The Organization And Journey Of Kirtland Camp. 1
The Meeting of the Seventies.
At a meeting of the Seventies in the House of the Lord in Kirtland, on the sixth day of March, 1838, the moving of the Saints from Kirtland to the land of Missouri, in accordance with the commandments and revelations of God, was spoken of and also the practicability of the quorum of the Seventies locating in as compact a body as possible in some stake of Zion in the west, where they could meet together when they were not laboring in the vineyard of the Lord; and also could receive counsel from the Twelve and the First Presidency in matters pertaining to their mission to the nations with greater facilities than they would if scattered here and there over all the face of the land.
The subject was discussed at some length, and a resolution was passed requesting the Councilors to consult together and make a report on the subject at the next meeting of the quorum. The meeting was then adjourned to Saturday, the 10th instant, at one o’clock p. m.
The Report of the Presidents.
At that time the quorum met again and the Presidents reported that they had consulted together on the subject referred to them at the last meeting, and that they were of the opinion that the subject should be laid before the First Presidency of the Church for their counsel and advice; and also if it would be thought expedient to appoint the place for their location in Far West or some other place where it should seem good unto them.
To Move in a Body not Thought Practicable.
The measures proposed by the Councilors were unanimously approved of by the members of the quorum present. The Presidents further stated that they had taken into consideration the extreme poverty of the Seventies in Kirtland and vicinity, and that it seemed to them almost an impossible thing for the quorum [as such] to move from this place under existing circumstances; that the measures entered into by the High Council and High Priests for removing the Saints had failed and they had given up making any further attempts after their scheme of going by water had fallen through, and that they had further advised every individual of the Church wishing to go up unto Zion to look out for himself individually and make the best of it he could.
The Subject Discussed.
Much was said on the subject; and while the subject of going up in a body—which seemed to be the prevailing desire of the members present—was under discussion, the Spirit of the Lord came down, in mighty power, and some of the Elders began to prophesy that if the quorum would go up in a body together, and go according to the commandments and revelations of God, pitching their tents by the way, that they should not want for anything on the journey that would be necessary for them to have; and further that there should be nothing wanting towards removing the whole quorum of Seventies that would go in a body, but that there should be a sufficiency of all things for carrying such an expedition into effect.
President James Foster arose in turn to make some remarks on the the subject, and in the course of his address he declared that he saw a vision in which was shown unto him a company (he should think of about five hundred) starting from Kirtland and going up to Zion. That he saw them moving in order, encamping in order by the way, and that he knew thereby that it was the will of God that the quorum should go up in that manner.
“God Wills It.”
The Spirit bore record of the truth of his assertions for it rested down on the assembly in power, insomuch that all present were satisfied that it was the will of God that the quorum should go up in a company together to the land of Zion, and that they should proceed immediately to make preparations for the journey. The Councilors were requested to devise the best course to be pursued to carry the plan into effect, and the meeting adjourned to Tuesday, 13th, at one p. m.
Meeting of the 13th of March.
In the forenoon of that day the Council of the Seventies met and invited President Hyrum Smith, and sent for President William Marks, but he was not at home, and consequently did not attend. Benjamin S. Wilber, in absence of the clerk, was invited to act as clerk pro tem. After the meeting was opened by President Hyrum Smith by prayer, they proceeded to draw up under the supervision of President Smith the outlines of the following Constitution for the organization and government of the camp, which was adopted at the meeting in the afternoon. 2
Presidents pro tem. Appointed.
At the time appointed in the afternoon the quorum met according to adjournment. Several of the High Council and High Priests attended the meeting. The Spirit of God was manifested as before. The subject was discussed and the Constitution presented, which was approved by the quorum and by the visiting Elders who testified that the movement was of god and recommended it to the brethren of the Church; and said that they should lay the subject immediately before their own quorums. On motion it was resolved that two of the quorum should be appointed to act as members of the Council, pro tem, in the place of Daniel S. Miles and Levi Hancock—who were then in the west—till the camp should arrive at Far West. This to be in accordance with the first article of the Constitution, which recognized the whole seven [First Seven Presidents of the Seventy] as councilors of the camp.
Power of Nominating Officers Vested in First Council.
On motion it was resolved that the President of Seventies should have the right of nominating the two assistant councilors and all other officers of the camp required by the Constitution, or on the journey, up to the land of Zion. In accordance with the above resolution Elias Smith, clerk of the Council, and Benjamin S. Wilber, were nominated and received the unanimous vote of the quorum as Councilors of the camp. The Constitution was read and explained to the meeting item by item, that there might be no misunderstanding concerning any part of it or of the motives and designs of the Seventies in the movement then in agitation; and those who subscribed to the Constitution were exhorted to make all preparations in their power to carry into effect the object of the camp, and the meeting was adjourned to Saturday, 17th, at one p. m.
The council of the Seventies met this day in the attic story of the Lord’s House and took into consideration the propriety and necessity of the body of the Seventies going up to the land of Zion in a company together the present season, and adopted the following rules and laws, for the organization and government of the camp:
First—That the Presidents of the Seventies, seven in number, shall be the Councilors [i. e. leaders] of the camp; and that there shall be one man appointed as treasurer, who shall by the advice of the Councilors manage the financial concerns during the journey, and keep a just and accurate account of all monies received and expended for the use of the camp.
Second—That there shall be one man appointed to preside over each tent, to take charge of it; and that from the time of their appointment the tent-men shall make all necessary arrangements for the providing of teams and tents for the journey; and they shall receive counsel and advice from the Councilors; and furthermore, shall see that cleanliness and decency are observed in all cases, the commandments kept, and the Word of Wisdom heeded, that is, no tobacco, tea, coffee, snuff or ardent spirits of any kind are to be taken internally.
Third—That every man shall be the head of his own family, and shall see that they are brought into subjection according to the order of the camp.
Fourth—That all those who shall subscribe to the resolutions, rules and regulations, shall make every exertion, and use all lawful means to provide for themselves and their families, and for the use and benefit of the camp to which they belong; and also to hand over to the Seven Councilors all monies appropriated for that purpose on or before the day the camp shall start.
Fifth—That the money shall be retained in the hands of the Councilors, being divided proportionately among them for safety and to be paid over to the Treasurer as circumstances may require.
Sixth—That any faithful brethren wishing to journey with us can do so by subscribing to, and observing these rules and regulations.
Seventh—That every individual shall at the end of the journey—when a settlement is to be made, or as soon thereafter as their circumstances will admit—pay their proportional part of the expenses of the journey. By expenses it is understood all that is necessarily paid out for the use of a team, wagon or cow, if they safely arrive at the place where the camp shall finally break up.
Eighth—That these rules and laws shall be strictly observed, and every person who shall behave disorderly and not conform to them shall be disfellowshiped by the camp and left by the wayside.
Ninth—That this shall be the law of the camp in journeying from this place up to the land of Zion, and that it may be added unto or amended as circumstances may require by the voice of those who shall subscribe unto it.[The names of the persons and number in their respective families, who subscribed to the foregoing constitution].
Name No. in family Name No. in Family
James Foster 6, Eleazer King, Jun. 3, Josiah Butterfield 4, Thomas G. Fisher 4, Zerah Pulsipher 7, Alfred Brown 2, Joseph Young 5, Stephen Headlock 2, Henry Harriman 2, John R. Folger 4, Elias Smith 3, Nathan K. Knight 9, W. S. Wilbur 2, Joel Judd 3, Joshua S. Holman 8, Thomas Nickerson 4, J. D. Parker 3, Brother Nickerson’s family 5, Duncan McArthur 9, David D. Demming 2, Stephen Starks 6, Nancy Richerson 3, Anson Call 3, Joseph McCaseland 4, Amos B. Fuller 3, Hiram H. Byington 4, Jeremiah Willey 4, David Gray 8, Hiram Dayton 1, 2, Alexander Wright 1, Truman O. Angell 4, Adonijah Cooley 5, Dominicus Carter 6, Elijah Cheney 2, Jonathan H. Holmer 3, Jesse Baker 2, J. B. Noble 7, Elias Pulsipher 8, Levi B. Wilder 6, Jason Brunett 7, James S. Holmon 7, E. B. Gayland 6, Amos Nickerson 6, Samuel Fowler 8, Lewis Eager 3, David K. Dustin 2, Stephen Shumway 3, Charles Bird 7, Enoch S. Sanborn 5, Thomas Butterfield 3, Jonathan Crosby 2, William Field 5, Jonathan Hampton 4, William Shuman 7, Otis Shumway 7, Cornelius Vanleuven 3, Frederick M. Vanleuven 6, Benjamin K. Hull 6, Benjamin Butterfield 7, Oliver Olney 9, Eleazer King 7, William Bosley 2, John Tanner 10, Joseph Pine 6, Alanson Pettingill 5, Noah Packard 9, William Perry 4, John M. King 4, Warren Smith 7, Jonathan Dunham 4, Samuel Barnet 5, Joel H. Johnson 6, William Carpenter 5, Austin W. Cowles 9, John Greabble 8, Jonathan H. Hale 5, Arnold Healey 3, George W. Brooks 4, Joel Harvey 5, Abraham Wood 4, Justin Blood 5, Shearman A. Gilbert 3, Reuben Daniels 7, William B. Pratt 4, James Putnam 6, Samuel Parker 4, Daniel Pulsipher 4, Daniel Bowen 7, Charles Thompson 2, Richard Brasier 4, Nathan B. Baldwin 2, John Pulsipher 2, Michael Griffith 6, Alba Whittle 6, Henry Stevens 3, Joel Drury 5, Levi Osgood 5, Jonathan Fisher 5, Cyrus B. Fisher 6, Benjamin Baker 6, Elijah Merriam 2, Amasa Cheney 6, Samuel Hale 3, Josiah Miller 10,Martin Hanchet 5, Amos Baldwin 1, 2,Orin Cheney 9, John Sweat 10,George Stringham 6, Daniel Allen, Jun 4, Mary Parker 4, Stephen Richardson 8, Julia Johnson 8, Martin H. Peck 6, Zemira Draper 6, John Lameraux 6, Isaac Rogers 4, Jesse P. Harmon 6, Abram Boynton 7, John Vanleuven, Jun 9, Michael McDonald 5, Aaron Cheney 6, James Brown 7, Nathan Cheney 4, Alexander Campbell Edwin P. Merriam 3, Joseph C. Clark 6, Henry Munroe 3, Jared Porter 3, Ira P. Thornton 7, William Earl 1, 1, Oliver Rowe 6, Daniel Bliss 2, Stephen Rowe 6, Isaac W. Pierce 5, John Thorp 7, Jabez Lake 5, Daniel L. Nuptire 3, Samuel Mulliner 5, William Gribble 3, Aaron M. York 4, Charles N. Baldwin 2, James Strop 6, William Draper, Sen 2, Reuben Hedlock 8, Laban Morris 2, Andrew Lamereaux 7, Lucius N. Scovil 4, William Wilson 3, Aaron Johnson 4, John Carter 2, Joseph Coon 4, Samuel Parker 4, Nathan Staker 6, Isaac Dewitt 8, Asa Wright 10,Hiram Griffiths 3, Zephaniah W. Brewster 9, John Hamond 6, Munro Crosier 2, Arnold Stevens 6, Asaph Blanchard 1, Gardner Snow 3, Ethan A. Moore 8, George Snow 2, William Carey Thomas Draper James Lethead Abram Bond 3, John Rulison 8,
The Movement Commended.
March 17.—Met again agreeable to adjournment in the attic story of the Lord’s House, at 1 p.m. A general attendance of those belonging to the camp and many others belonging to the different quorums of the Church came in. The room was full to overflowing. Elder Josiah Butterfield, presided. After opening by prayer the object of the meeting was stated by the chairman, viz., the removing of the Saints to Zion. Elder James Foster next laid before the meeting the movements of the Seventies in relation to that desired object and was followed by EIders Joseph Young, Henry Harriman, Zera Pulsipher, and by others of the different quorums, who highly approved of the proceedings of the quorum of Seventies in relation to the order of removing and of the organization of the camp. The Constitution was read by the clerk, which was spoken of in terms of commendation by all who spoke. Much of the Spirit of God was manifested on this occasion and the hearts of all made glad in anticipation of their deliverance from Kirtland.
Hyrum Smith on Previous Movements.
President Hyrum Smith came in and addressed the meeting at some length on the movements of the Saints in Kirtland in relation to their emigration to the land of Zion since the commandment had gone forth for the honest in heart to rise up and go up unto that land. He stated that what he had said and done in reference to chartering a steamboat, for the purpose of removing the Church as a body, he had done according to his own judgment without reference to the testimony of the Spirit of God; that he had recommended that course and had advised the High Council and High Priests to adopt that measure, acting solely by his own wisdom, for it had seemed to him that the whole body of the Church in Kirtland could be removed with less expense in the way he had proposed than in any other. He said further that the Saints had to act often times upon their own responsibility without any reference to the testimony of the Spirit of God in relation to temporal affairs, that he has so acted in this matter and has never had any testimony from God that the plan of going by water was approved of by Him, and that the failure of the scheme was evidence in his mind that God did not approve of it.
Hyrum Smith Commends the Seventies.
He then declared that he knew by the Spirit of God that the movements that were making by the quorum of the Seventies for their removal and the plan of their journeying was according to the will of the Lord. He advised all who were calculating to go up to Zion at present, whose circumstances would admit, to join with the Seventies in their plan and go up with them; and if he were so situated that he could join the camp himself and go with them, he would do so, and strictly comply with the rules which had been adopted for the regulation of the camp on the journey. It would be his delight to go as an individual without having any concern whatever in the management of affairs, either directly or indirectly, during the journey.
Advantage of a Large Company.
In answer to an inquiry that was made about the difficulties that might attend the movements of so large a body, he observed that no fears need be entertained by any on that score, for there would no difficulty attend the camp, if there should be 5,000 persons in it. The more the better; and the advantages of their going altogether would be greater than they could possibly be if they should go in small companies, as provisions and other necessities could be purchased in large quantities much cheaper than they could by small squads who would be under the necessity of buying at great disadvantage.
Caution as to the Word of Wisdom.
After advising the camp not to be too particular in regard to the Word of Wisdom and advised them to have the assistance of the High Council in carrying the plan into execution, and giving other advice about organizing the camp, President Hyrum Smith retired.
The Constitution being read again, about forty who did not belong to the quorum of Seventies came forward and subscribed their names to it, making in all about eighty. The meeting was then adjourned to Tuesday, March 20th, at 1 p. m.
March 20.—In the afternoon the Seven Councilors met to consult on the best measures to be pursued for procuring teams and tents and other things necessary for the journey. After considering the subject carefully it was thought that two good teams and one tent, if no more could be obtained, would suffice for eighteen persons; and that it would be advisable to appoint the overseers of tents at the meeting to be held in the afternoon, whose duty according to the Constitution would be to form their companies of eighteen, or as near that number as circumstances will admit of, and proceed immediately to procure teams and a tent for the same, and to make all necessary arrangements for the journey.
Views of Oliver Granger et al.
Elders Oliver Granger, Mayhew Hillman and Harvey Redfield and some others attended who were requested to express their views of the expedition, as a rumor had gone forth that they considered it an impracticable undertaking and one that would never be accomplished. Elder Granger said that he considered it would be the greatest thing ever accomplished since the organization of the Church or even since the exodus of Israel from Egypt if the Saints in Kirtland, considering their poverty, should succeed in going from that place in a body, and that it would require great wisdom and prudence and the most determined perseverance to effect such a measure, though he considered it possible to do it and believed God would bless them in so doing.
Elder Redfield spoke at some length and said that in consequence of the rumors which were afloat he had thought the Seventies were taking unwarrantable ground, and had expressed his views freely on the subject, and rather justified himself on that score, though he condemned the principle of believing reports which were put in circulation without first considering their foundation and the source from which they came. He said he was convinced that the things he had heard were untrue concerning some movements which he had heard the Seventies were making, and the declarations and denunciations they gave some of the other quorums, which had come to his ears, were likewise without foundation. He said he was heart and hand with the Council of the Seventies in their endeavors to remove the Saints in Kirtland to the land of Zion, and the Spirit testified to him that the movements were in righteousness and according to the will of God.
Elder Hillman spoke in confirmation of what his brethren had said, approved of the movement and said that the High Priests and High Council had at a meeting held a day or two previous passed a resolution to uphold and support the Seventies in their undertaking.
A selection of names for overseers of tents was made and the meeting adjourned.
At one p. m. the members of the camp and others who attended met in the upper court of the Lord’s House. Elder Henry Harriman presided, and opened by prayer. He also addressed the meeting followed by Elder Foster, both setting forth the greatness of the undertaking in hand, of the necessity of every individual bestirring himself and making every exertion to prepare for the journey. The names of those who had signed the Constitution were read over, that if there were any objection against their going in the camp in consequence of any difficulty that might exist or of disobedience to the commandments of the Lord it might be made manifest by those who might know of the existence of any such thing.
The names of those selected for overseers of tents were read over one by one and were voted in by the voice of the camp, and Jonathan H. Hale was appointed treasurer, and the meeting was then adjourned.
Sundry Meetings and the Object of Them.
After the 20th of March the Council met often to counsel on the things which from time to time pressed themselves upon their attention relative to the preparation necessary for the journey, things both spiritual and temporal; and to ask counsel and give their advice that they might decide in righteousness all things pertaining to their calling and the affairs of the camp, and to implore their heavenly Father to provide means to soften the hearts of the enemies of the Saints, in Kirtland, and in the region round about: that His people might be delivered from their power, as they have fallen into the hands of their enemies like Israel of old, in consequence of disobedience and their slowness of heart to obey the commandments of the Lord which He had given unto them; and that He would have mercy upon them and deliver them from bondage in this land, that they might go up to the land of Zion according to the commandments and revelations of the Lord by His servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and according to the pattern given unto them.
In these meetings for counsel and prayer God truly verified His promises; for when His servants asked they received, and His Spirit was poured out upon them abundantly, from time to time manifesting the will of the Lord concerning the movements necessary to be made in order to carry the arduous undertaking into effect, in removing the quorum of Seventies, and those that joined with them, from Kirtland to the land of Zion.
The extreme poverty of the majority of those belonging to the camp and the depression of their spirits in consequence thereof and the downfall of Kirtland; the opposition of those who had dissented from the Church and of those who from the beginning had opposed the commandments of God which He had established in the last days among the children of men, and last of all, though not least, the opposition of many who called themselves Saints, were obstacles which presented themselves in formidable aspect against the exertions of the Council to bring about the order of things to be entered into in order to accomplish the work, and to unite the feelings of the brethren and to restore their confidence in each other, which had in a great measure been lost during the past year, or since the failure of their imaginary means of speculation, of grandeur and wealth.
Assembling of the Camp.
Thursday, July 5.—The camp commenced organizing on a piece of land in the rear of the house formerly occupied by Mayhew Hillman, about one hundred rods south of the House of the Lord, in Kirtland. The morning was beautiful. At an early hour the heavens were overspread with a cloud which continued to hide the scorching rays of the sun till towards evening, when it moved away. The horizon at every point that was unobstructed by intervening objects was clear, and everything seemed to indicate that the God of heaven has His all-searching eye upon the camp of the Saints, and had prepared the day for the express purpose of organizing the camp, that the Saints might start on their journey in the order which had been shown in the beginning. About twenty tents were pitched in the course of the day and several other companies came on late who had not time to pitch their tents. Many spectators from the towns round about came to behold the scene, and, with few exceptions, they behaved with the greatest decorum. The day was solemn to all concerned and the greatest solemnity was visible on the countenances of the Saints who expected to tarry for a season in Kirtland, and also on the countenances of many of the unbelievers in the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the great work of the gathering of the Saints of the Most High in these last days of wickedness before God’s judgments shall have been poured out without measure upon the wicked, to sweep them off from the face of the earth.
Between four and five hundred of the camp tented on the ground during the night. The spectators retired at a late hour and left the camp in quietude. The night was clear and the encampment and all around was solemn as eternity; which scene, together with the remembrance of those other scenes through which the Saints in Kirtland had passed during the last two years all presented themselves to the thinking mind; and, together with the greatness of the undertaking, the length of the journey, and many other things combined, could not fail to awaken sensations that could be better felt than described.
Friday, July 6.—At an early hour in the morning the people began to assemble to witness the exodus of the camp, and several hundred persons had gathered together before all things could be arranged in order to move off from the ground without confusion, all of which consumed most of the forenoon. At twelve o’clock, noon, the camp began to move, and at half-past twelve the whole company had left the ground in order, and took up their line of march towards Chester, south from Kirtland, where they encamped at six o’clock p. m., a distance of seven miles from Kirtland.
Number in the Camp.
After the tents were pitched and all things arranged an enumeration of the camp was taken, when it was ascertained that there were in the camp 529 souls present—a few necessarily absent—of which 256 were males, and 273 females. There were 105 families, all on the ground excepting five, which had not time to get ready in season to start with the camp, two of which came up in the evening; of the others Elder Martin H. Peck joined at Petersburgh; the other two, Elders S. Shumway and Brother Charles Wood, joined the camp at the same place a few hours after. President William Marks and some other brethren from Kirtland accompanied the camp to Chester, and on parting with the Councilors blessed them, in the name of the Lord, and left his blessing with them, and with the camp, covenanting to uphold them by the prayer of faith and required the same of the Councilors and of the brethren of the camp.
Sorrow at Parting.
The feelings of the brethren on leaving Kirtland and parting with those who were left behind were somewhat peculiar, notwithstanding the scenes they had passed through in Kirtland; but the consciousness of doing the will of their heavenly Father, and obeying His commandments in journeying to Zion, over balanced every other consideration that could possibly be presented to their minds, and buoyed up their spirits, and helped them to overcome the weaknesses and infirmities of human nature which men are subject to here on the earth.
Saturday, July 7.—Started from Chester about half-past six in the morning, and camped in Aurora, Portage county—thirteen miles from Chester—at four p. m., on the farm of Mr. Lacey. The road between Chester and Aurora, through Russell and Bainbridge, in Geauga county, was bad and somewhat hilly. The weather being extremely warm and the camp not being sufficiently accustomed to moving and acting in concert, all contributed to make some confusion in the camp during the latter part of the day. One wagon, Andrew Lamereaux’s, broke down twice and some other small accidents happened, but nothing very serious. During the day several children were sick, some dangerously so, and some adults were attacked by the destroyer.
A Renewal of Covenants.
Sunday, July 8.—Public worship at eleven o’clock, Elder Joseph Young preached. Many came in the course of the day to visit the camp. They generally treated us with great civility, though there were some exceptions. In the afternoon about half-past five the heads of families were called together and were instructed by Elders Foster, Pulsipher, Butterfield and Dunham to keep their families in more strict subjection to the laws of God, and to adhere strictly to the Constitution of the camp. They were told that the destroyer was in the camp and some would fall victims to his power if they did not comply with the requisitions of the Lord.
A vote was called and the camp covenanted anew strictly to observe the laws of the camp and the commandments of the Lord. Soon after night-fall a company of marauders were heard about the camp, but we were not molested during the night.
Incidents of a Day.
Monday, July 9.—At seven in the morning the camp began to move, passed through the village of Aurora, through the corner of Streetsborough to Hudson, a handsome village, in which is situated the “Western Reserve College.” Stopped at one o’clock near the south line of that town. David Elliot broke his wagon down near Streetsborough, and Samuel Hale’s wagon tongue was broken a little south of the village of Hudson. The fourth division of the camp came up about two o’clock, at which time the first moved on and passed through Stowe Corners, so called, across the Pittsburgh and Akron canal (which is yet in an unfinished state at the falls on the Cuyahoga river, which empties into Lake Erie at Cleveland), and encamped for the night on Mr. Camp’s farm, at Talmadge, at half-past six in the evening. The first, second and third divisions came on to the grounds together, the fourth, composed chiefly of ox teams, did not come up till ten o’clock. The roads were generally good, the country level, with few exceptions, the weather extremely warm, but nearly all withstood the fatigue of the day with fortitude and patience, feeling thankful for the blessings which the Lord bestowed upon the camp of His Saints.
The country through which we passed this day was better adapted to pasturage than tillage, the grass generally looked well, some fine fields of wheat were seen which had began to whiten for the harvest.
Joel H. Johnson’s oxen failed and were left behind, and some others were very much fatigued and did not arrive at the encampment until late at night. Traveled twenty miles, which was three or four more than we should have done if accommodations for the teams could have been obtained short of that distance.
Additional Camp Regulations.
Tuesday, July 10.—Before starting the Council drew up the following resolutions for the further organization of the camp, which were unanimously adopted:
Resolved—First. That the engineer of the camp shall receive advice from the Councilors concerning the duties of his office, and that he shall call on his assistants to perform those duties which he cannot attend to himself, and that he shall be relieved from the arduous task of [personally] superintending the movements of the camp during the journey.
Second—That the horn shall be blown for rising at four o’clock, and at twenty minutes past four for prayer every morning, at which time each overseer shall see that the inmates of his tent are in order, that worship may commence throughout the camp at the same time, immediately after the blowing of the horn.
Third—That the head of each division shall keep a roll of all able-bodied men, and that he shall call out as many men each night as the engineer shall require of his division to stand on guard. One-half of which guard shall stand the fore part of the night, and the other the latter part, being regularly relieved by the engineer or one of his assistants at one o’clock in the morning.
Fourth—That every company in the camp is entitled to an equal proportion of the milk whether the cows are owned by the individuals of the several tents or not, and that it shall be so distributed, as near as may be, among the several companies in the camp.
Fifth—That Thomas Butterfield shall be appointed herdsman of the camp, whose duty it shall be to superintend the driving of the cows and other stock, and to see that they are well taken care of on the journey, and that he shall call on as many as shall be necessary to assist him in performing those duties.
Sixth—That in no case at present shall the camp move more than fifteen miles in one day, unless circumstances shall absolutely require it.
Joel H. Johnson sold one of his oxen for ten dollars, the other came up with the camp.
The First Deserter.
The camp began to move at nine o’clock and passed through the village of Talmadge, one mile, then turned southwest to Middleburg a fine village situated on a branch of the Cuyahoga, three miles from Talmadge, and encamped for the night in the town of Coventry, about one mile from the village of Akron, which is situated on the Ohio and Erie canal. At twelve o’clock, for the purpose of lightening our loads, we left some of our goods on the canal boats to be conveyed by water. The wind rose high and the roads were dusty which made it hard traveling on account of the dust. In the afternoon we had a small shower of rain, the first that had fallen since the camp started. Benjamin Butterfield left the camp in the morning and started off by himself. Traveled this day six miles. Brother John Hammond broke his wagon, the only accident.
The First Death.
Wednesday, July 11.—After the goods that were to be sent by water were conveyed to Akron, the camp moved on, all but the first division which waited to attend to the burial of Brother and Sister Wilbur’s little son, aged six months and twelve days, who died at 11 o’clock a. m. and was interred in an orchard on the farm of Israel Allen in Coventry, at 2 p. m. He had been sick two or three days, and some other children in the camp had also been sick, but all recovered excepting Brother Wilbur’s son. Passed this day through New Portage on the Ohio canal, which we crossed two or three miles below that place, and encamped on the farm of Mr. Bockmans, in Chippeway township, county of Wayne. A heavy shower of rain fell in the afternoon and the whole company got thoroughly wet for the first time since we started; but very few complained, however, and all retired to rest wet and weary after the usual duties of the evening were ended.
The country through which we passed this day was somewhat uneven and swampy. Near New Portage it is low and to all appearance must be quite unhealthful. The crops of wheat, corn and grass look well, the wheat being generally about ripe and ready to harvest. John Hammond broke his wagon again today and was left behind to repair it, and did not get up to the encampment at night. Traveled this day eleven miles.
Nature of the Country Traversed.
Thursday, July 12.—Left the encampment at half-past eight; passed through the village of Doylestown, situated on a hill in the township of Chippeway. Crossed Chippeway creek; some of the headwaters of the Muskingum river came through the township of Milton, where we stopped at one p. m. to feed. Then passed through the township of Green into Wayne, and encamped on the farm of Mr.————————, two miles from Wooster, at seven in the evening. The road was rough in some places, in some places stony, and, in consequence of the shower of rain which fell the day before, in some places muddy.
The country through which we passed today is somewhat hilly, the soil productive and the crops of wheat, corn and oats look fine and beautiful. Timber, principally of oak, with some chestnut and some other kinds of forest trees, is scattered here and there.
Difficulties by the way.
John Hammond overtook us in the morning on horseback, his wagon had broken again, the third time, so it could not be easily mended. The Council advised him to go back and get the brethren residing near New Portage to assist him in exchanging it for another, or let him have one to go up to Zion with, and have it returned to them, as he had now fallen so far behind that we could not well assist him without hindering many others.
Nathan B. Baldwin broke one of his wagon tires, and Henry Harriman one of his axle-trees, and stopped near Chippeway creek to have them mended. Brother Baldwin came up in the evening and Henry Harriman the next morning.
It rained a little in the course of the day, the air was cool and the horses and oxen performed the journey with greater ease than any other day since the camp started. Traveled in the course of the day about seventeen miles.
Descriptions of Country.
Friday, July 13.—The fourth division left the encampment about eight o’clock, the third and second followed, and the first left at nine. Passed through Wooster, the county seat of Wayne county, a large and beautiful village surrounded by a fertile country and is a place of considerable business. There are eight or ten public houses and several synagogues for worship, and many other commodious and elegant buildings in the village which is in Wayne township.
At Wooster we took the road to Mansfield, west from Wooster thirty-three miles. Passed through the village of Jefferson, a small place in the township of Plain, thence to Reedsborough in Mohican township, and encamped a little after five p. m. on the farm of William Crothers, in Mohican, thirteen miles from Wooster, making this day sixteen miles.
Sorrow for the “Deluded” Saints.
The country west of Wooster is rather hilly, some beautiful flats on the creeks, though not in so good a state of cultivation as in many other places. Crossed Apple creek east of Wooster, and Killbuck west of the town, a branch of the White Woman and Mohican creek, which fall into the same stream in Coshocton county. The roads were somewhat better than between New Portage and Wooster, though more hilly. On the flats of Mohican the road was bad, being muddy and stony. The country west of Wooster is not so productive as it is north of that place through which we passed on the twelfth inst., yet some beautiful fields of grain were seen. Two wagons failed this day, Joseph C. Clark’s and Edwin P. Merriam’s. The first was mended at Wooster, the other broke down just at the entrance of the field in which we pitched our tents. Bought four barrels of flour, the first provisions we purchased after the camp started. The people between Kirtland and Wooster were generally apprised of our coming before we arrived, and were not so much surprised to see us as they were west of that place. After we left the main road to Columbus, as we followed along, they seemed astonished and filled with wonder and amazement at seeing so large a body moving together, and some did not fail to express their feelings with warmth to the brethren as they passed along, declaring against the “fallacy”, as they called it, of “Jo Smith’s” prophecies, and expressing their pity for the deluded believers in modern revelation. We saw this day the first harvesting of grain of any kind, though many of the farmers in Wayne county had done most of their haying.
Preparations for the Sabbath.
Saturday, July 14.—Struck our tents at seven a. m. and the fourth division left the encampment followed by the third and second, the first left at eight. We passed through Jeromeville, a small village situated on a branch of the Mohican, thence through the village of Haysville in Vermillion township, county of Richland, and pitched our tents on the farm of Mr. Solomon Braden, in the town of Petersborough. The country we passed through this day is beautifully diversified with hills and valleys. The timbered lands were covered principally with oak, the roads good, the weather warm and dry. Brother William Perry turned over his wagon and his wife and children were hurt, though not dangerously. A young woman, a daughter of John Vanleuven, Jun., came very near being killed by having a wagon run over her, these were the only accidents that occurred during the day. This was the first day since we left Kirtland that we traveled without breaking down one or more wagons. Pitched our tents at two p. m. on a hill near the east line of Petersburg township and washed and prepared for the Sabbath. In the afternoon a complaint was prepared by N. B. Baldwin against Abram Bond for murmuring and other unchristian-like conduct. The Council, after hearing the complaint and the defense, referred the case to the company in their own tent to settle among themselves. This was the second complaint made to the Council of any consequence on the way from Kirtland. Traveled this day ten miles.
Sunday, July 15.—The Council met in the morning and made some arrangements about the order of the day. Elder Josiah Butterfield and Joseph Young were appointed to preside during the day.
At eleven o’clock public worship commenced. Many of the citizens of the town attended, most of whom behaved well, and treated us with respect. Elder Jonathan Dunham delivered a discourse on the first principles of the Gospel, from Mark, 16th chapter, followed by several others of the Elders.
Some left by the Way Rejoin the Camp.
Martin H. Peck came up and joined the camp about noon, and Stephen Shumway and Charles Wood came up in the afternoon.
John Hammond, who was left behind at New Portage in consequence of breaking his wagon, also joined us again. Benjamin Butterfield, who left the camp at Talmadge, Portage county, found his way into camp again in the course of the day.
Prominent Elders Arrested.
Monday, July 16.—Started in our usual order in the morning, traveling west toward Mansfield, through which we passed in the afternoon about four o’clock. Passed through the village of Petersburg two miles from our encampment, then through Mifflic township, three or four miles east of Mansfield. In Madison township we were met by the sheriff and a deputy, and a Mr. Stringer, who had taken out a warrant for several of the brethren for Kirtland Safety Society money, and took Josiah Butterfield, Jonathan Dunham and Jonathan H. Hale for Joseph Young, and committed them to jail. As we came to Mansfield we were honored by the discharge of artillery, but as the Lord would have it we were not enjoined nor molested more than by insulting language from some of the numerous crowd of persons that thronged the streets. From Mansfield we came through Newcastle, in the township of Springfield, and encamped on the farm of Frederick Cassel over night. Mansfield is a fine village, the county seat of Richland, situated on a hill surrounded by a fertile country. Traveled this day sixteen miles.
Benjamin Butterfield left the camp again before night in ill humor and went off by himself.
On the Headwaters of the Sciota and Sandusky.
Tuesday, July 17.—Started at eight in the morning; passed through the village of Ontario in Springfield thence through the town of Sandusky into Jackson, in Crawford county, and encamped six miles east of Bucyrus, the county seat of Crawford county. Traveled sixteen miles.
The country we passed through between Mansfield and Bucyrus is the highest in the State of Ohio, being on the headwaters of the Sciota which falls into the Ohio, and of the Sandusky that falls into Erie, the country though high is generally level.
Just at dark the brethren who had been committed to prison came up. They were discharged by the court at 12 o’clock, noon, after which they traveled twenty-two miles.
The court for Richland county was in session and would have been adjourned the evening the brethren, Josiah, Butterfield Jonathan Dunham and Jonathan H. Hale, were arrested, had it not been for that occurrence. Their case was called on the same evening and adjourned till eight o’clock next morning. Dominicus Carter went back from our camp and staid with them till they were liberated. We were all glad and thanked the Lord for their deliverance out of the hands of our enemies.
Instructions to Overseers.
Wednesday, July 18.—The Council met in the morning and called together the overseers of tents and gave them some instructions concerning their duty in presiding over their tents, and Dominicus Carter was appointed commissary of the camp, and Aaron M. York chosen overseer of tent No. 3, third division, in his place; and the tent removed to No. 5, first division. About eight the camp started, passed through Benjamin and took the road to upper Sandusky, and stopped at one p. m. on the edge of a prairie to rest. For the first time we had the privilege of encamping without pay. The road in the afternoon in some places was rather bad in the groves between the openings of the grand prairie, the edge of which bordered on the right of our road from our encampment east of Bucyrus till we encamped at night in the town of Grand Prairie, county of Marion, on the line between that county and Crawford, ten miles southwest from Bucyrus. Passed through the township of Antrim, in Crawford county, in the afternoon. Traveled this day sixteen miles. As we passed through Bucyrus the people seemed much agitated and made many remarks concerning us. One man said he had received a liberal education and had prepared himself for the ministry, but it now availed him nothing. The movements of the “Mormons” were actions and not words, and looked more like love and like the spirit of union than anything that had come under his observation.
Thursday, July 19.—The second, third and fourth divisions started about eight o’clock, the first stayed on the ground, some of them until afternoon, to repair wagons. Traveled through a prairie country to Little Sandusky, a little north of west from the place of our encampment on the night of the eighteenth. Then turned west and pitched our tents on the west side of the prairie, about a mile and a half from the village of Sandusky. Traveled this day seven and one-half miles. No particular occurrence through the day worthy of notice. Encamped for the first time in a straight line, and being on a prairie the tents and wagons presented a beautiful picture to a distant beholder, and could not fail to bring to the mind of anyone familiar with the history of the journeyings of Israel from Egypt, the prophecy of Balaam, concerning Israel’s prosperity, and his pathetic exclamation, when he beheld them abiding in their tents from the top of Peor: “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys, as they spread forth, as gardens by the river side, as the trees of lignaloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.”
Friday, July 20.—The Council met in the morning to attend to another complaint preferred by E. B. Gaylord, 3superintendent of the fourth division, against Abram Bond for murmuring and complaining, and for personal abuse. Elder Zera Pulsipher, who presided, gave him a severe reprimand for his conduct in general on the journey and for abusing others without any provocation, and he was informed that he would be left by the wayside if he did not reform, and behave more like a man of God than he had of late, or for a few days past. Some other business relative to our circumstances and situation in journeying was talked over and the Council unanimously decided that the camp should be called together before we started and some instructions given to them concerning their duties, and also to reprimand some for indulging themselves in covetousness and murmuring against the Council, and also others of the camp who held important stations as captains of divisions or overseers of tents.
The camp was accordingly called together and such instructions given them as the Spirit of the Lord dictated, by Elders Pulsipher, Young, Butterfield, Foster and Harriman, which had the desired effect in restoring good order and the spirit of union in the camp.
The Council Relieved of Guard Duty.
On motion of Samuel Parker it was unanimously resolved that the Councilors should be excused from standing on guard during the journey that they might have more time to counsel together and to attend to those duties which necessarily devolved upon them as Councilors of the camp. James A. Clark, Jared Porter and Daniel Bliss were appointed to assist the herdsman in taking care of the herds, as it was found too arduous for one. The camp started about nine and traveled westwardly two miles to Bowsherville, which is one hundred and forty-three miles from Detroit; thence four miles in the same direction, and then turned south and came through the village of Burlington, situated on Taymockty creek, a branch of the Sandusky, and pitched our tents in the highway near a schoolhouse, about one-half mile from Burlington, in the township of Grand, Marion county, between three and four o’clock p. m.
A heavy shower of rain fell soon after we encamped and it continued to rain most of the night. Most of the company got thoroughly wet. Distance this day nine and one-half miles.
Saturday, July 21.—Started about eight a. m.; traveled southwesterly through the township of Goshen, Hardin county to the Sciota river, in the township of Dudley, where we stopped to refresh ourselves and teams, at Judge Wheeler’s. From thence we came to Mr. Bosman’s, in township of Jackson, where we encamped in the highway, seven miles from Sciota, making in all sixteen miles. It was quite cool and comfortable traveling, but the road was extremely bad, being in some places almost impassable, but the Lord attended us and His blessings were multiplied upon us so that no accident of any account happened to us during the day. Newel K. Knight broke an axle-tree out of his wagon which was mended in a short time.
Sunday, July 22.—On account of forage we were under the necessity of traveling about five miles through Rush creek, and pitched our tents on a rise of ground, by the wayside, on the farm of Mr. Partial, inn-keeper in the town of Rush Creek, Logan county, and held public meeting at five p. m. Attended to offering our sacraments to the Most High, breaking bread for the first time on our journey. The first two Sabbaths after we started on our journey we were so circumstanced and thronged with visitors that we omitted attending to the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. At our meeting in the afternoon the Lord blessed us by the outpouring of His Spirit, our hearts were comforted and most of the camp felt thankful for the blessings conferred upon us by our heavenly Father, thus far on the journey to the land of Zion.
As we passed along the road in the morning, molesting no one, some of the company were saluted in modern style by having eggs thrown at them by some ruffians from their dwellings near the road, but on seeing some of our company stop, they desisted from their course fearing the consequences from appearances, and even showed three or four bayonets, intimating that they would defend themselves in case of assault. No one, however, intended doing any harm to them, and only wished them to understand that we noticed their intrusion upon our privileges as citizens to travel the high road unmolested. Sometime in the night a luminous body about the size of a cannon ball came down from over the encampment near the ground then whirled round some forty or fifty times and moved off in a horizontal direction, soon passing out of sight.
Threats of Arrest Made.
Monday, July 23.—The camp began to move at a quarter past seven a. m., and came through the village of Rushsylvania, where we were threatened before our arrival with prosecution for “Kirtland Bank Money,” signed by F. G. Williams, president, and Warren Parrish, cashier. Some of the company passed on from our encampment in the morning to find out what was intended against us, but no person made any attempt to stop any one, and we passed on in safety. From Rushsylvania we came through the village of Bellefontaine, the county seat of Logan county; twelve miles thence to McKee’s creek, a branch of the Miami, in the township of Union, and camped at the side of the creek at seven o’clock. Traveled this day sixteen miles.
A Case of Healing.
On the road near Bellefontaine one of the sons of Martin H. Peck, had a wagon wheel run over his leg, but as the Lord would have it, and to the astonishment of all—considering the weight of the load on the wagon—he received no particular injury, although the wheel ran over the boy’s leg on a hard road without any obstruction whatever. The wheel made a deep cut in the limb, but after hands were laid on him in the name of the Lord, the boy was able to walk considerable in the course of the afternoon. This was one, but not the first, of the wonderful manifestations of God’s power unto us on the journey.
Scarcity of Food.
After we left Bucyrus hill we came to Bellefontaine, the road was in many places very bad, especially in the backwoods. In Marion and Hardin counties provisions were scarce and could not be obtained, consequently we were obliged to do with what we had; and here was another manifestation of the power of Jehovah, for seven and a half bushels of corn sufficed for the whole camp, consisting of six hundred and twenty souls, for the space of three days, and none lacked for food, though some complained and murmured because they did not have that to eat which their souls lusted after.
A Day of Rest.
Tuesday, July 24.—We lay in our encampment at McKee’s creek through the day to wash our clothes and refresh our teams, as they were very much fatigued by traveling for several days on a rough and muddy road. We took two jobs, one of chopping cord wood, and one of shoemaking, and earned about twenty dollars, besides mending and repairing several wagons and putting things in order in the camp.
Camp at the Farm of the Governor of Ohio.
Wednesday, July 25.—Started on our journey and came through West Liberty, situated on Mad river, thence into the township of Salem, Champaign county, and encamped about two miles north of Terbana on the farm of Joseph Vance, Governor of the state of Ohio. The encampment was formed near his residence, at six o’clock, having traveled twelve miles this day. The country in the valley of Mad river is level and beautiful and very fertile. We saw extensive fields of wheat on each side of the way, mostly reaped, and crops of all kinds were far better than any we had seen elsewhere on our journey.
In the evening the camp was called together by the Council, and some of them severely reprimanded in general terms for their unchristian-like conduct, and much instruction given concerning our duties to God, and to one another, in order to move on our journey in righteousness, that we might obtain the favor of the Lord, and have His blessings attend us from day to day.
After the assembly was dismissed, the Council returned and listened to a complaint presented by B. S. Wilbur against Stephen Starks, for some unchristian-like conduct during the day. The trouble was amicably settled to the satisfaction of all concerned. The Council adjourned, after transacting some other business, at eleven o’clock p. m. From Kirtland to our encampment in Salem, is two hundred and fifteen miles.
Thursday, July 26.—Camp began to move at eight o’clock; the first division, however, did not leave the grounds until after eleven. Several of the brethren went out to labor both yesterday and today, in order to procure means to further us on our journey, and they did not come up with us at night. We traveled south through the village of Urbana, the county seat of Champaign county; thence into the township of Moneyfield, Clark county, and camped on the farm of Mr. A. Breneman, four and one half miles off the National road at Springfield. Traveled twelve miles, plus two hundred and fifteen miles from Kirtland, equals two hundred and twenty-seven miles.
The camp was called together in the evening and a timely lecture was given by Elder Pulsipher, on our situation, and all were exhorted to be united in heart and hand in order to join together. The Spirit of the Lord was manifested and we returned to our tents feeling thankful for the blessings of the Lord upon us.
Friday, July 27.—Continued our journey to Springfield on the National road, one hundred and seventy-one miles from Wheeling, in Virginia. Crossed Buck creek, a branch of Mad river just before entering the village on the north. Springfield is a large and beautiful village, the county seat of Clark county, containing about three thousand inhabitants. There are many elegant buildings of brick, and it seems to be a place of considerable trade.
Astonishment Created by the Camp.
A little west of Springfield we left the National road and took the road to Dayton, distance from Springfield twenty-five miles, and passed through the township of Mad river, and a small village called Washington in the same township, and pitched our tents just at dark in a grove near Lenox, in Mad river township. The day was excessively warm and the road dusty, but we all arrived safely at our encampment in the evening, except some of those who stopped to labor. Many of the people all along the road seemed quite astonished to see so many in the company. Some judging there were three hundred teams, and made some curious remarks concerning us and “Jo Smith;” and one man threatened to shoot Elder Dunham if he did not immediately leave his premises when he called to procure forage for our teams at noon. After we encamped a stage went by and the passengers behaved as they passed us more like the savages of the west than anything we have seen since the commencement of our journey. Distance traveled today, fifteen miles. J. D. Parker, who had left Kirtland some time after we did, overtook us at our encampment this evening and staid with us till Monday morning.
Saturday, July 28.—We removed from Mad river township and came to Fairfield, three miles, thence to Bath township and encamped about noon half a mile from the road on the banks of Mad river in Green county, five and one half miles from Dayton. Distance this day nine miles. Distance from Kirtland, two hundred and fifty-one miles.
Sunday, July 29.—We held a public meeting in a grove on a farm of Mr. Houghman, about one fourth of a mile from our encampment, at eleven o’clock, Elder Zera Pulsipher preached.
The Sacrament Administered.
In the afternoon we had a sacrament meeting on the camp grounds. Elder Duncan McArthur, after the administration of the Lord’s Supper, bore testimony of the truth of the revelations of the Lord in these last days to the numerous spectators who were present, and in a brief way made known unto them some of those things that the Lord was doing in the earth; and others that would shortly come to pass among the inhabitants thereof. The Spirit of God attended his testimony and we had a joyful meeting.
Abram Bond Disfellowshiped; John E. Page’s Company.
The Council met in the morning to regulate some things relative to the duties of the day, and adjourned till five p. m. At that time they met again and took into consideration the case of Abram Bond, and unanimously resolved that for his murmuring and not giving heed to the regulations of the camp, he should be disfellowshiped by the camp and left to the care of himself, which decision was made known unto him and approbated by those who were present at the time. He accordingly left the camp the next day. Warren Smith, who left Kirtland about the first of June, came into the camp with his family and joined us. William Gribble—whose wife accompanied us from Kirtland—also joined the camp this day. We found many of the Saints from Kirtland and other places, and Elder John E. Page, with a part of his company that started from Oak Point, in St. Lawrence county, New York, whither they had fled in the course of the past winter, from the commotions and rumors of war in Canada. 4 They were scattered along the road from Springfield to Dayton, some of them laboring for means to prosecute their journey and some had stopped to recruit their teams as well as their purses, that they might continue their journey after the warm season had passed. Many of them came to visit us and were received with feelings of gratitude for the goodness of our heavenly Father for the preservation of our lives and for the privilege of meeting each other in this land of strangers.
Prayer for Rain.
The weather has been extremely hot and dry in the land, and in the southwestern part of the state of Ohio, for many weeks: and rain was much needed, and supplication was made to the God of Israel for rain on the land in this region of country, at the meeting in the forenoon, and at the close of the service in the afterpart of the day. Elder Dunham and Elder Charles Thompson each held a meeting in the afternoon, about two miles from camp.
Monday, July 30.—We remained in our encampment during the day and were visited by several gentlemen, and were solicited to tarry in this place for a season and take a job on the Springfield and Dayton turnpike. Some of the brethren went out to make what discoveries they could relative to labor, and partly engaged some small jobs on condition that we tarried here for a few days. In the afternoon and evening it rained on each side of us, that is, to the north and to the south, and at no great distance from us quite hard, to all appearances; and we also had a small shower in the afternoon, though not enough to water the earth sufficiently, yet it cooled the air and greatly revived both the animal and vegetable kingdoms, for which we thank that Being that rules the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth, and sendeth rain both upon the just and upon the unjust.
Elder John E. Page, who preached about one mile from us in the evening, tarried with us over night and left us in the morning to go to his family at Fairfield, five miles and one half distant, where they had resided for a few weeks since the Canada camp (John E. Page’s company) had stopped.
Some Leave the Camp.
Tuesday, July 31.—A part of our company went off to work on a job of raising a levee for Mr. Hushman, and some one way and some another to labor during the day. In the morning all the men in the camp were called out and were made acquainted with our pecuniary circumstances, and an inquiry made who, if any wished to leave the camp and look out for themselves. One man, Brother Asa Wright, said that his wife had always been opposed to going in the camp, and that he had told some of the brethren in the camp that in consequence of that and some other things it was his choice to leave. Elder Stephen Headlock also complained of the murmuring of some of the camp, and said that he had rather leave the camp—though he desired with all his heart to go in it up to the land of Zion—than to hear so much complaining as he had for a few days past, and had freely expressed his mind before to that effect to some of the brethren.
He was reprimanded by Elder Pulsipher for his own neglect of duty and told to set his own tent in order, and then if he knew of any infringement on the rules of the camp by others, to try, as the law of God required, to reclaim the offenders and restore them to order that the blessings of God might be poured out upon the camp during the long and tedious journey which still lay before it. A vote was taken to see how many were desirous of stopping and laboring, if the Council thought advisable to do so. Some further inquiries were made concerning the conditions that had been or might be offered to the camp to make a piece of turn pike road or do any other work that might be obtained by the Council, and under their superintendency, when all, with a few exceptions,—and they were persons unable to labor—voted to abide by the advice of the Council, and would stay or go, as they should advise or direct.
Elder Page Exhorts the Camp.
Elder John E. Page made a short speech, exhorting all to fulfill their covenants, let what would come, life or death, inasmuch as they were in righteousness before God, and said that all our deeds would be had in remembrance; that we would be rewarded for them, whether good or evil, both in time and in eternity; and further observed that the journeying of the Saints to Zion in obedience to the commandments of the Lord afforded an opportunity for them to become what they desired; either to be as great and as noble as they could or to sink into obscurity in the eyes of God and His Saints and be the least in this last kingdom which God has set His hand to build up upon the earth. After making many appropriate remarks he implored the blessings of heaven upon us, which was responded to by a hearty amen, and then all dispersed to attend to the duties of the day.
Work on the Turnpike.
In the course of the day we took a job of making half a mile of turnpike, and removed our encampment into a beautiful grove near the edge of a prairie about one-fourth of a mile, and about the same distance from Mad river. Here we began to make preparations to commence work, but made little progress, for most of the laboring men were absent, and we did not get our tents pitched till nearly night.
Wednesday, August 1.—Began at an early hour to make arrangements to commence our job. Sent off part of the men to finish the levee and some to build a fence around our camp, and about twelve o’clock made a beginning on the road. A few sick in the camp this day, but most of us were in good health and satisfied with our situation.
Thursday, August 2.—Very warm and dry as it had been for many days, with the exception of the showers on Monday evening.
Progressed with our labors on the road rather slowly, for we were not in condition to work to good advantage, as we had not tools enough, and had been on our journey so long that it was rather fatiguing to labor hard in the commencement. Some sickness in the camp, but no more than would be expected, owing to our change of climate, and the extreme heat and drouth in the land.
Friday, August 3.—Made great progress in the turnpike, and the desponding spirits of some began to revive, for laboring had looked to some to be rather a hard way to procure means to prosecute our journey, though but few complained. Some new cases of sickness, but many of those who were unwell the day before were recovering fast. The men and boys in camp were called together in the evening and instructed by the Council as the Spirit of the Lord manifested unto them concerning cleanliness and decency and the importance of being industrious in laboring with their hands to procure means to go on our way. The covenant to put our strength, our properties and monies together for the purpose of going together in the camp to Zion, and of delivering the poor from their poverty and oppression in the land of Kirtland was adverted to by Elders Pulsipher and Foster, and all exhorted and entreated to give heed to it if they wished to enjoy the blessings of the Lord.
An Assistant Council Appointed.
The Council at a meeting held in the afternoon had taken into consideration the propriety of appointing three men to sit as councilors or judges [known as an Assistant Council, see p. 128] to settle matters and difficulties between brethren, that the Council might be relieved in some measure from the arduous duties of settling controversies and have more time to devote to other things that devolved upon them as Presidents of the camp. Duncan McArthur, Gordon Snow and George Stringham were nominated, and the subject was laid before the meeting in the evening to receive the unanimous approbation of all present. The many blessings conferred on us by our Heavenly Father since He first made known His will unto the Council of Seventies, that it was His will that the Seventies should go to Zion in a camp together, were recapitulated and our hearts were made glad and we rejoiced in the Rock of our salvation whose mercies had been extended unto us, notwithstanding our murmurings against Him and slowness of heart to believe His words, and the many promises which He had made unto us. At the close of the meeting our united prayers ascended to God in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, for the recovery of Elder Jacob Chapman’s family who resided near the city of Dayton, and had sent unto us for some of the Elders to go and lay hands on them in the name of the Lord, as they were sorely afflicted with disease, and for the recovery of the sick in our own camp, and that the destroyer might cease to make inroads among us.
Saturday, August 4.—Our circumstances about the same as on the day previous. A heavy shower towards evening cooled the air and greatly revived the vegetation which was suffering for want of rain in the country round about. In the evening the camp was called together again and the names of those who had absented themselves from labor were read over and those who had no excuse for their absence were severely reprimanded, and the overseers of tents instructed by the Council to withhold the usual rations allotted from such individuals as could but would not labor, that the idler should not eat the bread of the laborer, according to the commandments of the Lord.—D&C 42.
Chapter 9 Notes
4. The war rumors here mentioned have reference to what is known in Canadian history as the “Canadian Rebellion.” It was the culmination of agitation begun as early as 1831, on the part of the people of Canada, under popular leaders, such as Papineau, Brown, Nielson, McKenzie and others, for enlarged measures of home rule for the Dominion. The popular leaders marshaled their forces against the government during the winter of 1837-8, and a number of skirmishes took place. Canadian independence was much talked of, and the people in the United States along the Canadian border were much excited, and volunteers began to flock in considerable numbers to aid the cause of the “patriots,” as the insurgents were called. “But,” to quote a Canadian historian, “the American President, Mr. VanBuren, issued two successive proclamations warning the people of the penalties to which they would expose themselves by engaging in hostilities with a friendly power, and also appointed General Scott to take command of the disturbed frontier and enforce a strict neutrality.” After the arrival of General Scott on the frontiers, effective measures were taken to prevent further supplies and recruits from reaching the “patriots,” and the militia ordered out by the Canadian government, after some severe fighting, dispersed the insurgents, many of whom fled to the United States. The British parliament subsequently granted some of the legislative reforms demanded by the people.