Tuesday, March 10, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 3

During the month of January, 1878, Elder Henry G. Boyle was released to return home and Elder John Morgan was appointed to act as President of the Mission (a position he held continuously for thirteen years). It was during this month that Elders Mathias F. Cowley, David Williams, Andrew Johnson and Henry W. Barnett first appeared on the scene. In February, a debate was held at Cave Springs, Kentucky, creating very wide-spread interest.

President Morgan, with Elder Asa W. Sabine, visited Rome, Ga., and held a series of meetings, visited the various branches in the surrounding localities and established headquarters at Rome, Ga. It was decided during the month of April to publish three thousand tracts, and the order for same given.

Elder Joseph Standing reported for duty about this time and was assigned to labor in the State of Georgia, in the Georgia Conference.

Encouraging reports were received at headquarters from the Elders laboring in the Virginia Conference; but reports from Marshall county, Alabama, indicated a mobocratic spirit, the Elders being forced to leave.

Elders David Williams and Andrew Johnson opened up a new field of labor in Polk and Harolson counties, Georgia, finding a great many friends and some believers.

May, 1878, reports came in from all sides calling for more Elders, there being plenty of people desirous of hearing the Gospel. New districts were penetrated, where many had never heard the Gospel as taught by the Elders, converts and baptisms being reported frequently.

June, of 1878, is the first we hear of Elder Parley P. Pratt, who reported for duty and was assigned to labor in the Tennessee Conference in conjunction with Elder Edward Stevenson.

July reports indicated a very favorable progress in the decemination [sic] of truth and distribution of tracts.

August 6, 7 and 8 a conference was held at Haywood Valley, Ga., at which all the Elders laboring nearby were present, besides a great many Saints and friends. A Female Relief Society was organized to assist in the great work, and a request was formulated urging the Church Authorities to furnish more help. A total membership of 272 souls, with ten traveling Elders was also reported.

September, 1878, President Morgan, accompanied by Elder Joseph Standing, visited the Saints in McLemore’s Cove and opened up a new field of labor in Murray and Whitfield counties, in the Georgia Conference.

Elders W.H. Barnett and M.F. Cowley reported the conversion and baptism of seventeen souls in their field of labor and the organization of a branch of the Church in the state of Virginia.

Elder Russell Rogers walked through from Georgia to Bankston, Choctaw county, Miss., enduring many hardships, but arrived in safety.

On account of an epidemic of yellow fever prevailing, it was decided to not organize a company of emigrants for the season of 1878.

At the General Conference, held in Salt Lake, a company of twenty-one Elders were assigned to labor in the Southern States, all but three of whom reported duly for assignment. Reports generally indicated everything moving smoothly and pleasantly except in Walker county, where, by the blessing of the Lord and the devotion of the Saints, serious trouble was frustrated.

During the month of October, a Mr. Connelly rendered some very efficient service in securing suitable places to preach in and introducing them into new localities. Elders Morgan and Standing baptized six new converts and organized a church in Coosa county, Georgia.

November reports very encouraging throughout the Mission; the new Elders from Salt lake reporting up and assigned.

December President Morgan visited the Alabama Conference and appointed Elder Ralph Smith to preside over the Georgia Conference, vice Elder David Williams, released.

Elders Jonas W. Beck and Alexander Spencer reported that the Saints in North Carolina were much disorganized and steps were taken looking to remedy the trouble.

Elders Parley P. Pratt and Daniel Stuart were sent into East Tennessee to secure new openings to preach the Gospel. The year closed with no special incident to mark its departure other than already noted.

(To be Continued.)

Note: We were unable at this writing to secure a picture of President Morgan to present with this issue. It will be forthcoming as soon as secured.—Ed.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 3, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, December 17, 1898.

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