingly laid aside his work, and started; but, on coming to a beautiful green under an appletree, he stopped and laid down, for he was so weak he could proceed no farther. He was here but a short time when the messenger, whom he saw the previous night, visited him again; and the first thing he said was, ‘why did you not tell your , what I commanded you to tell him” Joseph replied, ‘I was afraid my would not believe me.’ The angel rejoined, ‘he will believe every word you say to him.”
Joseph then promised the angel, that he would do [p. 83] as he had been commanded; after which the messenger departed, and Joseph returned to the field where he left his and ; but, when he got there, his had just gone to the house, being somewhat unwell. Joseph then desired his [brother?] to go straitway and see his , and inform him that he had something of great importance to communicate to him; that he wanted him to come out into the field, where they were at work. did as he was requested, and when my met Joseph, Joseph related to him all that had passed between him and the angel, the previous night and morning. When his had heard his story, he charged him not to fail of attending strictly to the instructions which he had received from the angel. Shortly after this
Joseph soon after this repaired to the place where the plates were deposited; which he describes thus:
“Convenient to the village of , Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side; and thinner towards the ages <edges>, so that the midd[l]e part of it was visible above the ground; but the ages <edges> all around was covered with earth.
“Having removed the earth and obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, with a little exertion I raised it up; I looked and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the Messenger.” [p. 84]
While Joseph remained here, the angel showed him by contrast, the difference between good and evil; and the consequenses which <would> follow both obedience and disobedience to the commandments of God, in such a striking and forcible manner, that the impression was always bright in his recolection, until the very end of his days. And, in giving a relation of this circumstance, not long prior to his death, he remarked: that ever afterwards he was willing to keep the commandments of God.
At the <above mentioned> interview, between Joseph and the angel, the angel furthermore told him that the time for the plates to be brought forth to the world, had not yet come; that he could not take them from the place wherein they were deposited, until he had learned to keep the commandments of God— not only willing, to do <it> but able to do it: He bade him come to this place every year, and at the same time of the year, where he would meet him and give him further instru[c]tions.
The following evening when the family were all together, he made known to them all which he had communicated to his in the field, as also his finding the record, and what passed between him and the angel, while he was at the place where the plates were deposited.
Our sitting up late that evening to converse upon these things together with over exertion of mind, greatly fatigued Joseph; and when observed it he said: “now brother, let us go to bed, and rise early in the morning, in order to finish our days work at an hour before sunset; then, if will get our suppers early, we will have a fine long [p. 85] evening, and we will all sit down, and listen to you, while you tell us the great things which God has revealed to you.” Accordingly, by sunset we were all seated, and Joseph commenced telling us the great and glorious things which God had manifested to him: But, before proceeding he charged us not to mention out of the family, what he was about to say to us; as the world was so wicked, that, when they came to a knowledge of these things, they would try to take our lives: and, that when we should obtain the plates, our names would be cast out as evil by all people: Hence the necessity of suppressing these things as much as possible, until the time should come for them to go forth to the world.
After giving us this charge, he proceeded to relate further particulars concerning the work which he was appointed to do: and we received them joyfully; and never mentioned them except among ourselves, agreeably to the instructions which he had given us.
From this time forth, Joseph continued to receive instructions from the Lord; and we, to get the children together every evening for the purpose of listening while he imparted the same to the family. I presume we presented an aspect as singular, as any family that ever lived upon the Earth face of the Earth: all seated in a circle, father, mother, sons, and daughters, and giving the most profound attention to a boy, nineteen <eighteen> years of age, who had never read the Bible through in his life; for he was much less inclined to the perusals of books then any of the rest of our children, but far more [p. 86] given to meditation and deep study.
We were now confirmed in the opinion, that God was about to bring to light something upon which we could stay our minds; or, that would give us a more perfect knowledge of the plan of salvation. and redemption of the This caused us greatly to rejoice, the sweetest union and happiness pervaded our family, and peace and tranquillity reigned in our midst.
During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined: he would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent; their dress, mode of travelling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, and their buildings, with every particular; he would describe their <mode of> warfare, as also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them.
On the 22d of September 1824, Joseph again visited the place, where he found the plates the year before; and supposing, that the only thing required in order to possess them until the time for their translation, was, to be able to keep the commandments of God, <and> as he firmly believed that he could keep every commandment which had been given him, he fully expected to carry them home with him. Therefore, having arrived at the place and uncovered them, he put forth his hand and took them up; but, on starting off with them, the unhappy thought darted through his mind: that probably there were something else in the box besides the plates, which would be of some advantage in a precuniary point of view; So, [p. 87] in the moment of excitement; he laid them down very carefully to cover the box, lest some one might happen that way and get whatever there might be remaining in it; and, after covering it, he turned around to take the record again, but behold it was gone, and where he knew not, neither did he know by what means it had been taken from him. At this he was much alarmed— he kneeled down, <&> asked the Lord, why the record had been taken from him; whereupon the angel of the Lord appeared to him, and told him, that he had not done, as he had been commanded: in a former revelation he had been commanded, not to lay the plates down, or put them for a moment out of his hands, until he got into the house and deposited them in a chest or trunk, with a good lock and key; [2 words illegible] but, contrary to <this, he> had laid them down, with the view of securing some fancied or imaginary treasure that remained, and thus had broken the commandment of God.
Joseph, in the hour of excitement, was overcome by the powers of darkness, and forgot the injunction that had been laid upon him.
He had some farther conversation with the angel at this interview; after which he was permitted to raise the stone again, when he beheld the plates as before: he immediately reached forth his hand to take them; but instead of getting them as he expected, he was hurled back upon the ground with great violence. When he recovered the angel was gone; and he arose and returned to the house, weeping with grief and disappointment.
Being aware that we expected him to bring the plates home with him, he was greatly troubled, [p. 88] fearing that we might doubt his having seen them. When he entered the house my asked him, if he had obtained the plates. He answered, ‘No, , I could not get them.”
His then said: “Did you see them?
“Yes, returned Joseph, ‘I saw them, but could not take them”
“I would have taken them,” rejoined his , with much earnestness, “had if I had been in your place.”
“Why’ replied Joseph, in quite a subdued tone’ you do not know what you say; I could not get them, for the angel of the Lord would not let me.”
Joseph then related the circumstances in full; which gave us much uneasiness, as we were afraid that he might utterly fail of obtaining the record, through some neglect on his part; and we therefore doubled our dilligence in prayer and supplication to God, in order that he might be more fully instructed in his duty, and be preserved from all the wiles and machinations of him ‘who lieth in wait to decieve.’
We were still making arrangements to build us a comfortable house; and the management and control of which devolved chiefly upon ; and, when Nov. 1822 <1823 1824>, arrived, the frame was raised, and all the materials procured, which were necessary for its speedy completion.
This opened to ’s mind the pleasing prospect of seeing his and once more comfortable and happy: He would say, “I am going to have a nice, pleasant room for and to sit in, and every thing arranged [p. 89] for their comfort; and they shall not work anymore as they have done.”
’s sickness a— his exhortations to his brothers and sisters and death
On the 15th of Nov. 1822 <1823 1824>, about 10 0’clock in the morning, was violently attacked with the bilious cholic; and coming to the house in much distress, desired his to go immediately for a doctor. went without delay for ; but, not finding him at home, brought one Dr Greenwood; who, upon his arrival, administrated a heavy dose of calomel, though much against the will of the patient. This calomel lodged in his stomach— f◊◊◊◊◊th we became alarmed, and called in five other skillful physicians; (one of these was ) who administered the most efficient and powerful medicine in order to remove the dose which was first given him; but all in vain.
being aware of this, told them that the calomel was still lodged in the same place, and must take his life. Shortly <after> coming to this conclusion he called to his bedside and said: “, I must die— now, I want you to say a few things which I wish to have you remember— It is this: I have done all I could to make our dear parents comfortable— I [p. 90] want you to go on and finish the house, and take care of them in their old age— and do not any more let them work hard, as they are now in old age”
He then called to him and said: “, you must be a good girl, and do all you can for and — Never forsake them— they have worked hard, and they are now getting old— Be kind to them, and remember what they have done for us.”
In the latter part of the same night fourth night he called for all the children, and exhorted them sepparately in the same strain as above. On coming to Joseph he said: “I am now going to die, the distress which I suffer, and the feelings which <that> I have, tell me, my time is very short.— I want you to be a good boy, and do every thing that lays in your power to obtain the record— Be faithful in receiving instruction, and in keeping every commandment that is given you— your brother must leave you; but remember the example which he has set for you, and set the same example for the children that are younger than yourself— and always be kind to and .”
He then asked me to take his little sister, , up, and bring her to him, for he wished to see her;— (he was always very fond of her, and was in the habit of taking her up and caressing her; which would naturally make her very fond of him) So I went to her and said: ‘, wanted to see you.’ At this she started from her sleep, and screamed out; “, ; (she could not talk plain, being very young;) I took her to him, and when she got within reach of him, she sprang from my arms, and caught him round the neck, [p. 91] and cried out: “Oh, my ;’ and kissed him again and again. ‘,’ said he, “you must be the best girl in the world, and take care of — you cant have your any more— is going away, <&> he must leave little .” He then kissed her and said: “take her away, I think my breath offends her.” We took hold of her to take her away; but she clung to him with such a desperate grasp, that it was with difficulty, we succeeded in disengaging her hands.
As I turned with the child to leave him, he said: “, , brothers, and sisters, farewell; I can now breathe out my life as calm<ly> as a clock.” Saying this he immediately closed his eyes in death.
The child cried to go back to , and I returned with her.— Presently one standing by observed: ‘ is gone, an angel has taken his spirit to heaven.” Hearing this the child renewed her cries cries; and, as I bent over his corpse with her in my arms, she again threw her arms around him, and kissed him repeatedly; and, until the body was taken from the house, she continued to cry, and to manifest such mingled feelings of both terror and affection at the scene before her, as is seldom witnessed.
By the request of the principal physician, he was cut open in order to discover if possible the cause of his death; and we found the calomel lodged in the upper bowels, untouched by anything which he had taken to remove it, and as nearly in its natural state, as it could be, being surrounded with gangrene.
was a youth of singular goodness of disposition— kind and amiable; so that lamentation [p. 92] and mourning filled the whole neighborhood, when he died. A vast concourse of people attended his obsequies, who seemed very anxious to show their sympathy for us in our bereavement.
manifested, if it were possible; greater zeal and anxiety in regard to the [2 words illegible] before mentioned record, than any of the rest of the family; consequently, we could not bear to hear anything said upon the subject: [illegible] whenever Joseph spoke of the record it would immediately bring to our minds with all his zeal, and with all his kindness; and when we looked to his place, and realized that he was gone from it, to return no more in this <state of> probation, we all with one accord wept over our irretrievable loss; and we could “not be comforted because he was not.”
Religious excitement— Joseph’s prophecy— he works for — becomes acquainted with Miss
Shortly after the death of , a man came into the neighborhood, and commenced laboring to effect a union of the different churches, in order that all might be agreed, and thus worship God with one heart and [p. 93] with one mind. This seemed about right to me, and I felt much inclined to join in with them: in fact, the most of the family appeared quite disposed to unite with the rest in the general union; but Joseph from the first utterly refused, even to attend their meetings; saying, “, I do not wish to prevent you from going to meeting; or any of the rest of the family, or even your joining any church you please; but do not ask me to join them: I can take my Bible and go into the woods, and learn more in two hours, than you can learn at meeting in two years, if you should attend all the time”.
In order to gratify me, my , accompanied me to some two or three meetings; but peremptorily refused going any more, either for my or any other persons gratifycation.
Joseph, during this excitement, would say: that it would do us no injury to join them; for, if we did should, we would not continue with them long, for we were mistaken in them, and did not know the wickedness of their hearts. One day He said, he would give us an example; and, that we might set it down as a prophecy: thus, “you look at Deacon Jessup,’ said he, “and you hear him talk very piously; well, you think he is a very good man— Now, suppose that one of his poor neighbors should owe him the value of a cow; and, that this poor man had eight <little> children, and he should be taken sick and die, leaving his wife with one cow but destitute of every other means of supporting them herself and family— Now I tell you, that Deacon Jesup, religious as he is, would not scruple to take the last cow from the poor widow, in order to secure the debt; notwithstanding [p. 94] he himself has an abundance of everything.” This, at that time, seemed impossible; but one year had scarcely elapsed, when we saw the his prophecies prophecy litterally fulfilled.
The shock, occasioned by ’s death, in a short time, passed off; and we resumed our usual avocations of life with considerable interest. The first move towards business, was, to complete the house; which we did as speedily as possible; and when it was finished, Mr Stodard, the principal workman, offered my $1500. for it; but his offer was refused; as was unwilling to leave the scene of our labor, where we fondly anticipated spending the remainder of our days.
A short time before the house was completed, a man by the name of came from , New York, to get Joseph to assist him in digging for a silver mine. He came for Joseph from having heard, that he was in possession of certain means, by which he could discern things, which that could not be seen by the natural eye. Joseph endeavered to divert him from his vain project; but he was inflexible, and offered high wages to such as would dig for him; in search of the mine; and was [2 words illegible] still very anxious [4 words illegible] to have Joseph work for him; consequently, he returned with the old gentleman; besides several others that who were picked up in the neighborhood, and commenced digging. After laboring about a month without success, Joseph prevailed on his employer to cease his opperations. It was from this circumstance, namely, his having working worked by the month at digging for a silver mine, that the very prevalent story arose, of his having been a money digger. [p. 95]
While Joseph was laboring for this , he boarded a short time with ; at which time interval he became acquainted with his daughter, Miss. , and immediately commenced paying his addresses to her, and, at a subsequent period married her.
When ceased this silver mine opperations, Joseph returned again to his ’s house. Soon after which we received intelligence of the arrival of a new agent for the Everson land, of which our farm was a portion. This caused us to recal to our recolection the last payment; which was now due, and which must be made, before we could obtain a deed of the place. Shortly after this the above , and another gentleman by the name of , came into our neighborhood to make a purchase of a quantity of wheat; and, as we had sown a considerable that year, we made a contract with them to deliver <them> a certain quanity of wheat or flour the ensuing fall; for which we were to receive <the> cash on the delivery of the same; and in this way we were going to make the final payment.
This being done, my sent to inform the Agent, who was living in , that the money <for the last payment> should be forth coming, as soon as the 25th of December 1825. The agent said, that this would do; and agreed to keep the land until that time. Having thus, as we supposed, made all secure pertaining to the land, we gave ouselves no further uneasiness concerning the matter.
The time having about arrived for the payment to be made, and, as my was about setting off starting to and ’s for the money, [p. 96] Joseph called my and myself aside, and said: “I have been very lonely ever since — died, and I have concluded to get married; and, if you have no objections, Miss would be my choice before any other woman I have ever seen.” We were pleased with his selection; and not only gave our consent to his marrying her, but requested, that he <should> bring her home, with <him> and live with us: accordingly he set off with his for .
looses his farm— Joseph Smith Jr. is married— has another interview with the angel, by whom he is chastized— received farther instruction.
In a few days after my ’s departure, I set myself to work to put my house in order, for the reception of my son’s ; and I felt all that pride and ambition in doing so, that is common to mothers upon such occasions. My oldest son had, previous to this, formed a matrimonial relation with one of the most excellent of women; with whom I had seen much enjoyment; and I hoped for as much happiness with my second daughterinlaw, as I had received from the society of the first, and [p. 97] and there was no reason why I should expect anything to the contrary.
One afternoon, after having completed my arrangements, I fell into a train of reflections, which were very agreeable. The day was exceedingly fine; and of itself calculated to produce fine feelings; besides this, every other circumstance seemed to be in unison, and to contribute to raise in the heart, those so[o]thing and grateful emotions which we all have seasons of enjoying, when the mind is at rest: thus, as I stood musing, upon the prospect of quiet and comfortable old age, besides many other things, my attention was suddenly arrested <by> a trio of strangers, who were just entering. Upon their near approach I found one of these gentlemen to be Mr. Stodard the principal carpenter in building our house. When they entered I seated them, and commencd common place conversation; but presently one of them began to ask questions, which I considered as rather impertinent: they wished to know concerning our making the last payment, on the place; and, if we did not wish to sell the house; furthermore, they wanted to know where and my son Joseph had gone &c &c.
“Sell the house’: said I, “No Sir, there is no occasion for that; we have made every necessary arrangement to get the deed, and have an understanding with the agent; so you see we are quite secure in relation to this matter.”
To this they made no answer; but went out to meet , who was approaching the house; and asked him the same questions; and he answered them the same as I had done. Having experimented in this way to their satisfaction, they proceeded to inform [p. 98] that he need put himself to no farther trouble about the farm; “for, said they, “we have bought the place, and paid for it;— and we now forbid your touching anything on the farm; and we also warn you to leave forthwith, and give possession to the lawful owners.”
This conversation passed within my hearing. And when they reentered the house, I said; ‘, is it a reality, or only a sham to startle us? But one collected look at the men convinced me of their fiendish determination— I was overcome, and fell back into my chair, almost deprived of sensibility. When I [3 words illegible] recovered, and myself conversed with them some time, and endeavored to persuade them to change their wicked course; but the only answer we could get from them, was, “well, we’ve got the place, and damn you, help yourselves, if you can.”
In a short time went to one Dr. Robinson’s, an old friend, and related the grievous story to him; upon which the old gentleman sat down, and wrote at some considerable length, the character of our family— our industry, and faithful exertions to secure a home; besides, many commendations calculated to beget confidence in us with regard to business transactions, and then went through the village with this writing, and, in an hour procured, about sixty subscribers. We then sent with this the [illegible] same to the lands agent. who [4 words illegible] When the agent received this article, he was highly enraged. He said the men had told him, that and his son Joseph had ran away; that was cutting down the sugar orchard, hauling off the rails and burning them, and doing all manner of mischief [p. 99] to the farm: that, believing this statement, he was induced to sell the place; for which he had given a deed, and received the money.
After hearing this, told the agent the circumstance under which his and brother had left home; also the probability of their being detained on the road to attend to some business. Upon which the directed agent directed him to address a number of letters to my , and have them sent and deposited in public houses on the road that he would be most likely to travel; that perchance some of them might meet his eye and thus cause him to return more speedily than he otherwise would do. He then dispatched a messenger to Mr. Stodard and his partners, in (to whom he had sold the farm) in order to make a compromise with them, or between them and my ; but they refused to do anything respecting the matter. The agent then sent a [2 words illegible] communication to them, stating, that, if they did not make their appearance forthwith, he would fetch them with a warrant. And to this they gave heed, and came without delay. The agent endeavored to convince them of the disgraceful and impolitic course, they were pursuing; and urged them to retract, and let the land go back into ’s hands again. But, for some time, they said very little except in a sneering and taunting way; which was about as follows: “we’ve got the land Sir, and we’ve got the deed, so help for just let help himself— oh, no matter about , he has gold plates, gold bibles— he is rich, he dont want anything.” But finally they agreed; if could raise them $1000. by <the> next Saturday at 10 o’clock in the evening, they would give up the deed. [p. 100]
¶ It was now thursday about noon, and was at , a distance of nine miles from home, where he must ride before he could make the first move towards raising the required sum. When he arrived at home he found his , who had returned a short time before him. My fortunately found within 50 miles of home one of the letters that had written, and hurried hurried home as fast as possible.
The next day, by the request of my , I went to see an old Quaker, (a gentleman with whom we had been quite intimate ever since our commencement on the farm; who always seemed to admire the neat arrangement of the same. We hoped that he would be able, as well as willing to purchase the place; and, as he was a friend and would be disposed to show us favor, we might at least have the benefit of the crops that were upon the ground. But in this we were disappointed: not in the will of the man, but in his ability: he had just redeemed a piece of land for a friend, living in his immediate nieghborhood, and had paid out all the money he could spare. If I had been 3o minutes sooner I would have found him with $1500. dollars in his pocket. When I rehearsed to him what had taken place relative to the farm, he was much distressed for us; and very much regretted his disability to relieve our necessity. He said: “If I have no money, I will nevertheless try to do something for you; and you may tell your , that I will see him as soon as I can and let him know what the prospect is.” [p. 101]
It was nearly night, the country new, and the road that I had to travel, through a dense forest: the distance was ten miles, and that, I had to go alone; yet I hastened to inform my of the disappointment with which I had met.
As soon as I left, the old gentleman started in search of some one who could afford us relief, and the same night, came and directed us to go to a gentleman by the name of Durfee, who lived four miles distant, and see what he could do devise for our benefit. My without delay set off to see this Mr. Durfee, and reached his house before day light in the morning. He was unable to do anything himself, and sent three miles farther, to one of his sons, who was high sheriff; instructing my to tell the young man, that his father wished to see him as soon as possible. Mr. Durfee, the younger was obedi[e]nt to the call, and came without delay; and soon after arriving at his father’s house, he, in company with his father and , set off to see the farm in question, where they arrived about 10. o’clock A. M. They tarried a short time, then rode on to see the agent and the men who held the deed of the place.
The anxiety of mind that I suffered that day, can easier be imagined than described: I now looked upon the proceeds of our industry, which smiled around us on every hand, with a kind of yearning attachment, that I never before had experienced: our early losses I did not feel so keenly, for I then realized that we were young, and by making some exertion we could better our circumstances; besides this, I had not felt the inconveniences of poverty as I had [p. 102] since.
My and the gentlemen Durfees arrived in at half past 9. o’clock in the evening. The agent sent immediately for Mr. Stodard and his friends, who came without delay. When they arrived, in order to carry out their principles, and make difficulty, they contended that it was after 10. o’clock; but, not being able to maintain this position, they gave up the deed to Mr. Durfee the high sheriff, who now became the possessor of the farm.
As I before stated, at the time started to see and , Joseph accompanied him: when he returned Joseph also returned with him, and remained with us until the difficulty about the farm came to an issue; when he again took leave for , on the same business as before mentioned; and the next January returned with his , in good health and fine spirits. Not long after this his had occasion to send him to on business. <And,> as he started quite early in the morning, we expected him home, at the outside, by 6. o clock in the evening. But when 6. came he did not arrive.— we always had a peculiar anxiety about him whenever he was absent from us; for, it seemed as if something was always taking place to jeopardize his life. But to return, he did not get home till the night was far spent. On coming in, threw himself into a chair, apparently much exhausted. My did not observe his appearance, and immediately exclaimed, “Joseph, why have you staid so late? has anything [p. 103] happened you? we have been much distressed about you these three hours. As Joseph made no reply, he continued his interrogations until I finally said: now, , (as that was the manner in which I commonly addressed him) let him rest a moment— dont touble him now— you see he is home safe, and he is very tired; so pray wait a little. The fact is, I had learned to be a little cautious about matters with regard to Joseph; for I was accostomed to see him look as he did on that occasion, and could not easily mistake the cause thereof. Presently he smiled, and said in a very calm tone, “I have taken the severest chastisement, that I have ever had in my life”. My , supposing it was from some of the neighbors, was quite angry; and observed, “I would would like to know what business any body has to find fault with you.”
“Stop, , Stop.” said Joseph, “it was the angel of the Lord— as I passed by the hill of Cumorah, where the plates are, the angel of the Lord met me and said, that I had not been engaged enough in the work of the Lord; that the time had come for the record to <be> brought forth; and, that I must be up and doing, and set myself about the things which God had commanded me to do: but, ,’ continued he, ‘give yourself no uneasiness concerning the reprimand that I have received; for I now know the course that I am to pursue; so all will be well.”
It was also made known to him at this interview, that he should make another effort to obtain the plates on the 22d. of the following September; But this he did not mention to us at that time. [p. 104]
Joseph obtains the plates
September 20th 1828 <1827> and his friend came to see how we were managing matters with Stodard & Co. and staid with us until the 22d. On the night of the 21st, I sat up very late as my work rather pressed upon my hands— I did not retire until after 12. o’clock at night. About 12. Joseph came to me, and inquired, if I had a chest with a lock and key. I knew in an instant what he wanted it for; and not having one I was greatly alarmed; as I thought it might be a matter of considerable moment. But Joseph, discovering my anxiety, said: “never mind, I can do very well for the present without it— be calm, all is right”
Shortly after this, passed through the room with her bonnet and riding dress; and in a few minutes they left together, taking ’s horse and wagon. I spent the night in prayer and supplication to God, for the anxiety of my mind would not permit me to sleep. I arose at the usual hour, and commenced preparing breakfast— my heart fluttered at every footstep, as I now expected Joseph and momentarily, and feared lest he might meet with a<nother> Second disappointment. When the male portion of the family were seated at the [p. 105] breakfast table, inquired for Joseph (not being aware that he had left home). I requested him not to call Joseph; as I wished to have him take breakfast that morning with his . “No, No;” said , I must have Joseph sit down here, and eat with me.”
“Well, now,’ rejoined I, “do let him eat with his this morning: he most always takes breakfast with you.”
My husb He finally consented and eat without him; and no farther questions inquiries were made concerning his absence. But, in a few minutes after breakfast, came in very much disturbed: “Why, , said he exclaimed he, “my horse is gone; and I cant find him on the premises, and I wish to start in half an hour.”
“Never mind the horse,” said I: does not know all the nooks and corners in the pasture— I will call ; he will bring the horse immediately.”
This satisfied him for the time being; but he soon made another discovery: his wagon was also gone; and he now concluded, that they were both stolen.”
“,’ said I, “do be quiet: I would be ashamed to have you go about, waiting upon yourself— just go out and talk with until comes, and, if you really must go home, your horse shall be brought, and you shall be waited upon like a gentleman”
He accordingly went out to talk with , and before he came in Joseph returned.
I trembled so from fear lest all might be lost [p. 106] on account of some failure in keeping the commandments of God, that I was under the necessity of leaving the room to conceal my fealings. Joseph saw this and said, “do not be uneasy, , all is right— see here, I have got a key.” I knew not what he meant but took the article into my hands; and, upon <for I> examination <examined it> found, that it consisted of two smoothe three-cornered diamonds set in glasses, and the glasses were set in silver bows, which were connected with each other in much the same way, as old-fashioned spectacles. He took them <it> again and left me; but said nothing respecting the record.
In a short time he returned, and inquired of me in regard to getting a chest made. I told him to go to a certain cabinet maker, who had made some furniture for my oldest , and tell him, that we would pay him for making a chest, as we had paid him for the other work that he had done for us, namely, one half cash, the other produce. Joseph replied, that he would do so; yet he did not know where the money would come from, for there was not a shilling in the house.
The next day one Mr. Warner came to him, and told him, that a widow by the name of Wells, who was living in Macedon, wanted a well repaired, for which she would pay the cash; and, that she was anxious to have him do this work for her. As this afforded us an opporunity to pay the cabinet maker for the <chest>, Joseph went immediately to Macedon and commenced work for this woman widow. The next day after Joseph left home, one of the neighbors asked a great many [p. 107] questions concerning the plates.
I will here observe, that no one ever heard anything from us respecting them, except a confidential friend, whom my had spoken to about them some two or three years previous. And it now appeared that satan had now stirred up the hearts of those who had barely got a hint of the matter from our friend, to search into it and make every possible move thwarting the purposes of the Almighty.
My shortly learned, that ten or twelve men were clubbed together, with one Willard Chase, a Methodist class leader, at their head; and what was still more ridiculous, they had sent 60 or 70 miles for a certain conjuror, to come and divine the place <where they> were <were>secreted. We supposed that Joseph had taken the plates and hid them somewhere, and we were apprehensive, that our enemies might discover their hiding place, or the place in which they were deposited. Consequently the next morning, after hearing of their plans, My concluded to go among the neighbors to see what he could learn in regard to the plans of the adverse party. The first house he came to he found the conjuror and Willard Chase as well as the rest of the clan. He made an errand, went in, and sat down near the door, leaving it a little ajar in order to overhear their conversation. They stood in the yard near the door, and were devising plans to find “Jo. Smith’s gold Bible, (as they expressed themselves). The conjuror seemed much animated, although he had travelled 60 miles the day and night previous. In a [3 words illegible] Presently the woman of the house became uneasy, and stepping through a back door into the yard, [p. 108] called to her husband in a suppressed tone, but loud enough to be heard distinctly by : “Sam, Sam, you are cutting your own throat.” At this the conjuror bawled out, at the top of his voice, “I am not afraid of any body— we will have them plates in spite of Jo. Smith, or all the devils in hell.” When the woman came in again laid aside a newspaper which he had been holding in his hand and remarked, that he believed he had not time to finish reading the paper, and then left the house and returned home.
As soon as he reached home, he asked , if she knew whether Joseph had taken them plates from their place of deposit, or, if she was able to tell him where they were. She said that she did not know where they were, nor whether they were removed from their place. My then informed her, of what he had seen and heard. After which remarked, that she did not know what to do; but she supposed, if Joseph was was to get the plates or record he would get it, and they would not be able to prevent him. “Yes,’ replied , he will if he is faithful <watchful> and obedient; but remember, that, for a small thing, Esau lost his birthright and his blessing: It may be so with Joseph.”
“Well’ rejoined , “if I had a horse I would go and see him.” then said: you shall have one in 15 minutes: although my team is gone, there is a stray on the place, and I will send to bring him immediately.” In a few moments brought up the horse with a large hickory withe round his neck; (for [p. 109]it was according to law to put a withe around the neck of a stray before turning it into an inclosure) and was soon under way for Macedon.
Joseph kept the Urim and Thummim constantly about his person, and by this means he could in a moment, tell whether the plates were in <any> danger.
Just before rode up to Mrs Wells, Joseph, from an impression that he had, came up out of the well in which he was laboring, and met her not far from the house. immediately informed him of what had transpired; upon which he looked in the Urim and Thummim, and saw that the record was, as yet, safe; nevertheless, he concluded to return with his , lest something might take place, that would render it necessary for him to be at home, where he could take care of it. He then told Mrs. Wells, that business at home made it necessary for him to be at home return. To this she would not agree at first; but finally consented. She then ordered a boy to go and bring get a horse for him; that this being attended to, Joseph mounted him in his linen frock, and, with his by his side, on his horse decorated as before with a hickory withe round his neck, he rode through the village of ; which was on their way home. On arriving at home, Joseph found his walking the ground, near his door, in great anxiety of mind. Joseph Spoke to him saying; “, there is no danger, all is perfectly safe— there is no cause of alarm.” When he had taken a little refreshment, he sent , my youngest son, to ’s to have him come up immediately, as he desired to see him. When he came, Joseph requested him to get a chest [p. 110] with a good lock and key, and to have it there by the time he should return. After giving these instructions, Joseph started for the plates; which were secreted about 3 miles from home; about as follows: Finding an old birch log much decayed, excepting the bark, which was in a measure sound, Joseph took his pocket knife and cut the bark; then turned it back and made a hole of sufficient size to receive the plates; and laying them in the cavity thus formed, he replaced the bark, after which he laid old stuff across the log in several places, that happened to lay near, in order to conceal, as much as possible, the place in which they were deposited. Joseph, on coming to them, took them, and wrapped them in his linen frock, and placing them under his arm, started for home. After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be <more> safe to leave the road and go through the woods.” Travelling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall; and, as he was jumpping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned round and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed: about half a mile farther he was attacked again in the same manner as before: he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again, and before he reached home, he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb; which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, where he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house; [p. 111] and he was still altogether speechless from fright and the fatigue of running.
After resting a few moments, he desired me to send for my , and ; and have them go immediately and see if they could find those men, who had been pursuing him; and after had done this, he desired to have him sent to ’s in order to tell him to bring the chest. I accordingly did so: and when arrived at ’s he found him at tea with two of his ’s sisters. Just as was raising a cup to his mouth, touched his shoulder: without waiting to hear one word of the child, he dropped the cup, sprang from the table, caught the chest, and turned it upside down; and emptying its contents on the floor, left the house instantly, with the chest on his shoulder.
The young ladies were greatly astonished at his singular behavior, and declared to his , (who was then confined to her bed; her oldest daughter being but 4 days old) that he was certainly crazy. But his laughed hartily, and replied, “Oh, not in the least; he has just thought of something which he has neglected; and it is just like him to fly off in a tangent, when he thinks of anything in that way”
When the chest came, Joseph locked up the record, then threw himself upon the bed; and after resting a little, so that he could converse freely, he rose and went into the kitchen; where he related his recent adventure to his , and and ; besides to many others, who had by this time collected with the view of hearing something in [p. 112] regard to the strange circumstance which had taken place. He showed them his thumb; saying, “I must stop talking, , and get you to put my thumb in place; for it is very painful”
I will here mention, that , and went in pursuit of those villains who had attempted Joseph’s life, but was not able to find them.
When Joseph first got the plates, the angel of the Lord stood by, and said: “Now you have got the plates Record into your own hands, and you are but a man, therefore, you will have to be watchful, and faithful to your trust or you will be overpowered by wicked men; for they will lay every plan and scheme that is possible to get them away from you; and, if you do not take heed, continually, they will succeed.— While they were in my hands, I could keep them, and no man had power to take them away; but now I give them up to you: beware and look well to your ways, and you shall have power to retain them until the time for them to be translated.”
That, that Joseph termed a key mentioned on a foregoing page, was, indeed, nothing more or less than a Urim and Thummim; and it was by this that the angel showed him those things which he saw in vision: he could also ascertain at any time, the approach of danger, either to himself or the Record, On account of which he always kept it about his person. [p. 113]
Joseph brings home the breast plate— and his introduced— The translation commences— begins to oppose the work
After bringing the plates home, Joseph commenced working with his and brothers on the farm, in order to be as near as possible to the treasure, which was now confided to his care.
Soon after this he came in from work in the afternoon, and after remaining a short time, he put on his great coat, and left the house. I was engaged at the time in an upper room in preparing some oil cloths for painting. When he returned he requested me to come down stairs. I told him I could not leave my work just then; but, after as he still insisted I finally concluded to go down and see what he wanted. After Upon meeting him, he handed me the breastplate spoken of in his history. It was wrapped in a thin muslin handkerchief; so thin that I could see the glistening metal, and ascertain <feel> its proportions without any difficulty: It was concave on one side and convex on the other; and extended from the neck downwards as far as the centre of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material for the purpose of fastening it to the breast: two of which ran back to go over the shoulders, and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips. These straps [p. 114] were just the width of two of my fingers; (for I measured them); and they had holes in the end of them for convenience in fastening.
The whole plate was worth at least 500 dollars; which plate, together with the Urim and Thummim Joseph placed <the Urim and Thummim> in the chest after I examined it.
Soon after this Joseph came to the house in great haste, and inquired, if there had been a company of men about: I told him, that not a single individual had been come to the house since he left. He then said, that a mob would be there that night, if they did not come before that time, to search for the record, and, that it must be removed immediately. Shortly after this a man by the name of came in from the village of , a man in whom we reposed great much confidence, and who was well worthy of the same. Joseph told him that he was apprehensive of a mob being there that night, and, that they must prepare themselves to drive them away: but the first thing to be attended to, was to secure the record and breast plate. In view of this it was determined, that a portion of the hearth should be taken up, and, that the Record and breast plate should be burried under the same, and then the hearth be relaid to prevent suspicion.
This was accordingly done as speedily as possible; but the hearth was scarcely relaid, when a large company of men, well armed, came rushing up to the house. Joseph threw upen the doors, and taking a hint from the stratagem of his grandfather , hallooed as if he had a legion at hand; meanwhile giving the word of command with great emphasis; while all the male portion of the family [p. 115] from the down to little , ran out of the house with such fury upon the mob, that it struck them with terror and dismay, and they fled before the little Spartan band into the woods, where they despersed themselves to their several homes.
In a short time Joseph received another intimation of the approach of a mob; also, of the necessity of removing the record and breastplate from the place in which they were secreted. So he took them out of the box in which they were deposited, and wrapping them in clothes, carried them across the road to a cooper shop, and laid them in a quantity of flax which was stowed in the shop loft; after which he nailed up <the> box again, then tore up the floor of the shop and put it under the same.
As soon as night came the mob came also, and commenced ransacking the place: they rummaged round the house and all over the premises, but did not come into the house; and after making satisfactory search they went away. The next morning we found the floor of the cooper shop torn up, and the box which was laid under it shivered in pieces.
In a few days afterwards, we learned the cause of this last move; why thier curiosity led them in the direction of the cooper shop: A young woman by the name Chase (Sister to willard Chase) found a green glass, through which she could see many very wonderful things, and, among her great discoveries, she said that she saw, the precise place where “Joe. Smith kept his gold Bible hid.” And, obedient to her directions, they gathered their forces and laid siege to the cooper shop.
Notwithstanding the disappointment with which [p. 116] they met in not finding the plates in the shop, their confidence was not in the least shaken in Miss. Chase; for they still went from place to place by her directions, determined to get if possible, the much desired object of thier search.
Not long after the circumstance above mentioned, Joseph began to make arrangements to accomplish the translation of the Record; The And the first step which he was instructed to take in regard to this matter, was, to take a Fac-Simile of the characters composing the alphabet: which characters were called reformed Egyptian, after which send them to some of the of the most learned men of this generation, and ask them for the translation thereof.
The reader will here observe, that, on a preceding page of this volume, I spoke of a confidential friend, to whom my mentioned the existence of the plates some two or three years before they came forth: this was no other than , one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. After
In order to commence the work of translation and carry it forward as speedily as circumstances would permit, Joseph came to me one afternoon, and requested that I should go to this , and inform him that he had got the plates, and, that he desired to see him concerning the matter. This, indeed, was an errand which I much disliked; as his was a very peculiar kind of woman— one that was naturally of a very jealous disposition; besides, she was rather dull of hearing. And when anything was said that she did not hear distinctly, she suspected that it was some secret which was designedly kept from her. I therefore told Joseph [p. 117] that I would rather not go unless I could have the privilege of first speaking to her upon the subject; as he consented to my [2 words illegible] doing so, I went according to his request.
After arriving at the house of . I cautiously detailed the particulars in relation to Joseph’s finding the plates, so far as wisdom dictated and necessity demanded in order to satisfy her curiosity; however, she did not wait for me to get through with my story, before she commenced urging upon me a considerable amount of money, which she had at her command.
Her always allowed her to keep a kind of private purse in order to satisfy her singular disposition; and it was this money that she wished me to receive. She also had a sister living with her, who desired me to recieve a considerable sum of money; I think some 75 dollars to assist me in getting the Record translated. I told her that I came on no such business; that I did not want her money; and that Joseph would attend to his own affairs: but, that I would like to talk with a moment, and then return home, as my family would soon be looking for me.
Yet, she was determined to assist in the progress work; for she knew (as she said) that we would want money; and, that she could spare $200, as well as not. After detaining me a few minutes, she went with me to her , and told him that I wished to speak to him. He replied that he was not going to stop his work, for he was just laying the last brick in his hearth: “You see, said he, this is the last work I have to do on the house; and it is the last work I shall do about the house or on the farm in one year— and when [p. 118] this is done, I am going to hire a hand to work a year for me; as I shall travel that length of time before I shall settle myself at home again.” After completing this work he left the house, and was absent for a short time. When he returned he came to me and said: “now I am a free man; my hands are altogether untied; I can come and go, and do as I please.” I then related in short the errand on which I had come— He said that he would see Joseph in the course of a few days. At this his exclaimed, “Yes, and I am coming to see him too; and I will be there on Tuesday afternoon, and will stop over night.” Accordingly when Tuesday afternoon came made her appearance; and she was hardly seated when she began to importune Joseph relative to the truth of what he had said concerning the Record; declaring, that, if he really had any plates, she would see them; and, that she was determined to help him publish them.
He told her she was mistaken— that she could not see them; for he was not permitted to exhibit them to any one save those whom the Lord should appoint to testify of them. “And, in relation to assistance,” he observed, “I always prefer dealing with men, rather than their wives.”
This highly displeased ; for she considered herself, as altogether superior to her : and she continued to importune him. She would say; “now, Joseph, are you not telling me a lie? can you look me full in the eye, and say before God, that you have in reality found a record as you pretend? To this Joseph indifferently replied: “why, yes, ; I would as soon look you in the face, and say so as not, if that [p. 119] will be any gratification to you.” Then said she, “Joseph, I will tell you what I will do; if I can get a witness that you speak the truth I will believe all you say about the matter; and I shall want to do something about the translation— I mean to help you any way”
This closed the evening’s conversation. The next morning Soon after she arose, she related a very remarkable dream, which she said she had that night; and it ran about as follows: She said that a personage appeared to her during the previous night; who told her, that, as she had disputed the servant of the Lord, and said his word was not to be believed; and also had asked him many improper questions, she had done that which was not right in the sight of God: <and, that> after which he said again; “Behold, here are the plates, look upon them and believe.”
After giving us an account of her dream, she described the record very minutely; then told us that she had made up her mind in relation to the course which she intended to pursue, namely, that she had in her possession twenty eight dollars which she received from her mother just before she died, while she on her death bed, and that Joseph should accept of it; that if he would he might give his note; but he should certainly take it upon some termss.
The last proposal, Joseph accepted in order to get rid of farther importunity upon the subject.
In a short time from this, Alva Hale, Joseph’s brotherinlaw, came to our house from , for the purpose of moving Joseph’s family to his ’s; [2 words illegible] word having been sent to them that he (Joseph) desired to move there, as soon as he could settle up his bus [p. 120]iness.
During the short interval of Alva’s stay with us he and Joseph were one day in at a public house transacting some business; and as they were thus engaged, came in, he stepped immediately up to my son, and taking him by the hand said: “how do you do, Mr. Smith:” then took a bag of silver from his pocket, and again remarked: “here, Mr. Smith, is 50 dollars; I give this to you to do the Lord’s work with— No, I give it to the Lord for his own work.”
“No,’ said Joseph, “we will give you a note: Mr. Hale, I presume, will sign it with me”
“Yes, said Alva, “I will sign it,”
still insisted that he would give the money to the Lord, and called those present to witness the fact, that he gave it freely, and did not demand any compensation; that it was for the purpose of helping Mr. Smith do the Lord’s work. And as I have been informed, many were present on that occasion, who witnessed the same circumstance.
Joseph, in a short time, arranged his affairs and was ready for the journey. The record and breastplate he nailed up in a box, then put them into a strong cask; and after filling the cask with beans, headed it up again in order to their security.
When it had become generally known that Joseph was about moving to , a mob of 50 men collected themselves together; and they went to one Dr. McIntire and requested, that he should take the command of the company, stating that they were resolved on following ‘Joe.’ Smith [illegible] in order <to> take his gold bible from him. But the Doctors ideas and feelings did not altogether harmonize with their’s, and he told them they were [p. 121] a pack of devlish fools.— and to go home and mind their own business— that, if Joseph Smith had any business of that sort to attend to he was capable of doing it— and, that it would be better for them to busy themselves about that which more concerned them them. After this a quarrel arose among them, respecting who should be captain; and it ran so high that it broke up the expedition; consequently, Joseph had an opportunity of setting out unmolested; and he prosecuted the journey without meeting any of the gang.
It was agreed, that, when Joseph had had a sufficient time to transcribe the Egyptian Alphabet, after arriving at his ’s, should follow him: and that he () should take this Alphabet to the East, and call on his way on all the professed linguists in order to give them an opportunity to display their talents in giving a translation of the same. When heard of what her had in contemplation, she resolved in her heart to accompany him; but , concluding that it would be better to go without her, left quite suddenly without her knowledge, in company with my son . soon missed her , and came to me in order to ascertain whether I knew where he was. I told her what I had heard him say in regard to leaving; however, I suppressed his remarks pertaining to herself. On hearing this she became highly exasperated, and charge me with planning the whole affair. I protested against it, and delcared that I had nothing to do with the plan, or the execution of it; furthermore that the business of a house, which were <was> [p. 122] the natural cares of a woman were <was> all that I attempted to dictate or interfere with, unless it was by my or son’s request. then said, that she had property and knew how to take care of it, which she would convince me of. “Now, stop said I; do you not know, that we have never asked you for money or property? and, that that, if we had been disposed to take advantage of your liberality, could we not have got at least $270, of your cash?
She answered in the affirmative; yet she went home in a great rage determined to have satisfaction for the treatment which she had recieved.
In a short time returned— his ’s angr kindled afresh at his presence; inosmuch that she prepared a separate room bed and bed room for him; which room she refused to enter.
A young man by the name of Dikes, had been paying some attention to Miss. Lucy Harris, ’s oldest daughter. To this young man was much attached; and his daughter Lucy was by no means opposed to him; but was decidedly upon the negative; however, just at this crisis a scheme entered her brain, which materially changed her deportment to Mr. Dikes: she told him, if he would manage to get the egyptian characters from ’s possession, and procure a room in for the purpose of transcribing them, and then bring her the transcript, that she would give him her daughter Lucy to wife.
To this Mr. Dikes cheerfuly consented; and suffice it to say, he succeeded to her satisfaction, and thus received the promised reward.
When began the second time to make preparation to start for , with [p. 123] the view of writing for Joseph, his told him that she had fully decreed in her heart to accompany him. not having any particular objections, informed her that she might do so— that she might go and stay one or two weeks, and then he would bring her home again; after which he would return and resume his writing for Joseph. To this she cheerfully agreed.
little suspected what he had to encounter by this move: the first time he exhibited the Alphabet <characters> before named, she took out of her pocket an exact copy of the same, and told those present that Joe. Smith was not the only one who was in possession of this great curiosity— that she had the same characters, and they were quite as genuine as those shown by . This course she continued to pursue until they arrived at Joseph’s. On arriving there she informed Joseph, that her object in coming, was to see the plates; and she would never leave until she accomplished the object it. So, without delay she commenced ransacking every nook and corner about the house— chests, trunks, cupboards &c &c; on account of which, Joseph was under the necessity of removing, both the breastplate and record from the house and secreting them elsewhere. After making diligent search in the house, and not finding them, she concluded, that Joseph had burried them; and so the next day, she commenced searching out of doors; which she continued until 2. o’clock P. M. when she came in rather ill natured; after warming herself a little, she asked if there were snakes in that country in the winter. replied in the negative. [p. 124] then said: “I have been walking about in the woods to look at the situation of your place, and, as I turned round to come home a tremendous black snake stuck up his head before me and commenced hissing at me.”
The was so perplexed and disappointed in all her undertakings that she left the house and took lodgings [3 words illegible] during her stay in with a near neighbor: who where <she> stated that the day previous she had been hunting for the plates; and after a tedious search, she came to spot where she judged by the appearance of things they must be burried; but upon stooping down to scrape away the snow and leaves in order to ascertain the fact, she encountered a horrible black snake; which gave her a terrible fight, and she ran with all possible speed to the house.
While this remained in the neighborhood, she did all that lay in her power to injure Joseph in the estimation of his neighbors; telling them that he was a grand imposter, and, by his specious pretentions, had seduced her into the belief, that himself was some great one, merely from a design upon his property.
When she returned home, which was about two weeks after her arrival in (the name of the place where Joseph resided) she endeavored to dissuade her from taking any farther part in the publication of the record; but paid no attention to her, but returned and continued writing.
Immediately after left home for , his went from place to place, and [p. 125] from house to house, telling her grievances, and declaring that Joseph Smith was practicing a deception upon the people, which was about to strip her of all that she possessed; and that she was compelled to deposit a few things away from home in order to secure them. So she carried away her furniture, linen, and bedding; also, other moveable articles, until she nearly stripped the premises of every thing that could conduce either to comfort or convenience; depositing them with those of her friends and acquaintances, in whom she reposed sufficient confidence to assure her of their future safety.
is permitted to take the manuscript home with him— he looses it— Season of mourning which ensued—
, having written some 116 pages for Joseph, asked permission of him to carry the manuscript home with him in order to let his read it, as he hoped it might have a salutory effict upon her feelings.
Joseph was willing to gratify his friend, as far as he could consistently, and he inquired of the Lord to know if he might do as had requested; but was refused.
With this was not altogether satisfied; and, upon his urgent request Joseph inquired again; [p. 126] but received a second refusal: still, persisted as before, and Joseph applied again. This time he received an answer not like the two former ones: In this the Lord permitted to take the manuscript home with him, on condition that he would exhibit it none save five individuals, whom he had mentioned, and who belonged to his own family.
With this was delighted, and bound himself in a written covenant of the most solemn nature, that he would strictly comply with the injunctions which he had received: this being done he took the manuscript and went home.
As Joseph did not suspect, but that his friend would keep his faith, he gave himself no uneasiness in regard to the matter.
Shortly after left, became the mother of a ; but it remained with her but a short time before for it was <soon> snatched from its mother’s arms by the hand of death. And the for some time seemed more like sinking with her infant into the mansion of the dead, than remaining with her husband among the living: her situation was such, that for two weeks Joseph slept not an hour in undisturbed quiet: but, at the expiration of this time, she began to recover. however, and his anxiety about her continued to amend until she <her> <health> was [illegible] again restored. But, as his anxiety about her bagan to subside another cause of trouble forced itself upon his mind: had been absent nearly three weeks, and Joseph had received no intelligence whatever from him; which was altogether aside of the arrangement when they separated. Yet Joseph kept his feelings from , fearing that, if she became acquainted with them, it might agitate her too much. In a few days, however, she men [p. 127]tioned the subject herself; and requested Joseph to go and get her to stay with her, while he should repair to for the purpose of learning the cause of ’ absence, as well as silence. At first, Joseph objected to this measure; but seeing her so cheerful, and so willing to have him leave home he finally consented. Accordingly, he set out in the first stage that passed for New York; and when he was left to himself, and began to comtemplate the course which had taken, and the risk which he had run in letting the manuscript go out of his hands; that this it could not be obtained again, in case had lost it through transgression, except by the power of God; which was something he could hardly hope for:— that by persisting in his entreaties to the Lord he had perhaps fallen into transgression, and thereby lost the manuscript: When, I say, he began to contemplate these things, the spirit [3 words illegible] they troubled his spirit, and his soul was moved with fearful apprehensions; and, although hewas now nearly worn out, sleep fleed from his eyes; neither had he any desire for food; for he felt that he had done wrong, and how great his condemnation was, he did not know. Only one passenger was in the place stage besides himself. This man observing Joseph’s gloomy appearance inquired the cause of his affection <affliction>, and offered to assist him, if his services would be acceptable. Joseph thanked him for his kindness; and mentioned, that he had been watching some time with a sick and ; that the had died, and his was still very low; but did not give any farther explanation. [p. 128]
Nothing more passed between them upon this subject until Joseph was about leaving the stage; when he remarked that he still had 20 miles farther to travel on foot that night. (being then about 10. o’clock in the evening.) To this the stranger objected; saying, “I have watched you ever since you first entered the stage; and I know that you have neither slept nor eat since that time; and you shall not go on foot 20 miles alone this night: if you must go, I will be your company.— Now tell me what can be the trouble that makes you thus desperate.”
Joseph replied about as before:— that he had left his in so low a state of health, that he feared he should not find her alive when he returned; besides, he had buried his first and only but a few days previous.—— (This was true, though there was another trouble laying at his heart, which he dare not mention.) The stranger then observed, “I feel to sympathise with you; and I fear that your constitution, which is evidently not strong will not support you; and you will be in danger of falling asleep in the forest, and of meeting with some awful disaster”
Joseph again thanked the gentleman for his kindness: and leaving the stage they proceeded together. When they reached our house it was nearly day light. The stranger said he had been under the necessity of leading Joseph, the last 4 miles, by the arm; for nature was too much exhausted to support him any longer; and, that he would fall asleep, as he was walking along, every few minutes, towards the last of this distance.
On entering our house, the stranger remarked, that he had brought our son through the forest, because [p. 129] he insisted on coming;— he was sick and needed rest, as well as refreshment; and that he ought to have some pepper tea to warm his stomach.
After this the gentleman said again observed: that, when we had attended to Joseph, he would tha[n]k us for a little breakfast for himself, as he was in haste to be on his journey again.
When Joseph had taken a little nourishment, according to the directions of the stranger, he requested us to send immediately for . We accordingly did so without delay. And having given the stranger his breakfast, we commenced preparing breakfast for the family; and we supposed, that would be there to eat with us, by the time it should be ready; for he always came in such haste when he was sent for.
At 8, we set the victuals on the table; as we expected him every moment. We waited till 9 o’clock, and he came not— till 10. and he was not there— till 11. still he did not make his appearance:— But at half past 12. we saw him walking with a slow and measured tread towards the house— his eyes fixed thoughtfully upon the ground. On coming to the gate, instead of passing through, he stopped short and mounted the fence; and sat some time with his hat drawn over his eyes. At length he entered the house; soon after which we set down to the table, with the rest. took up his knife and fork, as if he were going to use them; but immediately dropped them. said observing this said: “, why do you not eat? are you sick? Upon this , pressing his temples with his hands, cried out, in a tone of [p. 130] <deep> anguish; “Oh! I have a lost my soul! I have lost my soul!!
Joseph, who had not expressed his fears till now, sprang from the table, exclaiming and exclaimed: “, have you stolen lost that manuscript? have you broken your oath and brought down condemnation upon my head, as well as your own?
“Yes, it is gone’, replied , ‘and I know not where.”
“Oh my God!” said Joseph, <then> clinching his hands; all is lost! all is lost! what shall I do? I have sinned; it is me <I> that <who> tempted the wrath of God; for I should have been satisfied with the first answer, which I received from the Lord— for he told me that it was not safe to let the writing go out of my possession.” He wept and groaned, and walked the floor continually.
At length he told to go back and search again. “No,’ said , “it is all in vain: I have ripped open beds and pillows; and I know it is not there.”
“Then must I,’ said Joseph, “return to my , with such a tale as this? I dare not do it lest I should kill her at once. And how shall I appear before the Lord? Of what rebuke am I not worthy from the angel of the most high?”
I besought him not to mourn so— that, perhaps the Lord world forgive him after a short season of humiliation and repentance. But what could I say to comfort him, when he saw all of the family in the same situation of mind of himself: sobs and groans, and the most bitter lamentation filled [p. 131] the house; but Joseph was more distressed than the rest, for he better understood the consequences of disobedience. And he continued walking back and forth, meanwhile weeping and groaning <grieving>, until about sunset; when, by much persuasion he took a little nourishment.
The next morning he set out for home. We parted with heavy hearts; for it now appeared that all which we had so fondly anticipated, and which had been the source of so much joy secret gratification was in a moment fled, and fled forever.
I will now give a sketch of the proceedings of during the two weeks in which he was absent from Joseph.
After Leaving Joseph, he arrived at home with the manuscript in safety. Soon after which he exhibited the manuscript to his and family. His was so pleased with it, that she gave him the privilege of locking it up in her own set of drawers; which was a special favor for she had [p. 132] never before this allowed him even the privilege of looking into them. After showing the manuscript to those, <to> whom he had a right to exhibit it to, according to his oath, he went with his to visit one of her relatives, who were living some ten or fifteen miles distant. After remaining with them a short time, he returned home; but left his , as she wished to visit with her friends some longer. In a short time after he reached home, a very particular friend made him a visit. , without hestitation related all that he knew concerning the record. The curiosity of the man was much excited; and as might be expected, <earnestly> desired to see the manuscript. was so anxious to gratify his friend, that, although it was contrary to his obligation, he went to drawer to get <it>; but the key was gone. He sought for it some time, but could not find it. Being resolved, resolved however to carry his purpose into execution, he picked the lock; and in doing so considerably injured his s bureau. He then took out the manuscript, and exhibited it to this friend; after which removed it to his own set of drawers, where he could have it <at> his command; and passing by his oath, he showed it to any good friend that happened to call on him.
When returned, and discovered the marred state of her bureau, her irrascible temper was excited to the utmost pitch; and an intolerable storm ensued, which descended with greatest violence upon the <devoted> head of her .
, having once made a sacrifice of his conscience, no longer regarded its scruples; so he [p. 133] continued to exhibit the writings until within a short time of Joseph’s arrival, to any one whomhe regarded as prudent enough to keep the secret, except our family; but we were not allowed to set our eyes upon them.
For a short time previous to Joseph’s arrival had been otherwise engaged, and thought but little about the manuscript. When Joseph sent for him he went immediately to the drawer where he had left it; but behold it was gone. He asked his where it was: She solemnly averred that she did not know anything respecting it. He then made a faithful search throughout the house as I have before stated.
The manuscript has never been found; and there is no doubt but that took it from the drawer with the view of retaining it until another translation should be given; then it was her intention to alter the original translation, for the purpose of showing a discrepency between them; and thus make the whole appear to be a deception.
It seemed as though for his transgression suffered temporally, as well as spiritually: the same day on which the foregoing circumstance took place a dense fog spread itself over his fields, and blighted his wheat while in the blow, so that he lost about two thirds of his crop; whilst those fields, which lay only on the opposite side of the road, received no injury whatever.
I well remember that day of darkness, both within and without: to us at least the heavens seemed clothed with blackness, and the earth shrouded with gloom; and I have often said within myself, [p. 134] that, if a continual punishment, as severe as that which we experienced on that occasion, were to be inflicted upon the most wicked characters, who ever stood upon the footstool of the Almighty; if I say, their punishment was even no greater than this. I should feel to pity the condition of the most depraved.
Urim and Thummim is taken from Joseph— he receives them again
For nearly two months after Joseph returned to his family in we heard nothing from him; and becoming anxious about him, and set off to make him a visit. When we came withing three quarters of a mile of the his house, Joseph started to meet us; telling his as he left, that “ and were coming.”
When he met us his countenance wore so pleasant an aspect, that I was convinced he had something agreeable to communicate, in relation to the work in which he was engaged. And when I entered his house the first thing that attracted [p. 135] my attention was a red morocco trunk, that set on ’s bureau; which trunk Joseph shortly informed me, contained the Urim and Thummim and the plates. In the evening he gave us the following relation of what had transpired since our separation: “After leaving you’ said Joseph, “I returned immediately home; and soon after my travel which, I commenced humbling myself in mighty prayer before the Lord; and, as I was pouring out my soul to God, that, if possible I might obtain mercy at his hands, and be forgiven of all that I had done contrary to his will, an angel stood before me and answered me, saying, that I had sinned in delivering the manuscript into the hands of a wicked man; and, and as I had ventured to become responsible for his faithfulness, I would of necessity have to suffer the consequences of his indiscretion; and must now give up the Urim and Thummim into his (the angels) hands. This I did as I was directed. As I handed them to him, he said, ‘If you are very humble and penitent, it may be you will receive them again; if so, it will be on the 22d. of next September.’”
Joseph then related a revelation which he received, soon after the angel visited him; part of which is as follows.
“Behold, you have been entrusted with these things; but how strict were your commandments; and remember, also the promises which were made <to> you, if you did not transgress them; and behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men: For behold, you should not have feared man [p. 136] more than God, although men set at nought the counsels of God and despise his words, yet you should have been faithful and he would have extended his arm, and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.
“Behold thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall, but remember God is merciful: therefore, repent of that which thou hast done, which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work; except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no <more> gift.
“And when thou deliveredst up that which God had given thee sight and power to translate, thou deliveredst <up> that which was sacred into the hands of a wicked man, who has set at nought the counsels of God, <and has broken the most sacred promises which were made before God> and has depended upon his own judgment, and boasted in his own wisdom, and this is the reason that thou hast lost thy privileges for a season, for thou hast suffered the counsel of thy director to be trampled upon from the beginning.
“Nevertheless my work shall go forth, for, inasmuch as the knowledge of a Savior has come unto the world, through the testimony of the Jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people.” For the sake of brevity I have omitted part of this Revelation; but the reader will find it on page 156, <in Section 30 of the book of> Doctrine and Covenants, 1st ed.
I will now return to Joseph’s recital: “After the angel left me’, said he, “I continued my supp [p. 137]lications to God without cessation; and, on the 22d of September, I had the joy and satisfaction of again receiving the Urim and Thummim; and have commenced translating again, and writes for me; but the angel said that the Lord would send me a scribe, and <I> trust his promise will be verified. The angel He also seemed pleased with me, when he gave me back the Urim and Thummim; and he told me that the Lord loved me, for my faithfulness and humility.
“Soon after I received them I inquired of the Lord, and obtained the following revelation”: “Now, behold I say unto you, that, because <you> delivered up those writings, which you had power given you to translate, by the means of the Urim and Thummim into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them; and you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened; nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again, therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun: do not run faster, or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end: pray always, that you may come off conquerer; yea, that you may conquer satan, and, that you may escape the hands of the servants of satan, that do uphold his work. Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man, in whom you have trusted, has sought to destroy you, and for this cause I said, that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been intrusted: and he has also sought to [p. 138] destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold wicked men have taken them from you; therefore you have delivered them up; yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words, which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands; and behold I say unto you, that, because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you have translated and caused to be written; and, on this wise, the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to this, that, by lying, they may say they have caught you in the words, which you have pretended to translate: Doc & Cov. Page 163. <Sec. 36>
While on this visit, we became acquainted with ’s father; whose name was ; also his family, which consisted of his wife, (); his sons Jesse, David, Alva, Isaac W. and Reuben; and his daughters, Phebe, and Elizabeth. They were an intelligent and highly respectable family: they were pleasantly situated, and lived in good style in the town of on the Susquehannah river, within a short distance of the place where Joseph resided.
The time of our visit with them we passed very agreeably, and returned home, relieved of a burden which was almost insupportable: and our present joy far overbalanced all our former grief. [p. 139]
commences writing for Joseph— — they attend to the ordinance of baptism
When [illegible] <and> arrived at home we found and very sick; indeed they were so low that had left his own house and quit business in order to take care of them: they continued sick a length of time, in particular, did not altogether recover for a number of months.
In a short time after our arrival from , a man by the name of Lyman Cowdery came into the neighborhood, and applied to (as he was one of the Trustees) for the district school. A meeting of the trustees was called, and Mr. Cowdery was employed. But, on the day following, this Mr. Cowdery brought his brother, , to the trustees, and requested them to receive him instead of himself; for as circumstances had transpired which compelled him (Lyman) to disappoint them, or, that would not allow of his attending to the school; and he said, that he would warrant the good conduct of the school under his brother<’s> supervision. The [3 words illegible] trustees being satisfied with this arrangement,