Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Editor's Note

The blog has been getting lots of visits recently from relatives searching for their ancestors.

I realized that I need a better index. The only way I know how to do this is to add labels to all the posts. If, by chance, anyone is using RSS feed, I'm going to be re-posting all the old posts, and you might get a lot of "updated" entries! If anyone knows a better way to index the site, please let me know. Thanks! Happy Spring!

Morgan Family Gravestones

Many thanks to a descendant of John and Helen Groesbeck Morgan who sent photos of the gravestones of John Morgan and his wives.

Here is the newspaper article written by a committee of Southern States missionaries taking up a collection to purchase the marker for John Morgan's grave.

John Hamilton Morgan
8 August 1842 (Greensburg, Indiana) - 14 August 1894 (Preston, Idaho)

Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan
7 February 1852 (Springfield, Illinois) - 15 June 1930 (Los Angeles, California)

Annie Mildred Smith Morgan
(Different dates and birth places listed from 1844 in Indiana to 1864 in England) - 3 April 1935

Mary Ann Linton Morgan
11 February 1865 (Nephi, Utah) - 16 March 1951 (Salt Lake City, Utah)

See additional information on the graves here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Note to John Morgan

Richardson, Arthur M., and Nicholas G. Morgan. The Life and Ministry of John Morgan: For a Wise and Glorious Purpose. [S.l.]: N.G. Morgan, 1965, p 197. There is a third threatening note reproduced in the book, but due to its graphic nature, I won't post it on the internet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 14: Conferences

During the lapse of time between the July conference and August conference President Morgan and Elder Barbour held some good spirited meetings in North Georgia, after which they proceeded to Moscow, Lamar county, Alabama, where they met thirteen Elders, Saints and friends in conference capacity. This happy meeting occurred on Aug. 12, 12 and 13 [sic]. Many valuable instructions were given, which caused the Elders and Saints to feel encouraged and press on in the glorious work of living and disseminating the eternal truths of the Gospel.

A number of changes were made and the Elders sent forth to their fields of labor.

In the northern part of the mission much opposition and prejudice existed, especially in Kentucky. In this state the conference meeting was postponed on account of threatened mob violence. They who should defend truth tried to overcome it by publishing scandalous falsehoods, having for their motive the downfall of the work and trouble for the Elders and Saints.

The Louisville Commercial was especially energetic in this regard.

The conference finally convened during the last days of August at the home of Brother Nours, near Huntsville, Kentucky. Presidents Morgan and Snow were there to make light the hearts of the Elders and Saints. Here a branch of the church was organized, with Elder William Hendricks as presiding officer.

The semi-annual report showed a marked increase of baptisms over former reports, number two hundred and four for the half year ending Aug. 31.

In the month of September special efforts were made looking to reducing the rates for emigrants. President Morgan went to Denver, Colorado, and to Louisville, Kentucky, for this purpose. The railroad officials met him with favor and readily made concessions which were advantageous to the mission.

During this time Elders were coming from Zion to warn the people of the coming judgments and prepare them for eternal life.

A profitable change came in October, the headquarters of the mission being moved from Nashville to Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was done on Oct. 10, 1882. Arrangements were perfected for emigrants to leave Chattanooga on Nov. 16, circulars having been sent to all parts of the mission to this effect. After the departure of the fall emigration President John Morgan, with some of his co-workers, were released to return home.

At the semi-annual conference at Salt Lake City a number of Elders were called to take a mission; ten making their appearance during this month at Chattanooga, and were assigned to their fields of labor.

On Nov. 4 and 5 the Mississippi Conference convened at Lodi, Montgomery county, Mississippi, Elders Morgan, Moore and Judd being present. The meetings were fairly attended and a good spirit manifested. Elder S.D. Moore was appointed president of the conference, Elder E.W. McBride being released to return home.

[When was John Morgan released? He shows up in the next installment, and I'm seeing different dates in various sources.]

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 17, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 25, 1899, p 135.

Photo of Montgomery County, Mississippi from www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/1912458576/in/pool-montgomerycountymississippi.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Warning Sent to John Morgan While He Was Working in Tennessee

Richardson, Arthur M., and Nicholas G. Morgan. The Life and Ministry of John Morgan: For a Wise and Glorious Purpose. [S.l.]: N.G. Morgan, 1965, p 134.

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 13: More Work and Weather and an Innovation

In previous articles The Star readers have been informed that Elders M.F. Cowley and George C. Parkinson were assigned to labor in St. Louis, Missouri.

On account of the success which compensated their sedulous energies expended in the cause of truth, it was decided that the Mission Conference of 1881 should be held in that city. It convened on December 3d, with four Elders in attendance. Many Saints, friends and strangers came out to hear the words of truth as they fell from the lips of those inspired and duly commissioned servants of the Lamb of God.

After conference the Elders were given their respective fields of labor, which they immediately entered, and pursued their usual course of disseminating Gospel truths.

The year, which was now pending on the threshold of the present and in the act of identifying itself with the past, was characterized with signal success. The harvest was a prolific one, although the field had been made barren in many places by the odious misrepresentations circulated by the feigned Christian proselyters [sic] of Utah.

But little was accomplished during the first month of 1882, on account of the humidity of the weather and the fiendish spirit of mobocracy which prevailed in many of the states, especially Georgia. Even the Atlanta Constitution, which previously had befriended the Elders, now resorted to all kinds of opprobrious epithets in order to minimize the influence of the ambassadors of the Gospel of the Son of Man.

So ardently burned the fire of persecution in Georgia during the month of February that it was thought prudent to release a portion of the laboring corps of that state. President Walter Scott was one of the three fortunates honored with the “Thou hast magnified thy calling and God has called thee home.” Elder John Houston was chosen to fill the vacancy created by President Scott’s return to the vales of the Rockies.

Elders John Carter and Joseph B. Keeler were favored with a startling episode this month. While laboring near Head’s Ferry they were assaulted by a vindictive crowd, who fired upon them and drove them from their field. This rabble was led by two ministers and a dealer in equity. Their names are: Rev. Bryant, Rev. Forrester and Judge Sulton.

The Elders working in Perry county, Tennessee, were disturbed by some law breakers, who were immediately apprehended and brought to justice. Judge Bateman rendered an unbiased decision, and the culprits were forced to pay a fine of $25. The prosecuting attorney, Mr. Meeks, most honorably performed his duty and should be remembered as a defender and sustainer of the laws of his country. This was truly an innovation in the history of the Southern States Mission.

With March came the heavy spring rains, and it is said that they were so terrific that the whole country was flooded to such an extent as to render traveling almost impossible. Despite the unpropitious conditions, the Elders succeeded in converting and initiating several honest souls into the fold of Christ.

On the 22d of this month a company of one hundred and twenty-four gathered at Chattanooga and intermediate points, and started for Zion. They were accompanied to the San Louis [sic] valley, Colorado, by President Morgan and Elder Cowley.

West Tennessee was opened by several Elders under the leadership of Elder R.C. Camp, and from all reports it proved a fruitful field. In April conference was held in this section of the state, which proved to be very successful. Many Saints and friends were present and received with eagerness the spiritual food served them by the true servants of Christ.

At this conference President B.H. Roberts was released and Elder R.C. Camp chosen to fill the vacancy.

(In the same week’s paper is a lovely little story about the importance of keeping appointments. See the second and third columns of page 122.)

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 16, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 18, 1899, p 121.

Photo from www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/968520753/

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 12: Friends and Enemies

The success which attended the arduous labors of the Elders expended during the year 1880 did not terminate therewith, but merged into the following year.

During the month of January, 1881, the cause of truth seemed to prevail in Georgia and North Carolina, as many honest souls were initiated into the fold of Christ.

While Elder B.H. Roberts was laboring in the Tennessee Conference (now known as Middle Tennessee Conference), he was forced to enter the arena of religious discussion.

The people of Wilson county manifested a desire to overthrow the teachings of the Mormon Elders and therefore procured one of their most able biblical scholars to meet the (at that time) young but fearless advocate of the Gospel of the Lamb of God.

The debate began February 5th and lasted three days. Listeners came from far and near, curious to learn the supposed absurdities and defeat of Mormonism. The discussion was an ardent one and proved to be far-reaching in its results, so far as Mormonism is concerned. Many honest people were brought to a realization of their true condition before the Father, and thus seeing their mistakes, repented thereof and turned unto Christ.

During the month of April, 1881, it was deemed advisable to make a change in the locality of the Mission’s headquarters. Previously having been at Rome, Georgia; but now its location was to be in Nashville, Tennessee.

No striking incidents occurred in the missionary field during this month.

The pleasantness of May and June seems to have been imbibed by all the people of the Sunny South; the Elders were treated with kindness and generosity. The harvest reaped by the indefatigable labors of the servants of Christ during this month was encouraging indeed. Many baptisms being recorded and success generally followed the Elders. The brightness of these months was not to be perpetuated by that of July. There was to be a change; night was to follow the day; the calm was to be dispelled by the gale.

While President Morgan, with Elders Bean and Houston, were holding a series of meetings at Mount Lookout, St. Clair county, Alabama, an intoxicated mob, headed by a Baptist preacher, assaulted them and commanded them to desist from further dissemination of Mormonism in that part of the country. The name of the mobocrats were Rev. Archie Newburn, Samuel P. McClellan, Frank Simmons, Benjamin Phillips, Ross Cooper, William McDill, Jefferson Hood, Floyd Gray and Walter Price.

[I’m not finding all of these men listed in the 1880 census. Ross Cooper, Ashville and Old Town, St. Clair, Alabama, was born in 1857 in Alabama. He was about 24 years old at this time and a single, white male, clerking in a store. The Simmons, McDill, Hood, and Gray families were well represented in St. Clair. “J.F.” Gray was a 26 year old married, white farmer at the time and may have been the “Floyd” listed.]

After the difficulties at Mt. Lookout the Elders made their way through the country to Springville, where they spent the week. Several times they were visited and told to leave the country, but they steadily refused; they insisted that they were delegated to preach the Gospel in that county and rather than ignore their commission they would lay their bodies in a martyr’s tomb.

Securing Brother Wm. Posey’s house, the Elders circulated an appointment to the effect that they would preach at the above named residence Sunday at 11 a.m. The meeting had no sooner commenced, at which there was a large crowd, before some forty men on horseback hove in sight. Recognizing them as being there for no good, the audience became alarmed and left the house in confusion. The Elders stepped into an adjacent log cabin and armed themselves with shotguns, and as soon as the mobocrats discovered that the Elders were armed and befriended by many of the people and were prepared for the attack, they became intimidated and skulked away.

The aid given the Elders in this hour of trial by Messrs. Allen Nichols, W.C. Murray, W.T. Bowling, Noah Franklin and Amos Posey should ever be held in fond remembrance. The names of these defenders and lovers of justice and equity should be enshrined in the hearts of the Elders of Israel.

[The 1880 census lists an Alfred Nichols, age 41, white, “working at ore,” married to Norah Nichols in Springville, St. Clair, Alabama. I see a number of Murrays and Franklins, but not these ones in particular. A.M. Posey, married to C.C. Posey, born in Maryland, a 63 year old farmer, is listed as the father of W.M Posey, and they are shown as living in Kellys Creek, Shelby, Alabama.]

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 15, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 11, 1899, p 113.

Photo of the St. Clair County, Alabama, Courthouse from www.flickr.com/photos/ednoles/213656822/. Photo of the St. Clair, Alabama, family from www.flickr.com/photos/7847587@N03/1071478852/.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The John Morgan Monument

John Morgan died in August 1894 at the early age of 52. His death was a shock to his wives and children and associates. He left his families in impoverished circumstances and they were not able to afford a gravestone to mark his grave. The missionaries who served under their beloved mission president took up a collection to put a monument on his grave. Unfortunately, there is no picture of the marker in findagrave. The University of Utah photo collection has a photo but it is not online. Anyone in Salt Lake City want to take a nice springtime drive to the cemetery to locate the grave?

This letter was published in the Deseret News (February 18, 1899 and November 25, 1899) and the Southern Star (March 4, 1899).

The John Morgan Monument

For some years there has been more or less talk among the Elders who labored in the southern states under the presidency of the late Elder John Morgan, of erecting a monument over his grave as a token of their esteem for the man they learned to love. At last the matter has taken definite form, as will appear from the communication addressed by the brethren signing it to the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan’s presidency:

To all Elders Who Labored in the Southern States Mission Under the Presidency of Elder John Morgan:

Dear Brethren—For some time past a number of prominent Elders connected with the southern states mission during the long presidency of the late Elder John Morgan have been considering the propriety of manifesting in some way or other their regard for him and perpetuating his memory to future generations. Recently it became known to some of them that the First Council of Seventy contemplated the erection of a tombstone over his grave, and that they had made an appropriation for that purpose. The amount appropriated by the council was the same as that appropriated for a like purpose in the case of other such presidents who have died. But as this amount would only be sufficient for the erection of the plainest kind of a tombstone it was thought by some of the Elders who had labored in the south under Elder Morgan’s presidency that if it was only known that a tombstone was to be erected over the remains of their beloved president that they would not only be willing but anxious to make a contribution that in the aggregate would so swell the amount appropriated by the First Council of Seventies as to erect a more pretentious monument to perpetuate the memory of this great missionary president. Accordingly it was determined to afford them such an opportunity; and after consultation with, and approval of those rightfully concerned in the case a committee was appointed to take the matter in hand.

B.H. Roberts, J.G. Kimball, William Spry, Elias S. Kimball and Ben E. Rich were made the committee.

The plan of procedure of the committee is very simply. The object is to give all the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan in the south—from January, 1878, when he took the oversight of the mission, to January 4th, 1888, when he was honorably released—an opportunity to express their regard for the man under whose direction and wise counsel so many hundreds labored in the southern states mission during those years that were so fraught with many dangers to the servants of God and bitter prejudice against the message with which they were commissioned.

A letter, therefore, setting forth this purpose has been sent to as many of the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan’s presidency whose present addresses can be ascertained, asking them to contribute what they may seem proper for the purpose of erecting a suitable monument over his grave.

Elder J.G. Kimball has been appointed treasurer of the fund, and all remittances should be promptly forwarded to him. His address is No. 36 East First North street, Salt Lake City. After a reasonable time has been granted to afford all an opportunity to contribute, such funds as may have accumulated in the hands of the committee will be employed in the erection of the monument contemplated.

We do not feel called upon the [sic] urge the worthiness of the late Elder John Morgan to be thus remembered; his lasting friendship and devotion to the Elders who labored with him in the south are remembered by all those who were so fortunate; and to afford them this opportunity to perpetuate his memory in the way proposed is all sufficient to secure the necessary response.

In consequence of so many of the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan having changed their addresses since they were released from the South, this letter is published in the “News,” and all those who become acquainted with the matter in this way, but who may fail to receive a letter upon the subject because of the inability of the committee to locate them, we ask them to consider this published letters [sic] addressed to them personally and respond accordingly.

Truly your brethren,

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 14, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 4, 1899, p 112.

Monday, April 13, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 11: “The People Had Rendered the Verdict”

Friday, Nov. 19, they were joined at Columbus, Kentucky, by nineteen souls from Mississippi. Elder John W. Gibson, of North Ogden, came with them to Columbus. This addition gave us a company of 117 souls, men, women and children. A pleasant journey was had throughout, going by the way of St. Louis, Kansas City and Pueblo.

The company arrived in Manassa, Colo., Monday morning, Nov. 22, 1880, and were kindly received by the Saints of that place. This company was among the early settlers of Manassa, only a few companies having preceded them to that place.

After a few days’ visit, Elder Cowley returned to the south, and at St. Louis joined Elder John W. Taylor, these two Elders having been assigned as traveling companions. They were appointed by President Morgan to labor in Terrell county, Georgia, and as far as can be learned, were the first Elders to introduce the Gospel into that section of Southwest Georgia. They arrived in Dawson Dec. 14, 1880, and were kindly received at the home of Mrs. Sarah Reynolds, who had relatives in the church in North Georgia. From this point the Elders extended their labors into various parts of the county and into Randolph. The climate was sickly, abounding in malarial swamps, so that in early spring President Morgan counseled the Elders to go north to Clayton county. During their stay they made many friends, and baptized two ladies, Mrs. Nannie Coxwell and her daughter, Mrs. Nancy McLendon. The latter now resides in Logan, Utah, the former being aged, died in the state of Georgia.

Agreeable to counsel of President Morgan, these Elders went to Clayton county April 14, 1881, where they found three members of the church, Brother L.T.D. McKinney, his wife and mother. They labored in Clayton, Henry and Campbell counties a few months, making many friends and baptizing one soul, a Miss McKinney. From this point they were invited to attend conference in Haralson county, Georgia, where they met President Morgan and most of the Elders of the Georgia and Alabama Conferences. In Clayton county Elders W.J. Packer and Samuel Bills also labored for a short time. After conference the Elders were assigned new companions, Elders Taylor and Packer laboring in Polk, Elders Cowley, Houston, Parkinson and Bean in Floyd. Early in September, 1881, Elders Cowley and Parkinson were sent to labor in the city of St. Louis, where a small branch of the church had been in existence for some time, presided over by Andrew Burman.

(Note—St. Louis was part of the Southern States Mission at this time, hence we note the labors of the Elders there. In later years it eliminated from the Southern States Mission proper.—Ed.)

The Saints rented a hall, 1310 Broadway, where they held Sunday school and meetings each Sabbath. The attendance was very light. During the week-days they labored in private, visiting friends from house to house and making some new friends. They labored ten months in St. Louis; Elder Cowley the entire time, Elders Parkinson, Howe and Glazier portions of the time; the latter named having been called to England early in 1882. During the spring of 1882 President Morgan and Elder Cowley accompanied another body of Saints to Manassa, Colo. About the time that Elders Cowley and Parkinson came to St. Louis Elder John W. Taylor was removed from the Georgia to the Kentucky Conference, where he, with other Elders, performed a most excellent work in Butler, Muhlenburg and other counties until the spring of 1882, when Elder Taylor was released to return home.

During the labors of the Elders in St. Louis their meetings were advertised regularly in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the Missouri Republican. The columns of the former were liberally thrown open for the communications of the Elders. During the winter of ’81-82 the anti-polygamy furore [sic] was at its height throughout the nation; agitated chiefly by sectarian priests. A large meeting was held in St. Louis in the First Congregational church for the purpose of petitioning congress to pass more stringent anti-Mormon laws. The meeting was presided over and addressed by preachers and one or two lawyers. The addresses were bitter. It had been previously announced that all denominations might be represented but the Mormons. Mrs. Virginia L. Miner, a non-Mormon, asked the privilege to speak, presumably in defense of the rights of the Mormon people, but was denied. The chairman of the meeting announced that the question was not to be discussed pro and con, upon its merits. The people had rendered the verdict, and they were simply there to remonstrate against the practices of the Mormon people and petition congress to act against them. Resolutions were framed and when the vote for adoption was called a great many of the congregation did not respond in the affirmative and the negative vote was not called for.

A reply to the false assertions of these ministers and lawyers was written by Elder Cowley and co-laborers and was published in full in the columns of the Globe-Democrat with no unfavorable comment.

During the ten months’s labor of the Elders in St. Louis sixteen persons were added to the church, four of whom had previously been in the church, but had fallen away and joined themselves to the Reorganized church. Early in July, 1882, Elder Cowley was released to return home, and the St. Louis field was left in charge of Elder George E. Howe.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 14, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 4, 1899, p 106.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 10: Mobs, Emigration, More about Mr. Edge

June, 1880, Sister Sarah Church, of Utah, visited the south, and while thus engaged made a number of appointments to preach, bearing her testimony to the Gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith. She traveled through portions of Tennessee and Mississippi. [I'd like to find out more about this woman.] [Ed.—Many thanks to Bruce at Amateur Mormon Historian who tracked down Sarah Ann Arterbury Church.]

Elder James Milliard, laboring in Autauga county, Alabama, reported considerable opposition to the work in his county, but a corresponding interest on the part of the honest seeker after righteousness and many friends made.

During the month of July in 1880 a branch of the church was organized near Felton, in Haralson county, Georgia, with a membership of twelve persons, by Elder Solomon C. Stephens. The baptism of five persons in White county, Georgia, under the administration of Elder T.H. Howard and Elder H.G. Boyle, reported a well attended conference at Tans Creek, Maury county, Tennessee, 500 people being present, with ten local Elders, at which a liberal shower of the spirit prevailed. A Priesthood meeting was held on the top of Pilot mountain, with the Elders, which was much enjoyed by those in attendance.

The month of August passed off without special incident other than reports of baptisms from Bedford county, Virginia, also in Polk county, Georgia, and Lawrence county, Kentucky, and the usual quota of opposition from the clergy in various portions.

September also was devoid of any special incidents except the organization of a branch at Lodi, in Montgomery county, Mississippi, and frequent reports of baptisms, much traveling and preaching.

October opens up with a report from Elder Joseph B. Keeler, of Provo, visiting White county, in Georgia, where he had opened up a new territory, preaching, tracting, and a very encouraging outlook thereabouts; in addition to this, Elder S.C. Stephenson reported the baptism of five persons in Haralson county, Georgia. An accession of new Elders from Salt Lake City was reported. During the latter part of October a mob of ruffians gathered in Laurence county, Georgia, and took Elders Gordon S. Bills and Daniel Densley from their beds and forcibly carried them across the country into a dense growth of trees, where preparations had been made to hang them, ropes and suitable trees having been selected for their nefarious purposes, but on their arrival some question arose as to some of the dastardly details, over which there was considerable wrangling, during which a man and woman, friends of the Elders, made their appearance on the scene, thus frightening the gang so greatly that they fled from their presence, leaving the Elders in safety and convincing them that the Lord had miraculously interposed in their behalf against a mob of wicked men.

Nov. 2, 1880, Elders M.F. Cowley and Jacob G. Bigler, Jr., left Salt Lake City to labor as missionaries in the Southern states. They journeyed together as far as Nashville, Tenn., where Elder Bigler, by counsel of President John Morgan, went to Kentucky as his field of labor. Elder Cowley went south to Chattanooga, where, according to instructions from President Morgan, he awaited the arrival of emigrating Saints from Georgia, Alabama and Virginia. Elder Cowley had been appointed to accompany this body of Saints to San Luis Valley, the location selected for the Southern Saints to colonize. Elder Cowley arrived in Chattanooga Nov. 9 and remained there just nine days while the Saints were collecting from Georgia and other points. In arranging transportation, looking after the baggage of the Saints and their general welfare, Elder Cowley was constantly and generously assisted by Ed F. Sisson, traveling passenger agent for the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Road. He also accompanied them to St. Louis, interesting himself to the utmost for the comfort and well being of the Saints. He was an old-time friend of President John Morgan and his unlimited and unchanging kindness to the Saints entitle him to honorable remembrance and let his name be recorded and emblazoned forever on the face of The Southern Star. At 10:45 a.m., Nov. 18, 1880, they left Chattanooga for Colorado over the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis road direct to Nashville, thence west to Columbus, Ky. At Huntington, Tenn., they were joined by about fifty-seven men, women and children from Henderson county, Tennessee. They were conducted to Huntington by Elder Franklin Spencer. This body of Saints had first been converted to the principles of the Gospel, faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, gathering millennium, healing the sick, etc., by a mysterious preacher, giving his name as Robt. Edge. As Mr. Edge would not baptize them, and yet taught the necessity thereof, and told them if he had not authority to do so there were men on the earth who had, they learned by accusation of enemies, that Mr. Edge’s teaching was nothing more or less than Mormonism; they set out to find some Elders. They learned of Elders George Carver and Hyrum Belknap in Tennessee, and sent for them. These Elders baptized all of Mr. Edge’s converts who were old enough, with one or two exceptions. Mr. Edge went by inspiration. He never inquired the way to any point. He always knew what to do, asking no counsel from any man. Many sick were healed through his administration, some who had been invalids for years.

To be continued...

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 14, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 4, 1899, p 105.

Photo of Autauga County from www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/82288502/.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thesis on the Southern States

While looking for something else, I found a thesis written on the history of the Southern States Mission by Heather M. Seferovich (Brigham Young University, August 1996). It is of minor interest to anyone not extremely interested in the topic, but if you would like to read it, you can find it here. Click on "Printing Version" at the bottom for a download of the entire file.

Pages 60 through 95 discuss the conditions suffered by missionaries at the time including fleas and ticks, malaria, having to walk long distances, and traveling without purse or scrip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 9: We Meet The Mysterious Robert Edge

(Photo of Hyrum Belnap.)

Having completed the history of the Martyrdom of Joseph Standing, as written by Elder John Nicholson, we will proceed with the history of the Mission from our own records.—Ed.

January, 1880, President John Morgan made a trip through Kentucky into Virginia, visiting the Elders and Saints in the various branches en route. During this month an attempt was made by certain enemies of the work to induce the Governors of Mississippi and Alabama to force the Elders to leave the states over which they presided, which was unsuccessful.

Elders from Virginia, Georgia and Mississippi reported new districts covered by them with considerable success.

February, President Morgan and Elder Mathias F. Cowley made a trip into North Carolina from Virginia, arriving at Mt. Airy on the 18th inst., and held a series of well attended meetings resulting in much good.

Elder Franklin Spencer reported the conversion and baptism of five persons at the Cane Creek branch of the church, and that a general good feeling prevailed throughout the conference.

During this month Elder Charles H. Bliss reported success in obtaining the court house at Columbus county, Ala., for meetings, but that some enemies had disturbed them by turning off the gas, and had created a very offensive smell, which was diffused throughout the hall. The means being accomplished by the aid of sulphate of Hydrogen.

March, Elder Alexander Spencer reported a visit into Patrick county, Virginia, opening up a new district in which the court house had been secured and meetings held during which one convert was baptised. Elder J.H. Moyle also reported a successful trip through the interior of North Carolina, into fields not before visited. Reports from Fannin county, Georgia, by Elder Howard and Edlefsen, indicated the baptism of three, and a general spirit of earnest inquiry, and Elder Mathias S. Cowley reported the baptism of seven persons in Virginia.

On the 22nd of March a colony of Saints from Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky were gathered to emigrate to Colorado; they were accompanied as far as Cincinnati by Elder Frank MacDonald and Levi P. Helm, who parted from them at Cincinnati and proceeded to Muhlenberg county, Kentucky, to open up a new field.

April, 1880, in addition to reports of the distribution of many tracts, meetings held, and miles traveled in promulgating the Gospel—another company of Saints left for Colorado, leaving Chattanooga on the 28th inst., and arriving safely at their destination. They were accompanied by President Morgan and Elder H.W. Barnett, who were joined at St. Louis by Elders Cowley and Spence, they having been honorably released to return home.

During the month of May Elders Hyrum Belnap and George H. Carver had the pleasure of baptizing seventeen persons who had listened to the preaching of a mysterious Mr. Edge, who appeared in Henderson County, Tennessee. He came during the month of April, 1878. No one knew where from not where he went, except that he preached the same doctrines as those taught by the Latter-Day Saints, but steadily refused to officiate in the ordinances thereof, telling the people that an opportunity would soon be given them to embrace the Gospel in its fullness: that those having authority to officiate in the Gospel ordinances would soon be along.

As will be noted in the story as told by Elder Bench, Mr. Edge inaugurated a three days’ fast; promising those who maintained it they would remain faithful till the opportunity was presented. And, as a matter of fact, those seventeen persons did keep the fast: and when Elders Belnap and Carver preached in the county it was universally conceded that the doctrines as taught were identical with Mr. Edge, and the looked for opportunity had arrived at last; and these seventeen quickly embraced it.

Just prior to Elder Bench’s return home to Fairview, Utah, last December, he told the Star man the following story which digression, it is hoped, will be pardoned, as it seems to be very properly a part of the history of the Southern States Mission. This is what he told the Star representative:

While in Madison County my companion and I, Elder Ray Wentz, of Provo, Utah, met with an experience that will interest Star readers. One evening about sundown, on December 10th, 1896, we came to a house near the county line of Madison and Henderson, midway between Jackson and Lexington. We were very tired and had intended to solicit entertainment at this house, which appeared to be a well-to-do farmer. As we approached the house we were greeted with, “Go right in, men, I’ll be in in a minute,” from a tall stately looking man who was feeding some stock. This cordial welcome rather surprised us, as the neighborhood was very bitter and it was difficult to find any friends.

We promptly done as we were bid and when our host came in he said to us: “You’re Mormons, aren’t you?” After responding to him in the affirmative he remarked: “I thought you were; I entertained one of your men about fourteen years ago—a man named Robert Edge.”

Being tired we were indeed grateful to find a friend and what was our surprise to find we were given the same bed that the famous Robert Edge had used so many years before. Mr. J.W. Sweet, the kind-hearted farmer soon had us feeling thoroughly at home and during the evening the following description of this mysterious individual was secured and jotted down in my journal. It is as follows: “Mr. Robert Edge was somewhat poorly clad; a black suit, with sack coat, woolen shirt, soft felt hat; this constituted his appearance with a bible and some writing material tied up in a red bandana handkerchief. He was a short, heavy set man weighing about 135 or 140 pounds, long, black wavy hair, black eyebrows, and full, but medium length beard, blue eyes, heighth [sic] between 5 feet 6 or 7 inches, age between 35 and 40 years, well versed in scripture, being able to prove all he taught.”

Mr. Sweet is and was at the time of his meeting with Mr. Edge, a Christian or Campbellite preacher, and freely acknowledged that his earlier visitor could completely master any arguments he might advance against what Mr. Sweet called “Mormonism,” nor has he any desire to cross swords with any Mormon Elders.

Mr. Edge preached at Lexington about a week and it is said converted fully thirty people by his forciful [sic] exhortation and while here, at Mr. Sweet’s neighborhood, instituted a three-day’s fast promising those who maintained it they would have an opportunity of embracing the gospel. Seventeen of them did so, and eventually became members of the church, some of whom emigrated west, locating in Colorado.

Another peculiarity of this Mr. Edge: he was a strict abstinent, not eating any hog meat, nor drinking any kind of stimulating liquids. His fame was quite widespread throughout all Madison, Henderson, Decatur and Perry counties.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 13. Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, February 25, 1899, p 97.

Photo of Hyrum Belnap from www.belnapfamily.org/Hyrum_Belnap.jpg.

Monday, April 6, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 8: Joseph Standing

The Southern Star took a break from the history of the Southern States Mission for several issues while publishing the article “The Martyrdom of Joseph Standing” by John Nicholson. Since I have already included posts on the topic here and here and the article is lengthy and very detailed, if you’re interested, you can read it here and here and here and here and here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Editor's Note

I'm in the midst of a fairly long stretch of posts on the history of the Southern States Mission. John Morgan was president of the mission for a long time, and a number of remarkable or tragic events happened during that time period. Among them was the murder of Joseph Standing, the Cane Creek Massacre, an intense period of missionary work and the settlement of the San Luis Valley in Colorado.

Since John Morgan's presidency covers such a long time period, I am trying to get a grasp on it, hence the inclusion of the Southern States Mission history, despite the passive language and sheer length. It will come to an end!

In the meantime, I will again point you to the Amateur Mormon Historian blog, which is covering the Cane Creek Massacre in intricate depth. Several of the posts have been amazing adventures in history. Here is a summary of the massacre, and here is the blogger's account of a recent trip to Cane Creek. Also of interest is a note about a game of marbles.

Photo of the Natchez Trace historical marker in Lewis County, Tennessee, (the location of Cane Creek) from www.flickr.com/photos/jbcurio/2774410449/.

Morgan 4: Journal of Discourses

Journal of Discourses, Volume 23:38-47



It is a very pleasant thought that we, as Elders, have when traveling abroad preaching the Gospel, to look forward to the time when we shall have the privilege of again meeting with our friends and loved ones in the valleys of the mountains, to again share their love and to partake of the spirit of those who compose the body of this Church.

During the past summer and until a few days I have been engaged in missionary labor, chiefly in the Southern States. Our labors there have been, as have been the labors of the Elders in other missions, crowned with a certain degree of success. We have realized the blessings of God upon us in all our labors in the midst of the people, for which we feel to rejoice and give thanks and praise to him. The brethren who have gone from the different parts of the Territory to labor in the mission have as a general thing, enjoyed good health; and they are feeling well, as a rule, temporally and spiritually; and especially the younger brethren who have gone forth bearing the glad tidings of salvation. There has been evinced a feeling that certainly is most praiseworthy, a desire to emulate the example set by their fathers in preaching the principles of eternal truth, often under unpleasant circumstances. Because, however much the work of God may progress and be received abroad there is, as there has been, and doubtless will be, a spirit of opposition which has to be met by every Elder in the performance of his duty. It is true our young brethren have the benefit of the experience of their fathers and of men prominent in the Church, to encourage them, and which is highly appreciated by them, but after all they have to get the experience for themselves, in order that they may know what their fathers know, and that they may be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. I have scarcely found an exception among the scores of young men who have been called from the different avocations of life to go forth and proclaim the Gospel, but what they were worthy bearers of glad tidings.

There is an idea entertained by the pious world, whose sympathy for fallen humanity is so great as to be exercised towards us, that the old and gray-headed of the "Mormon" people, "you can do nothing with, they having becoming fossilized in their religious ideas and petrified in their faith; but the young may be induced to depart from the faith of their fathers." This, however, has not been the experience we have had in the Southern States mission with our young Elders. On the contrary, we have found their faces set like flint toward the building up of the kingdom of God, and the proclaiming of the principles of truth. It often occurs in our missionary labors that Elders are called upon to pass through trying circumstances, but I do not remember of a single instance in which a young Elder flinched from the performance of his duty. They have always been ready and willing to add to the extent of their ability and strength in carrying out any measures thought necessary for the good of the cause, even to the risking of their lives. And I am led to believe from what I have witnessed in the young men who have come under my observation, that the great majority of our young people, growing up in these mountains have planted in their hearts the principles of truth, by which they will be governed in their lives. And in, this connection there is this peculiarity. In our travels in the South we often meet with families who were once members of the Church, who during the trying times of Missouri and Illinois, or at some other time in, the history of the Church, had stopped by the way-side—and where they stopped temporally they stopped spiritually; the cessation of their temporal work was the milestone that marked their spiritual resting place—but notwithstanding this falling away on the part of the parents, we found, as a general thing, that in the hearts of their children there was a love for the principles of eternal truth; and that if an elder was known to be in their vicinity they would send for him and make themselves known to him, and open their doors to him, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred they would ask to be baptized. This being true of the children of such families, who are isolated from the body of the Church, we might reasonably expect that the youth of Zion will be found true and faithful to the precepts of truth taught to them, through the force and benefit of example they receive from their parents who are members of the Church.

In our labors we at times meet with considerable opposition, but we notice that it, in the long run, instead of working to our injury, results in good. And what is true in the South in this respect is doubtless the case elsewhere. That which our enemies inflict upon us in the hope of breaking us up or weakening our position is, through an overruling providence, turned to result in good by bringing the honest in heart, the Israel of God, to a knowledge of the truth. The widespread feeling of opposition that exists toward us throughout the United States, arguing from past experiences, may be set down as a good omen for the future. But notwithstanding this general hubbub which the people seemingly have to indulge in semi-occasionally, we find in traveling and moving among the people very many upright noble men and women, and we find them belonging to various churches and religious bodies; and then we meet with others who are not connected with any sect or denomination, and who are seeking for truth let it come from where it may. And this class, in my opinion, is not small throughout the United States; in fact, I might with safety say, that there are thousands of such people who have not heard the sound of the everlasting Gospel, there being vast districts of country occupied by hundreds of thousands of peoples who do not know whether the Latter-day Saints believe in God or not, whether they accept the Bible or reject it, people who are totally ignorant in regard to our views; and among these there are many thousands of the honest in heart. We find that the spirit of opposition that we have to meet, as a rule, culminates in violence; and that the more success we have in baptizing people, the more bitter the feeling manifested toward us by our opponents.

We are, doubtless, traveling in the Southern States Mission, by way of making converts as fast as it would be prudent. If our labors should be crowned with any greater success, that is, to any considerable extent, the opposition would be correspondingly more ripe, and the consequence would be, we would have a bigger row on our hands than we would care to face.

We find a great many prominent, leading men in our travels who are willing to act fairly and honorably by us; men who use their influence with their friends in our behalf by endeavoring to place in their minds correct ideas in relation to us and our situation. To illustrate this idea, I will relate an incident that occurred during the summer. The Legislative Assembly of one of the States, Missouri—whose members had been urged on by sectarian bigotry, had a bill introduced that it was supposed would act against the "Mormons" in that State. Some of the distinguished citizens, honorable, fair-minded people, said to certain of the legislators: "You pass that bill and one-half of the State will become Mormons; that will evidently be the result. Why? Because the moment you adopt such measures you are in the wrong, let them be what they may." There are many men of that way of thinking who have moral courage sufficient to speak their minds; and the influence of such men is felt for good. And here let me say to the credit of the press that, bitter as the opposition is, we scarcely ever find a daily newspaper of any prominence but what will open its columns for us to vindicate our course. And in addition to what I have said in alluding to the class of people who are liberal and cosmopolitan in their views, we find such people ever ready and even anxious to learn in regard to our religious belief. And notwithstanding the fact that among this class are found men of learning and deep research, men who are looked up to by their fellow-men, strange as it may seem to a people who keep pace with the age, we find the great majority of them much astonished when they learn that we believe in the Bible, and that we take the teachings of that Book to substantiate our doctrines. Among this class who are so uninformed as to our theological status are Congressmen, governors, legislators and others of distinction and character.

We find also in the ordinary walks of life honest-hearted people. We find them in the churches and out of the pale of the church. We meet with men belonging to the sects of the day who say, "If we have not got the truth, we wish to obtain it." And we meet with others who do not belong to any religious denomination who say, We have examined the doctrines taught by the different churches; they will not do. Now we are willing to investigate what you teach. But, then, we cannot help but notice this kind of expression in their faces: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Can any good come out of Utah? This of course, is owing to the widespread misunderstanding in regard to our religious views.

The newspapers to-day are teeming with articles in regard to the Latter-day Saints. We are written about by editors and special correspondents; local editors gather up items respecting us and our labors among the people of their vicinity; reporters appear to be greedy for an interview with a "Mormon;" ministers preach about us from their stands, and lawyers have to allude to us from the forum; and to such an extent is this spirit and feeling indulged by the people of all grades and classes, that to-day "Mormonism" is a living question in the United States. Recently some politicians endeavored to work up an issue, and make a live question out of the tariff, and it was rather amusing to witness after their exertions how slow the public were to take the bait. And especially amusing did such efforts appear to those who watch with a lively interest the progress of this latter-day work called "Mormonism," in view of the fact that if a couple of "Mormon" Elders go into a town, almost without any effort on their part to make themselves known, the whole town is stirred up. In my opinion the "Mormon" iron is red-hot, and it is a proper time for the Elders to beat it into shape.

We observe changes taking place in the minds of the people continually. Indeed, I can notice marked changes in the people of the United States during the past six years. For instance, quite recently I listened to a sermon preached by one of the distinguished ministers of the United States, the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, and was very much surprised to hear him enunciate an idea like this: "What shall be done with all the thousands and millions of the human family who knew not, even of the existence of the Bible. Shall they perish?" "No," said he, "not if my God reigns in the next world." But, continued he, "what shall be done? They will have the Gospel preached to them in the spirit world." Another minister, the Rev. Dr. Thomas, of Chicago, of the Methodist Church, made similar assertions; but he was not as strong as Mr. Beecher, and they therefore excommunicated him from the church. But Beecher could make it, and no one dare say nay. So we find religious ideas undergoing a change, until there is scarcely a religious denomination to-day but what has done what the Pharisees of old did—put new wine into their old sectarian bottles, and the probable result will be, as Jesus said, their bottles will burst. They are endeavoring to patch their old sectarian clothes with pieces of new cloth, and the result will be that they will be obliged to keep patching in order to keep the garment together. And thus their religious ideas are drifting to and fro.

And what is true with regard to their religious views is also true with regard to their political ideas. I had an excellent opportunity recently to witness a remarkable change in public sentiment. Public sentiment, you know, is a very strong argument in the minds of some people. "Why, public sentiment is against you," they say. I remember listening to Gov. Bross, of Illinois, who spoke in front of the Townsend House, one night, some years ago. The foundation of his argument was that thirty-five millions of people in the United States were opposed to us; that in short, public sentiment was opposed to us. I had my mind directed to the fickle nature of public sentiment quite recently in Nashville, Tennessee. Some 25 years ago a certain race of people were held in slavery there. Slavery was an adjudicated question at that time. But it was claimed by the opponents of slavery that if a negro and his wife could be taken out of Missouri through Illinois, that they were entitled to their freedom because they were then upon free soil. It was, however, decided in the Supreme Court of the United States, by Chief Justice, Roger B. Tanney, that black men had no rights that a white man was bound to respect, that, in fact, they were chattel property. And the people of the United States almost en masse applauded the decision, a few only dissenting, they being what were called abolitionists. Wendell Phillips, a distinguished orator, undertook to lecture in Boston against slavery, and learned as Boston was, educated as Boston was, the noted lecturer was egged off the platform, having to make his escape from the mob.

Twenty-five years have gone by since Phillips was mobbed, and now for the contrast. Some four or five weeks ago I boarded a through passenger car at Nashville, Tenn., to Cincinnati, there were seated in the car some 25 ladies and gentlemen. After I got comfortably seated alongside a person who proved to be a Christian minister of the Campbellite persuasion, and an editor, we perceived a little difficulty at the car-door. On investigation we learned that a negro woman held a first-class ticket, and demanded admittance to a seat in this, a first-class car. She was entitled to a seat there, having procured a ticket, according to the provisions of the civil rights bill; but the rules of the railroad company would not permit it. The manager was sent for, and after some conversation with the colored woman, addressing himself to the passengers already seated in the car, he said: Ladies and gentlemen, will you please take seats in the car to the rear. We did so. It proved to be a smoking second-class car. He then admitted the old negro woman, who occupied our car. After we had taken in the situation and were re-seated, addressing myself to the gentleman whose acquaintance I formed on entering the car, I said, "Mr. Editor, twenty-five years ago, had a man dared to do what this negro woman has done, you would have hung him to a lamp-post. Now, I will dare say, there is not a paper in the city of Nashville that will venture to write one line, in condemnation of this piece of impudence." He acknowledged there was not. And why this change public sentiment had revolutionized in a quarter of a century. The negro slave of Phillip's day is the sovereign citizen of to-day.

These are revolutions that are occurring among the children of men that are of a serious nature. And what is true in a political sense, is true in a religious sense. It is a very common observation among the people everywhere that we are not taught religiously what we were twenty-five years ago, or ten years ago. They are drifting to and fro religiously as well as politically.

Another feature associated with this: About forty years ago a number of our Elders traveled through the Southern States—it may have been in 1844. And as they journeyed along, they scattered all over the country tracts and books, setting forth our faith and doctrines. And to-day it is not unfrequent [infrequent], on our going into a neighborhood and talking to the people, that they will say, "Our minister has been preaching that." Ah, indeed. Well, can we see him? O, yes; we will ask him to come and see you." On our conversing with him, we have found that he has a Voice of Warning hidden away in his saddle pockets, which he had been reading, and believing some of its pages, he had been preaching some of the principles of the Gospel to his own congregation, which they would believe, and receive without even "a grain of salt." This willingness on the part of the people to receive principle, good or bad, from the lips of their own minister, reminds one of the same state of things that existed in the days of the Savior, as indicated by these words: Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

It is a self-evident fact; it is a truth patent to the most casual observer that the teachings of Joseph Smith have revolutionized the religious world. And the spirit that is working this change is growing and extending, until to day there is inquiry upon the right hand and the left.

As a general thing those who receive the Gospel in the Southern States are to be from what are termed the middle classes, people who are the owners of small possessions which, when sold, realize them sufficient to provide themselves a suitable outfit and take them to their emigrating point. There have been some instances, however, when their possessions have been sold, even where they possessed good homes, that the proceeds of the sale have been insufficient to emigrate them. This has been due, in part, to the peculiar circumstances by which they have been surrounded. In the first place a terrible war devastated their country; and since that time they have been under carpet-bag rule. And the consequence is, in many places property has depreciated, life has been insecure, laws have been trampled under foot, and little progress has been made.

The people living in Utah can scarcely sense the true situation of the Southern States people. There has been a dreadful drouth [drought] this summer. I suppose the majority—I may say the entire South has not raised sufficient grain to bread themselves to the first of April. The corn yield will not, it is said, exceed four bushels to the acre, and the cotton crop may be a little rising of one-third the usual harvest. The result will be more or less suffering among the poorer people this winter. Wages are very low. A man can be employed, a strong, able-bodied man, either white or colored, for from $6 to $8 per month including board; and from $10 to $12 when they board themselves. Flour is 5 dollars per 100 pounds, and other provisions in proportion. I noticed that dry goods were as high in Nashville as they were in our settlements in Colorado. Wages are at such a low figure that it seems almost impossible for the people to live, when they depend upon day's wages for a living. In addition to this there seems to be a wasting away of the earth, a weakening in its strength, affecting its ability to produce abundantly. Fields that a few years ago yielded good crops, are bordering on sterility to-day. There are hundreds and thousands of acres of land that formerly were very prolific have to-day become "commons," covered with edge grass and sassafras bushes. And it is talked about by the landowners, and commented upon by the people generally; and they believe that something is wrong, but what it is or where it is, they do not know.

Monopolies and corporations have also a tight grip upon the people. Where there are iron works, where there are railroads, where there are factories, they are owned by a few men, and these few men hold such power, that the people cannot make any move and succeed in it, that would be opposed to the interest of the monopolists. And to-day, it is one of the strongest points of opposition that we have to meet in that mission in preaching the Gospel. Laboring men say, If I take you to my house and receive you as my guest, these men who own this property will turn me out; these men who employ me in their factory will drive me away, my family will suffer, as I have nothing laid up. Under the circumstances, they have not the faith sufficient to meet the issue; and consequently our labors are not crowned with that success, as they evidently would be if the people enjoyed their liberty. But even under these circumstances, many do receive us and proclaim openly their faith.

In addition to this, all experience that opposition which is as old, doubtless, as the preaching of the truth; and this comes from the clergy. And here let me say, that the opposition we meet with from that quarter, to a great extent, has its foundation in Salt Lake City. There walk the streets of our city men who produce and feed the flame of prejudice that exists to-day in the United States; men who profess to be the friends of their fellow-men; men who come here with a smile on their faces pretending to do us good, pretended followers of the meek and lowly Savior. These are the characters that send these infamous lies abroad in regard to the Latter-day Saints. They are prejudicing the mind of the people of the United States against our missionaries and against the truth. When I have visited the cities where these men came from who have come to Utah as reformers, I have been deeply impressed, and deeply moved at the condition of their society contrasted with that of this people. Some time last summer I had business in Louisville, Kentucky, connected with our emigration, and was detained there two or three days, having nothing particular to do but to walk around the city and see what was to be seen of interest. And in walking the streets of that city I thought that in all my travels I had never before seen such evidences of wickedness, corruption and degradation. There are portions of that city that seem to have become corrupted to such an extent, that Sodom and Gomorrah would have blushed at the mention thereof. Men and women could be seen in the most beastly state of drunkenness, and little children, bearing the marks of the lowest degradation—waifs of society, growing up as hoodlums, with no sense of the difference between right and wrong excepting that which nature itself has planted there, to furnish future material for the gallows. I thought in contemplating the scene that presented itself in the streets of the city of Louisville, ay, even at noonday, to say nothing of that which the recording angels are obliged to look upon in the darkness of the night—I thought of the reformers who come to Utah fresh from such haunts of vice and corruption, and then I thought of you, my brethren and sisters; and you can better imagine my feelings than I can describe them.

I went to one of their hospitals and sought an introduction to one of the physicians; on learning who I was he expressed himself pleased to meet me, and proffered his own services to accompany me over the building, which I gladly accepted. On passing through the different wards I saw sights that I trust my eyes shall never be called to look upon again. He opened his book in which was recorded the names of the patients who had been admitted during the past twelve months, and I had the curiosity to ask him to tell me the nature and character of the disease of these people. He informed me that three-fourths of all cases were, what is termed venereal disease. This is not hearsay; these are facts that exist of which the records testify. And from the windows of this hospital, this living monument of the morals of Louisville, Kentucky, was pointed out to me the residence of one of these "reformers" of the Latter-day Saints. And in conversation with one of these "reformers" who had been here, whose acquaintance I had formed when he was here—he recognizing me while traveling in a railway car, and came and shook hands with me, and sat down alongside of me—he asked me "how our friends were getting along in Utah." "Whom do you mean," said I, "by our friends?" I mean the ministers who have gone there," he replied. They are, I think, getting along in their way pretty well. What have they done? They have established whiskey shops! they have imported houses of prostitution, and they have brought hoodlems [hoodlums] into our midst, and they thrive under their spiritual care. They have caused sorrow on the hearts of fathers and mothers, by ruining the prospects of sons and daughters whom they have led astray from the paths of honor and credit. Now is not that glorious work to be engaged in! Do you not congratulate yourselves in having been connected with men whose object and labor has been to turn men and women from the truth, from bearing the fruits of morality and righteousness, and failing in that to join hand in hand, heart and soul, with those whose mission is to introduce into our midst the seeds of ruin and decay, to deprive and demoralize your fellow-men. Certainly it is a noble calling to be engaged in. Think of it! Latter-day Saints. Here are men engaged in the work of trying to lead our sons and daughters astray, and they are bold enough to publish boastfully to the world that they would rather see our young people frequent dens of iniquity, saloons, gambling houses, and houses of prostitution, than that they should adhere to the "Mormon" faith. Strange as it may seem, with all the enlightenment of this the Nineteenth Century, with our glorious constitution, and our declaration of the rights of man, and the boasted civilization of to-day, officials of the government of the United States will back men up in this damnable work. It may be that an Elder abroad devoting his time and ability to the conversion of souls would feel this more keenly than those who are in the midst of it every day.

These are some of my meditations as an Elder in the missionary field.

Our brethren and sisters who have emigrated to the State of Colorado, are succeeding fairly well; they have their fields fenced in and they harvested a pretty fair crop this year. The Railroad Companies have been kindly disposed to them, offering them assistance in various ways, by way chiefly of affording them employment at remunerative wages, and seeking after them, in fact to do their work in preference to others. They have their organizations—the Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons' quorums; they have their young people's Mutual Improvement Societies organized; and I had the pleasure of attending one of their meetings in the meeting-house which the people built two and a half years ago. I remember attending one of the first meetings that was held in that house, and there were present not more than 27 all told, and said to them that in the course of four or five years this same house will not hold the people; and to-day it is entirely too small, in fact it would not comfortably seat the young people of Manassa. The first location was made there in the spring of 1878. Since then some two or three settlements have been organized besides; our brethren in that quarter are spreading out and wresting from the barren, wastes comparatively comfortable homes. Their associations with the Mexicans are cordial. While they have been kindly disposed towards our people, our brethren have acted hon[o]rably towards them, and hence mutual good feelings exist between them. I also spent a few days with our brethren who are locating Sunset, Brigham City and St. Joseph. They have had rather a bad year, as to crops, on account of high waters, the Little Colorado flooding the valleys, and destroying to a great extent their crops. But the building of the railroad in their borders has, through Brother John W. Young, the contractor, furnished them with labor, and it will continue, I understand, for some 12 or 18 months yet, so they will not suffer so much as they otherwise would, in consequence of the loss of their crops.

As Elders traveling without purse or scrip; proclaiming the principles of eternal truth, we need the faith and prayers of the Saints in our behalf, for the devil, it would seem, is even more determined now than ever to put it into the hearts of wicked and bigoted men to oppose and, if possible, hinder us in the performance of our duty. And one item that comes to my mind I will mention. I have noticed when abroad that if anything in the world would cheer and encourage an Elder when far from home, it is to receive word from his family that they were cared for, and did not want for the necessaries of life. And there is nothing that will weaken an Elder so effectually and so discourage him in his labor as to receive word from those whom he holds near and dear, to the effect that they are in need of the necessaries of life, that they are unpleasantly situated, that the house they live in does not afford them sufficient protection from the inclemencies of the weather. In one or two instances Elders have come to me to relieve their minds of such a burden, and, as I say, there is nothing that I have witnessed that so effectually unfits a man for missionary labor as the receipt of such intelligence. Therefore, in behalf of those who have left their all to proclaim to their fellow-men the principles of eternal truth, let me solicit the good offices of their friends at home, in behalf of such families who may not be so well prepared to live during the absence of husband and father. Any little attention shown them under such circumstances not only does good to the family, but is appreciated by him whom duty has called elsewhere; and often, under trying circumstances, the knowledge of such kindnesses, cheers and encourages him, and makes comparatively easy labors that would otherwise be hard to bear. Amen.