Monday, May 16, 2016

Finding the Graves at Richardson's Point

As the pioneers traveled west in 1848, Edwin S. Little and James Monroe Tanner died at Richardson's Point. The two pioneer graves had been kept in memory by local residents for almost 140 years when a descendant of Edwin Little, Wallace C. Mauger, went to great lengths to find, and later to mark the two graves. The story is available online at the Church History Library. This picture is located in the document he wrote about his experiences.


The current location is Section 32, Chequest Township, Van Buren County, Iowa, on private property about four miles west of Lebanon, Iowa, (one mile west of Oak Point Cemetery) on route J 40.

Wallace C. Mauger, “Finding the Graves at Richardson's Point,” MS 13678, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elder Sidney Tanner of Beaver

This picture of Sidney Tanner is from the Bathsheba W. Bigler Smith photography collection at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. Believe it or not, he is not the most rugged-looking individual in the photography collection, women included.

The back of the photo says "Member of the church in Kirtland. Worked with Hyrum Smith in getting out the timber for the Kirtland Temple    son of John Tanner"



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sidney Tanner Writes to the Family of His Deceased Wife


Sidney Tanner's wife Louisa Conlee Tanner died on September 29, 1846, at Winter Quarters. Sidney must have put off the grim task of notifying her family, because it took him seven months to write to his father-in-law, step-mother-in-law, and other family members with news of her death, and by the time he wrote this he had been remarried for more than four months to young Julia Ann Shepherd, a very brave girl to step in and care for his six motherless children.

Why was this letter in possession of the Tanner family? Is this a copy? Who owns the original? The handwriting is strikingly different from the Sidney Tanner letter featured the other day, but could be the same handwriting, perhaps written with a different pen?


A copy of this letter is in the collections of the Church History Library. The CHL copy includes a typescript, which has been corrected into standard English. I am trying to transcribe the actual letter as-is, but the computer keeps autocorrecting the transcription, so this should be approximately correct.


Winter Quarters April 13th 1847

Dear Father and Mother  Brothers & Sisters

I gladly embrace this opportunity of writing a few lines to you and tell you how we have been situated and how we are at present. we left the Iowa the 4 of March we traveled five days and stoped our youngest child by the name of James Monre was taken sick and died the 17 of March with the inflammation on the brain. we had got about 2 hundred miles from Montrose when we received your letter dated Feb 10 and you wanted to know what we wanted to moove for. it was to go to a land of freedom where we could enjoy the peace of sosiety and our liberty we did not want to live in country where their is no peace no liberty and citizens was not allowed their rights. we went on about one hundred miles farther to council point when we had another child aded to our family it was a boy ^its name was Mason Lyman^ & was born July 1 and Louisa got her health was well as ever we crost the Missouri river the last of July at council bluff where we stoped for the winter. [indecipherable] Louisa was taken sick with the fever she got ^some^ better and then took the canker and the chills fever and was sick a bout two months and then departed this life leaving her strongest testimony of the truth of the gospel of christ taught in the lasts days she requested me to write to you and tell you that she died in the full triumphs of the faith of Jesus Christ and her most desire for living was for the benefit of her family and Friends and do what she was afraid they would not do for themselves that they might arive to a glorious salvation in the kingdom of God where she


[e]xpects to meet them and enjoy their society she often spoke a bout you and wanted to see you and hoped ^that^ you would yet embrace the gospel and come to the west she died September 29 her babe was taken sick soon after she died and lived to be four months and 23 dys old it ^died^ Nov. 29 

This will be sad to you I have no toubt to hear of a death of a sister who has been near and unto you. the rest of my family is ^well^ at present

Lydia was sick last fall with the fever & ague I have six children living you gave me some very good advice to beware of false propets and evil doers that has been the cry in all ages of the world when the Lord has sent his servents and apostles forth to preach that was the sayings in the ^the days of our^ savior and apostles but the scripture says “beware of those who ware a form of Godliness and deny the power there of from such turn away   I was sorry to here of your misfortune of your getting ^your house^ burnt. I would be glad to see you all  I expect to remain here untill next spring   I want you to write to me soon as posible and I would be ^glad^ to have you come and see us

I do not want you to forsake me and the children because of our misfortune but write as ofen as you can give my respect and good wishes to all our relation and enquireing friends    the children sends their love to you all I rmain as your affectionate son and Brother

Sidney Tanner

James and Monroe Conlee

direct your letters austain post office 
Atcheson County Misouri


I concludes a record of the children ages
Allen Benedict Tanner was born March 2 1831
Lydia Tanner was born Nov 3 1832
Emma Tanner was born June 1 1835
Mary Louisa Tanner was born Sep 4 1837
Ely Elizabeth Tanner was born May 14 1840
Sidney Tanner was born March 6 1842
James Monroe Tanner was born July 30 1844
Mason Lyman Tanner was born July 1 1846


10
Mr
James or Monroe
Conlee
Union Villege
Wasington Co.
N.Y.
[postmark]

Friday, April 29, 2016

Eliza and Caroline Lyman Plead for Child Support

The women who entered plural marriage generally did so out of a firm belief in the Restored Gospel and the prophetic ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith. There were occasional abuses of the system, some women were coerced into the practice, some men were neglectful or vicious, and some men took wives they could not support, but divorce was possible if desired on the part of the woman, and sometimes the system worked okay for some families.

Amasa Lyman, with his many church responsibilities, may barely have had the means to support one family, let alone eight. John Tanner and Sidney Tanner helped care for Amasa's large family when they were able, but John died in 1850 and Sidney was sent to settle in Beaver in 1857 so Amasa's wives were often left to provide for themselves. Many of the women who entered into the practice of plural marriage suffered severe lifelong consequences, and this included Amasa's plural wives including Eliza Maria Partridge Lyman, who had been a plural wife of Joseph Smith, and Caroline Partridge Lyman. 

After Amasa left the Church, most of his wives took their children and lived well away from him, but it was a difficult situation. Eliza and Caroline wrote this letter not long after he was excommunicated, and hopefully he was able to do something to help them, since the two sisters had ten living children, the youngest just four years old, but he was getting on in years himself.

Fillmore         July 31st 1870

Dear Brother Lyman

You will perhaps be somewhat surprised at receiving a letter from us, but we are driven by stern necessity to do something. We cannot sit down quietly and see our children starve.

We are living now by borrowing of one neighbor then another without any prospect of ever paying which I consider not a very creditable way of doing. It seems to me that there is ^no need of all this destitution, that we are not so much worse off than other folks with regard to property, and can you not devise some plan whereby your family can be fed and clothed and have some little chance for an education? I think you can testify that during the last twenty four or five years we have borne poverty and privations of almost every kind without complaint and have done all in our power to make your life as ^happy as possible under the circumstances and be in truth a help to you, and it is not with a desire to add one sorrow to your heart that we write now, but to let you know how we are situated and see if there cannot be something done to relieve our wants a little. I hope you will excuse me if I have said too much, but I feel almost desperate sometimes, my health is gone and old age comes creeping on, and now when I most need some one to lean on, I find myself standing alone, no Husband to lighten my cares, no Father to provide for my children or to help me in rearing them, no home that I can call my own, no means that I can command to support myself and family, all are gone, gone, and I feel that the weight of responsibility that rests upon me is sometimes ^almost more than I can bear, but I put my trust in the Lord knowing that when all others forsake us he is still our Friend

Hoping to hear from you soon we subscribe ourselves your Friends

Eliza M. Lyman

Caroline E. Lyman

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Letter From a Refugee in 1857


Here is Sidney Tanner writing to his brother-in-law, Apostle Amasa Lyman, as Sidney evacuated both their families from San Bernardino under the direction of Brigham Young while the United States Army marched toward Utah Territory to put down a non-existent rebellion.

To be honest, it had never crossed my mind that Sidney or any of the Tanners would be barely literate, but they had lived on the edges of the frontier their entire lives without the benefit of formal education. 

In the letter Sidney explains that he wants to settle in Salt Lake City, but as we know, the family ended up in Beaver. He ends his letter hoping that his Heavenly Father will deliver them from the hand of the oppressor and enable them to do good while they remained on the earth. I think it is safe to say that his prayer was answered in the affirmative.


San Berinardino November   [1857]

Br
            Amsa Lyman

drop you           Dear Sir

drop you a line to let you know of my welfare myself and family has ben a flicted with sore is eyes  I have not ben able to but litle since I got home thare is a geate excitement in this place at p[r]esent Brother Hanks sold me the four muls and two wagons the goats hee wod not due enny thin a bout I recicive your letter on the 28th I was glad to here from you you wanted me to look after your famly

I will do the bestican [best I can] times Is vary hard here thare is no c[h]ance of seling land here at prsant I expect to start the temes [teams] about tenn days and bring [Amasa's plural wives] Cornelia [Ely Partridge Lyman,] Piscilla [Priscilla Turley Lyman,] Dionishia [Dionita Walker Lyman] and my family as fur as seder citty [Cedar City]


Tare [There] stop and send back temes to help up the res of the famly I want you to make a raingment for grain thar for the temes to return wih as wee will have no monny [money]

Brother Cox will do the best he can for the rest of famly

In my absence when I git the famly all along I want to come to citty of great salt lake

I wish you wood giv em all the infrommation about this this matter from time to time

seei meed [?] and about all others my prare [prayer] is to god my hevnly father hee will de liver us from the hand of opresor and in able [enable] us to du good while wee remain up on the erth

            Amasa Lyman                    Sidney Tanner

Additional information in a letter from William J. Cox to Amasa Lyman (November 7, 1857):
Brother Sidney Tanner will leave about the 20th, with his family, and is advised to leave his load at Cedar City or vicinity and return for a load of the poor, as there are many who are not able to get any part of a fit out themselves. I have adopted the plan of sending some teams with families on the 20th inst, and have them return for another load, especially the best of the Teams, Sidney. Will take your teames at the Same time With a part of your family and leave them at the same place and return to this place for another load, this is all the way.  That offers at present for the removal of the Saints from this place, We are Busy here in gathering teams, and Wagons for the trip. But Waggons are very Scarce and very dear and our traps are very low. So you See that it is an uphill afair to us But We Will Be able to get out, on foot or some other way 
The excitement here is intence, oweing to the late massacre on the Plains near the Southern settlements in Utah, and the high_way and high handed Robery of another Train (as our enemis call it) this side of there, the feeling against all who uphold the authorities of the church is greater than you I presume can imagine, especially in this and Los Angeles Counties

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Update to List of Southern States Mission Presidents

Based on information in the Early Mormon Missionaries database, I have updated the list of Southern States Mission Presidents.

Since the Southern States Manuscript History is now online at the Church History Library website, I have double-checked all the dates of service. The Church History Library needs to correct its list of Mission Presidents; I will contact them and let them know.

Early Mormon Missionaries: John Morgan


The entry for John Morgan in the Early Mormon Missionaries database is deceptively simple since it does not capture any details of his service, including the fact that he served as mission president for many years. It does, however, show that he was set apart each time he headed from Utah Territory back to the South.

Here is a summary of the resources on John Morgan:


Here is a list of the presidents of the Southern States Mission:


Here is a summary of John Morgan's time as president of the Southern States Mission, as captured in the Southern Star:


• • •

John Morgan was set apart October 11, 1875 by Joseph Young.

Joseph Young (1797–1881), President of the Seventy.
He was set apart January 25, 1878 by Orson Pratt.

Orson Pratt (1843–1881), Apostle.
He was set apart March 29, 1881 and again March 29, 1882 by George Q. Cannon.

George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), First Counselor in the First Presidency.

He was set apart January 4, 1890 by unknown; information not complete in this entry.

• • •

His entry shows his parents as Gerrard Morgan and Ann E Hamilton.

Garrard Morgan (1806–1889).

Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan (1815–1901).

John Morgan was born August 8, 1842 in Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana, and baptized November 24, 1868 by Robert L. Campbell. Summary of resources on Robert L. Campbell.

Robert Lang Campbell (1825–1874), Territorial Superintendant of Schools.
Picture from FamilySearch Family Tree, couresy of "Katherineandreasen2."

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Early Mormon Missionaries: Philip Pugsley


The new Early Mormon Missionaries database includes a short entry about Philip Pugsley's mission to the Sandwich Islands, now Hawaii. (Note that his name is misspelled in the database. I have sent a correction.)

Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, Flickr, used as is.

Here is what Edward Tullidge's biography of Philip Pugsley says about his mission:
In 1865 Pugsley was sent to the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii], by President Young, to investigate the propriety of starting a tannery there, to be worked by the native Mormons, but he found it not practicable or promising and so reported. He traveled over the Islands, visited Kalakaua [Kealakekua] Bay, saw the spot where Captain Cook was massacred and wrote his name on the stump of the cocoanut tree—covered with copper by a sailor—on which visitors write their names in honor of the great voyager who “sailed around the world three times” and then was massacred by the natives of the Sandwich Islands.
Here are the two sources provided by the database; they have not been digitized, but most likely contain the information currently found in the database.
Missionary Department missionary registers, 1860-1959, Vol. 1, p. 7, line 265; Vol. 2, p. 7, line 265.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Early Mormon Missionaries: William Lester Glade


Here is an excerpt from the Early Mormon Missionaries entry for William Lester Glade:
Early Mormon Missionaries
November 1915–April 1918
Central States
Set apart by Jos F Smith
When Lester returned from his missionary service he entered the army. I won't repeat all the information about his missionary and military service, since it's been covered before on the blog, but here are some images. First a program for his missionary farewell, then a card showing him while he was in the military. Note the caption, with its reference to his missionary service ("Reverend"). If I recall correctly, he did not make it overseas to fight in the First World War.



Sgt. W. L. Glade
Camp Lee, Va.
Nov. 28, 1918
Once "Rev."
Now Ready for Over Sea Service!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Early Mormon Missionaries: Archibald Hill

Archibald Newell Hill was an early Scottish convert from Canada. I have not told his life story yet because it is complicated and at least part of the story should be told in a more formal publishing venue, but here is his entry from the Early Mormon Missionaries database.

Archibald Hill, mission picture, courtesy of Sharon Wilbur.
Hill served three missions. The first was to Europe. Daniel B. Richard's Hill Family History notes, 
Archibald served a mission in 1865 (2 years and 4 months) to Birmingham and Southampton and traveled 3,657 miles by foot; 7,631 miles by railroad; 8,786 miles by water; attended 318 public meetings; preached 253 sermons; and baptized 10 persons. He visited his place of birth and met with an uncle.
On his return to the United States, he headed a large company of immigrants. (See more information at Mormon Migration: Manhattan, Liverpool to New York, 1867).

The second mission call was to Canada with his brother Alexander Hill, Jr. Richards notes that he visited his old home in Essex, Ontario.

Archibald Hill and his three children from his first marriage,
Samuel Hill, Hannah Hood Hill Romney, Rebecca Hood Hill Pettit.
Courtesy of Sharon Wilbur.

His third mission had to do with the intense prosecutions in the late 1880s over plural marriage. Richards notes:
In 1887 he left Utah for Joseph City, Arizona ... He got as far as Springville, Utah and returned to Salt Lake. He was then appointed as a missionary to Arizona and he left again for Joseph City and lived with his nephew, Joseph Richards for almost a year. He visited twice his granddaughter Mary Ann Romney Farr in St. Johns and to Luna Valley, New Mexico where his sister Elizabeth Swapp lived. While in Arizona he received word that his wife Margaret had died. At the end of his visit in Arizona and New Mexico, he left on the train for Salt Lake City and went through Denver where he visited with his “lost daughter” Emma Milam Hill Thomas whom he hadn’t seen for 24 years.
Here are two letters he wrote, provided through the Early Mormon Missionaries database and found at the Church History Library.


Archibald Newell Hill Letter, April 13, 1887, First Presidency Missionary Calls and recommendations, 1877–1918, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, CR 1 168, box 3, folder 11, image 14, 1–2.

Transcription of the letters, as written, no correction of spelling, but I do not include the periods he uses to keep space.
Lehi April 13/87 [received by Church] A.N. Hill — April 15 — 1887. 
Mr. F.D. Richdards 
My Dear Brother no doubt but you are aware of my arest & Escape may it be wise or folish. I Have ben Led in this way, Now I +^+would^ be Pleased to Know if you Have any advice or Council for me in the futer. I dow acknolidge the Hand of the in the Past. Escape from the Enemy. Now if a mission to Europ Canada or any wheare Els would be of benifit to the Kingdom or My Self & famly I wish to be Like Clay in the Hands of the Potter 
I am now at Lehi with Bro Wm Yates, just arrived by wagon & will wate for an answer from You. My Famly is all Right as for a Livleyhood I Beleive my adress will be 
A. Currie, Lehi, in Care of William Yates 
As Ever Your Brother in the Gosple & // 
A. N. Hill 
P..S. I Believe I Can get a Recommend from my Bishop of the 19th ward if Necesery in Hase [haste, since] the Train is Coming
Archibald Newell Hill Letter, June 17, 1887, First Presidency Missionary Calls and recommendations, 1877–1918, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, CR 1 168, box 3, folder 11, image 15, 1.
Nephi, Juab. Co     June 17/87 
President F. D. Richards. My Deare Brother 
I Received a Letter Yesterday from Bro. G. Reynolds Stating that I was apointed on a mission, all Right trust I will be of Some use in this great Cause of truth & warfaire, wherever it may be to no place mentioned, I would be glad for a Companion in Labour. 
he wished me to call in the evening the only Safe time I Recon. at the Historan Office. I will notify you which night I can be at Your Servise as I have to be on the Looke out, it will be if all right, the Lord willing Some time next week. May the Lord Bless & Preserve you & all his Servents. as Ever your Brother in Tribulations 
A. N. Hill