Gathering of the Twelve and Other Leading Elders at Nauvoo—Death of Elder Samuel H. Smith, Brother of the Prophet, Early Missionary of the Church and One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon
“Wednesday, July 24, 1844.—The brethren of the Twelve were delayed in Boston several days, waiting upon Elder Lyman Wight to accompany them to Nauvoo.
Preparations of the Twelve to Start for Nauvoo.
Elders Young, Kimball and Wight left Boston by railway in the morning for Nauvoo. On their arrival at Albany, in the evening, they were joined by Elders Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff and Sister Ruth Sayers, who had arrived from New York. They continued their journey by railway during the night.
Thursday, 25.—Elder Orson Spencer returned from Quincy.
Dr. Richards received the following from President Brigham Young:—
Letter of Elder Brigham Young to Willard Richards
‘Salem, July 8, 1844.
Beloved Brother Willard Richards:
I sit down a few minutes to write you, as Brother Erastus Snow is going to start for Nauvoo tomorrow. He has been laboring in Vermont.
We cannot get one word from our families by letter of late. Sister Ruth Sayers has received a letter from her husband, that, I understand, gives some information which seems to be satisfactory.
According to what we hear in this country about the ‘Mormons’ in the west, I should suppose that there is an election about to take place, or the Prophet had offered himself for some office in the United States; for of all the howlings of devils and devil’s whelps, this season cannot be beat.
Sometimes the “Mormons’ are all killed; sometimes they are half killed; sometimes the blood is shoe-deep in Nauvoo; sometimes ‘Old Joe’, as they call him, is taken by the mob and carried to Missouri; sometimes he is gone to Washington; sometimes he has run away; then again he is given up to the authorities, etc., etc. One might suppose him to be a sectarian God, without body, parts or passions, his center everywhere and his circumference nowhere.
Since I left Nauvoo I have heard a great many expressions about the Prophet, but the prevailing opinion is, that he is the smartest man in the Union, and the people are afraid of his smartness. Some will vote for him for the novelty of the thing, and some to see what a Prophet will do at the head of government. We had a fine passage on the rivers; preached and lectured all the way round.
I lectured at Pittsburgh and in Kirtland, We held political meetings at Shalorsville and Hiram. I preached in the first house west of old Father Johnson’s, where Brothers Joseph and Sidney were mobbed. I looked at the house a great many times.
I left Brothers Snow and Brooks in Ohio, doing well. The Twelve have been faithful in all things. Brother William Smith is a great man in his calling in this country. Brother Lyman Wight has never been with us before; he is a great, good, noble-hearted man. I love my brethren more and more.
I want to see you and the rest of the brethren in Nauvoo. Give my best love to Brothers Joseph and Hyrum. I cannot be there to see them, but I pray for them continually, and for you and all the brethren in our beloved city, and I pray my heavenly Father to preserve my brethren, my family and the whole city. I pray that we may finish the Temple and get our endowments.
We had a large congregation in Boston at our convention, though in the evening there were some who came in that made some disturbance. This proves that the voice of the people rules; that is, the voice of the rabble. One of the watch got some hurt, but all this did us good in Boston. Brother Heywood, from Quincy, is here with us and is doing much good. He is a faithful witness for Brother Joseph and the principles of righteousness.
We have baptized a good many since we left. The gospel is going ahead. All the stories that are going the rounds make no difference, the people will believe the gospel.
You might ask what we think about Brother Joseph’s getting the election this year? You know all about it. We shall do all we can and leave the event with God—the God of heaven will do just as he pleases about it.
Brother Daniel Spencer and many others are here; they are awake to the subject. We are now in the concert hall in Salem. Brother Erastus Snow is now speaking.
We shall attend the conferences in this country, and then leave for the western states to attend the conferences, and get home as quickly as possible. If you are to have a little trouble there, we wish to have a hand in it with you.
I wish you would see my family and speak comfortably to them. Brother Tur, I hope all will go on well with him. If you get a chance to dispose of our property at a good rate, do so. If my wife can get anything to help her I should be pleased. Give my love to Sister Jennetta and all the household, and to all the saints.
Brothers Kimball and Wight will start for Baltimore tomorrow. The brethren in this country inquire after you and all the elders that they have seen; they are warm-hearted. I suppose you have received a letter from the Boston church, with Parley P. Pratt’s name to it.
May the Lord bless you all,
Elder Samuel H. Smith remains very sick.
Elder Erastus Snow, and many other elders, returned home today; all seemed weighed down with gloom.
Elders Young, Kimball, Hyde, Pratt, Woodruff and Wight arrived in Buffalo, and remained all night.
Friday, 26.—President Young and company took steamboat at Buffalo for Detroit.
Elder Orson Hyde took leave of his brethren at Fairport, to visit his family at Kirtland.
Saturday, 27.—We copy from the Times and Seasons the following from the pen of Miss E. R. Snow:—
To Elder John Taylor
“Thou Chieftain of Zion! henceforward thy name
Will be classed with the martyrs and share in their fame;
Through ages eternal, of thee will be said,
‘With the greatest of Prophets he suffered and bled’.
When the shafts of injustice were pointed at him—
When the cup of his suff’ring was filled to the brim—
When his innocent blood was inhumanly shed,
You shared his afflictions and with him you bled.
When around you, like hailstones, the rifle balls flew—
When the passage of death opened wide to your view—
When the Prophet’s freed spirit, through martyrdom fled,
In your gore you lay welt’ring—with martyrs you bled.
All the scars from your wounds, like the trophies of yore,
Shall be ensigns of honor till you are no more;
And by all generations, of thee shall be said,
‘With the best of the Prophets in prison he bled’.’
The brethren of the Twelve arrived at Detroit in the evening, and remained over night at the railroad hotel.
Sunday, 28.—Elders Parley P. Pratt, W. W. Phelps and others addressed the saints in Nauvoo.
Elders Returning to Nauvoo.
On hearing of the death of the Prophet and Patriarch, Elders Charles C. Rich, David Fullmer, Graham Coltrin, Samuel Bent, Ira Miles and George A. Smith were together in Michigan. Elder George A. Smith counselled the elders to return home. They accordingly started for Nauvoo. The roads were muddy, the waters high, and many of the bridges were gone. As they approached Nauvoo they found the people very hostile, however they preached at several places by the way.
Elder George A. Smith, and the brethren with him, arrived at Nauvoo near midnight.
The following is from Elder Wilford Woodruff’s Journal;—
“The brethren of the Twelve took the propeller Hercules for Chicago at 10 a.m. Fare in the cabin $7. We had comfortable staterooms. We spent the day in writing and in social conversation with each other concerning the death of Joseph and Hyrum and the welfare of the church and our families. A variety of subjects were called up, each one expressing his feelings freely. President Brigham Young said he wished me to keep an account of things as they were passing, as he should look to me for his journal at a future day. Elder Wight said that Joseph told him, while in Liberty jail, Missouri, in 1839, he would not live to see forty years, but he was not to reveal it till he was dead.’
Monday, 29.—Elder George A, Smith visited the Prophet’s family.
Elders Willard Richards and George A. Smith visited Elder Samuel H. Smith and laid hands upon him. He expressed a strong desire to live: he was very low, being in the last stages of bilious fever.
Elders Richards and Smith met at Elder Richards’, and ordained two elders who were about leaving the city. Brother Richards signed their licenses:—
Willard Richards, Clerk.’
Bishop George Miller’s Restiveness.
George Miller called on them and requested the privilege of passing some resolutions against the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum. The brethren told him to be quiet and wait and see what the governor and the state authorities would do, that Dr. Richards had pledged himself that the brethren would be quiet, and the Lord had said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’. Miller left the council, saying, ‘Fat men for patience’.
In the evening Elders Richards and Smith visited Elder Taylor.
Tuesday, 30.—Elder Samuel H. Smith, brother of the martyred Prophet and Patriarch, died.
Death of Samuel H. Smith
The Council of Fifty.
Elders W, Richards and George A. Smith met in Council with Elder Taylor at his house. Bishop George Miller and Alexander Badlam wanted them to call together the Council of Fifty and organize the church. They were told that the Council of Fifty was not a church organization, but was composed of members irrespective of their religious faith, and organized for the purpose of consulting on the best manner of obtaining redress of grievances from our enemies, and to devise means to find and locate in some place where we could live in peace; and that the organization of the church belonged to the priesthood alone.
Returning Elders not of the World.
The brethren of the Twelve arrived at Mackinaw. The steamer stopped a short time, took in some fish, and took some boats with Indians in tow. There was a feeling of prejudice manifested by the passengers of the boat against the brethren, because they did not mingle with them in their nonsense and folly, and this spirit is more or less manifest throughout the world,
Wednesday, 31.—Elder Amasa Lyman arrived in Nauvoo.
The following from the governor appeared in the Neighbor:—
Governor Ford to the People of Warsaw in Hancock County
‘I am continually informed of your preparations and threats to renew the war and exterminate the ‘Mormons’. One would suppose that you ought to rest satisfied with what you have already done.
The ‘Mormon’ leaders, if they ever resisted the law, have submitted to its authority. They have surrendered the public arms, and appeared to be ready to do anything required to make atonement for whatever wrong may have been done.
Since the assassination of their two principal leaders, under circumstances well calculated to inflame their passions and drive them to excesses for the purposes of revenge, they have been entirely peaceful and submissive, and have patiently awaited the slow operation of the laws to redress the wrongs of which they complained. There has been no retaliation, no revenge, and, for anything I can ascertain, there will be none.
Those of your people who are charged with being the most hostile to them have lived, if they knew it, in perfect security from illegal violence.
I am anxious for a pacification of your difficulties. You cannot drive out or exterminate the ‘Mormons’. Such an effort would be madness, and would not be permitted by the people of the state. You cannot be sustained in it either by force or law. You are binding yourselves to your weakness, and keeping up an agitation which must fail of the purpose intended and recoil with terrible energy upon your own heads.
I exhort you to reconsider your infatuated resolutions. Try your ‘Mormon’ neighbors again, and if you cannot dwell together in amity, you may at least refrain from injuring each other.
From the moderation of the ‘Mormons’, under what they conceive to be the deepest injury, you might well hope that if they ever entertained designs inconsistent with your liberty and happiness, that those designs have been abandoned. They are also interested in preserving the peace.
It is not natural to suppose that they, any more than yourselves, wish to live in continual alarm. They hope for quietness, and will be peaceful and submissive in order to enjoy it. But you are continually driving them to desperation by an insane course of threatening and hostility, and depriving yourselves of peace by the same means used to disquiet them.
If I have said anything severe in this address, I pray you attribute it to my deep conviction that your course is improper and unwarrantable. Such is the opinion of the people at large in the state and all over the country.
From being right in the first instance you have put yourselves in the wrong, and there are none who sustain you. As men of sense you are bound to see, if you will open your eyes, that you cannot effect your purposes, Nevertheless, you are still training and drilling, and keeping together, and threatening a renewal of the war.
I have said to you often that you cannot succeed; by this time you ought to see it yourselves. What can your small force do against two thousand armed men, entrenched in a city, and defending themselves, their wives and their children?
Besides, if you are the aggressors, I am determined that all the power of the state shall be used to prevent your success. I can never agree that a set of infatuated and infuriated men shall barbarously attack a peaceful people who have submitted to all the demands of the law, and when they had full power to do so, refrained from inflicting vengeance upon their enemies. You may count on my most determined opposition—upon the opposition of the law, and upon that of every peaceful, law-abiding citizen of the country,
This is not spoken in anger. God knows I would do no injury unless compelled to do so to sustain the laws, But mob violence must be put down. It is threatening the whole country with anarchy and ruin. It is menacing our fair form of government, and destroying the confidence of the patriot in the institutions of his country.
I have been informed that the ‘Mormons’ about Lima and Macedonia have been warned to leave the settlements. They have a right to remain and enjoy their property. As long as they are good citizens they shall not be molested, and the sooner those misguided persons withdraw their warning and retrace their steps, the better it will be for them.[Signed] Thomas Ford.
July 25, 1844.”
Thursday, August 1.—The remains of the deceased Elder Samuel H. Smith were interred this morning at 10 a.m.
We extract the following from his obituary:—
Biographical Note of Samuel H. Smith, Brother of the Prophet—Important Testimony to the Book of Mormon
‘Samuel Harrison Smith, the fourth son of Joseph and Lucy, was born in the town of Tunbridge, Orange county, Vermont, on the 13th day of March, 1808.
In his early life he assisted his father in farming. He possessed a religious turn of mind, and at an early age joined the Presbyterian Church, to which sect he belonged until he visited his brother Joseph in May, 1829, when Joseph informed him that the Lord was about to commence his latter-day work.
He also showed him that part of the Book of Mormon which he had translated, and labored to persuade him concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ which was about to be revealed in its fullness.
Samuel was not, however, very easily persuaded of these things; but after much inquiry and explanation he retired and prayed that he might obtain from the Lord wisdom to enable him to judge for himself; the result was that he obtained revelation for himself sufficient to convince him of the truth of the testimony of his brother Joseph.
On the 15th day of May, 1829, having been commanded of the Lord, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized, and as they were returning from the water to the house, they overheard Samuel engaged in secret prayer. Joseph said that he considered that a sufficient testimony of his being a fit subject for baptism; and as they had now received authority to baptize, they spoke to Samuel upon the subject, and he went straightway to the water with them, and was baptized by Oliver Cowdery, he being the third person baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ in the last dispensation.
He was one of the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon.
He was present at the organization of the church, April 6, 1830, and was one of the six who at that time constituted the members of the church. He was ordained to the priesthood on the 6th of April, 1830.
On the 30th of June following the organization of the church, he took some Books of Mormon and started out on his mission, to which he had been set apart by his brother Joseph, and on traveling twenty-five miles, which was his first day’s journey, he stopped at a number of places in order to sell his books, but was turned out of doors as soon as he declared his principles.
When evening came on he was faint and almost discouraged; but coming to an inn, which was surrounded with every appearance of plenty, he called to see if the landlord would buy one of his books. On going in, Samuel inquired of him if he did not wish to purchase a history of the origin of the Indians.
‘I do not know’, replied the host, ‘how did you get hold of it?’
‘It was translated’, rejoined Samuel, ‘by my brother, from some gold plates that he found buried in the earth.’
“You damned liar’, cried the landlord, ‘get out of my house—you shan’t stay one minute with your books.’
Samuel was sick at heart, for this was the fifth time he had been turned out of doors that day. He left the house and traveled a short distance, and washed his feet in a small brook as a testimony against the man.
He then proceeded five miles further on his journey, and seeing an apple tree a short distance from the road, he concluded to pass the night under it; and here he lay all night upon the cold, damp ground.
In the morning he arose from his comfortless bed, and observing a small cottage at no great distance, he drew near, hoping to get a little refreshment. The only inmate was a widow, who seemed very poor, He asked her for food, relating the story of his former treatment. She prepared him some victuals, and, after eating, he explained to her the history of the Book of Mormon. She listened attentively, and believed all that he told her; but, in consequence of her poverty, she was unable to purchase one of the books. He presented her with one, and proceeded to Bloomington, which was eight miles further.
Here he stopped at the house of one John P. Greene, who was a Methodist preacher and was at that time about starting on a preaching mission. He, like the others, did not wish to make a purchase of what he considered at that time to be a nonsensical fable; however, he said that he would take a subscription paper, and if he found any one on his route who was disposed to purchase, he would take his name, and in two weeks Samuel might call again, and he would let him know what the prospect was of selling. After making this arrangement, Samuel left one of his books with him and returned home.
At the time appointed, Samuel started again for the Rev. John P. Greene’s, in order to learn the success which this gentleman had met with in finding sale for the Book of Mormon. This time his father and mother accompanied him, and it was their intention to have passed near the tavern where Samuel was so abusively treated a fortnight previous, but just before they came to the house a sign of smallpox intercepted them.
They turned aside, and meeting a citizen of the place they inquired of him to what extent this disease prevailed. He answered that the tavernkeeper and two of his family had died with it not long since, but he did not know that anyone else had caught the distemper, and that it was brought into the neighborhood by a traveler who stopped at the tavern over night.
Samuel performed several short missions with the books, and gave the following account of his third mission to Livonia:—
‘When I arrived at Mr. Greene’s, Mrs. Greene informed me that her husband was absent from home, that there was no prospect of selling my books, and even the one which I had left with them she expected I would have to take away, as Mr. Greene had no disposition to purchase it, although she had read it herself and was much pleased with it.
‘I then talked with her a short time, and, binding my knapsack upon my shoulders, rose to depart; but, as I bade her farewell, it was impressed upon my mind to leave the book with her. I made her a present of it, and told her that the Spirit forbade my taking it away. She burst into tears, and requested me to pray with her. I did so, and afterwards explained to her the most profitable manner of reading the book 1 which I had left with her, which was, to ask God, when she read it, for a testimony of the truth of what she had read, and she would receive the Spirit of God which would enable her to discern the things of God. I then left her and returned home.’
In December, 1830, Samuel was sent to preach in Kirtland, Ohio, and the surrounding country. About that time Joseph, the Prophet, went to Kirtland to preside, accompanied by Hyrum, and many of the saints, and soon after Joseph Smith, Sen’s. family, and the saints who were located in Waterloo, in Fayette township, also moved to Kirtland.
In June, 1831, he was called by revelation to go to Missouri on a mission, in company with Reynolds Cahoon. They immediately started, and while on their way called upon William E. McLellin, and preached the gospel to him and a large assembly in a room which he procured. William, being troubled about the things he heard, closed up his business and proceeded after the brethren to Missouri, where he was baptized before they arrived.
On their route to Missouri they [Elders Smith and Cahoon] preached the gospel, traveling without purse or scrip, and enduring much for the want of food and rest.
When they started for Missouri, about fifty brethren set out for the same place, and when they all arrived, they met on the spot for the Temple, in Jackson county, and dedicated the ground unto God.
Brothers Smith and Cahoon spent several days in Jackson county, attended several conferences and were with Joseph when he received several revelations. While in Missouri they were required to remain together on their return mission until they reached home, which was in September following.
Soon after their arrival in Kirtland they took a mission into the southern townships and counties of Ohio. Brother Cahoon returned after laboring about six weeks, but Samuel continued preaching through the winter, strengthening the churches and comforting the saints.
In a revelation given January, 1832, Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith were called to go on a mission to the eastern country; accordingly they started in March, and traveled and preached the gospel through the states of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine. They baptized several in Spafford, N.Y., in Boston and Linn, Mass., in Providence, R. I., and in Saco, Maine, preaching much from house to house, as well as in public congregations, and returning to Kirtland in November or December.
During the year 1833, Samuel preached among the churches as he had opportunity, and spent a good portion of his time laboring with his hands.
On the 17th of February, 1834, he was ordained and set apart as one of the high council in Kirtland, in which office he officiated until he went to Missouri in 1838.
August 13th, 1834, he married Mary Bailey, who was born in Bedford, Hillsborough county, New Hampshire, Dec. 20th, 1808.
September 16th, 1835, he was appointed, in company with David Whitmer, as a committee and general agent to act in the name of, and for the Literary firm. In the winter of 1835-6 he chopped cordwood for Lorenzo D. Young.
In 1838 he traveled, in company with his brother Joseph, from Kirtland to Missouri. He passed through the mobbing of that year in Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman in Missouri, and his family suffered nigh unto death from exposure, as they were driven about by the mob.
He was in the Crooked River battle; and immediately after, by the counsel of President Brigham Young, with Brothers C. C. Rich, B. L. Clapp, L. D. Young and about twenty others, they fled for Illinois by the wilderness, through the north part of Missouri and the southern part of Iowa.
Messengers overtook them and informed them that General Clark had sent a company of fifty well armed men to follow them, with strict orders not to return until they had brought back the company either dead or alive.
When this word came a halt was called, and Samuel asked what they should do in case the enemy overtook them. After a few moments’ consultation, the whole company covenanted with uplifted hands to Heaven, that if they were overtaken they would fight till they died, and not a man would fall into the hands of the enemy alive.
They then traveled on ten miles and camped on the edge of some timber on the north side of a four-mile prairie, and they afterwards learned that their enemies camped on the south edge of the same prairie, and would have overtaken them next day had not the Lord sent a heavy snowstorm during the night; and when the brethren arose in the morning, Phineas H. Young remarked that that snowstorm was their salvation, The air was so full of snow that they could hardly find their horses to saddle them, but they soon mounted their horses and continued their journey as fast as they could. The storm was from the north and in their faces; it filled their tracks in a few moments, so that Clark’s men could not follow.
It was reported that this company of men, on their return, informed the general that they could not overtake the ‘damned Mormons’ for they were stopped by a ‘damned snowstorm’.
After they had got some distance on their journey, the company divided into three parts, the three brethren named fell in company with Samuel; their provisions gave out, and, after spending several days without food, except eating linden buds and slippery elm bark, they camped upon a small stream, and the company, numbering eight, held a council and appointed Samuel president, that they might receive the word of the Lord in relation to the situation of Joseph the Prophet and those who were with him, also in relation to their families, and what they were to do to obtain food. They all knelt down in a circle, and each one prayed, then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samuel, and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, he arose and said:—
‘Thus saith the Lord—My servant Joseph is not injured, nor any of his brethren that are with him, but they will all be delivered out of the hands of their enemies. Your families are all well, but anxious about you. Let your hearts be comforted, for I, the Lord, will provide food for you on the morrow.’
They went to bed with glad hearts, and arose in the morning and prayed again, and went out two by two to hunt for food. Brother Clapp saw several squirrels and shot at them, but could not hit them. They were only to stay one hour. At the end of the time they all returned except C. C. Rich and Samuel.
Feeling very faint, one of the brethren proposed killing a horse. Brother Clapp said that when Brothers Rich and Samuel returned they would have food, as he never knew the Lord to give a false revelation to his servants; and, while conversing upon the matter, the brethren made their appearance with two silk handkerchiefs tied up full of bread and dried meat.
Samuel’s mind was led in a certain direction, and following it they came to an Indian camp. They made known to the Indians by signs that they were hungry; upon this the squaw, with all possible speed, baked them some cakes, and gave each of them two, sending two to each of the six brethren in camp, giving them to understand that she would be glad to send more, but she had but little flour, and her papooses (children) would be hungry.
When they arrived in camp, all felt to rejoice. They formed a circle around the food and asked a blessing upon it. The bread was very good, being shortened with raccoon’s oil. After eating they started upon their journey, and obtained food sufficient, so that none perished.
Samuel arrived in Quincy, and was there to assist his father and mother over the river on their arrival, and hired a house for them, into which he also assisted four other families of the saints; and, according to the word of the Lord unto him, his brothers, Joseph and Hyrum, were delivered, and they arrived in Quincy in April, 1839.
He moved, in company with Don Carlos, on to a farm which he rented near Macombe, McDonough county, where he spent the season farming.
Elders Wilford Woodruff and John Taylor called upon them as they went on their missions to England, and held a meeting with the saints in that place (Oct. 11th, 1839). Don Carlos preached, and was followed by Samuel, who enjoyed much of the Holy Spirit, and bore a strong testimony to the truth of the work of God. He assisted the brethren upon their journey.
In September, 1840, Samuel received the following blessing from under the hands of his father, Joseph Smith, Sen., upon his dying bed:—
‘Samuel, you have been a faithful and obedient son. By your faithfulness you have brought many into the church. The Lord has seen your diligence, and you are blessed in that he has never chastised you, but has called you home to rest; and there is a crown laid up for you which shall grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.
‘When the Lord called you he said, ‘Samuel, I have seen thy sufferings, have heard thy cries and beheld thy faithfulness; thy skirts are clear from the blood of this generation’. Because of these things, I seal upon your head all the blessings which I have heretofore pronounced upon you; and this, my dying blessing, I now seal upon you. Even so. Amen.’
His wife bore to him four children—viz., Susannah B., Mary B., Samuel Harrison Bailey and Lucy B. His wife Mary died January 25th, 1841.
In April, 1841, he was sent on a mission to preach the gospel in Scott and adjoining counties, Illinois. May 3rd, he married Levira Clark, daughter of Gardner and Delecta, born in Livonia, Livingston county, New York, July 30th, 1815. He preached during the summer and fall, his wife remaining with his father-in-law.
In the month of November he returned to Nauvoo, taking his family with him, where he remained during the winter, and also the summer of 1842, during which time he worked mostly for Joseph and harvested in the country.
In the fall of 1842 he removed to his brother William’s tavern at Plymouth. In the summer of 1843 he was often at Nauvoo. In the fall he chopped wood, and prepared his farm by making fences and clearing off the timber, preaching the gospel in the vicinity as he had opportunity.
In the spring of 1844 he cultivated his farm, and upon hearing of the imprisonment of his brothers in Carthage jail, he repaired thither on horseback to see them. While on the way he was pursued by the mobocrats; but in consequence of the fleetness of his horse, he was enabled to reach Carthage in safety, from whence he went to Nauvoo in company with the bodies of his martyred brothers, Joseph and Hyrum.
His wife, Levira, bore to him three daughters—viz., Levira A. C., Louisa C. and Lucy J. C.
He was soon after taken sick of bilious fever, and died on the 30th of July, aged 36 years.’
The following extract is from his obituary notice, published in the Times and Seasons:—
‘The exit of this worthy man, so soon after the horrible butchery of his brothers, Joseph and Hyrum, in Carthage jail, is a matter of deep solemnity to the family, as well as a remediless loss to all. If ever there lived a good man upon the earth, Samuel H. Smith was that person. His labors in the church from first to last, carrying glad tidings to the eastern cities, and finally his steadfastness as one of the [eight special] witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and many saintly traits of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity, shall be given of him hereafter as a man of God.’
1. This Book of Mormon left at the home of the Greene’s who were relatives of the Young’s finally fell into the hands of Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball and was the means not only of bringing them directly to the knowledge of the New Dispensation gospel, but was the means also of their conversion. This copy of the Book or Mormon came into the hands of Phineas Young, the brother of Brigham Young, and was by him given into the possession of Joseph F. Smith, nephew of the Prophet Joseph and subsequently President of the Church. He in turn presented it to his son Joseph Fielding Smith who still (1932) has it in his possession.