Haven family
Letters: 1839-48

  • Overland Monthly 1890-91
    Charlotte Haven (1843 part 1)
    Charlotte Haven (1843 part 2)

  • N. E. Quarterly Dec. 1936
    Martha & Jesse Haven (1843-48)

  • Elizabeth Haven (1839)

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • Jesse Haven's 1839 Interview with Mrs. Davison  |  more on Jesse Haven





    VOL. XVI. (SECOND SERIES.) -- DECEMBER, 1890. -- NO. 96.


            CITY OF NAUVOO, Jan. 3, 1843.

    As I write Nauvoo, I look at the word with perfect amazement, and almost doubt my own senses when I find myself an inhabitant of this city of fanatics, for never did I expect to see the place, far less to [indite] letters to my dear parents from it. I think nothing henceforth will disturb my equanimity, not even to send letters from the Pacific shore or Polar seas. But here we are, brother, Elizabeth, and myself, getting comfortably settled for the winter. Brother, who came here late in November, wrote to us in December to "take a mild, pleasant day and come up"; that he had engaged a house and was expecting the furniture (shipped two weeks before), and all things would be in readiness for us; so we zealously applied ourselves for the journey, and with the assistance of Mrs. D. and Mrs. G. (Quincy House friends), we made four large comforters, and were ready to leave Quincy Thursday, December 22nd. The weather had been mild for several days, with rain. Wednesday night the wind changed, and in the morning we were surprised to hear that the thermometer was five degrees below zero, with a stiff northwest wind. Our friends tried to dissuade us from starting until the weather moderated, but the stage leaves but twice a week, and we had written to brother that we should be there that week. While we were equipping ourselves for a ride on the cold prairie, we held quite a levee, -- so many came to say goodby, and all said, "You can't wrap up too much." I wish you could have seen us! I can't say how I looked, but E. looked more like a bale of cotton than anything else I can compare her to; for besides cloaks, shawls, and hood, she had stuffed around her

    three pounds of batting, two comforters, and a buffalo robe. After we were well packed and ready to start, Mr. Randolph brought out and insisted on my wearing his buffalo moccasins. When the stage was announced, we took an affectionate leave of friends to whom we had become dearly attached, and whom we regretted parting from. Mr. Denman with other gentlemen attended us to the stage. The driver looked at us, and at our three trunks, and then at us again, seeming to say, "There is only room for one," though there were no other passengers. After a while he said he could pack us both if we would leave our largest trunks until the next trip, which we unhesitatingly decided to do, (and although it is now a fortnight we have not yet seen them). With the best wishes of Quincy friends we bid adieu to that delightful place, where two months had passed so quickly and pleasantly. Our stage much resembled an Eastern butcher's wagon, and we soon ascertained that the curtains on the sides were destitute of fastenings, for they flapped up and down, to and fro, admitting a bracing circulation of air at every gust, which seemed to come direct from Arctic regions. The driver, who occupied the seat before us, told us we must on no account stop talking, "for," says he, "people freeze to death on these prairies before they know it," -- and he seemed to be determined not to freeze, for when not talking to us, he talked to his horses. He related to us several instances of lone travelers getting lost on these wide, fenceless, treeless plains, wandering round and round in a circle, and afterwards found frozen to death. We thought these cautions needless, for we were prepared to withstand the cold of Lapland.


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       617

    The recent rains and sudden freeze made the roads rough and icy. We dined at Bear Creek. It was some time before the landlord could ascertain whether it was wild animals or passengers he was politely assisting from the stage, but when he found we did indeed have human faces, he said he knew we were Yankees, for Suckers never thought of wrapping up; and while at dinner, like everybody else, he saw my resemblance to brother, and asked me if I was not a sister to a Mr. Haven who dined there six weeks before.

    At five P. M. we arrived at Warsaw, a small village thirty miles from Quincy.. The tavern where we tarried is situated near the bank of the river, beneath the bluff, over which the road is very steep and icy. Our horses, in descending, became frightened at some object, and the driver lost control over them; so down, down they rushed, and over the bank of the river, when suddenly they were twisted around and the stage careened. We were very much frightened, but did not realize our full danger till we alighted on the ice. Mr. Hamilton told us that he was standing on the tavern porch, saw us coming down, ran to the river, seized the horses and broke them from the traces, and that if it had not been for him we should never have seen daylight again, for in an instant more we should have plunged into the river, which was open only a few rods from the shore, where it never freezes on account of the rapid current from the Des Moines rapids. Mr. H. will ever have our heartfelt gratitude for his timely assistance. I shudder, even now, when I think of it.

    I left moccasins and extra wraps in the sleigh, so was quite light, while E. was so encumbered that Mr. H. had fairly to drag her up the bank to the tavern. You may judge of her astonishment as she entered, to see all her furniture in the hall that she supposed was in Nauvoo a month ago! It seems, while the boat on which it was

    sent was detained at Warsaw, the river above the rapids froze, so it was sent no farther.

    At an early hour next morning we continued our journey in a more commodious stage, with the addition of another passenger, a Mormon girl about my age, and we thought the words of our host at Bear Creek about "wrapping up" were verified, for her dress was better calculated for midsummer than Christmas. It was a calico dress, thin cotton shawl, sun bonnet, and india-rubber shoes (no others). We offered her, and with much urging made her accept, a comforter and robe.

    At eleven o'clock we came in full sight of the City of the Saints, and were charmed with the view. We were five miles from it, and from our point of vision it seemed to be situated on a high hill, and to have a dense population; but on our approach and while passing slowly through the principal streets, we thought that our vision had been magnified, or distance lent enchantment, for such a collection of miserable houses and hovels I could not have believed existed in one place. Oh, I thought, how much real poverty must dwell here! Suddenly we missed our traveling companion, -- on looking back we beheld her sprawling on the ground, having sprung from the stage as it passed her house.

    As we neared our little white cottage with green blinds, we saw, coming very fast across a vacant lot, a strange looking man, making eager gesticulations. He seemed to be covered with snowflakes, and a woman was following close behind. In a moment we recognized brother, and saw that the snowflakes were feathers. "Oh, Henderson!" we both exclaimed; "have the Mormons already treated you with a coat of tar and feathers?"

    "No," he laughingly replied. He and the woman, Mrs. Conklin, were having some feather beds filled for us, and seeing the stage, without regard to appearances, hastened to greet us.


    618                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    The stage left us at the kitchen door. The introduction to this room was discouraging enough -full of smoke from a fire just kindled in the fire-place, no furniture except a red chest and a box of crockery, upon which was extended a half venison, flanked by a basket of vegetables, and sundry parcels of groceries. The only redeeming appendage was a forlorn old bachelor, who stood with his back to the fire and hands crossed before him. Brother introduced him to us as Judge Emmons, adding that he had just engaged to "eat him," -- a Western term used for board without lodging. We glanced into the other rooms, -- a large box stove in what is parlor and dining room, a bedstead without bedding in the bed room, -- that was all!

    Judge Emmons with three other bachelors had been keeping house in the neighborhood; but their landlord, about to be married, wanted the house, so two of the gentlemen left the city, and brother, as I have said, out of pity took in the third. He suggested that a search be made in his old quarters to see if some pieces of furniture might remain undisposed of. So we immediately dispatched him and brother for it. They soon returned with a table, three chairs, a coffee-pot and mill, two large tin dippers, and a spider. This last our grandmothers might have called a bake-kettle; it has three legs and an iron cover, which is covered with hot coals when anything is baking.

    Brother had engaged a girl, but she could not come yet, so Mrs. C. kindly offered to get dinner for us and our boarder, -- a herculean task it seemed to me, with the fire-place and such cooking utensils; but we had a nice dinner, venison, hot biscuits, potatoes roasted in the ashes, etc., -- for we were awfully hungry. Mrs. C. told us a few days after that when she went home that evening her boarders had gone off and taken with them all her wood and provisions.

    As darkness came on we were re minded that our lamps were at Warsaw, and the stores a mile away. Fortunately we had candles, and H. improvised candlesticks by making holes in the biscuits left from dinner. The next day he got two small blocks of wood, and now we have two new shining tin candlesticks. Dr. Weld, another of the stranded bachelors, having gone his round of patients, passed the evening with us, but both gentlemen took their departure before nine o'clock, and we went to bed -- on the two feather beds with husk beds beneath. I had mine on the parlor floor and slept comfortably.

    We sadly needed a bedroom carpet. Mrs. C. told us of a woman who wove rag carpets, and she guessed she would like to sell one she had on hand. While in Quincy, we had some very pretty rag carpets made of worn out garments colored in various hues and woven in shaded and bright stripes, very comfortable, homelike, and cheerful, so one morning last week I took my first walk in this city, passing, as Mrs. C. directed, by the Temple. As I came to that embryo building, I verily believe every man at work cutting stone laid down his tools and gazed at me as I passed. I quickened my steps and without much difficulty found the place, a three-roomed house. The weaving-frame occupied one, and from the number of women and children there the other rooms must have had other families. I told my errand. "Yes," she said, and from under the loom unrolled a coarse, ugly thing, which she called "hit and miss," not a pretty stripe -- that was the "miss" -- and the "hit" was a few inches of red flannel and blue calico at irregular intervals a long way apart, while the rest was in every shade of fade. I hesitated, but the sad-faced woman, probably perceiving my disappointment, told me I could have the fifteen yards for $3.50, so I paid her and hastened home


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       619

    The carpet soon followed. E. was quite pleased with it, and we have it made up and it is down, -- a yard and a half over for a rug. It seems much better than a bare floor in this cold climate.

    But my paper is so full and crowded I fear you cannot read it, and I have not said half I wanted to. Love to all, and Happy New Year. Don't forget Grandma and children.
    Affectionately yours,

        NAUVOO, Jan. 22, 1843.
    My Dear Sister Isa:
    O, what fine times you are having this season, with so many parties, balls and sleigh-rides! So much gayety for sedate old Portsmouth is quite a novelty! Your letter received a fortnight ago was very cheery.

    The night you passed so pleasantly at Little Harbor, dancing in that old Colonial Hall, was passed by me in a small, smoky room at Warsaw on our way here,- and during the two following weeks we quite realized many of Mrs. Kirkland's scones, so vividly portrayed in her "New Home, Who'll Follow?" When we read it together last summer, you know we concluded that she had drawn on her imagination somewhat in giving her experiences of Western life; but I have changed my mind.

    I shall not attempt to relate the ludicrous incidents that daily happen, -- it would take too much time and paper, and I have no ambition to write a book which after all might be appreciated only by ourselves.

    On Christmas brother invited Dr. Weld and the Judge to dine with us on roast turkey, but the turkey did not come. Its place was supplied by venison, roasted by being held on a long pointed stick over a bed of coals. We also had baked beans, biscuit, and vegetables cooked alternately in the spider and tin dipper, except the potatoes which were roasted in the ashes. Dr. Weld is also

    a bachelor, about thirty-five years old. He came here many years ago, is a native of New Hampshire, was graduated at Dartmouth, and studied medicine under Dr. Muzzy. He has been at La Harpe, a village about twenty miles east of Nauvoo, most of the time since Christmas, and has a large practice around the country. The Judge makes himself agreeable and useful, -- indeed, I hardly know how I could do without him in this community, I feel so timid when I go out, the men look so rough and strange, dress so queerly and stare so; and some have left their work and followed and stopped me, asking when I came from the Old Country, -- meaning England, for at least a third of the Mormons are English. Now the Judge is always ready to accompany me when I go to the post-office, three quarters of a mile away, the longest walk I take.

    Mary, our domestic, made her appearance the day after New Year's. Elizabeth showed her her room, and told her she might arrange it while we were at dinner. She replied very indignantly, "I ain't used to living only in one family and eating with them, and I would just as lives you would get another girl." E., who was tired out with her apprenticeship to the spider, yielded at once, but not very gracefully, or graciously, I fear, for she herself placed a chair for Mary and treated her as an honored guest, always helping her first, and she will rise herself or call on me rather than ask Mary for anything needed. So my sympathies go out to poor Mary, who always takes her work and sits with us in the parlor afternoons and evenings, but does not, I know, feel at ease. E. has engaged a young English girl to take her place next week, and I hope she will be better suited.

    We are quite enchanted with the delightful western view from our little five-roomed cottage. The cottage itself is near the top of a long hill rising gradually from the river.


    620                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    Before the Mormon advent, this place was first called Venus, then Commerce, and contained a few hundred inhabitants settled near the river, which is still the business center, and there were also the taverns, post-office, mills, stores, printing press, etc. A mile above is the steamboat landing, where there is a tavern, two stores, and a cluster of dwellings. And now the tide of settlement is drifting up the hill near the Temple.

    "Nauvoo" is of Hebrew origin, and, they say, signifies beautiful situation, or place, carrying with it also the idea of rest, and is truly descriptive of this most delightful spot. It is on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, at the head of the Des Moines rapids, in Hancock County, bounded on the east by an extensive prairie of surpassing beauty, and on the north, west, and south, by the river, rising gradually from the water for three quarters of a mile. The streets are laid out at right angles, each square containing four acres, divided into lots of one acre each, which seldom contains more than one house, thus leaving a large space for gardens. Its population is now fourteen thousand, and when the river opens in the spring there will be a large increase; but as the city covers an area of six or eight miles, its inhabitants are of course much scattered.

    A few days ago I visited the celebrated Mormon temple, which is situated on the summit of the bluffs facing the west, and commands a view of the whole city, the river for several miles, and an extensive view in the State of Iowa. This temple is a large edifice of white limestone, a hundred and thirty feet in length by eighty-nine in breadth, with walls two feet thick. The style of architecture is unlike any other upon earth, having its origin with Joseph Smith, professed by him to have been revealed by divine revelation. The building is surrounded by thirty-two pilasters, each

    resting upon an inverted crescent, and in bas relief is another crescent, on the inner curve of which is carved the pro file of a human face made to represent the new moon. Upon the cap of each pilaster there is to be a round face and two hands, holding and blowing a trumpet, to represent the sun. The temple is to be lighted with four rows of windows, two of which will be arched and two round alternately; but we can hardly form an idea of what its appearance will be when finished, for they have now only reached the first tier of windows. The Mormons look upon this undertaking as equal to the building of Solomon's Temple, and the day of its completion is far distant. The basement is divided into three halls and two smaller rooms; the central hall contains the celebrated baptismal font, which is a large stone reservoir, surrounded by a carved wooden railing and supported upon the backs of twelve oxen, beautifully carved in wood and standing knee deep in water; these oxen are to be overlaid with pure gold. Pumps are attached to the font to supply it with water when necessary. The temple, together with several other buildings in the city, is built by tithes, every Mormon being obliged to give either labor or produce (the latter being sold near the temple) and Joseph Smith holds in trust everything that is given.

    Last Sabbath there was preaching at the Prophet's house. Having not a little curiosity to see and hear this strange man, who has attracted so many thousands of people from every quarter of the globe, the Judge and myself sallied forth. We had not proceeded far when a large horse-sled, with a little straw on the bottom upon which were seated men and women, stopped before us; one of the men asked us to get on, and by a little crowding we placed ourselves among them and were borne along with the multitude that were thronging to hear their beloved leader. Such hurrying! one would have thought it was the last opportunity


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       621

    to hear him they would ever have, although we were two hours before the services were to commence. When the house was so full that not another person could stand upright, the windows were opened for the benefit of those without, who were as numerous as those within.

    Joseph Smith is a large, stout man, youthful in his appearance, with light complexion and hair, and blue eyes set far back in the head, and expressing great shrewdness, or I should say, cunning. He has a large head and phrenologists would unhesitatingly pronounce it a bad one, for the organs situated in the back part are decidedly the most prominent. He is also very round-shouldered. He had just returned from Springfield, where he has been upon trial for some crime of which he was accused while in Missouri, but he was released by habeas corpus. I, who had expected to be overwhelmed by his eloquence, was never more disappointed than when he commenced his discourse by relating all the incidents of his journey. This he did in a loud voice, and his language and manner were the coarsest possible. His object seemed to be to amuse and excite laughter in his audience. He is evidently a great egotist and boaster, for he frequently remarked that at every place he stopped going to and from Springfield people crowded around him, and expressed surprise that he was so "handsome and good looking." He also exclaimed at the close of almost every sentence, "That's the idea! " I could not but with wonder and pity look upon that motley and eager crowd that surrounded me, as 1 thought, "Can it be possible that so many of my poor fellow mortals are satisfied with such food for their immortal souls?" for not one sentence did that man utter calculated to create devotional feelings, to impress upon his people the great object of life, to teach them how they might more faithfully perform their duties and endure

    their trials with submission, to give them cheering or consoling views of a divine providence, or to fit them for an eternal life beyond the grave; but his whole two hours' discourse had rather a tendency to corrupt the morals and spread vice.

    We returned home in the same manner as we went.

    We have not yet much extended our acquaintance. We were hesitating whether it would be etiquette for us to make the first call on our landlady and nearest neighbor, as she is a bride, when she was ushered by Mary through the kitchen to the parlor and introduced. She was very taciturn, but in the midst of E.'s conversation with her she turned round and addressed Mary in the kitchen, asking her to take a sleigh-ride with her and Mr. T. in the afternoon. Mary was her bridesmaid.

    There are two more Gentile brethren arrived in the city, and they will be quite an agreeable acquisition to our little society, Dr. Higbee and Mr. Skinner, a lawyer. They dined with us a few days ago on roast turkey, which was cooked by being suspended by a string from the mantel-piece, with the "spider" beneath to catch the gravy. It was pronounced excellent by all. Our "spider" is now cast into the shade by a Yankee Notion cooking stove; our bread candle-sticks were superseded by blocks of wood, then flat-bottomed tin candle-sticks, and now we are at the height of our ambition with glass lamps and spirit gas, for our trunks and furniture arrived yesterday.

    We see but little of brother during the day, but in the evening he or the Judge read aloud while E. and myself are occupied with sewing. H. and E. send much love to you all and so do I, and wish I could pass one of these long evenings around the domestic hearth. Write me particularly about yourselves and remember me to all friends.

    I believe I have mentioned that H. has formed an acquaintance with a Mormon


    622                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    family named Haven, who claim relationship and I believe we really have the same ancestors in Richard and Susanna Haven who settled at Lynn. There is a son who is a Methodist preacher. They came from Hopkinton, Mass. Their daughter Maria and Miss L'Amereux passed an afternoon and took tea with us a short time ago. Maria Haven is a very pretty girl with black eyes.

    I fear you will tire yourselves reading this long letter, therefore will bid you goodbye with best wishes.
              Yours affectionately,

    Nauvoo, Feb. 19, 1843. My dear Mother: Avery happy Sunday morning dawned upon us, for about midnight Elizabeth gave birth to a fine, healthy little boy, weighing nine pounds, and all is well. She had two experienced Mormon women with her all day yesterday, and Dr. Weld came towards evening and tarried till after daylight. Brother H. seems to be the only one in danger; you, mother, know already how fond he is of children, -- he is now carried beyond himself, so perfectly happy; in his transports of joy he laughs and cries alternately, and cannot keep quiet, but jumps up to look at Baby or its mother every few minutes. He is trying to write the news to Mr. Cushman, but I doubt if he succeeds today, unless he composes himself. I wish, mother, you could look in upon us and see your new grandson, for surely it is a dear child, bright and intelligent looking, but I cannot agree with its parents in pronouncing it a beauty.

    We are still pleased with our little home, and I do not regret coming. On the contrary, I am glad I came, for I flatter myself I can be of some service to H. and E., though there are times when I could almost fly to see you all.

    We think our visiting society among the Mormons will be very limited, for we understand it is etiquette for new comers

    to make the first call on old residents, and if the women are like the two that were here yesterday, I can say from the bottom of my heart, "From all such, good Lord, deliver us;" for they kept up one continual stream of talk about their peculiar religion, quoting scripture from Genesis to Revelations. I never heard so much Bible talk in all my life before. Our few Gentile brethren have been very polite, calling almost every day. Dr. Higbee is the most at leisure, not having a single patient and not likely to have, as the Mormons perform wonderful cures by "the laying on of hands.' He has a horse and sleigh, so has given me a general invitation to drive when I feel inclined. I have taken two drives with him, giving me a fine opportunity to see the city and suburbs.

    Ascending the bluff we are soon out on the prairie, which is twenty to thirty miles in extent. There are a few fine farms, highly cultivated, but for the most part the land has been settled only recently, and the houses are still of the rudest construction, -- mere shelters, many built of logs placed cob fashion, some of only one thickness of boards, and others of sod or mud, with seldom any plastering or floors, and minus chimneys, doors and windows. In place of these essential comforts, we may sometimes see a few inches of funnel above the roof or through the side of a house; a curtain or quilt is frequently suspended in the doorway; while air and light are admitted through the spaces left between the logs or through the roof. You would think it impossible that human beings could inhabit such hovels, were you not constantly reminded that such was the case by seeing sundry white-headed, dirty-faced, bare-footed children peeping or thrusting themselves between crevices and cracks. But in spite of their scanty clothing and the midwinter prairie breezes that play so freely through their dwellings, these look healthy and happy.


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       623

    When we consider the short time since the Mormons came here, and their destitution after having had every vestige of property taken from them, and after having undergone great suffering and persecution, their husbands and sons in some instances murdered; when we re member that, driven from their homes in Missouri, with famine before them, five thousand men, women and children, crossed the Mississippi to this State in the winter of 1841, we cannot wonder that they have no fitter dwelling-place and so few of the comforts of life. The hopelessness and despair that must have existed probably led some of them to commit depredations on their more fortunate neighbors, -- had they not, we might certainly have considered them morally superior to other communities. Better and more substantial buildings are fast being erected in city and country, and in a few years things will present a very different appearance, and if let alone and persecution ceases, this absurd religious doctrine will surely die a natural death.

    My other sleigh-ride was on the river. The day was mild and sunny, and our horse was so fleet, he seemed to fly over the smooth ice, in and out around many little wooded islands, and in less than half an hour we were at Fort Madison, a thriving little village on the Iowa side ten miles above Nauvoo. We stopped. at a little tavern, took a little refreshment of tea and cake, and returned home. The novelty of the drive was quite delightful.

    We heard that Mrs. Joseph Smith wished to become acquainted with us, and had been expecting us to honor her with a call. As there was no prospect of E.'s going, I proposed to call and represent the family, the Judge volunteering to accompany and introduce me. They live in the Old Town by the river, so it was a mile walk, but we were fortunate to find them home. They seemed pleased to see us and urged us

    to pass the afternoon, but we politely declined. Sister Emma, for by that name Mrs. S. is known, is very plain in her personal appearance, though we hear she is very intelligent and benevolent, has great influence with her husband, and is generally beloved. She said very little to us, her whole attention being absorbed in what Joseph was saying. He talked incessantly about himself, what he had done and could do more than other mortals, and remarked that he was "a giant, physically and mentally." In fact, he seemed to forget that he was a man. I did not change my opinion about him, but suppose he has good traits. They say he is very kind hearted, and always ready to give shelter and help to the needy. We may hope so, for a kind heart in this place can always be active.

    From there we called on Joseph's mother, passing the site of the Nauvoo House, a spacious hotel, the first floor only laid. It is like the Temple in being erected on the tithe system, and when finished will surpass in splendor any hotel in the State. Here Joseph and his heirs for generations are to have apartments free of expense, and they think the crowned heads of Europe will rusticate beneath its roof. Madame Smith's residence is a log house very near her son's. She opened the door and received us cordially. She is a motherly kind of woman of about sixty years. She receives a little pittance by exhibiting The Mummies to strangers. When we asked to see them, she lit a candle and conducted us up a short, narrow stairway to a low, dark room under the roof. On one side were standing half a dozen mummies, to whom she introduced us, King Onitus and his royal household, -- one she did not know. Then she took up what seemed to be a club wrapped in a dark cloth, and said "This is the leg of Pharaoh's daughter, the one that saved Moses." Repressing a smile, I looked from the mummies to


    624                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    the old lady. but could detect nothing but earnestness and sincerity on her countenance. Then she turned to a long table, set her candle-stick down, and opened a long roll of manuscript, saying it was "the writing of Abraham and Isaac, written in Hebrew and Sanscrit," and she read seven minutes from it as if it were English. It sounded very much like passages from the Old Testament -- and it might have been for anything we knew -- but she said she read it through the inspiration of her son Joseph, in whom she seemed to have perfect confidence. Then in the same way she interpreted to us hieroglyphics from another roll. One was Mother Eve being tempted by the serpent, who -- the serpent, I mean -- was standing on the tip of his tail, with which his two legs formed a tripod, and had his head in Eve's ear. I said, "But serpents don't have legs."

    They did before the fall," she asserted with perfect confidence.

    The Judge slipped a coin in her hand which she received smilingly, with a pleasant, "Come again," as we bade her goodby.

    I know, dear Mother, you would be highly amused were you now to look from our parlor window at the crowd of people that are passing from their devotions in the Temple. As that edifice has neither roof nor floor, preaching is held there only on pleasant Sundays. Then planks are laid loosely over the joists and some boards are placed for seats, but not half enough to accommodate the people; so men, women, and children, take with them chairs, benches, stools, etc. They are now returning with them. Their dress you would think not very comfortable for a winter's day, many men and boys with straw hats, low shoes, and no overcoats, and women with sun-bonnets, calico dresses, thin shawls, or some nondescript garment thrown over the shoulders. Their zeal must surely keep them warm.

    H. and E. -- and Baby would if it could -- send love to all of the family.

    Write soon and believe me ever,
          Your affectionate daughter,

    VENUS, alias COMMERCE,
    alias NAUVOO.
    March 5, 1843.

    My dear brother and sister:
    Friday I had the pleasure of receiving your very welcome letters, also letters from Mother and Isa. We have but two mails a week and twice I had come away disappointed, therefore was overjoyed when so many letters and papers were smilingly handed me by Elder Sidney Rigdon, P.M. I hastened home and read them again and again, -- indeed, the smaller the incident mentioned, the greater seemed the interest.

    This Sunday morning Elizabeth breakfasted with us for the first time since the birth of her infant, and H. is at home for the day in a state of perfect happiness, and wishes Sunday would come twice a week. He has the boy on his knee, talking all kinds of nonsense to him and teaching him to smile and recognize his father. E. is quite well and the boy thrives, gaining one ounce a week. He is to be named for his grandfather, Samuel Cushman. I tell E. I hope he will not be a Democrat.

    This winter has been extremely cold; I almost despair of sunny, warm weather in the West. We had quite a fall of snow last night, and the river has been ice-bound since the middle of November. I used to think we had high winds in New England, but I look back to them now as gentle breezes compared to the violent ones we have here. Every few days we have here a perfect hurricane, lasting for forty-eight hours. Occasionally we have had a thaw, and then -- oh, the mud! It seems bottomless. The soil is black, sticky loam, and when your foot is once in, it is almost impossible to get it out. Crossing the road one


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       625

    day last week, my feet went down, down, and in all probability would have reached my antipodes had it not been for the assistance of the Judge, who helped me out; but both rubbers were left far below and there remain to be fossilized as footprints of the primeval man.

    Notwithstanding cold and mud, we have passed a pleasant winter, our society being mostly confined to our little Gentile band. A few other acquaintances we have made, Hiram Kimball's family, who lived here when it was Commerce, -- Mr. K's mother has become a Mormon and Mrs. K. is leaning that way. -- then, at the post-office, the Rigdon family. We enter a side door leading into the kitchen, and in a corner near the door is a wide shelf or table, on which against the wall is a sort of cupboard with pigeon-holes or boxes -- this is the post-office. In this room, with the great cooking stove at one end, the family eat and sit. Mrs. R. when I go for the mail always invites me to stop and rest, which after a cold, long walk I am glad to do, thus opening an acquaintance with Elder Sidney Rigdon, the most learned man among the Latter Day Saints. He is past fifty and is somewhat bald and his dark hair slightly gray. He has an intelligent countenance, a courteous manner, and speaks grammatically. He talks very pleasantly about his travels in this country and Europe, but is very reticent about his religion. I have heard it stated that he was Smith's chief aid in getting up the Book of Mormon and creed. He is so far above Smith in intellect; education, and secretiveness, that there is scarcely a doubt that he is at the head in compiling it. I looked over his library -- on some bookshelves in the kitchen. It was a very good student's collection, -- Hebrew, Greek, and Latin lexicons and readers, stray volumes of Shakespeare, Scott, Irving's works, and a number of other valuable books. He studied for the ministry in his youth, then was employed in a newspaper office.

    His wife is always busy with domestic labor. They have five daughters.

    The only party I have attended in this Holy City was at their house. Here is a copy of the invitation. You will observe the date was a year ago. However, we concluded it was a slight mistake, as the Judge received an invitation somehow with this year's date.

    NAUVOO Feb. 20 1842

    The company of Mr Mrs and Miss Haven is Solicited to attend a party at the hous[e] of Mr Rigdon on Thursday the 24 inst at three oclock P M

    Sarah Rigdon
    Eliza Rigdon

    The Judge called me, and we trudged off. We were met at the P. O. door by Miss Sarah; her mother, who was paring potatoes near the stove, came forward, the venerable Elder stood behind the cook stove (which was in full operation) dressed in his Sunday best suit, the highest and stiffest shirt collar, and a white neckerchief with ends flowing over his shoulders. By his side was a very fine, stylish gentleman with gold spectacles whom he introduced to me as Mr. Marr -- "A descendant of the Earl of Mar," occurred to me. He is a native of Portland, Me., and a last year's graduate of the Cambridge Law School.

    Leaving my escort in the kitchen, I was ushered into the next room -- where lo! there was a large quilting frame, around which sat eight of the belles of Nauvoo, to each of whom I was introduced, then a seat was assigned me near the head of the frame, and equipped with needle, thread, and thimble, I quilted with the rest. But not a word was said, and fearing my presence had checked hilarity, I offered a few kindly remarks, only to be answered with "Yes, Marm," or "No, Marm." It was quite embarrassing, when my next neighbor timidly whispered, "We talk in the evening."

    So I was stilled and put all my energy on the quilt, which was finished and taken out of the frame by six o'clock. The


    626                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    door to the kitchen or living room was then thrown open and we were ushered in. The scene, how changed! Through the whole length of the room from the post-office to the stove, a table extended, loaded with a substantial supper, turkey, chicken, beef, vegetables, pies, cake, etc. To this we did silent justice. Leaving the family to clear away, we young people returned to the other room and placed ourselves like wall-flowers. Gentlemen soon came in in groups, and when all were assembled, Mr. Rigdon came in, shook hands with the gentlemen, then placed himself in the middle of the room, and taking a gentleman by his side, commenced introductions, "Mr. Monroe, -- Miss Burnett, my daughter, Miss Marks, Miss Ives, my daughter, Miss Ivens, Miss Bemis, my daughter from La Harpe, Miss Haven, my daughter."

    Mr. Monroe retires and another gentleman is called up and the ceremony repeated, until all the strangers had been introduced. Then Mr. R. says, "Is there any other gentleman who has not been introduced?" when a Mr. Ives came forward and pointing with his finger, "I have not been introduced to that lady (Miss Haven) and that (Miss Bemis)."

    This ceremony over, all seemed more joyous; songs were sung, concluding with the two little girls singing several verses of the Battle of Michigan, [deaconed] out to them line by line by their elder sister, Miss Nancy. Then followed an original dance without music, commencing with marching and ending with kissing! Merry games were then introduced, The Miller, Grab, etc., not at all of an intellectual order; so I suggested Fox and Geese, which was in vogue with us ten years ago. It took well. Brother says he called at the office during the evening, and the Elder was urging his wife to look in upon the young people. He heard him say that he had been half over the world but never had seen anything

    equal to this in enjoyment. At nine o'clock we went out to a second edition of supper, and then the games were renewed with vigor. We left about ten. The Miss Rigdons, who called on us the next day, said the party did not break up till twelve.

    Kiss little Louise and Sarah and baby for me, and tell them I am glad they learn so fast. I will write them a letter bye and bye. I wish they could hug and kiss their little baby cousin.

    This evening with the Judge I shall go either to Miss. H. Kimball's, or to a prayer meeting, for you must know the saints take an interest in our spiritual welfare, by sending us to read the Book of Mormon, The Voice of Warning, and the Book of Covenants, and invite us to attend prayer meetings.

    We are having beautiful sunsets these days, and from our parlor window we have an extensive western view; and later on in the night the heavens are all aglow with light from the prairie fires. Between the river and the Iowa bluffs eight or ten miles west, ten to twenty fires are started burning the refuse grass and straw preparatory to putting in spring crops. Often I sit up a long time watching these long lines of fire as they seem to meet all along the horizon. The sun is down and darkness is fast gathering, so I must close with much love from

    Your sister

    NAUVOO, March 26, 1843.

    My dear friends at home:
    In compliance with your request to write about the Mormon faith, I have endeavored to gain some statistics. Dr. Weld and Mr. Skinner, who lived here before the Mormons came, have given me a few items; I have tried to glean something from our Mormon neighbors, but they always answer my questions with such a stream of Bible quotations that I am quite bewildered. I have read


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       627

    their holy books, and when I have occasionally attended a meeting, I have taken in all I could.

    The church called the Latter-Day Saints of Jesus Christ is governed by a high priest, a council of thirty, twelve elders or apostles, teachers, deacons, and a bishop for each ward of the city. These, except the first, are appointed annually by revelation to Joseph Smith, the prophet, patriarch, and high priest. The apostles are sent abroad to all quarters of the globe as missionaries, with the charge, when appointed, "to take neither scrip nor change of raiment with them, but go as sheep among wolves," etc. These are, no doubt, the best talkers and most intelligent among them, for the majority are very ignorant -- an unthinking class from the manufacturing and mining districts of England and Scotland, and the rural population of Canada and the United States.

    The Book of Mormon purports to be a translation by revelation to Joseph Smith of writings on golden plates found by him in a cave somewhere in Ohio, a history of the Lost Tribes of Israel, who built boats, crossed the Pacific, and landed on our western shores. Then commenced a succession of battles with the natives or hostile tribes, as they fought their way from the Pacific to the Atlantic, called Great Waters, -- Mormon was a leader, -- finally ending in a sort of Kilkenny Cat battle. The Book of Mormon, like the Old Testament, is divided into books with Hebrew names (I think), and "Thus saith the Lord" often directing the movements of the tribes. We find no creed in it, no article on which to found a religion. It might have been written by a much less intelligent man than Sidney Rigdon. The Book of Covenant and Priesthood seems to me a jargon of nonsense, mingled with directions for church government. They pretend to read and believe the Bible literally.

    Sunday evening prayer meetings are

    held at private houses in different parts of the city. Elder C., who lives in this neighborhood, has kindly invited us to attend those held at his house, so I with the Judge have been there three Sunday evenings during the winter. The room is well filled, and the meetings are presided over by the Elder, are orderly, and are conducted similarly to the Methodist ones I have attended in the country in New England. All are at liberty to speak, and sometimes a subject is discussed. One evening it was Baptism for the Dead. There were only two or three speakers on that subject, and their minds were of such a description as to throw into a maze of confusion every subject they touched. They pretended to supreme wisdom, and expressed their views with that smiling self-satisfaction which denotes that all truths have been revealed to them by some superior power, and they evidently regarded all other Christians with painful compassion. From what was said that evening I gather that the Mormons believe in three heavens, termed Tuestial [sic], Terrestrial, Celestial; that after death the spirit enters the lowest, and constantly progresses in spiritual knowledge until safely landed in the Celestial; and all that die without the opportunity of hearing or receiving the faith of the Latter Day Saints are consigned to purgatory to remain forever, or until their descendants or friends are baptized for them. Thus these poor Mormons are constantly being baptized as a duty to release their ancestors or friends from the tortures of purgatory.

    Near the close of this meeting a woman arose, the wail of an afflicted mother hushed the assembly into a profound stillness, the words of the heart found a response in every bosom, and upon every countenance tears of sympathy were visible, as they listened to the mournful tones. She told of the joy she had felt when the new faith was revealed to her in her own English land; how she besought.


    628                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    the Lord to convert her whole household, and made a covenant with him that if he would only bring them into the church of the Latter Day Saints he might send any domestic affliction, and she, without murmuring, would be resigned. They were converted, and now it had pleased God to test the strength of her vow; in the Missouri war her husband and four children were murdered, and now her only surviving son lay prostrate with a fever. In a mother's agony she besought the Lord to withhold his chastening rod, and spare to her the only remaining prop of her old age; but if he saw fit to take that also, she fervently prayed that she might bow submissively to his will. It was beautiful to see in the prayer of this sorrowing mother, the feelings of nature and the heart overwhelming the delusions of the imagination. Here was no mention of Joseph Smith or of the Temple and Mansion House, for whose speedy erection they generally put up a petition.

    This meeting was closed by one of the Elders offering a cow for sale. At another time a woman gifted with unknown tongues addressed the assembly. She also spoke of the joy she received in her present religion, and then exhibited this gift, not, she said, from any vain glory of display, but to convince those who heard her that this was the only true faith, and that only in it (here she looked directly at me) could salvation be found; and then with many strange contortions of countenance, and apparently great mental excitement, she ejaculated a few sentences sounding like "Metama telute napathy," about as senseless as the children say in their games, "Eeny, meeny, mony mite." Unfortunately there was no interpreter of tongues present, so we were no wiser. We also saw two elders lay their hands on a man suffering from a severe headache, which he said brought immediate relief. Indeed, my dear friends, there seems no end to the length to which these poor people

    carry their superstition and fanaticism. The majority, I am told, are sincere -- our neighbors at least seem so -- and great readers of the Bible. During the last fortnight a bright streak of light has been observed in the heavens extending from east to west, undoubtedly a comet of the first magnitude, for it is very brilliant, and we wonder that we see no notice of this beautiful heavenly wanderer in the Eastern papers. Well, some of the Mormons looked with fear on this, to them, strange phenomenon, and applied to the Patriarch, who allayed their fears by telling them that it was a fiery sword pointing to Missouri, and there would soon be war in that State and the Missourians would be exterminated. "They felt to rejoice," for those who suffered there have a bitter hatred to the very name of the State. (By the way, none of the Mormons were slaveholders.) We understand that the Prophet has recently had a vision, but will not reveal to his people what he saw in his trance until the 6th of May; then we may expect something startling. April 2nd. I was prevented from finishing this letter last Sunday. Brother and myself are well, but E. has been quite ill for two weeks with a cold and much fever. She is recovering slowly, but longs for warm weather so that she can go out and breathe the fresh air. That Samuel Cushman is a fine boy, is the unanimous opinion of all who see him, and in our eyes there is no end to the wonderful feats he already accomplishes. He was christened two weeks ago by our Rev. Mr. Moore, who passed a few days with us. His visit was an oasis to us; he told us so much news of our Quincy friends, and brought us some new books. We felt sorry he could stay no longer. After reading the papers you send, we forward them to Augustus, at Dubuque, whom we hope to see by the first boat when the river opens; for though it is now


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       629

    April the river is still ice-bound, and teams cross on the ice. We long to see it a blue, running stream once more. People say there was never such a long, cold winter known before.

    I passed one afternoon last week at the Havens'. -- They seemed pleased with their new relatives, as they call us; wish me to call them "uncle" and "aunt," and say they shall call me sister, as it will seem more natural when I come into the Latter-Day Church. They are a kind-hearted, honest old couple. Mr. H. is about seventy-five years old, -- has the Haven blue eyes and fair complexion His wife has black eyes. They showed me their pedigree, which proves them descendants of one of the 1645 Framingham brothers.

    Do, dear Isa, always write such long letters. I almost commit them to memory. I should admire to see Lieutenant S. of whom you say so much. I am glad you have passed such a pleasant, gay winter.

    It is beginning to snow, so Brother will take this to the office, and I hope to get something on his return. Love to all. Kiss the little children for me.
         Your affectionate daughter and sister.             Charlotte.

          CITY OF NAUVOO, May 2, 1843.
    My dear home friends:
    As Brother and E. are both reading to themselves this evening, I am cast on my own resources and reflections, and my thoughts naturally wandering to Portsmouth and the dear family circle, I think I cannot better employ the remainder of the evening than in answering the kind letter I received from mother and sister a fortnight since.

    The weather is now very fine, and we shall soon commence gardening: The Mississippi has at last broken its icy bonds, and flows majestically onward, blue and clear as crystal. Several boats pass daily. Those coming up leave fifty to a hundred passengers to swell the

    Mormon ranks. Poor, deluded creatures! They little know the privations and sufferings in store for them, and those who have used so much duplicity in bringing them here are responsible for a great sin, for which they must eventually suffer.

    The plain between us and the river, embracing twelve acres or more, is covered with luxuriant grass looking bright and green. For the last week or so it has presented a lively appearance from the parade and exercises of the companies of the Nauvoo Legion. This military organization comprises between two and three thousand soldiers, part of whom belong to the State. It is divided into two cohorts, and then subdivided into regiments and companies, and is intended to represent a Roman legion. These parades are preparatory to the grand annual parade on the 6th of this month, to take place on the prairie a few miles out, when Joseph, the commander-in-chief, inspects the troops. It is expected that all the elite of the city will be present on this grand gala day. We understand there is to be a cavalcade of ladies with nodding plumes. Miss Ell (she is very, very tall) will lead the van and present a banner. Dr. H. has invited me to view this imposing scene, and if nothing better offers I shall go, and expect much amusement.

    Last Sunday morning the Judge came in and soon proposed a walk, for it was a balmy spring day, so we took a bee-line for the river, down the street north of our house. Arriving there we rested awhile on a log, watching the thin sheets of ice as they slowly came down and floated by. Then we followed the bank toward town, and rounding a little point covered with willows and cottonwoods, we spied quite a crowd of people, and soon perceived there was a baptism. Two elders stood knee-deep in the icy cold water, and immersed one after another as fast as they could come down the bank. We soon observed that some


    630                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    of them went in and were plunged several times. We were told that they were baptized for the dead who had not had an opportunity of adopting the doctrines of the Latter Day Saints. So these poor mortals in ice-cold water were releasing their ancestors and relatives from purgatory! We drew a little nearer and heard several names repeated by the elders as the victims were douched, and you can imagine our surprise when the name George Washington was called. So after these fifty years he is out of purgatory and on his way to the "celestial" heaven! It was enough, and we continued our walk homeward.

    A new Masonic Lodge was installed in this place last Thursday. Most of the chief men here are Masons. With the Judge I went to the Temple, where the solemn services were held, and there we waited nearly two hours before the procession with a fine band of music made its appearance. First were the invited guests, most of whom were "female women folks," wives and sisters of Masons, then the Masons in full regalia. Mr. Rigdon, by far the ablest and most cultivated of the Mormons, gave us a brief but very fine address, then followed the inauguration ceremony, which was quite simple, a hymn was sung, and the procession again formed with the invited guests in the rear, and marched to a vacant lot opposite brother's store. Here the Masons parted right and left forming two long rows, and the ladies marched between and seated themselves in an interesting row down one side of the table, -- and we saw no more. All went off in fine style, as the Mormons say, and brother, who was one of the guests, said that the feast was sumptuous, -- a whole hog barbecued in a trench.

    We hear very frequently from our Quincy friends through Mr. Joshua Moore, who passes through that place and this in his monthly zigzag tours through the State, traveling horseback. His last call on us was last Saturday and

    he brought with him half a dozen thin pieces of brass, apparently very old, in the form of a bell about five or six inches long. They had on them scratches that looked like writing, and strange figures like symbolic characters. They were recently found, he said, in a mound a few miles below Quincy. When he showed them to Joseph, the latter said that the figures or writing on them was similar to that in which the Book of Mormon was written, and if Mr. Moore could leave them, he thought that by the help of revelation he would be able to translate them. So a sequel to that holy book may soon be expected.

    It is said that Joseph read the golden plates by looking through the Peep Stone. Now he pretends not to believe in the Peep Stone, although many of his followers undoubtedly do. The stone is in the possession of a high church dignitary, and has the power of seeing and reading things without the use of eyes -- a sort of clairvoyant. I am told that many of the English and Scotch, when becoming anxious about their friends across the ocean, with implicit faith consult the Peep Stone, which not only tells them of their friends' health, but what they are doing at the time. But it is not always infallible, as you will see.

    Some weeks ago, a store was broken open and nearly all its contents stolen. The Peep Stone pretended to reveal where the goods were deposited, and immediately ten or fifteen men with teams started for the spot, but lo! nothing was there. However, the thief and goods were found without its aid, and when the thief was brought before the Council he pleaded not guilty, saying that he was inspired to steal, that he was thinking one night of his poverty and the wretchedness of his little children, when behold! The Ancient of Days appeared to him and said there was a store, to go to it and take what was needful for himself anti seven children. With this intention he arose, the window of the


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       631

    store was raised easily, and he could not help taking carry. Notwithstanding his inspiration he was dismissed from Church and sent to Carthage for further trial.

    H. and L. send love. The boy grows finely and is quite handsome, his mother says. Remember me most affectionately to all inquiring friends, and believe me,
           Your aff.

          NAUVOO, June 4th.
    My dear sister:
    Last Sunday we experienced infinite delight in the reception of letters long and interesting from grandmother and you. What a fine time you must have had at the family gathering on mother's 94th birthday! Knowing how cheery you all are, we can easily imagine the jollity of the occasion. Give my love to the dear, happy old lady, tell her I thought of her on that day, and that I hope to be with her when the next anniversary comes round, -- but it is very doubtful.

    For the past month the weather has been delightful, and I have greatly enjoyed many pleasant rides out on the prairie, which at this season is beautifully decked in holiday attire. The prairie flowers are to me an object of untiring interest, their beauty and variety a constant surprise; it is impossible for me to number the different species, for continually new flowers meet the eye. Pink, scarlet, and orange, are now the prevailing colors. Lavish indeed has Flora been in her decorations of these wide rolling prairies. The Judge and myself have busied ourselves in making a flower garden, and by buying, borrowing and begging, hope to see it gay and pretty bye-and-bye.

    We have been overwhelmed with visitors for some weeks. First there were Mr. Jenks and a friend from St. Louis, who invited me to join a party of ladies and gentlemen on a pleasure excursion to St. Anthony's Falls, but I thought it

    best to decline. Then came a host of friends from Quincy, some of them staying several days. These were followed by Mr. and Mrs. H. and Mr. H's sister, Mrs. C., with her youngest boy, six years old. Mrs. C. belongs to the Church of Latter Day Saints, and as she passed two weeks with us Elizabeth thought it a good opportunity to invite Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smith. We also invited Mr. and Mrs. G. and Mr. H., our Mormon landlord. There never was a hotter June; had we had a thermometer, it would have registered 100 degrees. Soon after two o'clock a heavy thunder-storm came on, in the midst of which a handsome carriage drawn by two fine bays came driving Jehu-like up to our gate, and from it alighted the Prophet and Lady and youngest son. I rushed out with the umbrella to shield Mrs. Smith, the others following. The driver being introduced, also came in and tarried. Mrs. Smith was pleasant and social, more so than we had ever seen her before, and we were quite pleased with her; while her husband is the greatest egotist I ever met.

    In the course of the afternoon he touched as usual on his peculiar doctrines, and Brother asked him on what he founded his belief. He replied: "Upon the Bible."

    "All denominations do the same," said Brother, very innocently.

    At this Joseph became much excited; there was "no dubiety" about his religion, for he had more light directly from God, he said, and seemed to consider it an insult for any one to have the audacity to compare his doctrine with others. Finding him so dogmatical and so unable to reason, Brother let the Seer monopolize -- as he always does -- the conversation; or rather, glorify himself and his wonderful supernatural powers. However, the afternoon passed pleasantly, and by uniting parlor and kitchen tables we contrived to seat all at supper and to find room for the good things


    632                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    we had prepared. When Mrs. Smith proposed returning home, her lord was disposed to remain longer, and remarked that it was "like leaving Paradise."

    I thought his idea of Paradise was very different from mine. Mrs. Case is still with us, but in a few days will visit among the brothers and sisters of the Church, who complain that she spends too much time among us worldlings. Notwithstanding her faith, Mrs C. is a very lovely woman, and well educated, " her faults still lean on virtue's side," she belongs to a rather enthusiastic and visionary family, and this, with her human sympathy and extreme charity for the Mormons when they were driven from Missouri across the river to Quincy in destitution, led her at last to embrace their faith. She took them to her own home and administered to their wants all winter.

    Yesterday we had an invitation to pass the afternoon at Esq. W.'s, who lives on a beautiful farm two miles from us. So H. engaged a wagon and span of horses to take us there. It came round just after dinner, -- but minus seats! However, we provided this essential comfort in riding by our kitchen chairs, -- a very sociable mode of traveling, much better than cabs, close carriages, etc., for we can place and face at our will, and by the motion of the vehicle our positions are constantly changing. On our arrival Esq. W.'s family greeted us most cordially, and we passed the afternoon in going over various parts of farm and garden, -- it is on the edge of the prairie, -- and in pleasant talk about the early days. They were born, reared, and educated, in this neighborhood, a kind, hospitable Sucker family, and rational enough to escape the fanaticism of Mormonism. We returned before candle light, well pleased with our visit.

    In compliment to Mrs. C. I went with her to the Temple this morning, and heard one Elder Brown exhort or rant nearly two hours in a coarse, ungrammatical

    way, introducing many quotations from the Old Testament. The only idea I could get was that Gentiles in bygone ages were not instructed to keep the Sabbath. It might have been a moral discourse for those for whom it was intended.

    A few weeks ago we had the Misses Rigdon to tea, and the Judge, Dr. W., and Mr. H. M. came in the evening. The Rigdons have been quite polite to us. They seem kind-hearted, sincere girls, but so hard to entertain,- with no ideas! We had a candy-pull to get some life in them. By the way, did you see in the New York Herald sometime in May an account of the Rigdon party that I wrote you about? It was quite a burlesque, as you will know by this sentence. "The accomplished Miss H., with gazelle eyes and fawn-like step, gave grace and eclat to the party." I have recently had a pair of buckskin gaiters made, and you may be assured my steps are now more fawn-like than ever.

    But here my sheet is almost filled without one word about the Family Joy, who manifests a discriminating mind and a social disposition, and does credit to the stock from which he sprang.
            Love to all from all.

           June 7, 1843.
    When I carried my last Sunday's letter to the post-office the mail had left, therefore it did not leave the city until today; but rather than open it to give you later intelligence I commence another in the form of a journal, and hope during the month to gather something of interest. This morning was very lovely, the air fresh and cool, so after sweeping the parlor and arranging my room, I could not resist a long walk. On my return I found here a young gentleman, Mr. Charles Griswold, a half brother of Uncle Charles's wife. He has been residing the last year at Peoria, but not realizing his bright anticipations of wild


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       633

    western life, he resolved to return to his luxurious home in New York.

    This afternoon Dr. Weld called me to ride. We took little Josey Case with us, and rode out on the prairies, passing many beautiful farms, some of 300 acres. Here and there was one entirely surrounded by a sod fence. These fences are made by digging deep trenches six to eight feet apart, and throwing the earth from them on the space between until there is a ridge about six feet high and two or three feet wide on top. This is all sodded and sometimes hedges are started along the top. I assure you they look now in June far more beautiful and rural than the New England stone walls or zig-zag rail fences. We came home loaded with flowers. Mr. Skinner was at our door with two horses and an invitation for another ride, but as I was rather fatigued, he promised to call another day.

             June 12.
    I felt lonesome this evening, so went over to the Goodwins', where Mrs. Pease and Mr. Heringshaw endeavored to convert me to Mormonism. Mr. H. says as soon as I am a saint, he will make me Mrs. Heringshaw. What stronger inducement could I have? Of course I shall try my best to will that desirable title. Don't you think I shall succeed? Good night.

              June 20th.
    What with rain and a swollen face, I have been housed the last few days, but with reading, sewing, and amusing baby, my time has passed pleasantly. Early this afternoon the Judge came in saying the Mr. Mars were going down the river for a load of corn and wished that we would go along. They soon appeared -- two horses and a long wagon minus seats -- but we divested the kitchen of chairs and were soon driving along the river bank over the roughest road imaginable, made so by the late rains. One

    moment we plunged into a deep gully and then sank softly down into a quagmire; again, one wheel of the wagon would be almost out of sight, while the other was high on a ridge, and we had to hold on tight lest we should find ourselves precipitated into the mud. Lizzy was terribly frightened at our seeming danger, and besought our driver to stop; so after two miles of such road we did stop, at a dry spot in front of Mr. Hilerd's. The baby, Judge and myself got out, called, and were welcomed by Mr. H. and family. They were formerly from N. H., came to this State in its early settlement, bought this farm and built a log cabin. Gradually growing rich, they have now large grain and clover fields the log house has been supplanted by a large brick mansion, from which is a fine view of river and country. We rather regretted leaving this amiable family when our escorts returned, their wagons loaded with bags of corn. Amid laughter we mounted these formidable bags, as we imagined the sensation we should produce riding in this way through the streets of old Portsmouth, -- quite equal to that of a circus or menagerie; but we arrived home safely thinking difficulties only enhanced the pleasure.

             June 25th,
    Evening. I have just returned from my first horseback ride, and pronounce the exercise most exhilarating and charming. We rode a mile or two along the border of the prairie, then turned into a wooded opening, and came to a little stream flowing over a pebbly bed toward the Mississippi, and then again on the prairie near Esquire Wells's farm. He was standing at the gate and hailed us, so we stopped. His wife and daughter came out, so we talked for some time.

    We had proceeded but a few rods from his house when, partly owing to the falling shades of evening, partly to my unskillfulness, my horse stumbled into


    634                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    a hole, bringing him upon his knees. Instantly I sprang over his head, thus performing my first and, I hope, my last equestrian feat. There was no injury, only a little fright to Mr. S. I remounted and, more carefully and in good spirits, rode home. Mr. S. gave me high encomiums for good riding, I presume merely for politeness.

    The Rev. Mr. Todd, from Cambridge, a very agreeable old gentleman, has passed several days with us. He has been preaching for Mr. Moore at Quincy. He leaves tomorrow to preach Sunday at Burlington, but says after he has seen a little more of the State he will give us a longer visit, and then will probably accept Hyrum Smith's invitation to preach in the grove. Good night.

              July 2nd.
    Although but one week has passed since the above was written, great events have meanwhile transpired, throwing our little City of the Saints into the greatest commotion and excitement. I seldom attend the Mormon meetings, but last Sunday afternoon I went to the grove to hear Hyrum Smith, Joseph's elder brother, an illiterate man; the preaching consisted mostly of low anecdotes and boasting of the strength of their church, with quotations from the Bible thrown in promiscuously. Toward the close a dispatch was brought him that Joseph, who was visiting friends near Rock Island, had been arrested by a band of Missourians.

    When Hyrum read the message aloud, every man, woman, and child, were on their feet in an instant, pressing towards the platform, and it was with difficulty that he could quiet them. He appointed a meeting at six o'clock to take means for Joseph's release. I walked home as fast as possible, for immediately the whole city seemed to be in arms, guns and pistols firing, swords glistening in every direction like a sudden outburst of 4th of July, men, women, and children,

    gathering in groups talking loud and warlike.

    At the appointed time five thousand men were on the spot, ready to rescue their prophet in any way their leader might suggest. He warned them against excitement, told them to go peaceably, to take nothing but secret arms, "for," says he, " He that seeth in secret will reward you openly." Such was their zeal that within two hours after the news of Joseph's arrest three hundred men were on board of a steamboat headed for Rock Island, and three hundred more on horseback and in wagons started for the same place. A patrol was organized, and a special guard to protect the chief elders from falling into the hands of any stray Missourian. Brother had occasion to go to the store in the evening and I went with him. Three times on our return we were hailed with "Halt," by armed sentinels. I somehow had no fear, but was glad to reach home.

    Today Joseph was brought home in triumph, having suffered a few days' imprisonment in an old barn, from which he escaped, I am told, by giving some Masonic sign, before his friends arrived. I wish you could have seen the procession as it passed through the city; Joseph with his wife, Sister Emma, as she is called, led the van; she with white nodding plumes, followed by a half-mile of the populace in every wheeled vehicle that could be mustered, drawn by horses and oxen. In one buggy were Mr. Heringshaw, Mrs. Goodwin, and myself, and in a large wagon our Gentile brethren, Goodwin, Emmons, Haven, Weld, and the two Mr. Mars, who had displayed on one side of their vehicle "Peace and Harmony." The Prophet was quite overcome with emotion, even to shedding tears, at this unexpected show of sympathy from his non-followers. I have not yet fully learned the cause of the arrest, but believe it to be concerning the attempted murder of Gov. Boggs some years ago in Missouri.


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       635

    All is as quiet now as if nothing had happened.

    Mrs. Case returned to Q. last week. I had several talks with her and Mr. H. upon their doctrine, but in no way can I be a Mormon. With my best wishes and God's blessing, I remain
             Yours lovingly,                   Charlotte.

             NAUVOO, Sept. 8.
    My dear friends at home:
    The last letter we received from you bears the remote date of June 9th. I have been expecting another this long, long time, have taken the mile walk to the post-office every mail day three times a week, buoyed up with hope and lively expectation, but have turned back disappointed and crestfallen, and have almost envied the pigs I have met on the way, so contented and happy as they roam the streets. However, there is pleasure in anticipation, and I will be patient and think there is one on the way. I may have been a little homesick; anyhow I have thought a great deal of you, and fancied myself with you, and can almost smell the salt sea. Then I wake from my dream and realize how much we are to each other here. Our conversation never lags, H. has so much humor we have many outbursts of laughter, and then there is our "family joy," as we call the little Samuel; -- a child is a sweet thing in a household. They have all gone to the drug store and our new house this Sunday morning, so I will pass it with you. This afternoon we shall all go to "preaching," as they say here. Mr. Blogert, a Unitarian minister who has been supplying Mr. Moore's pulpit in Quincy, has been with us the past week, and has been invited to take part in the services in the grove this afternoon. He is quite an intelligent young man, but does not enjoy good health. We anticipate pleasure in hearing him, for a sermon is such a rarity to us that we can appreciate one. He appears

    more pleased with the Saints than strangers generally are.

    We have been reading Dickens's notes on America, sent us by Mrs. D. of Quincy. We admire Dickens much, he has a keen sense of our national peculiarities which he paints in sparkling humor, yet he delineates the wild and beautiful scenery of ______ with graphic accuracy. You know H. and E. were on the boat with him down the Ohio and had several conversations with him. He certainly describes most faithfully travel on canals and our great Western rivers.

    A few Sabbaths ago Joseph announced to his people that the gift of prophecy was taken away from him until the Temple and Nauvoo House should be finished, but that his mantle had fallen on his brother Hyrum, to whom it belonged by birthright, and he charged his people to obey implicitly all the commands revealed to Hyrum. We hear that he has already had some wonderful revelations not yet made public; but that a few of the elders put their heads together and whisper what they dare not speak aloud. What it is we can only surmise by faint rumors. A month ago or more one of the Apostles, Adams by name, returned from a two years' mission in England, bringing with him a wife and child, although he had left a wife and family here when he went away, and I am told that his first wife is reconciled to this certainly at first unwelcome guest to her home, for her husband and some others have reasoned with her that plurality of wives is taught in the Bible, that Abraham, Jacob, Solomon, David, and indeed all the old prophets and good men, had several wives, and if right for them, it is right for the Latter Day Saints. Furthermore, the first wife will always be first in her husband's affection and the head of the household, where she will have a larger influence. Poor, weak woman!

    I cannot believe that Joseph will ever sanction such a doctrine, and should the


    636                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    Mormons in any way engraft such an article on their religion, the sect would surely fall to pieces, for what community or State could harbor such outrageous immorality? I cannot think so meanly of my sex as that they could submit to any such degradation.

    Our Gentile friends say that this falling of the prophetic mantle on to Hyrum is a political ruse. Last winter when Joseph was in the meshes of the law, he was assisted by some politicians of the Whig party, to whom he pledged himself in the coming elections. Now he wants the Democratic party to win, so Hyrum is of that party, and as it is revealed for him to vote, so go over all the Mormons like sheep following the bell sheep over a wall. Nauvoo, with its 15,000 inhabitants, has a vote that tells in the State elections, and all summer politicians, able men of both parties, have been here making speeches, caressing and flattering.

    Yesterday being parade day, to show a little attention to our guest, brother engaged a team and carried us out on the prairie to view the troops. There were over 2,000 men, it was said, divided into four divisions, and when marching in line with two bands of music they made quite an imposing appearance. Their costumes, for I can't say uniforms, were more fantastic than artistic. They were quite picturesque, certainly, for every officer and private consulted his individual taste; no two were alike. Nearly all had some badge, stripe, or scarf, of bright color. Some wore the breeches and knee-buckles of a hundred years ago. I thought if some Eastern military company would send out discarded uniforms, they might make a good speculation. However, they went through their drill, marching, counter marching, and forming squares and other military combinations, very nicely.

    This is probably the last letter I shall write to you in our little cottage, for we move in two or three weeks to our new

    brick house, a block beyond the Temple. Business is coming up that way. Love to all.
             Your affectionate sister,

             NAUVOO, Oct. 15, 1843.
    My dear sister:
    We are still here and well. Two weeks ago we were rejoiced to receive a long and interesting home letter, and in a few days shall look for the package sent by Rev. G. Moore. I think he must have enjoyed his visit and the attention shown him in Portsmouth. It is now over a year since I left home, and I think I will tell you how I passed the 3d October, the anniversary of my bidding you Good-bye at the depot at the head of Vaughan Street. In the first place, you must understand brother Joseph Smith has recently opened a house called the Nauvoo Mansion, and to celebrate the occasion gave a public dinner, -- one dollar per couple. I received several invitations and accepted Mr. Hollister's, our nearest neighbor, who is in good standing in the Mormon church.

    He called me in his buggy at eleven o'clock in the forenoon and drove direct to the Mansion. Joseph came forward to assist me from the carriage. I was ushered upstairs to the dressing-room, and then sent down to the parlor where were seated about thirty elderly ladies and a number of young married ones holding babies, with none of whom was I acquainted. A more vacant, unintellectual company I had never met; nearly all had a haggard, woe-begone expression, as if they had been fasting either to save the dollar for this great dinner or to do justice to it, (for I noticed they had keen appetites,) I did not know which. A great many of them wore around their necks a string of gold or gilded beads the size of peas, the only jewelry except marriage rings seen here. As usual not much was said, and as for exchange of ideas I don't


    1890.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       637

    think there was any. One pale-faced creature says to another in a peculiar drawl, -- " How do you do; sister M.?"

    "Why, I am just getting over a long fit of sickness. How is your health, sister R.?"

    "Why, this is the first time I've been out since having the fever."

    "How miserable you look, sister B."

    "Yes, I ain't well. I have a heap of misery in my side and am powerful weak all over."

    "What a curious-shaped head your child's got!" And much more of the same sort.

    Ladies and gentlemen have separate parlors, so all was hushed when a tall, thin man stood in the doorway in quest of his wife. A little, spare woman with spectacles on having immense round glasses arose from one corner.

    "Here I am."

    "Well, I want you to fix my shirt collar." A great stir was made for them to meet. Joseph at this juncture looked in and remarked: "I hope you are all seated."

    "Yes," said several that were standing.

    He laughed, and the answer was considered quite witty. The man soon came again to borrow his wife's spectacles.

    It was near one o'clock when Joseph, standing in the hall, called in his loud voice the names as they were to sit at table. Mr. H. and myself were the third out of 120 couples. As we entered the dining room, a man, a sort of toll-gatherer, took the dollar and we passed in. Two long tables extending the length of the room were loaded with good substantial food. The women were on one side and their partners opposite. Joseph and Emma took part with several young girls in waiting on the guests.

    As we left the dining room Mr. Skinner came forward and renewed his invitations, and gave me a special one from

    the bride-elect to tarry the evening to attend the wedding. Mr. S. was groomsman or "stand-up," as they say here. Of course I accepted, having curiosity to see the Mormon marriage ceremony, -- though the groom was a Gentile, -- for I had heard that in some cases the marriage is not only for time but for eternity.

    Some young ladies joined me and we took a short walk. Returning we found the guests calling a meeting in the hall. I stood near the door a few minutes and heard them sing a hymn beginning, "Glory to the Latter Day Saints." Learning that it was a business meeting, I left for better entertainment, but not much offered. I send you a paper containing an account of the entertainment and meeting.

    At six all the guests except a few of the aristocracy took their departure. These remained for the same purpose as myself, and we assembled in the Bridal Chamber. All was silence for a long time, -- a great deal of thinking, I suppose. Then Joseph said, "I understand Brothers Cutler and Cahoon and ladies have not had anything to eat, -- bid them come up to the marriage feast."

    They soon made their appearance, and in the latter I recognized my spectacled acquaintance of the morning.

    Then the bridal party entered and seated themselves in four chairs placed in the center of the room. Mr. S. handed the license to the Prophet, who read it aloud. The four stood up, the guests keeping their seats. In a few simple words not very different from any other Protestant marriage ceremony, Mr. B., a lawyer of Carthage, and Miss W., a niece of Sister Emma, were united for time only. A prayer was made by Hyrum Smith, another Latter Day hymn was sung, wedding cake, apple pie and pure cold water were passed around, and then it was proposed that we all should adjourn to the hall, so in procession we went down and placed ourselves around


    638                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Dec.

    the room like figures on a dial plate. There was more singing, a few anecdotes were told, and soon Joseph and wife took their departure. All the married people except the newly-married pair followed.

    Then there was less restraint, a little dancing without music, then games such as we had last winter at the Rigdons' quilting party. I left at eleven, escorted home by Mr. S., but the party did not break up till one o'clock.

    Two weeks ago we moved from our little cottage. We miss the extensive view of river and country, but we are more conveniently located, as the center of the city is moving this way. We fatigued ourselves very much the day we moved, and concluded to have a long night's rest, so Lizzie retired at seven and I went to my room soon after. Just then I heard Mr. Henry M's voice from the foot of the stairs, "Will you attend a dance at the Hall? The team will call in half an hour."

    Of course I could not let any chance of amusement go by, so answered "Yes," and instead of a nightcap donned a quiet party dress and was ready when the team came.

    You can imagine how brilliantly the room was illuminated with the light of

    two tallow candles. We discerned eight or ten young people, and rather by sound than sight, in a dim corner two youths scraping violins. A reinforcement, (I think from the household,) enough for two quadrilles, two more candles added, and the music began. Rest assured there were no wall-flowers except a few on the gentlemen's side. Every one was very quiet; dance was dance, with no trifling of words or laughter; the shuffling of feet and the calling of figures were the only sounds besides the music, and it soon became monotonous when my every alternate partner was Mr. M. So I was glad when our team came, and I was at home and fast asleep by eleven o'clock.

    You ask me if I can keep a secret. Yes, Isa, for there is no one here to tell it to; so don't hesitate to tell me if you have any. Judge E. has gone East. You can't think how I miss him, and it is uncertain whether he returns, -- indeed Nauvoo is no place for rational people, and you must not be surprised if we should go also, for H. is trying to negotiate with Dr. Weld to buy his drugs. If he succeeds, he and E. will go to St. Louis, and I shall stop over at Louisiana, Mo., to visit the Osbornes and cousin Prue.

    [Charlotte Haven.]





    VOL. XVII. (SECOND SERIES.) -- FEBRUARY, 1891. -- NO. 98.


            CITY OF NAUVOO, July 4, 1843.
    Dear sister:
    It is now near close of day, but I cannot let this national anniversary pass without writing, for it recalls to memory so many pleasant ones we have passed together. Especially am I reminded of a year ago, when we were preparing for and attended the splendid ball given by the officers on board the frigate Congress down the harbor. That you may see the contrast, I will give you an outline of my today, which when I rose I thought would be as unexciting as any other, -- so after breakfast I commenced a little commonplace ironing, -- "a few muslins," as Sophia would say, cheered by sweet sounds from a distant band of music; but was soon interrupted in this interesting occupation by callers, our neighbors, Miss N____ and Mrs. T____, with her brother, Mr. H____, recently from Connecticut; then Henry Marr and other Gentile brethren.

    So my work was laid aside and I joined the group on the front porch, where we amused ourselves seeing the throngs of people in their holiday attire that entered the city from every direction, assembling in the grove near the Temple, whence came the strains of music, -- for there are several fine bands here.

    About eleven o'clock a large steamer from Burlington arrived and discharged its cargo of three hundred passengers, who were given a military salute, and escorted from the boat to the grove by companies of the Nauvoo Legion in brilliant array. Soon another immense steamer came from St. Louis, its passengers swelling in number at every little town, until it reached Nauvoo with five or six hundred on board. This company was also saluted and escorted by

    the Legion to the same place, -- it was getting quite lively.

    We got a hasty cold lunch, -- for we had given our girls a holiday, -- and had hardly cleared away when we heard another salute, this time the steamer Anawan from Quincy, which was honored like the others, and our house was filled with friends, Mr. V____, Mrs. Hayward, the Gilmans, Dr. Nichols, Mrs. Randolph, Captain Whitney, and thirty or forty others, some of whom we did not know. They kept coming until I began to think they regarded us as Mormon curiosities, so proposed all joining the motley crowd in the grove.

    About 15,000 persons, it is said, were gathered there during the day. Of course there had been several speakers, Parley Pratt, a prominent elder, apostle, and missionary, was there holding forth about Joseph Smith's late escapade at Rock Island. His imprisonment, he said, was an outrageous insult, and his escape (from that old barn) he compared to the miraculous deliverance of Paul and Silas from prison, and St. Peter's escape from the hands of Herod, and he knew, for a surety, that the Lord had delivered Joseph out of the hands of the Missourians, his enemies, to preach salvation to the unbelievers of all nations.

    We remained there about fifteen minutes, using our eyes rather than our ears, and then left for the Temple, baptismal font, oxen, and other works of Mormon art. We accompanied our visitors to the boat. Many urged me and half persuaded me to return to Quincy, but I decided to wait a while. From the boat we took a short drive, and now at home Lizzie and I have been comparing notes, and think that at least we have had a variety in our entertainment today.


    146                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Feb.

    July 13th. -- This morning was most lovely, the air deliciously pure and cool, like an early autumn morning, very refreshing after the few burning hot days we have had. I rose before six, and until breakfast weeded in my garden, which is gay with marigolds and phlox. Then brother proposed I should walk to the store with him. Before reaching it he ungallantly left me with the Mr. Marrs, who had overtaken us, and when I reached the store, Dr. Higbee was there. He invited me to ride, and the morning was so charming that I could not refuse. We rode to the post-office and down by the river, and were back at nine o'clock, in time for me to open my school.

    Now don't laugh, Isa, for I have two nice little scholars in Ellen and Sarah Goodwin, seven and five years of age. Mrs. G_____ has been in great tribulation ever since she has been here about a school for her children, as there is but one in the neighborhood, and that is overflowing with Mormon children of all sizes, many of them not over clean and neat. So I volunteered to instruct them from nine till twelve, five days in the week, the pleasure of teaching being my only compensation. It was gladly accepted, and I trust my powers of intellect will not be confounded by too great exertion,- indeed, I enjoy these three hours very much.

    Dr. H_____ dined with us, and this afternoon Miss N_____ and Mrs. G_____ came in for a visit, but were hardly seated when the steamer Anawan blew its whistle, and landed another large party, mostly from Quincy. Our house was again overflowing with Quincy people, pouring in at all three doors, and streaming across the yard and filling Mrs. G_____'s house. Many also strayed to the store. I verily believe we have now seen the whole of Quincy in this city.

    When they left, brother and I accompanied them to the steamboat. The Mayor of Quincy, Hon. Judge Young,

    and other politicians called on Mr. Smith, and invited him and his lady on board the boat, where they were introduced to most of the company. They seemed pleased with the attention shown them, and as they left the boat Capt. Whitney's band played a fine march. The Prophet graciously invited us to ride in his carriage. We rode along the bank of the river, keeping the boat in view, hearing beautiful music, and exchanging waves of handkerchiefs with friends on board.

    When we arrived at Mr. Smith's house we alighted, -- and were politely invited to stay to tea, but we declined. Then Mr. S_____ offered to take us home, and honored us with his presence. As we rode through the streets the little children came running forth, clapping their hands and shouting, "There is Joseph's carriage, and there is Joseph!" This homage appeared quite gratifying to him. Indeed, he seems very much beloved by his people. But whom do you suppose I met on the steamer?

    Why, cousin Charles H. Haven! He left St. Louis a few days ago with a pleasure party for St. Anthony's Falls. While his boat stopped at Keokuk, a little village ten miles below on the Iowa side, he boarded the Anawan to see this city. He invited me to join the party to the Falls. I thought it impossible, and declined, but he persisted, and said he should call for me in the morning with the expectation of finding me ready. So as both H_____ and E_____ want me to go, and as I shall never have a better opportunity of seeing that wild Indian region, I have concluded to go, and shall probably see brother Augustus at Dubuque.

    Last week a three days' visit from Rev. Mr. Frost, from Concord, Mass. It was charming to have him with us. He conversed a great deal, and indeed is a very agreeable man. He, as well as everybody else, was delighted with the location of this city. We enjoyed a


    1891.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       147

    ride with him in the long, narrow wagon I have described before; he was much amused.

    As we were driving through the edge of the road along a stream, our Mormon driver stopped by a bed of loose, rough rocks, got down, picked up one about the size of a cocoanut and broke it open. It was lined with beautiful quartz crystals. So Mr. Frost picked up several to take home as mementos.

    Lizzie, with Mr. Frost and brother, made her first call on the Smiths, and passed the evening there. Mr. Frost was quite pleased with the Prophet. It is getting dark, so I will finish in the morning.

             ROCK ISLAND, July 15th.
    I had so much to do yesterday morning I could not find time to write, so took this unfinished letter along with me; for yesterday, long before noon, Cousin Charles came as he had promised and with him Miss Stein, one of the party, and both were rejoiced that I had decided to go. Bidding E_____ and our little boy adieu, we were soon on board the Chippeway, a small boat designed especially for the upper Mississippi. The City of the Saints was soon left behind us.

    The boat was crowded, but by leaving one or more passengers at every landing we have at last dwindled down to twenty. Of these eight leave tomorrow, and the rest will continue to the Falls.

    We have passed but few thriving towns.' There are several "swamp cities" of a few log huts, whose sanguine speculative founders, seeing in them prospective mighty cities, have audaciously baptized them Palmyra, New Carthage, New Boston, etc. They look as if they might be submerged and sink into oblivion by a slight rise of the river. It was evening when we passed Burlington, so we did not go ashore; and this morning we passed Bloomington, finely situated on a high bluff. Soon after we

    left there we had a most violent thunder shower. What with wind, lightning, and rain, it seemed as if our frail boat would be torn in pieces. We ladies were very much frightened. One old Catholic lady especially was frantic, running from stateroom to stateroom, jumping from berth to berth, crying, laughing, kneel ing, counting her beads, and repeating prayers. Poor woman, how we pitied her! and not only for our own sakes but for hers we were glad when the storm abated.

    The captain says we shall be here three hours. It is so windy, only the gentlemen go ashore. We ladies went up on the hurricane deck to take in the scenery, etc., but it was so gusty that I was glad to come down and in my quiet stateroom finish my letter, so as to mail it here.

    On our left is the flourishing town of Davenport, and on our right, a pleasant but smaller town called Stephenson. Here the Rock River flows into the Mississippi, and at its mouth is Rock Island, the site of a garrisoned fort. There are immense rocks on the island, and here on the bank of the river dwells Mr. Davenport, a benevolent old man, a public benefactor, whose influence is felt throughout the neighboring States.

    But I must close.
                Love to all,
       Your affectionate sister,

                     July 19, 1843.
    Dear friends at home:

    We are now almost beyond the bounds of civilization, surrounded by Indians who rove about unmolested by the "woodman's ax." How often I have wished you were with me! The scenery grows more and more beautiful and picturesque, differing greatly from that of the lower Mississippi. The bluffs are higher, steep precipices overhang the river, bold promontories crowned with rocks jut out here and there.


    148                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Feb.

    One of these was pointed out as associated with a little Indian romance. Years ago a young pioneer or adventurer charmed with the wild, roaming life of the Indians, took up his abode for a time in the wigwam of a Chippeway chief, where he became enamored of and wished to marry the chief's daughter, a beautiful girl. His affection was reciprocated, but her father forbade the nuptials, threatening an immediate marriage with a warrior of his tribe; but she, rather than marry where her heart was not, threw herself from this awful precipice into the river below. It has since borne the name of The Maiden's Rock.

    Yesterday I saw pine, cypress, and birch trees, the first since I left New England. I could not withhold my exclamations of joy, in which Mr. Todd, a Boston gentleman, heartily joined. Two gentlemen, Mr. Carmen and Mr. Ware, from Philadelphia, joined us at Rock Island, and make a pleasant acquisition to our party.

    Lake Pepin, through which we passed this morning, is an expansion of the river, three miles wide, for fifteen miles. It was about daybreak when the boat stopped at the lower end of the lake. The ladies were not aroused, but some of the gentlemen went ashore aid picked up some beautiful agates on the beach. Some have been given to me, and I shall carry them home as mementos.

    We passed Dubuque in the night, so I had no chance to see brother Augustus, but gave the Captain a note to mail to him, saying about the time we shall return, so that he may be on the lookout.

    We are enjoying ourselves very much. By day we sit and talk out on the guards and front deck, or take a game of whist in the cabin. Directly after supper we all promenade the hurricane deck; then later, for the last two evenings, we have attempted a dance in the cabin, with music by one of the crew, who scrapes an old violin.

    We have had a young hunter on board who has interested us. He has passed several years with a brother who married a Chippeway squaw. His dress was a la Chippeway, -- buckskin leggings, a short loose woolen frock or coat, a wide leather belt, in which he had a hunting knife and other warlike weapons. He told us of the manners and customs of the Indians, and talked to us in Indian, afterward translating, for we could not make out a word of such guttural sounds. The Sioux on the west and the Chippeways on the east, are deadly enemies, he told us, and as they have common hunting grounds, skirmishes often occur.

    He pointed out a cave this forenoon, on the Wisconsin side, and persuaded the Captain to stop for us to visit it. Under a high precipice is a narrow opening eighteen feet high, and from this a passage winds in for a hundred yards, narrowing almost to a point. A small shallow stream flows through it; the sides are of white limestone, and -- of course -- high up some of the gentlemen cut the initials of our names.

    Soon after, we arrived at the hunter's home. He insisted on our landing to see his brother's family, and he would go with us up a bluff from which there was a magnificent view. Our obliging captain gave us permission. We had reached nearly the top of the bluff when our vexing steamboat bell gave repeated warning to return; so with one long, last reluctant look, we began our descent, though our enthusiastic guide said we "had not yet begun to see," and told us of a beautiful little lake not far beyond. The boat shakes horribly, so excuse poor writing.

              ST. PETERS, July 22, 1843.
    We arrived here, at the head of steamboat navigation, on Thursday, the 20th. It is but a small Indian trading post, at the junction of the Mississippi and St. Peter's. Cousin C_____ and myself went directly to the Mission house, the largest building in the place except the


    1891.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       149

    Catholic church. Here we found several Indians, clothed in red blankets, lounging about the room, waiting to be absolved from sin, or seek advice from the priest, -- a French Catholic, with whom cousin conversed in French.

    We then toiled up a steep grade to Fort Snelling, directly above St. Peter's, upon a high, white limestone ledge of rock, giving it an imposing appearance, as if surrounded by a high, irregular wall. General Dearborn was absent, but the commanding officer showed us every attention. The arrival of a steamboat is a gala day at the fort.

    Lieutenants Marston and Mumford returned with us to the boat, and in the afternoon they with Mrs. Marston -- the only lady at the fort -- went with us up the St. Peter's ten miles, to visit an Indian village of Sioux.

    There were about two hundred women, children, and infirm old men. A great many were sick with the influenza, and were lying around on the ground and on skins, in their wigwams. These are made of buffalo robes placed around poles driven into the ground, a hole at the top for the escape of smoke. The fire is kindled in the center of the wigwam. It was the commencement of the hunting season, so all the able-bodied men were absent. The youths we saw were well formed, and with quite intelligent faces. Some of the squaws were handsome, but they wear but little clothing and that very dirty, while the children run about in a state of nudity.

    On our return near sundown, we were annoyed to distraction by mosquitoes; at the supper table they swarmed and buzzed about us like bees, and as day declined we were invaded by legions. A smoke, or smudge, was kept up in the cabin, but there was no rest, and we gladly retired to our berths, where under mosquito nets we could in peace lull ourselves into forgetfulness.

    We were aroused early the next morning to prepare for our day's excursion to

    the falls. At nine A. M. we proceeded to the fort, where a large lumber wagon awaited, accommodating ten of us. Mrs. W_____, a widow, with her little girl and Mr. G_____, had a buggy, and Lieutenant Mumford and Lieutenant Denman mounted on horseback as guides.

    We rode for ten miles, over a prairie covered with beautiful wild flowers, and a sweet grass perfumed the air. Lieutenant Denman pulled bunches of it for us, which we shall carry home. In two hours we arrived at a little cottage, also belonging to Uncle Sam, -- situated on a rugged wooded bluff near the river, in full view of the falls. The cottage is occupied by a French family, and here we stayed some time and partook of refreshments brought from the fort and the boat. Then we sauntered forth to see the falls.

    We viewed them from various points, above, below, from projecting planks, bridges, and loose stones. The height here is fifty feet, thirty of which is a perpendicular descent; the width is three quarters of a mile, but a small island on the brink, covered with cedars, divides the current into two cataracts. The ledge of rock over which they fall is of various colors and very beautiful. Indeed, the falls far surpassed my anticipations. Mr. C____ said that though these are beautiful, they lack the grandeur and awe-inspiring character of Niagara. Near by were the ruins of an old saw mill, the only vestige of civilization. I thought an artist here might some make fine pictures.

    On our return to the cottage, an old Indian who was in the room rushed up to me with, "Squaw good!" then, turn ing to Mr. C_____, "Yours?" It was rather embarrassing. He (the Indian) held out his hand for me to take, -- that was well, -- but when he took his dirty pipe from his mouth for me to puff, I shook my head with an emphatic no. He danced and sang, -- a sort of shuffle and a "yar-yar-yar."


    150                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       [Feb.

    At five o'clock we started on our return, but stopped four miles below to see the lower falls, thirty feet perpendicular, but only a few rods in width. We descended a steep, rugged path, and some of us went behind the falls close to the projecting rock. It was quite a feat, for the path was slippery. Everything around was wild, and our spirits seemed imbued with the scene, for we were very merry all the way.

    After supper Mr. Ware, Cousin Charles and myself called on and took leave of Mrs. Marston. Then we crossed the river in a skiff, and came upon a pretty Indian maiden kindling a mosquito smudge before a wigwam. Cousin C_____ seemed quite enamored, and talked to her in French. She was pleased, and in laughing showed rows of pearly white teeth. We bought some beaded moccasins and a basket of her.

    We retired early, and I arose early this morning to write this before taking our last walk in these wild regions, for the boat soon starts homeward.
            Affectionately yours,

             CITY OF NAUVOO, August 13,'43.
    Dear Isa:

    It is two weeks since my return from my pleasant excursion. We left Fort Snelling within an hour after mailing my last letter to you. Lieut. Denman accompanied us as far as Prairie du Chien, where we arrived early Sunday morning. We took a long walk to Fort Crawford, on a hill beyond.

    I was again disappointed in not seeing brother at Dubuque, for at Gen. Wilson's office we learned that A_____ left it two weeks ago for the neighborhood of Prairie du Chien, where he has six townships to survey.

    Near Dubuque we remained on a sandbar ten hours, which would have been very tedious had not our party been so pleasant. All contributed their share in agreeable entertainment, and we felt like

    old friends when we reached Galena. We reached this place at midnight, and remained there nearly the whole day. Three of the gentlemen took their leave, intending to go across to the Lakes. Passengers again began to crowd the boat, and on Thursday evening I was landed safely at Nauvoo, having been absent fourteen days.

    Fortunately Mr. Skinner was at the landing, parting with some political friends, so he took me home in his carriage. The retrospection of this little excursion will always be a great pleasure to me. I liked the ladies very much, and the gentlemen were very polite and attentive; we had many regrets at parting.

    All were well when I arrived here, and home letters were awaiting me. Thank you all for the pleasure I had in reading them. Oh, Isa, how much you must have enjoyed the picnics at Kittery Point and Sagamore! And so father is taking a summer recreation! I am so glad he can find time after so many years of confinement to the bank. He will enjoy Philadelphia and the trip through the Alleghanies, and greeting his grandchildren will be charming to him.

    Since my return home, Mrs. Goodwin's youngest child, her little Sarah, has died. I was there a great deal, and was with her the night she died. She was buried Saturday.

    The Goodwins are Presbyterians, but as there is no church here except the Mormon, the funeral services were conducted by the Elders, Taylor and Young. The house was well filled by kind neighbors and others, who did the singing. Each of the Elders made a lengthy prayer, in which they fervently pleaded for the conversion of this afflicted family to the Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ. Elder Young, who had recently returned from a long mission, in a most self-satisfied manner gave a detailed account of the various modes of conducting funerals by different nations, some in remote ages, and of


    1891.]                       A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo.                       151.

    funeral costumes, so cold and heartless, and inappropriate to the occasion, giving no ray of comfort to the bereaved parents! I hope, for my friends' sake, I shall not die in Nauvoo.

    Miss S_____, from Bangor, passing the summer with her brother in Quincy, has been with us the past week. We have been reading together a very interesting book, called " Home," translated from the Swedish of Frederika Bremer, by Miss Howitt. It gives us a good idea of what might be Swedish home life.

    We have seen but little of the Judge this summer. We think he has been around the country, electioneering for the Whig party. Last Sunday afternoon, to our surprise, he made his appearance. He told us Joseph Smith was talking as he passed the grove, so Miss S_____ and I soon had our bonnets on and were on our way to the grove. Mr. S_____ had evidently been giving a political discourse. As we seated ourselves he was most vehemently berating the lawyers as a pack of hounds and extortioners, who corrupt the people, deceive by vain words, like Judas are ready to be bought or sold -- for less than thirty pieces of silver. "Yes," he says, "even like Esau, for a mess of pottage; they will sell themselves for a promise of some little office to a politician, no matter how corrupt he may be. Instead of dealing justice, they promote strife and envy, and rob the widow and fatherless. Now, if any of you have any difficulties to settle, there are in the Church apostles, prophets, and teachers, men appointed by the spirit of revelation, who will settle all disputes without money and without price."

    From the lawyers he turned to the doctors, whom he termed "a parcel of ignorant quacks, going about the country pretending to cure you of all diseases, and you swallow what they give you like young robins, without knowing what it is. I wonder you don't die, taking their nostrums! They are wolves in sheep's clothing, seeking whom they

    may devour. Have we not many gifts vouchsafed to us, among which is healing the sick by the laying on of hands, in which you ought to have faith? Why, there is more virtue in the laying on of my handkerchief than in all the doctors' so-called medicines," -- and he took from his pocket and flourished before us a very dingy affair. " But," he added, "if any of you are so wedded to the gods of your fathers, and can't do without a doctor, I advise you to have Dr. B_____, one of our faith, who has just come among us with high recommendations."

    I had noticed a gentleman seated on the platform just behind the speaker. On this introduction he stepped forward to Joseph's side, and bowed graciously low to the audience. He was apparently about fifty years old, slightly gray, with a decided military bearing. I thought he looked much more like a wolf in sheep's clothing than any Gentile doctor I had seen here.

    Miss Savage was very much amused, and particularly so when Elder H_____ in the concluding prayer, after numerous petitions, added one also for the speedy erection of the Nauvoo house.

    I have been telling Mr. H. Marr that now lawyers are under the ban Nauvoo is no place for him, and he had better forthwith return East or locate elsewhere, where his time and talents will not be wasted. He was graduated from the Harvard Law School last year, and has more than average ability.

    You remember the bonnet you gave me when I left home last spring: I have ripped it up and made it over and it looks like new. Everybody admires it, and Cousin Prue, when she was here, said when I was done with it she would like it, for it would look handsome and fashionable two years longer in Pike County, Mo.

    Brother and E_____ send much love. Kiss my little nieces for their Aunt Lottie, and believe me I shall always love you dearly.   Your sister,




    An Historical Review of
    New England Life and Letters


    Volume IX                             Number 4
       December, 1936


    [ 583 ]




    THE following eleven letters and one apostolic blessing are interesting as throwing light on the middle period of the history of the rise of Mormonism. All except the sixth and the twelfth, which were addressed to her sons-in-law, were received by Abigail, daughter of Thomas and Catherine Harback, who was born in Grafton, Massachusetts, in 1790, married Calvin Hall in 1812, and died at Sutton, in Worcester County, in 1849, "of an unknown epidemic." 1 Mrs. Abigail (Harback) Hall had nine children, the first born in 1812 and the last in 1828. Of these nine children, two daughters married Mormon preachers. Martha S. Hall, who was born in 1819, became the wife of Jesse Haven, in November, 1842.

    This Haven seems to have become a person of some importance in the Mormon church. In view of the contents of the letters printed below, it is a matter of interest to know that Jesse Haven defended polygamy in print as far away as the Cape of Good Hope. 2 One of the paragraphs in a pamphlet he published reads as follows:

    That there has been a law revealed by which a man in Zion and in Zion only, or at a place commanded by the Lord can have more than one wife, we by no means deny. This law was understood by the ancient Prophets, Patriarchs and Apostles.

    1 William A. Benedict and Hiram A. Tracy, A History of the Town of Sutton, Massachusetts (Worcester, 1878), 655-658.

    2 The treasure room of the Harvard College Library contains a copy of an eight-page pamphlet bearing no place or date of publication, with the following title-page: "Celestial Marriage and the Plurality of Wives. By Jesse Haven, One of the Presidents of the Seventies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and President of the Mission at the Cape of Good Hope."


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    Haven went on to explain to his readers that when God married Adam and Eve, the union was made for eternity, but when death came into the world, and then Jesus, who declared that there was no marriage in Heaven, persons who did not marry on earth could never be married at all. Such persons served only as ministering spirits in the life hereafter, for ever subordinate to married men and women, who alone could enjoy the full privileges of Heaven. It seemed to Jesse Haven that the Lord was gathering together the virtuous and true in heart from all the nations in the 1840s. Because a majority of these virtuous and true in heart were women, the Lord had revealed the doctrine of plurality of marriages to Joseph Smith for their need and benefit. In the great destructions that were soon to visit the whole world, moreover, large numbers of men would be killed off, and their natural mates would flee to Zion. Then the words of Isaiah would be fulfilled:

    And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 3

    Sarah S. Hall, a younger sister of Martha, was born in 1823, and married another Mormon preacher, Isaac Scott, a voluable Irishman, in 1843. That same year the two sisters and their husbands left Sutton and set out for the Zion of the Mormons, the newly founded city of Nauvoo, in Illinois, on the Mississippi, about ten miles north of the point at which the boundary line between the states of Missouri and Iowa meets that river. On their way West the four converts visited Kirtland, in Lake County, Ohio, about twenty miles northeast of Cleveland, where Joseph Smith had engaged in large and unfortunate business ventures between 1831 and 1838.

    Joseph Smith (1805-1844), founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was born in Vermont and moved to Palmyra, a small town in Wayne County, New

    3 Isaiah, IV, 1.


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       585

    York, about twenty miles east of Rochester, when he was a boy. In 1827 he translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates which he is said to have found in a hill near his place of residence. Smith organized his church at Fayette, in Senecca County, New York, in 1830. The next year he led his converts to Kirtland, Ohio, and in 1838 to Missouri. When local hostility drove Smith and his followers from that state, the Mormons turned East once more and settled at Commerce, Illinois, the name of which they changed to Nauvoo. As soon as they had built up a populous, prosperous town, both Whigs and Democrats of the state began to bid for their political support.

    After six years at Nauvoo, Joseph Smith proclaimed three revelations, one of them sanctifying plurality of marriages, which split the ranks of the Mormons. When the schismatics founded the Expositor, Smith, as commander of the Nauvoo Legion, promptly destroyed their printing press. As a result of the uproar which followed, the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum, were arrested and then lodged for their own safety in the jail at Carthage, the county seat of Hancock, Illinois. The jail was broken into, and the brothers Smith were lynched by a mob in June, 1844. 

    The governor of Illinois mentioned in the following letters was Thomas Ford (1800-1850), a remarkable man who did his best to preserve the peace and the freedom of the press. Governor Ford's description of Joseph Smith and the circumstances of his murder is of great interest. According to him, the Prophet was "full of levity," "dressed like a dandy, and at times drank like a sailor and swore like a pirate." "He always quailed before power, and was arrogant to weakness." He "would call for the prayers of the brethren in his behalf, with a wild and fearful energy and earnestness. He was full six feet high, strongly built, and uncommonly well muscled."

    At the time of the storming of the jail at Carthage, the guard, if Governor Ford is to be believed, allowed itself to be "overpowered immediately," "according to arrangement."


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    The mob poured into the prison and upstairs to the door of the room where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were confined together with two of their friends, "who voluntarily bore them company."

    An attempt was made to break open the door, but Joe Smith being armed with a six-barrelled pistol, furnished by his friends, fired several times as the door was bursted open, and wounded three of the assailants. At the same time several shots were fired into the room, by some of which John Taylor received four wounds, and Hiram Smith was instantly killed. Joe Smith now attempted to escape by jumping out of the second-story window; but the fall so studden him that he was unable to rise; and being placed in a sitting posture by the conspirators below, they despatched him with four balls through his body.

    The twelve letters printed below are the property of a resident of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In substance they are published in full, except for the omission of certain minor matters of only personal interest, tiresome repetitions, and pious quotations. Spelling and punctuation have been made to conform with modern standards. 4 

    December 27, 1843.   

    Dear Father and Mother: Thinking that you would like to hear how we got along on our journey, I kept a brief account.

    October 3, 1843: We left Worcester. On October 4 we passed under a mountain, the passage through is lined with solid rock, it was so dark that we could scarcely perceive each other, trees were growing over us in all their grandeur.

    Friday [October] 6: We crossed over to Albany. Our boat is a very good one, the floors are carpeted and seats cushioned; we crossed the Mohawk in an aqueduct. Our captain is a very pleasant man and appears to be quite a gentleman. He tells us "there

    4 Thomas Ford, History of Illinois, 1818-1847 Chicago, 1854), 355 and 354. See also, chapters viii, x. xi, and xiii.

    5 See also, Historical Collections of the Topdfield Historical Society, viii (1902), 87-101: Joseph F. Smith, Jr., "Asahel Smith of Topsfield with Some Account of the Smith Family;" and Harper's Magazine, clxvii (February, 1934), 299-307; Juanita Brooks, "A Close-Up of Polygamy."


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       587

    are about a thousand boats on this canal," they are passing nearly all the time. Saturday cold and very stormy. We are now passing a very dreary looking place. There is a fine house the door is open, there are women and children in it, also pigs and hens, all seem on good terms. I expect they are Dutch people. There goes a woman barefoot this cold day, she is carrying a water pail on her head, her arms are straight at her sides and she walks as easily over the rocks, as I should over the floor, she doesn't seem to take any thought for her pail. Log houses are plenty in this region. Ducks and geese by the thousands on this canal; I admire to see them make for the shore, as the boat nears them. Near Rochester we visited the Genesee Fall. A fine country now. We have travelled on a level sixty miles. At Lockport there are five locks as near together as they can be made, it is a great piece of work.  We took the steamer Dale for Chippewa, which is two miles from Niagara on the Canada side. There is a railroad the rest of the way, but we thought a walk in Canada would be pleasant; so we did not trouble it going out. I liked the looks of Canada; saw many pleasant places, also some of Victoria's soldiers. Think I should not like to live under her majesty's dominions. I was not disappointed in the falls, but think they are as grand as they have been represented and as I looked at them I felt to exclaim how wonderful are the works of God. There is a cottage at the brink of the river, in it are large blank books, where they like to have all visitors write their names, place of residence, and what remarks they choose. So we left our names and that we were bound for Nauvoo. From this cottage there are winding stairs to go down under the falls; we went down, and went so near that we got quite wet with the spray. You have read many descriptions of them so I will not attempt it. Suffice to say, we had a pleasant time, a good day and were well paid for our trouble. Arrived at Buffalo at seven o'clock by railroad and steamboat. Found cousin Amos on our boat: he had come down to bid us good-bye; he seemed to feel as bad when he left us, as though we were his sisters.

    It was pleasant when we left Buffalo, but as soon as we got out on the lake, the wind began to blow and the clouds looked very wild. We can now see land only on one side of us, there are snow banks on the hills. It is now quite rough; the snow flies and our boat rocks so that we have to hold on to something when we


    588                              THE  NEW  ENGLAND  QUARTERLY                             

    walk. I wish you could see us now, more than two-thirds sea-sick; they are vomiting in all directions. Mr. [Jesse] Haven among the rest. An interesting spectacle, I reckon you think. A boat that went out last night had her windows stove in and had to put back. The clouds here look very different from what they do on land. The water of the lake is of a beautiful green color.

    Sunday, October 15: Arrived at Cleveland, glad to bid adieu to the Lake; have no desire ever to see another, but it might be delightful on a mild warm day. Sarah and I were not sick.

    Monday [October] 16: On our way to Beaver (Pennsylvania) by canal. It seems quite like home to get into a canal-boat again. Went through a lock to-day hewen out of solid rock. Like the looks of Ohio much. A party of us got off the boat this morning and took a fine walk, came to an orchard where we found plenty of apples; helped ourselves of course, for we thought we had as good a right to them as the cows.

    A company of eleven Mormons joined us to-day; they are from Kirtland (Ohio). Our company is so large that we are much crowded. I could never advise any one to come in so large a company" twenty is full enough. We find a little warmer weather here than we did on the lake. Our boatmen are not quite so polished as they were on the other canal (Erie). The captain is the most bulky man I ever saw, real comic almanac figure. 

    Thursday 19: We got aground yesterday towards night, got off this morning at none.

    Friday 20. At Beaver, Pennsylvania. Two of our men have gone to make a contract to go through to Nauvoo. The three past nights I have dreamed of being at home, my much loved home, but wake and find myself journeying far from it.

    Sunday 22: We have had a good meeting to-day, the best singing I ever heard. Here we have been for days waiting the arrival of our steamer; she was to have been here long ere this. Afternoon, here comes our steamer North Bend; you must know we are glad to see her. Three weeks have passed since I left home and though traveling where new scenes are constantly presenting themselves to my view, yet my mind is often wandering back to the friends I have left behind and wishing that they were with me. Stopped at Wheeling, Virginia. Went out to see the place; it looks very smoky. We have just passed one of the Indian mounds which we


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       589

    have read so much of. It is very pleasant traveling on the Ohio, beautiful scenery.

    October 26: Arrived at Cincinnati. I think it is a delightful place. Our captain tells us to-day that he shall not go through, for he can not get freight; we must again reship; he will get us a boat. We have a great many hinderances; if we had had none, we should have been in Nauvoo ere this.

    Saturday [October] 28: Went on board the Indian Queen. Brother Bill (Hall) is in Cincinnati, he came on board this morning to see us; we were all glad to see him. He has been preaching not far from this place. The country below Cincinnati is truly delightful. Some very fine residences I should prefer settling here to any part of the country I have passed through. There are large companies of well dressed men all along on the shore fishing, each company has a fire where I suppose they intend cooking their fish. We are now passing North Bend: can see Harrison's late residence, also his tomb, in a very conspicuous place, with a white enclosure. 

    Monday [October] 30: Arrived at Louisville. Took a pleasant walk went through the market. Saw a number of slaves. There are rapids just below Louisville, which the steamboats can not pass in low water; so there is a canal three miles in length with three locks which we are going through; we are now passing under a fine arched bridge; you must know it to be pretty high in order to have steamboats with their high funnels pass under. We got off as the first lock, went to see the Kentucky giant. He is the one that Dickens speaks of in his book, he is seven feet eight inches high. Saw his little rifle as he calls it. I think eight feet long; also his chair and cane. There are about fifty steamboats building along here. Passed corn fields which are miles in length.

    November 1: Came to the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers this afternoon. You can have no idea what a contrast there is; instead of a clear stream we now have one of liquid mud. I think I shall go thirsty a good while before I drink this water, but people dip it up and drink it as though it tasted good. I don't think I have drinked a tea-cup of water since I left.

    Friday [November] 3: Got to St. Louis today: here we have to reship again. We take the Brazil to Gulebra. I suppose you think we have got to Nauvoo and settled before this.


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    November 6: Arrived at Nauvoo about noon. It is much the handsomest situation I have ever seen on the Mississippi. I can assure you we were all tired of traveling and glad to get on shore. I have had but one night of sound sleep since I left. There is a great deal of noise on the boats.

    Monday, December 18: I suppose you have been looking for a letter from one of us before this, but I did not go to housekeeping till the eighth of this month. I visited till then among Mr. [Jesse] Haven's friends, and wanted to wait till I got to house-keeping before I wrote. We live in a new brick house, upstairs.

    Mr. Haven is teaching school here. Sarah is teaching about three miles out. Nauvoo looks much better than I expected: it is quite a pleasant place, but every thing is very different from what it is at the East. The soil differs much from any thing I ever saw. I have not seen a stone or any gravel in the place. The mud here sticks to my feet just like paste. There are quarries near by where they get stone for building. We shall soon have a fine city here if we are not molested. The river here is about a mile and a half wide. There are some quite large islands here. Many have gone out to live on them; they return in the spring.

    Our things all came safe except the glass to my mourning piece: that was broken to pieces and the top glass to the clock was cracked; everything else came safe. Think we were quite fortunate. Brother Swett had a barrel of things lost overboard. The captain gave him six dollars. 

    Send me a paper (newspaper) as soon as you get this. For I shall be anxious to know whether you receive this. Make a cross on the paper as a sign you have got it. The burning prairies look grand here. If you were to see such a sight at the East, you would think the world was on fire.

    Mother, I want you should write me how you color black without cider, for I have forgotten. There is no cider here. I don't want to color at present but I want to know how when I want to. Tell me whether you make out to read this or not. I know I have not written very plain. I always write it, too big a hurry. 6

    December 21: I suppose you will hear that there is trouble

    6 In fact the writing is remarkably plain and really beautiful, though very fine. The four pages of this first letter contain about 2800 words. The postage cost twenty-five cents.


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       591

    among us before you get this. The Missourians seem determined not to let us alone. They keep kidnapping our people. It is not safe for them to go out of Nauvoo. One of our men was kidnapped last night; he was over to Montrose (Iowa) on business. The civil authorities have taken one of the kidnappers; he is under three thousand dollars bond; we are going to send our governor to have him send to the governor of Missouri for the release of our people. I expect he will not give them up unless our governor will give up Joseph Smith. I don't think they will ever have the pleasure of taking him. God will ere long come out in vengeance against them.

    I can say I like Nauvoo, and had rather be here than at the East even if we are driven. I could never advise any to come here but true-hearted Mormons. We know that if we suffer affliction with the people of God, we shall also reign with them. We know that the saints of God in all ages have suffered, and that the Bible says that we shall suffer persecution. It is true that this is the place to try people. The church in Sutton think they have trials but they know no more about them than infants. I wish my friends were all Mormons and were here. I know they would enjoy themselves. I never heard such good preaching in my life as I have since I came here. We have some very smart men. I wish, Father, you and mother would write me a long letter. 

    We have no Thanksgiving in this state. Mr. [Jesse] Haven's sister B. [Betsy?] made a feast after the eastern style and invited all the family that is here. Sarah went with us. It was the last day in November. Think likely it was your Thanksgiving. I want to know how you spent the day. From your daughter
                        MARTHA HAVEN.

    I shall pay the postage on this letter.

    April 13, 1844.    

    Dear Mother:
    It is with mingled feelings pain and pleasure that I attempt to address a few lines to you. Yea it is a great grief to me when I think how far I am separated from you; but the reflection that although far distant, there is a way we can communicate our


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    thoughts to each other, and the hope of seeing you here (sometime) fills me with joy. Why have you not written ere this? I am almost impatient to hear from you. I suppose you received Martha's letter some time since, with an account of our journey.

    Methinks I see Father at work in the garden with H_____ beside him. How I do wish you were all there this summer; do try and come as soon as you can. Don't sell a thing unless chairs and the like, but bring all you have got; more, too. Your brass candlesticks that you tried to sell would be of great use to you. Martha has used the one you gave her all winter. I was glad I left my lamps at home, and sorry I did not take my looking glass. I am glad I left when I did, for it seemed to be the right time. I don't know how you would stand such a journey; I wish you could have come with us.

    I had a school this winter, between thirty and forty different scholars some of them larger than myself. I suppose you are thinking that I have taken a long school; however I never enjoyed myself better. We live in a little white cottage two and a half miles on a straight line from the Temple and three-quarters of a mile from the Mississippi. It is very pleasant a summer's evening to walk along its banks; they are high above the river, and there are beautiful ravines below. I am learning to ride horseback; we rode about two miles the other evening along the river and it was delightful. The boats we can hear from the house as they pass up and down. We crossed the river to Fort Madison in Iowa in a ferry-boat the other day. 

    We go to meetings near the Temple every Sunday. I do love to hear the Prophet preach: there was over thirty baptized last Sunday in the river. Joseph baptized quite a number of them; there was about fifteen thousand people at the meeting; we have the meetings in a grove near the Temple. A great many thousand people attended the conference. It closed on Tuesday last.

    Father Scott expects to go to Ireland this summer to preach the gospel. He and his family were in Missouri the time the church were driven. He is an high priest. It is twenty-five years since they left Ireland for America. I firmly believe that this work is of God and that it will roll on in spite of the wicked men and devils.

    Mother you think you have trials but I can tell you these is nothing there to try your faith; I mean comparatively speaking


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    I never fully understood the place in holy writ where the Lord says he will have a tried people until I came here with the Church. Sometimes I almost fear that I shall give up but by the help of the Lord I mean to endure to the end. You know little concerning the Church, I can assure you: I think that if the saints were as wise before they start as after they get here, many would not have faith enough to come. A word to the wise is sufficient. Dear Mother pray for me that I may be of the household of faith.

    I thought I would improve the opportunity and send you a letter by Charles White; he is to leave, I believe, for the East day after to-morrow, and I hope you will write when he comes back in the fall, if not before. You must write before that; I can't wait so long.

    Tell C_____ that I lost the hair that she gave me and wish that she would braid me another wristlet with her hair and one of some of yours and of the rest of you and you can send them by Charles. How do you color black with logwood without cider? Please answer all my questions when you write. There was scarcely a night during the winter but what I dreamed of you and was back there with you but I always thought I was coming back and often thought I was waiting for you to come back with me.
                       SARAH SCOTT. 

    June 16, 1844.    

    My Dear Father and Mother:
    For such I suppose I may call you, on account of the relationship that now exists between us. Altho far distant, and having never had the privilege of beholding your faces, yet I rejoice exceedingly in the pleasure which I this day enjoy of sitting down to write a few lines to two so near and dear to me as you are. I have greatly desired to see you since I became acquainted with your daughter, and adopted into your family. But I have had to do with only hearing from you thus far. By a letter that Mrs. [Jesse] Haven received from you a few days ago, we have the pleasing intelligence that you are all well, which blessing we also enjoy. I am glad that I ever became united to your family, for by this step I have gotten what Solomon says is a good thing. He says he that hath gotten a wife from the Lord, hath gotten a good thing.


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    So say I. And were it not for troubles that exist in the land, we would rejoice continually.

    But because of things that are and have been taught in the Church of Latter Day Saints for two years past which now assume a portentous aspect, I say because of these things we are in trouble. And were it not that we wish to give you a fair unbiased statement of facts as they really exist, we perhaps would not have written you so soon. But we feel it to be our duty to let you know how things are going on in this land of boasted liberty, this Sanctum-Sanctorum of all the Earth, the City of Nauvoo. The elders will likely tell you a different tale from what I shall as they are positively instructed to deny these things abroad. But it matters not to us what they say; our object is to state to you the truth, for we do not want to be guilty of deceiving any one. We will now give you a correct statement of the doctrines that are taught and practiced in the Church according to our own knowledge. We will mention three in particular.

    A plurality of Gods. A plurality of living wives. And unconditional sealing up to eternal life against all sins save the shedding of innocent blood or consenting thereunto. These with many other things are taught by Joseph, which we consider are odious and doctrines of devils. 

    Joseph says there are Gods above the God of this universe as far as he is above us, and if He should transgress the laws given to Him by those above Him, He would be hurled from his throne to hell, as was Lucifer and all his creations with him. But God says there is no other God but himself. Moses says he is the Almighty God, and there is none other. David says he knows of no other God. The Apostles and Prophets almost all testify the same thing.

    Joseph had a revelation, last summer purporting to be from the Lord, allowing the saints the privilege of having ten living wives at one time, I mean certain conspicuous characters among them. They do not content themselves with young women, but have seduced married women. I believe hundreds have been deceived. Now should I yield up your daughter to such wretches?

    Mr. [Jesse] Haven knows these statements are correct, for they have been taught in the quorum to which he belongs by the highest authority in the Church. He has told me that he does not believe in these teachings but he does not come out and oppose them; he


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    thinks that it will all come out right. But we think God never has nor never will sanction such proceedings, for we believe he has not changed; he says "I am God I change not." These things we can not believe, and it is by Sarah's repeated request that I write this letter.

    Those who can not swallow down these things and came out and opposed the doctrine publicly, have been cut off from the Church without any lawful process whatever. They were not notified to trial neither were they allowed the privilege of being present to defend themselves; neither was any one permitted to speak on their behalf. They did not know who was their judge or jury until it was all over, and they delivered over to all the buffetings of Satan; although they lived only a few rods from the council room. These are some of their names: William Law, one of the first Presidency; Wilson Law, brigadier general; Austin Coles, president of the High Council; and Elder Blakesly, who had been the means of bringing upwards of one thousand members into the Church. He has been through nearly all the states in the Union, the Canadas, and England preaching the Gospel. Now look at the great sins they have committed, the Laws' un-Christianlike conduct -- Blakesly and others, Apostasy. If it is apostasy to oppose such doctrines and proceedings as I have just mentioned (which are only a few of the enormities taught and practised here), then we hope and pray that all the Church may apostatize. 

    After they had been thus shamefully treated and published to the world they went and bought a printing press determined to defend themselves against such unhallowed abuse. It cost them six hundred dollars. (They) commenced their paper, but Joseph and his clan could not bear the truth to come out; so after the first number came out Joseph called his Sanhedrin together, tried the press; condemned it as a nuisance and ordered the city marshal to take three hundred armed men and go and burn the press, and if any offered resistance, to rip them from the guts to the gizzard. These are his own words. They went and burnt the press, papers, and household furniture. The Laws, Fosters, Coles, Hickbies [sic, Higbies], and others have had to leave the place to save their lives. Those who have been thus unlawfully cut off have called a conference; protested against these things; and reorganized the Church. William Law is chosen president; Charles Ivans, bishop, and the other


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    necessary officers. The Reformed Church believe that Joseph has transgressed in his priestly capacity and has given himself over to serve the devil, and his own lusts. We will endeavor to send you a paper and you can judge for yourselves. They had only commenced publishing the dark deeds of Nauvoo. A hundreth part has not been told yet. 7

    The people of the state will not suffer such things any longer. But I am sorry that the innocent must suffer with the guilty. I believe there are hundreds of honest souls in Nauvoo, but none of them I think have forgotten what they were once taught: that cursed is he that putteth his trust in man. It would offend some of them more to speak irreverently of Joseph, than it would of God himself. Joseph says that he is a God to this generation, and I suppose they believe it. Any one needs a throat like an open sepulchre to swallow down all that is taught here. There was an elder once wrote in confidence to a friend in England; told him the state of the Church here, and they showed it to some of the elders there, and they wrote back to the heads of the Church, and it caused him a great deal of trouble. I think if you would once come here, you would not put so much confidence in all who go by the name of Mormons. 

    I am very much obliged for the pin ball: it is very pretty, and comes from Mother so far, from old Massachusetts. I shall appreciate it highly. My health has been very good since I came to the West notwithstanding it is a sickly part of the country. I enjoy myself well this summer. My husband is every thing I could wish, and I hope we may live all the days of our appointed time together. Joseph had two balls last winter and a dancing school through the winter. There was a theatre established in the spring: some of the twelve took a part -- Erastus Snow and many of the leading members of the Church. Dear Mother, I hope the time is not far distant when we can enjoy each other's society, but when and where I suppose time only will determine. There is a report that a mob is coming to Nauvoo.
                                  SARAH SCOTT.
    7 The letter was written up to this point by Isaac Scott, husband of Sarah. The rest is in his wife's hand.


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    July 22, 1844.    

    My Dear Father and Mother:
    Having an opportunity to send to the East by the way of brother Eames, who expects to return in a few weeks, I thought I would improve it and send you a few lines. I suppose you received our letter and was somewhat prepared, when you heard of the dreadful murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage jail. Little did we think that an event like that would ever transpire. The Church believed that he would be acquitted as he had been on former occasions, and Joseph prophesied in the last Neighbor8 that was published before his death that they would come off victorious over them all, as sure as there was a God in Israel. Joseph also prophesied on the stand a year ago last conference that he could not be killed within five years from that time; that they could not kill him till the Temple would be completed, for that he had received an unconditional promise from the Almighty concerning his days, and he set Earth and Hell at defiance; and then said, putting his hand on his head, they never could kill this Child. But now that he is killed some of the Church say that he said: unless he gave himself up. My husband was there at the time and says there was no conditions whatever, and many others testify to the same thing. 

    I suppose you have heard from Mr. [Jesse] Haven and Martha before this and have learned their mind concerning Joseph and Hyrum, but I can not help in believing that had they been innocent, that the Lord would not have suffered them to fall by the hands of wicked murders. I believe they would have been living to-day, had they been willing for others to enjoy the same liberties they wish themselves.

    The governor (Thomas Ford) visited Nauvoo the day that Joseph and Hyrum were killed and made a speech. He told the people of Nauvoo the burning of the press was arbitrary, unlawful, unconstitutional, and that they had hurt themselves more than ten presses could have injured them in ten years.

    The governor was met on his return to Carthage by a messenger informing him of the assassination. Many of the Mormons blame the governor for not bringing with him and others

    8 A magazine of the Mormon Church.


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    do not. I think it looks strange his leaving a guard of only eight men with them and taking so many with himself. I have no doubt however but he was afraid of his own life or he would not have taken the number of men he did with him. I heard there were three hundred. The governor did not dare stop in Carthage that night, and men, women, and children fled from there. I believe there was only three or four men that stopped in the place that night. I think the people of Carthage so far have suffered more than the Mormons. Who the vile murderers were I suppose never will be known till the day when all flesh shall stand before God to answer for the deeds done in the body. Many of the Mormons lay it to the Missourians, others to the apostates, as they call them. If it is apostasy from Mormonism to come out against the doctrines of More Gods than one, more wives than one, and many other damnable heresies that they have taught, I hope and pray that I and all the rest of the Church may become apostates. 

    Mr. [Jesse] Haven told me last spring before I was married that those doctrines tried his faith very much till he heard Hyrum Smith explain them and now or then he thought it was right. But a few weeks before the murder Hyrum denied that he and Joseph had the revelation concerning it but said that it referred to ancient times; and was published (so) in the Neighbor. After I saw it I said to Mr. Haven: "What do you think of that? Is it not a plain contradiction to what you told me? What do you think of it?" He said that he supposed Hyrum saw what a disturbance it was making and thought he would say it on account of there being such an excitement.

    When the news reached the governor of the destruction of the press and of the trouble in Nauvoo, he hastened here as fast as possible just in time to save an attack upon the city of Nauvoo. Writs were then issued for the Smiths and others to bring them before the proper authorities for trial. When they were taken to Carthage, it was with difficulty the governor saved their lives. The [reported] outrageous laws they had made, made the inhabitants hate the very sight of them. One example: whoever was heard speaking against the city council, charter, or ordinances should be fined five hundred dollars.

    It is very warm here and quite sickly; for my part I wish I was in a healthier place. Those that have left the Church and reorganized


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       599

    have settled at a town called Hampton in this state, one hundred miles up the river. It is said to be a healthy place.

    When I was teaching school last winter, I used to often think of what you used to tell me about your school days. I had some come to school a mile and a half across the prairie with nothing but a bonnet and a little handkerchief around their necks; some bear-headed, some bare-footed, and any way. I have never got all my pay yet, only two-thirds of it and don't suppose I shall get any more of it, but they who are owing me are good Mormons and I suppose it's no matter.

    Dear Mother: I have seen some sorrowful days since I left you and some happy ones. But I can tell you it is a sorrowful time here at present. Those that stood up for Joseph before his death are getting divided among themselves.

    I since learned that it was a mistake concerning the governor leaving only eight men with Joseph, but that he left a large company. Willard Richards and John Taylor were in jail with them. 

    August 9: Yesterday I attended a conference in Nauvoo. I suppose Martha will give you the particulars of it. The twelve were appointed to take charge of all the concerns of the Church both spiritual and temporal. Brigham Young said if he had been here, he wouldn't have consented to give Joseph up and he would be damned if he would give himself up to the law of the land. He would see them all in hell first: the Church, and then he said he would see all Creation in Hell before he would. These statements are correct, and they needn't any (of them) attempt to deny them. If they do, they are ignorant of the matter or they are wilful liars.

    Why don't you write me? I haven't had a letter from one of you since I left. I am obliged for the newspaper and think you might afford time to write to me once in a while. Mother, I wish I had a piece of your brown bread: I have not seen a bit since I came from home. I suppose I may wish again before I will get any. I wish we were a little nearer together but I suppose it's all right or it wouldn't be so. I hope there will be a change for the better here soon. I am going to have some graham bread before long: we have got a lot of nice wheat we raised this year.
                        SARAH SCOTT.


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    At my wife's request I write a few words. We would like you to drop in and talk about the past, present, and future. The present appears to be a wonderful period in the history of mankind: Joseph and Hyrum Smith are murdered; Samuel is dead and buried. The Smiths are all gone the way of all earth except William, and why all this murder and death in the Smith family? I believe it is because they taught the people of God to transgress His holy laws as did the sons of Eli of old; they taught the people to break the laws of God, for which God revoked the covenant which He had made with Eli and gave him another promise which was that there should not be an old man in his house for ever. Mr. [Jesse] Haven and Mr. [Eames] have been here to-day. We have had quite a discussion of our "religious differences." Elder [Haven] tries hard to uphold his old Apostolic Church, but when we bring him to the law and testimony, he can't bring any thing to prove his Sublime Heavenly doctrines. 

    You will likely hear a great deal about Joseph's innocence such as: "I go as a lamb to the slaughter, and if I die, I die an innocent man." All these statements, I believe, are false and got up for the purpose of reconciling the minds of the Church. I believe they had not the least idea that they were going to be murdered. Hyrum said the last time I heard him preach, which was only a few days before he and Joseph were taken to Carthage, that their enemies could not kill brother Joseph, for he had a great work to accomplish yet. There was also considerable said in Carthage which proves beyond dispute that they did not expect death. They blame the apostates, as they term them, with being accessory to the murder of the Smiths. This is not the case: the Laws and Fosters were not in the state at the time the murder was committed, and if they had been here, they would have been the last to stain their hands with human blood.

    Remember me to all your family in the kindest manner. I wish you would write us a letter. We would be happy to hear from any of our brothers and sisters and answer any questions you or they may think proper to ask.
                   Yours respectfully.
                             ISAAC SCOTT.


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    February 6, 1845.    

    My Dear Father and Mother:
    I received your letter bearing date of August 11, 1844, which gave me great joy to hear you were all enjoying the inestimable blessing of health, a blessing I have been deprived of a great part of the past summer, but which through the tender mercies of God is restored to me. The disease with which I was afflicted was fever and ague. If you can form an idea how a person must feel half-naked in Greenland one hour and the next hurled into the torrid zone under a burning sun, you may judge how one feels with this disease.

    I find by your letter that my first letter to you surprised you, and I suppose my second had a still worse effect upon your mind by the way you wrote after receiving it, because I told you the truth concerning those doctrines that I know have been taught in the Church. I did not write from hearsay concerning those doctrines, as you represented, but from actual knowledge. But now because their iniquity has come to light and God's judgments have overtaken them, they deny that they were ever taught. But I say they are liars, and the truth is not in them. I am sorry it grieved you so because I can not believe in a man having ten or a dozen wives at a time. I did not know it was a part of Mormonism until I came to Nauvoo. You say that you are sorry I have turned against the Church and seem to think I have denied Mormonism, but did I not state in my letter my decided belief in it? I believe I did, and still believe Mormonism unadulterated with Spiritual wifeism, and the like, is of God and will prevail. 

    You may perhaps wonder how I can have any faith in Mormonism if I know such iniquity prevails. Does men transgressing the laws of God alter the principles of righteousness or change the Gospel of Christ? Not a whit; neither does it prove that the Church of Latter Day Saints was not the Church of Christ but the reverse. God gave unto the children of Israel a law which, had they kept, would have made them a nation of kings and priests, but they would not keep that law. Are we then to conclude they never were a righteous people? And never had the law of God given unto them? Verily no. Did God suffer them to retain their standing before him when they would not keep his commandments?


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    No; but he scattered them from before his face and rejected them as a people just as he has promised to do with his Church in these last days according to the Book of doctrines and covenants. What think you of the revelations which you profess to believe in that book? We are there told that if Joseph Smith kept the commandments of God, no weapon formed against him should prosper, and that he should live until the coming of the son of man; and if not, he should be cut off and another appointed in his stead. Has Joseph transgressed or has God changed?

    We are informed by a revelation given through Joseph that Sidney Rigdon should be a spokesman before the face of the Lord and not before Joseph Smith's face as at the first. This Revelation you will find in the last edition of the book of Covenants. Sidney Rigdon was ordained a prophet, seer, and revelator to the Church to succeed Joseph in 1841 by revelation, and never was cut off. True, they pretended to try him and cut him off in Nauvoo last fall. But had they authority, and was he brought before a proper tribunal? I am bold to say he was not; neither can the Church try him according to the law of God, for his case must have one of the first presidents to preside on it. Why have they treated Sidney Rigdon and William Law as they have? Because they stood up for the attributes of God, for virtue and holiness, for the observance of the Law of God and the laws of the land. See Section 18 paragraph 8. But these pious souls in Nauvoo think they can set at defiance the laws of God and man and have their two, four, six, or eight or ten wives at pleasure, but in this way they will find themselves mistaken. These things, as I told you before, they deny in public but teach and practise in private. 

    Dear Mother, you seem to me to be preparing your mind to receive these strange things should they be presented to you; you quote a passage to try and prop their frail tenement, but read a little farther and you will find that to us there is but one living and true God. You seem to be sorry that you advised me to come West, but I am glad, for by so doing I have been an eye and ear witness to their proceedings. Had I not have come, I might have been as you are, knowing nothing of their teachings in Zion; but I am here, have heard and seen for myself and know verily what I write to be true. You say you think there is a wrong spirit somewhere; so say I. I think when a people break the commandments


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    of God given expressly to themselves, such as: "Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt have but one wife, and concubines thou shalt have none," it is very evident there is a wrong spirit and a departure from the principles of righteousness.

    You say also, why contend about those dark and mysterious things? Because the Lord has said he doeth nothing save it be plain to the children of men. Respecting my going to meeting I believe I attended more regularly while I was able than any one that came to the West with me. I attended regularly two and sometimes three times a week from my arrival here till the hot weather commenced the next summer. I didn't miss one Sabbath during this time.

    In reviewing your letter I am led to conclude that you place but little confidence in my statements, but I believe I have not as yet learned to deviate from the truth and for aught I know am as much entitled to belief as any other person. You now have my testimony; make what use of it you think proper. I give it with the purest motives, hoping that you may not be led from the path that leads to exaltation and glory. 

    Did you forget to send those wristlets I sent for? I was disappointed in not receiving any thing from any of you.

    Stealing has been carried on to an alarming extent in and about Nauvoo last fall and this winter. They first began to steal from the dissenters and raised the cry that the dissenters did it themselves to bring persecution on the Church, but after a while a few of the good Mormon souls were caught in it: three have been taken to Carthage Jail, and more will likely follow. Father Scott and his daughter had a large washing stole from them last fall, I believe there are many sincere souls in Nauvoo that are desiring to serve God in an acceptable way, that have sacrificed their all for the truth and are willing to spend and be spent in laboring to bring forth and establish Zion in these last days. But when the head is sick, the whole heart is faint.

    The first night I stopped in Nauvoo I slept in an old crazy log cabin where I could lay and count the stars, and although there was a fire-place big enough to roast an ox, I thought I should froze to death. This room rents for twenty-four dollars a year. Nauvoo abounds with such rooms. I have known many a family living in this way with a large family of children -- only just one


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    room, no cellar, no cupboards, a room and a fire-place without a crane is all that many have. It was just such a one where I boarded last winter. We live by ourselves now and have a room and a bed-room and a good large cooking stove, and I feel myself pretty well off at that. We have a good cow and have sold two or three pounds of butter a week through the winter, besides supplying ourselves.

    Write as soon as you get this and send me a paper as often as you can.
                       SARAH S. SCOTT.

    I have just weighed her Majesty and find she only weighs one hundred and forty-five pounds; wonder if this don't show good health.
                      Yours respectfully,
                               ISAAC SCOTT. 

    March 1, 1845.    

    Dear Brother:
    I received your very welcome letter a few weeks ago and I hope you will forgive me for not writing you before. I was three months sick with the fever and ague. I will try and make up a little by giving you a general outline of things since my arrival here.

    The day we landed in Nauvoo it snowed fast for several hours, which made the place look rather gloomy to strangers. We had our things taken to Mr. [Jesse] Haven's brother-in-law and met with a kind reception, but I didn't feel at home. The first night I slept in an old log cabin where I could lay and view the planets. The weather was very cold. I only stayed in the city three weeks and then came out into the neighborhood, where I now live, and taught school through the winter.

    The site of Nauvoo is generally handsome, though part of the city is low and very sickly. Those who were driven from Missouri lost nearly all their property and consequently were not able to build large houses. The south and west parts of this state are very sickly, especially in a wet season as last summer was.

    I suppose you would like to know how I like the teachings and doing of the Mormons since I came here. As far as they have taught and acted in accordance with the principles of righteousness


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    so far they have my approbation, but they have taught some things that I can not believe, such as a multitude of Gods above the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ -- when God says there is no God but himself.

    Another doctrine they teach which is equally absurd and damnable is of a plurality of wives. This they publicly deny having taught, but when they do, they heap lies upon transgression and only make their damnation more sure -- unless they repent, and that speedily. These things I have heard taught myself and know their statements to be false.

    In relation to the Expositor I need only say it is true they destroyed the whole printing establishment, which I believe with their other transgressions brought the trouble upon them last summer. There are other things I would like to mention but I want to leave a few lines for my husband. I suppose you have seen my last letter to Mother; so I will close.
                        SARAH S. SCOTT.

    Having an opportunity given me by my wife of writing a few lines, I gladly embrace it. I find she has touched on some very important subjects, but as two heads are better than one, if one be a sheep's head, I will try and add something. I also being an eye and ear witness. Joseph and Hyrum Smith taught those things with many others equally pernicious day and night the last two years of their earthly career, They seemed to think that they could do and teach any and every thing they chose, and neither God man nor the devil interfere with them. It is my firm belief that had the Smiths and their dupes let the office of the Expositor alone, they might have been alive at present. The course they took roused the indignation of saint and sinner, that held sacred the laws and institutions of our country. I told them the morning after they done the deed it would cause them tears before their corn would silk, which came to pass. Still, I believe they should have had a fair trial by law. Had they got this, they certainly would have gone to the penitentiary.

    There was only one number of the Expositor issued, and it contained nothing libelous, slanderous, or unlawful. The great evil was that it was about to show to the world the true character of Joseph and those who swallow down his demoralizing, soul-destroying


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    heresies. There is a secret band in Nauvoo who are bound together by dreadful oaths whose motives are anything but honorable. 9

    The Church is now divided, and parts go for Sidney Rigdon and William Law, the only Presidents left the Church. The other part hold to the Twelve, who arrogate to themselves the authority to lead the Church. Rigdon and Law are honorable, virtuous men; therefore you see they would not do to teach polygamy, adultery, fornication, perjury, etc. which is and has been abundantly taught in the Church. I have heard it taught, I presume, an hundred times; I will be mistaken if Nauvoo before long don't be laid as waste as ever Jerusalem was; the wickedness of this people exceeds anything on record. The Temple, if ever finished, will be a splendid edifice. The steam-boats have been running on the river for some time past.

    You may, perhaps, wonder that I write so plain about the Mormons and ask the question: "Isn't Scott a Mormon?" Yes, he is; but not a latter day saint. The difference between a Mormon and L.D.S. is great: the Mormons believe in original Mormonism, while the L. D. Saints believe and practice the doctrines above named. The Church cut me off in Missouri for no crime, only opposing Daniteism, stealing, swearing, lies, etc. I have seen them there steal thousands of dollars worth of property and heard them afterwards swear in court they did not do it. They have tried to get me to join them since, but I could not do it under such circumstances. Write when convenient.
                      Yours etc.
                               ISAAC SCOTT. 

    October 3, 1845.    

    Dear Beloved Sister: 10
    As it is very uncertain that we (shall) ever see each other in this world, I will spend a few moments to converse with you by writing. I will tell you, dear Abigale, how much sorrow I feel that you leave us all, husband, children, and sisters, to go to a far-off land.

    9 Scott may refer to Joseph Smith's "Nauvoo Leigion," [or, more likely, to a secret arm of Hosea Stout's Nauvoo police force]

    10 This letter is addressed to Abigail Harback, wife of Calvin Hall and mother of Mrs. Jesse Haven and Mrs. Isaac Scott.


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       607

    We feel it a great separation, and a great journey for one of your age and health. Dear Sister, if we do not think just alike here in this world, I hope we shall not lose that sisterly affection which we are bound by the ties of nature to cherish. I hope we shall meet in that world where all disputes, all sorrows, and no sect will be known. O that we may live and act in such manner that our Blessed Saviour will say: "Come ye blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." I had no time to think when you called: I felt so bad I could not think of your children West, to send my best love to them. So I thought I would write and let you know I have not forgotten them, although far off.

    Dear Sister, I fear you will not find yourself so happy as you imagine. I hope you will return satisfied and your children with you. I feel that you are dead to me, our views are so different; but we shall know all hereafter. O that we may hourly watch and pray. Do write and tell me how you like. I feel that you will be homesick, but Martha and Sarah will comfort you. Do think how you will feel when you and your beloved husband are so far from each other. If my dear husband was alive, I could not leave him. Think over before you start; think of a sick day; think how many miles distant you are from each other; it pains me to think for you. O my sister I hope you will pray for your unconverted friends that they may seek that pearl of great price. I hope we shall see each other again; it is uncertain. I leave my letter for the present to attend to my duty. Good night. 

    Saturday: I resume my pen to tell you how much comfort I had with Brother Henry and Polly; they have just left to visit you. I hope you will take as much comfort with them as I have. They are so happy; if they are poor, one can not help taking comfort with them. They are waiting and watching for the Blessed Saviour to make his second appearance.

    You will guess how my poor head feels when you read this ill-composed letter. I feel almost crazy. I have a very bad cold, and children crying. Henry bad.

    Let me but hear my Saviour say
    Strength be equal to thy day.
    Religion bears my spirits up


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    When I expect that blessed hope.
    The bright appearance of the Lord.
    And hope stands leaning on his word.
    I must close my letter by telling you how much I feel for you and love you. Dear Sister, do not forget your unworthy sister
                        EUNICE HAYDEN. 11

    Abigail Hall:
    N. B. It is dark and I have wrote till I am almost blind. Farewell, Dear Sister, remember me when far away. Perhaps it is the last time I shall write to you: I feel that I draw nigh the grave.   Farewell.


    In the name of Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, I lay my hands upon your head and I seal upon thee the blessing of the Patriarch, which is thy father's blessing; and this seal and blessing shall be satisfaction to thy mind and a seal and blessing to be extended to thy posterity. Thou art numbered with the seed of Abraham and in the same everlasting covenants. Remember that through the blessing of the Priesthood, Abraham received the promised blessing, and thy blessing will be equal with the daughters of Isaac and of Jacob for thy descent is through Ephraim, and thou hast become a legitimate heir to all the promised blessings. Thy name is registered in the Lamb's book of life because of the integrity of thy heart, being blest with an obedient and willing mind. It has been thy lot to pass through trials that thou might know the opposite and know how to prize the good. The gifts of the Gospel will become thy blessing, the Spirit of the Lord will cause thee to speak in unknown tongues and to understand truth from error. Wisdom will become thy gift, and faith

    11 Eunice (Harback) Hayden, sister of Mrs. Calvin Hall, the mother of Mrs. Jesse Haven and Mrs. Isaac Scott, was sixrt-six years of age at the time she wrote this letter. Mrs. Calvin Hall was about to set for Illinois, whence she brought back the apostolic [patriarchal] blessing which follows.


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       609

    will cause thee to be endowed with power from on high. Power will be given unto thee to act upon thy agency in behalf of thy deceased friends, and all the blessings that have been sealed upon thee will be verified in thy salvation and thy exaltation; and thou wilt become a blessing to thy posterity, and the Lord will direct thee in all thy choices for life. Thy last days will be days of peace unto thee, of consolation, and satisfaction. I seal upon thee by promise that it shall be thy lot to have part in the first resurrection and receive thy crown in the mansions of thy Saviour; by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, I seal this, thy father's blessing upon thee in the name of Jesus. Amen.
                       JESSE HAVEN, SCRIBE. 

    July 4, 1846.    

    My Dear Dear Mother:
    The joy of meeting and the pain of separating have passed, and I am again alone. I have been very anxious to hear from you, to know how you got home. I should have written long before this had I known where to have told you to direct your letters. We think soon of going to Farmington, Iowa. We shall probably stay there till fall; so direct your letters there till you hear to the contrary. My health has been growing poorer since you left. Have been to meeting but once since I went with you, have not felt able to go. Mr. [Jesse] Haven talks of boxing our things ready for the wilderness and boarding if he can get a good place for me. Farmington is about twenty-five miles from here on the Des Moines River. Sister Sarah was in two or three times after you left; she made me her last visit the twenty-fifth of May; said they should start their journey the twenty-seventh.

    We have sold our place for a trifle to a Baptist minister. All we got was a cow and two pairs of steers, worth about sixty dollars in trade. He bought Joel's and Brother Palmer's and pays in trade, except Joel's mortgage; he had to pay that in money, of course. Brother Palmer gets a very nice cow and a pair of steers for his part. Joel gets a horse and buggy and then there is a colt and harness which he and Mr. Haven own between them. I like to have forgot them. You see I can't write straight; so I will stop and rest.

    July 5: I will now try to conclude my letter. We have again been


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    troubled with mobbers, between sixty and a hundred collected a few weeks ago. They drove a number of farming settlers into Nauvoo and whipped several men, some of them so bad they have since died. They swore that they would enter the City, destroy the Temple and drive the remaining inhabitants. Sheriff McIntosh sent them word that if they did not go home, he would come out with an armed force and disperse them at the point of the bayonet. At this intelligence they fled. They say they will come again after harvest. Our people are leaving as fast as possible.

    Give my love to all my brothers and sisters; tell them to write as often as possible, and I will do the same. I feel thankful that I have had the privilege of having a visit from my dear Mother. I can tell you I felt lonesome enough after I got home from the river the day you started. Mr. [Jesse] Haven went down the next morning as soon as he was up; carried your comb and some bread, but found you gone.
                      MARTHA S. H. HAVEN.... 

    (under construction)


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       611

    (under construction)


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    It makes me very nervous to write; so I have to do it by littles. The mob are trying again to see what they can do. They have driven a few more into the City. Some of the new settlers have been baptized and want to sell and go with us.

    July 7: I have a stout girl of fifteen to help me. She is one of the kind that never can see anything that is to be done. We shall only keep her till we can do better. Tell me whether Mr. B_____ mustrusts that this is more than one sheet. I thought I would try it once. I wish I could see you all before leaving. Farewell for the present. May health attend you all!

    January 5, 1848.    

    My Dear Dear Mother:
    After almost despairing of ever hearing from home again, I at last received your most welcome letter.

    Our little black cow could not stand the journey here; she laid down and refused to travel before we got to the last settlement. Mr. Haven went back and made out to get her to the settlement where he got four dollars for her. I can tell you, Mother, these western moves are hard on cattle as well as on the people.

    I should have answered your letter sooner but I have again been sick, but the God of all the earth will do right.

    Tell Catherine if she has an opportunity; if she will send me a toothbrush, I will remember it and try to reward her sometime: there are none here.

    We now expect to leave this place in May or June for the Mountains. There is a plenty of salt and saleartus there; they are both white and nice; our pioneers brought back considerable. I have had some of both to use.

    May your lives and health all be spared and may the day come when we shall all meet again. Tell Henry I have got the first lock of hair that was ever cut from his head and shall keep it: I often take a look at it and wish I could see its former owner.

    Mr. [Jesse] Haven's health is good: he sends his respects to all. He is toiling hard to make a fit-out for the Mountains. If I can have health, I can stand hardships very well. This place has got to be


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       613

    vacated in the coming summer. I expect the [Protestant] missionaries are at the bottom of it; they will have their reward. We have done a great many thousands dollars worth of work here, which will be of great service to them, such as digging wells, fencing, and breaking the ground.

    I expect all of Mr. [Jesse] Haven's folks will go when we do. Truly, we have no abiding City. The ensign is to be reared upon the mountains and all Nations flow unto it. We are not going to a remote corner of the earth to hide ourselves far from it. Do write me a long letter before I leave here. My best love to Father, Brothers and Sisters, From your affectionate daughter
                        MARTHA S. H. HAVEN. 

    March 31, 1848.    

    My Dear Mother:
    I received your very welcome letter of February eighth the second day of March, and it was a very acceptable birthday present. Your letter and paper of July came duly to hand, and I know of no excuse for not writing immediately, only being a daughter of yours.

    Calvin is quite a large boy, Little Sis is lying asleep in the cradle. We think of calling her Martha Sarah.

    We have had only one letter from Martha since we left Nauvoo, and that more than a year ago. We have heard that Mr. [Jesse] Haven and Martha were at Council Bluffs and we sent them a letter there.

    I should like to see you all and once more behold my native land but I never have had any desire to go back to spend my days in old Sutton. We have not decided whether we shall stay here this summer or not. I had much rather live here than in Illinois. We have had good health all the time, and money is much plentier. Nauvoo is a dreary looking place, I expect.

    Have you seen the Epistle of the Twelve Apostles? If you have not, you ought to, that's certain. It seems now "It mattereth not what a man's religious faith is; whether he be a Presbyterian, or a Methodist, or a Baptist, or a Catholic, or a Mohommedan, or even a Pagan or any thing else; if he will bow the knee, and with his tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, and will support good


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    and wholesome laws, we will hail him as brother." That is not much like the doctrine Joseph Smith taught in the beginning, I think. In Elder's Journal volume 1 Number 3, page 92, question: "Will everybody be damned but Mormons? Answer: Yes, and a great portion of them unless they repent and work righteousness." This is what Joseph taught in 1838. Brigham's conscience has stretched so far lately that he will make a heaven of all sects and parties. Wonderful change. Oh consistency and common sense where hast thou fled?

    Strang is no better than the twelve, for he has come out and denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ and says he was the legitimate son of Joseph and Mary. And there has lately risen up another young scion of Latter Day Saintism who claims to be the personification of the Holy Ghost; he also is making some converts among the L. D. Saints; he is here figuring as large as life. His name is Gladdon Bishop; he has originated what he calls the Kingdom of God, and it was the queerest performance I ever saw. 

    It is very evident that the L. D. Saints have literally fulfilled the prediction of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, for it is written: "In the last days perilous times shall come; men shall be heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God etc." and they are to depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing Spirits and doctrines of devils speaking lies in hypocrisy etc., and false Christs and false prophets are foretold; these have all made their appearance.

    Now why this state of things among the L. D. S.? It is easily counted for when their course is once properly understood. In the year 1830, when the Church was organized, God gave it a specific characteristic name eight times in one Revelation in the book of Commandments which was the Church of Christ. By this they were known for four years until they began to work wickedness and lost the Spirit of Christ; consequently they were ashamed to wear his name. So in May, 1834, Joseph and the authorities of the Church met in Conference in Kirtland, Ohio, and the first business of importance was to change the name of the Church. Motioned, seconded, and carried; that this Church be no longer known as the Church of Christ and that henceforth it be called the Church of the Latter Day Saints; no Jesus Christ in it for four years after this. Thus they became another Church by the unanimous


                                         LETTERS  FROM  MORMONS                                       615

    voice off all her leading men and have been led by false principles more or less ever since. What does the Book of Mormon say on this subject? "If you are called in any other name save the name of Christ, ye shall be found on the left hand of God."

    April 22: I have been very busy and did not get my letter finished, but I can't afford to write another; so I send this. We had a snow storm yesterday, but hardly enough to track a cat. Write as soon as you get this.
                        SARAH  SCOTT. 

    June 7, 1848.    

    My Dear Husband:
    I have this day bid adieu for a season to my dearest earthly friend. All around seem joyful and happy; but I feel solitary and alone.

    June 8: Cold windy and cloudy. I have just heard that one of the brethren has been killed and another wounded, at the Horn by the Indians. The Indians drove off quite a number of their cattle; they went in pursuit; found them grazing and were going to take them away, when they were fired upon by Indians lying in ambush.

    Sunday June 11: The Omahas are making us visits on this side, 12 stealing horses etc. One of the brethren with a little boy (about three miles from here) was out ploughing, when a lone Indian with a rifle in hand walked up to him, took his horse by the head, at the same time pointing his rifle at his breast. As the man was unarmed he thought it best to give up his horse without resistance. To-day nearly all the men from this neighborhood have gone in pursuit of the Indians.

    Friday 16: To-day we have had a refreshing rain. The gardens were getting pretty dry. Ours looks very well: peas, beans, potatoes, and tomatoes are in blow. The last peas you planted blowed as soon as the first. Our men could not find the Indians, only found traces of them.

    Sunday, June 18: I get along very well so far. My health is

    12 That is, of the Missouri River


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    about the same. My daily prayer is, that our lives and health may be spared unto us; that you may be prospered on your mission and return at the time appointed with the satisfaction that you have done the will of the Lord. Have no uneasiness on my account.

    Saturday 24: We have not yet been able to get a single cabbage plant. Brother H_____ said "he thought he planted a plenty of them; but they came up something else." Our garden bids fair for a plenty of everything else -- if the hogs and sheep will let it alone. There has not been anything eaten down since you went away. My sage did not come up. If the strawberries are not all gone when you get this, I wish you would get some one to dry a few of the English ones; I am told they will grow very well from the seed. We have dried a few of the wild ones to take to the mountains. Also get a few currants dried. Tell Mother I want she should get me some balm and parsley seed, also some sage.

    My eyesight troubles me very much since you went away. It is morning, but I can scarcely see to write a word. The new pens I bought are not worth a cent. If Catherine is at home, tell her I want she should dry me a few of the several kinds of blueberries that grow in the East, also some whortle-berries. I want to see if we can't have some berries on the mountains. Gooseberries have been quite plenty; we have had sauce nearly all the time, and considerable many strawberries. 

    I often wish that some of your friends lived in this camp; it would seem much pleasanter. Brother Walton, or Worthon, I think it is spelt, is the only neighbor that has been in the house since you left. There is to be a gathering at the Tabernacle on the fourth of July. Brother Worthon and folks are going down, I expect by what he said, that he will take us. Sister Greene sent up word by him to have me come down; I want to go if it is only to make her a visit.

    I think I have written all the news and will draw to a close.
                   From your affectionate wife
                        MARTHA S. HAVEN.

    My love to father and mother and all the rest; tell them to write me as often as possible. I do not hear any more about the Indians.

    Ten years ago and you were writing letters to me from the


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    West; now the card is turned. The children are all well. Allison has been to work for Brother Worthon for a few days; he will plough the corn soon.

    You have not yet gone three weeks, it hardly seems possible but what it is longer. You will tell me where to direct my next letter.

    June 23: I expect to have an opportunity to send this to the P. O. to-morrow. Adieu for the present, From your best friend.
                        MARTHA S. HAVEN.


    Elizabeth Haven's 1839 Letters to Elizabeth Howe Bullard

    (Typescripts in Dale Broadhurst Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library
    See also: The Israel Barlow Story SLC, 1968, pp. 142-166 for more
    complete, footnoted transcripts, copyright 1968 by Ora H. Barlow)

    Miss Elizabeth Bullard

    QUINCY, Feb. 24th, 1839.      

    Dear Elizabeth

    With much pleasure I commune with my dear friends far away in the East, which my frequency in visiting will boldly testify. Weeks and months have [rolled] away in rapid succession since I left my friends far behind in N. E. for the land of Zion. But O! how Zion mourns, her sons have fallen in the streets by the cruel hand of the enemy and her daughters weep in silence. It is impossible for my pen to tell you of our situation, only those who feel it, know. Between five and seven thousands men, women and children driven from the places of gathering, out of the state from houses and lands, in poverty to seek for habitations where they can find them. The saints are coming as fast as possible; they have only to the 8th of March to leave the state. The Prophet has sent word to have them make speed, haste out of the state.

    About 12 families cross the river into Quincy every day and about 30 are constantly at the other side waiting to cross; it is slow and grimy; there is only one ferry boat to cross in. For 3 or 4 weeks past it has been beautiful weather and the roads great for traveling which has made it very favourable for the brethren, but now it is rainy, the roads very muddy within three days. The stakes of Zion will soon be bereft of all her children...

    We look upon our present with sorrow and much anxiety. We must now scatter in every direction just so we can find employment. Some of our dear brethren, who have mingled with us in praise and prayer are now buried with the dead; some of who a few months ago seemed to run well in the strait and narrow path have to our astonishment and grief forsook us and fled; our Prophet is still in jail and many others whom we love. To look at our situation at the present time it would seem that Zion is all destroyed, but it is not so, the work of the Lord is on the march.

    Never has there been a time since the church was first organized, that the work spread so fast as it has within the past 6 months. The Mormons have been the general topic of debate in this [upper] country, in the Western and Middle States and also in the Eastern states. I see by the papers, that we have come up in remembrance there, though far from the truth sometimes. Many have now a curiosity to hear which previous to past difficulties would not so much as listen; but now anxious to hear both sides, the Elders can thereby preach the gospel to them. Much good will ultimately result in the past to bring about the purposes of Jehovah.

    God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform. Many have been sifted out of the church, while others have been rooted and ground[ed] in love and are the salt of the earth. I have understood that some of the Missourians begin to tremble for driving us from the state and intend to leave also, lest God should pour out his judgment upon the inhabitants. I doubt not but that there are many honest hearts in Mo. You will learn from Charles' letter before you receive this, that President Rigdon has been liberated from jail. He gave an account last Sabbath how he was set at liberty. He remarked that it was a miracle and indeed it is, but can not stay to recite the particulars. If I could sleep with you one night, [I] think we should not be very sleepy, at least I could converse all night...

    We want to know very much how the few Saints in [Holliston] have stood affected while Zion has been scourged. Have any departed from the faith? I hope not. It is only those who stand amidst all these trials unto the end, that will at last be found worthy of a crown of glory...

    I often think of the church, the little branch which I left in [Holliston], think that I shall soon see some of them in this country...

    President Rigdon is now making out a history of the treatment of the Missourians towards the Mormons from the time that they were driven from Jackson county unto this present time, and he is going himself to Washington to plead at the feet of the President according to revelation. He has written to the Solict. General of the United States court for a mandate or precept against the State of Missouri for redress of wrongs, also precept against the Governor down to the private citizens who have any way been concerned in injuring or driving us from Missouri. President Rigdon says he sees no way for the Prophet to be delivered only through the United States court...

    There has been a general commotion and stir among the Indians for months past... The prophecies must all be fulfilled, and when the remnant of Jacob pass through there will be none to deliver. Micah 5-8. How soon they will pass through we know not. They are very wrathy toward the whites and we hear many things which they threaten, but God will not suffer them to rise, until the Gentiles are ripe for destruction...


    25[th Feb., 1839].
    Dear E.

    After a day of sober reflection I resume my pen to converse... Mother wished me to write in particular after I had seen the Prophet...

    Past scenes have greatly strengthened my faith. If we were of the world I believe that the people of Missouri would love us well enough to let us remain some where in the State. But they hate us, despise us... the Jailor at Liberty says, if the government will not set the Prophet free and the rest who are with him free, that he will... But the Jailor would not dare to liberate them, for a mob surrounds them continually... President Rigdon was let out of jail after dark, leaning on the Sheriff's arm, and the next morning at sunrise, he was 40 miles from Liberty...

    President Rigdon was bailed out for $2,000, not that he was guilty, but to appease the wrath of the mob, and all the rest in Liberty Jail have no cause of action found against them... The Prophet's wife says that she is not out of Missouri while her husband remains there. John [Corrill], formerly a brother in the church, but now a dissenter, a Representative for the State of Mo., asked leave to introduce a bill into the Legislature, prohibiting any one from prophesying or speaking in the name of the Lord...

    Brother Jesse left us last Thursday on his way to Springfield in this State to attend the conference of Elders, the 8[th] of next month. He intends to start from there to the East in company with some Elder preaching on their way to N. E. He is in hopes to reach there by summer. I suppose he intends to get his lost rib, before he returns to Zion....

    We also want to have Father write us, as soon as you receive this, to let us know about his coming to the West, how and when... Remember the Prophet and afflicted Zion at the throne of grace and receive this letter which is full of love and affection from a sister in the everlasting gospel,   ELIZABETH HAVEN.

    ... P. S. #3. One of the brethren died yesterday on the other side of the river and was brought over today, was carried into the Court house and President Rigdon preached a funeral sermon, full house, many of the citizens present.

    This forenoon President Rigdon, brother Taylor, one of the Twelve, Judge Higbee and Elder Greene of the High Council met in Nancy's room to draw up a paper to present to the citizens of this place this evening, making known to them the situation of the afflicted among us. Many in this place have great sympathy for us. 

    ... March 3d. ...
    P. S. #6. President Rigdon wishes to have all letters preserved which we have written to our friends concerning our trials, for they may be called for at the United States Court as a testimony...


    QUINCY, ILL., Sept 12th, 1839.      

    Beloved Sister,

    I received your letter last eve with great satisfaction, also one from Br Jesse. It affords us much pleasure to receive a communication from any of our friends at the East...

    It has been very sickly at Commerce, but a few deaths, It has been sickly here, many have died. Death has made its greatest havoc among the Saints here...

    Sept. 28.
    The twelve have now left this region for Eng. Some of them have been gone several weeks, visiting on their way to N. Y. which place they design to meet and sail together for the nations. The remainder have stayed until last week. They came to this place, namely, Heber Kimball, Brigham Young, Br. Turley and one of the Seventies on their way to N. Y....

    Sept. 30th.
    Conference of the Church at Commerce the last of this week. I intended to have gone but Perry was taken down with the bowel complaint and I gave it up. The Elders are all going from this place. Many of them are intending to go on a mission soon after Conference...

    Oct. 7th.
    Sister Nancy received a letter from Mary this morning... We are much grieved that the Saints in [Holliston] care so little about coming West... I have often thought what President Rigdon said to the church last fall, that we should first be knocked on one side, then on the other. We shall be exercised in every way to try our faith...

    Oct. 8th.
    If I had a good knife to mend pens I should like it better... Some of the Elders returned from conference. Said they had a joyful meeting... The Prophet filled with the Spirit. Great union among them. The Prophet says it is a sickly place, but is made known to him that it shall be sanctified and be a place of gathering...

    Kirtland is again filled with Mormonism. Many desirous to return to the Church. Perhaps you have learnt the state of things there. Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery wish to join us again. I understand they will come with their whole souls into this great work...

    Have heard today more correct from the conference... On the Sabbath the Prophet [preached] of the kingdom before the foundation of the world. Said he would feed the church with meat, explained some passage of Scripture which was not translated right and which had been a stumbling block to the world. He also related some very interesting facts which he has lately translated from the records which came with the mummies, some of which I would relate but no room...

    Mr. Wells asked me one day if I would give up Mormonism if he would pay my passage back to Holliston. He was then going to N. Y. in company with others to see his daughter... Pray for our Prophet, for it is a great blessing to us to hear a Prophet's voice again in the land...

    Your sister in the gospel
                           ELIZABETH HAVEN.

    15[th Oct.] ...
    P. S. #9 Tell Jesse that I shall write him soon. Shall commence a journal to him as soon as I mail this. I have so little time to write at once. I wish you would let Father see this...


    Transcriber's Comments

    (under construction)

    Chronological Order of Texts

    To consult the various Haven letters included in this web-document in proper order, Elizabeth Haven's letters of 1839 should be read first, followed by her cousin Charlotte's letters of 1843. Once those texts have been perused, the letters of Elizabeth's brother, her sister-in-law (Martha Hall Haven) and her sister-in-law's sister (Sarah Hall Scott) may be read, to complete the 1839-1848 sequence.

    Elizabeth Haven's Reporting

    Elizabeth Haven probably crossed the frozen river from Missouri to Illinois, arriving in Quincy about the beginning of 1839. It is likely that she was accompanied by her brother Jesse -- or, at least, he met her in Quincy by Feb. 1839. Among the interesting things Elizabeth has to say are candid remarks concerning President Sidney Rigdon's administration of the LDS Church in Quincy and the departure of her brother Jesse from Quincy on Thursday Feb. 21, 1839. Jesse Haven was ordained an Elder by his first cousin, Brigham Young, in Caldwell Co., Missouri, on Jan. 10, 1839. After staying over in Quincy for a few days, Elder Haven attended a conference of Mormon Elders at Springfield, Illinois on Mar. 8, 1839. Apparently many of the Mormons attending that unofficial conference were missionaries on their way eastward. Jesse Haven left that missionary meeting in company with Elder Alexander Wright, who (like Haven himself) had been called to serve the LDS missionary program in Scotland. At some point before mid October 1839 Elder Jesse Haven returned back to his family's home in Holliston, Massachusetts -- for his sister Elizabeth wrote on Oct. 15th that she planned to write to him at (or near) Holliston soon after that date. She probably expected him to remain in the Holliston area at least for the remainder of October. This is likely the time period during which Jesse interviewed Matilda Spalding Davison in nearby Monson, a report of which interview was forwarded to Elizabeth by her father about the beginning of November, and which she and Elder Alexander Badlam relayed to the Quincy Whig for publication in that paper's issue of Nov. 16, 1839.

    Charlotte Haven's Reporting

    Charlotte Haven was a cousin of Elizabeth and Jesse Haven, but her exact relationship with the Mormon sister and brother has not yet been documented. In the set of letters from Nauvoo, written in 1843 and first published almost fifty years later, Miss Charlotte Haven makes some interesting remarks concerning Nauvoo, Mormon polygamy, and, especially, Elder Sidney Rigdon. She passes on the rare information that Rigdon, when in conversation with his out-of-town guests, was wont to speak of his travels to Europe and elsewhere in the world. As Sidney Rigdon never ventured farther from his homeland than a quick excursion into Canada, these accounts were obviously fictional. Somewhat less innocuous (and more insightful into Rigdon's true past) is the historical tidbit which Charlotte picked up from someone in the Rigdon family (perhaps his wife), that Sidney Rigdon had once worked in a newspaper office. Possibly the short term of employment in this field was c. 1821-26, when Rigdon first resided in Pittsburgh; or, if not then, perhaps immediately after his stint of theological study with Rev. Andrew Clark in 1818-19, in a county adjoining Allegheny -- and thus, not far from Pittsburgh. In either case, Rigdon's association with the unidentified newspaper probably did not include any printing apprenticeship or journeyman credentials. More likely, he wrote copy and performed editorial duties such as proofreading -- tasks he would again take up for the Evening and Morning Star and the Messenger and Advocate during his Kirtland years.

    Charlotte does not say from what source she picked up the rumor that Rigdon "was Smith's chief aid in getting up the Book of Mormon and creed." Apparently that particular story was a common one in the Nauvoo of 1843 -- at least among those who had no theological stake in maintaining Rigdon's total independence of Joseph Smith and the Mormons until late 1830 (after the Book of Mormon had already been published). The Spalding-Rigdon explanation for the origin of the Book of Mormon was still very much alive along the banks of the Mississippi during the Nauvoo period. See, for example, articles on the subject in the Fort Madison Lee County Democrat of Dec. 17, 1842 and the St. Louis Peoples' Organ of Sept. 5, 1843.

    Sarah and Martha's Reporting

    Martha S. Hall married Elder Jesse Haven in November, 1842. This was after he had served an LDS misison in Scotland (1840-41?) and returned to Massachusetts to find "his lost rib," as his sister Elizabeth was wont to phrase his courtship and marriage. Sarah S. Hall, a younger sister of Martha, married Isaac Scott early in 1843. Scott was an excommunicated Mormon who probably convinced his new wife's family that he would seek readmittance to the Church, once the two couple reached Nauvoo. Instead, Scott took up the cause of the anti-polygamist Law brothers at Nauvoo in 1844. His wife Sarah joined him in this dissenting stance, thus straining relations between the couple and Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Haven (who remained faithful to the polygamist Brighamites). A comparison of Martha's letters with those penned by her "apostate" sister provides some clues to the two sisters' growing estrangement. Jesse and Martha moved west to Winter Quarters, and from their to the Salt Lake Valley. Isaac and Sarah, on the other hand, briefly favored the claims to LDS leadership put forth by Sidney Rigdon -- then temporarily aligned themselves for with James J. Strang's Mormon colony at Voree, Wisconsin. Later in life Sarah united with the Reorganized LDS Church.

    Isaac and Sarah, then, were dissenters who viewed the secret polygamy of Joseph Smith as prrof of his beimng a fallen prophet. Jesse and Martha, whatever they may have thought of the theological innovantions at Nauvoo, remaind faithful to the main Mormon group led by Brigham Young. A third view of religious problems at Nauvoo is well expressed by the letter of an anonymous Nauvoo correspondent to the Quincy Whig, published on Oct. 23, 1844:

    The eyes of thousands seem to be turned at the present time upon [Nauvoo]... The religion of this people as it was originally taught was one of the purest and most beautiful systems ever delivered to the world. But base men have crept in and undermined its foundations and defaced the fair proportions of this once beautiful structure. Joseph Smith, the founder of this religion, and his brother, have been barbarously and inhumanly butchered... the leaders of this people have come to be base and corrupt. Instead of preaching and practicing those doctrines which are of heaven and which would benefit their followers, they are seeking for power and aggrandizement. These charges no doubt may be deemed harsh and severe, but they are nevertheless true. The Twelve, being ambitious of power and authority, have succeeded in riveting an iron despotism over the minds of the people here, and have not scrupled to hurl every man down who opposed the usurpation of the authority they have seized. Men of reputation and standing, because they have differed with them honestly, have been cut off from the churches without a trial and their characters have been assailed by the foulest slander; and so long as they remain in the city are persecuted by their minions. They have not hesitated to appeal to the prejudices and base passions of human nature for the purpose of forestalling public opinion here, and have endeavored, by circulating the most base and damnable lies, to blast the character of honorable men....The oligarchy which now wields the doctrines of Nauvoo cannot long sustain the position they occupy, for men cannot erect a durable structure upon a foundation of hypocrisy and falsehood, The veil is already rent, which has for a long time concealed their base deeds from the light of day... the spirit of the infernal world is stirring up the black waters within them, and the dark tinge of the surface already indicates the depth of internal corruption.

    In time this "third view" would prevail over that expressed by eye-witnesses Isaac and Sarah Scott, and the memories of Joseph and Hyrum Smith would be honored both among the Utah Mormons and those Saints who remained in the East. How well Sarah made the transition from being an early and vocal proponent of the views expressed in the 1844 Nauvoo Expositor, to being a faithful member of the Reorganized LDS Church, two decades later, history has not recorded.

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