Edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson
Part 2. The Pre-Mormon Years
A PRESENT OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, FROM
JOHN MUDGET AND STEPHEN MACK, TO THE AUTHOR.
[p.275]Soon after I was married, I went with my husband to see my parents, and as we were about setting out on this visit, my brother Stephen, and his partner in business, John Mudget,1 were making some remarks in regard to my leaving them, and the conversation presently turned upon the subject of giving me a marriage present. “Well,” said Mr. Mudget, “Lucy ought to have something worth naming, and I will give her just as much as you will.”
“Done,” said my brother, “I will give her five hundred dollars in cash.”
“Good,” said the other, “and I will give her five hundred dollars more.”
So they wrote a cheque on their bankers for one thousand dollars, and presented me with the same. This cheque I laid aside, as I had other means by me sufficient to purchase my housekeeping furniture.
we commenced house keeping on a farm which my husband owned in tunbridge <5 or> 6 years from this time we <rented the farm &> moved with our first 2 children Alvin and Hyrum to Randolf and my Husband embarked in merchandise & in
Having visited my father and mother, we returned again to Tunbridge, where my companion owned a handsome farm, upon which we settled ourselves, and began to cultivate the soil. We lived on this place about six years, tilling the earth for a livelihood.In 1802 we rented our farm in Tunbridge, and moved to the town of Randolph, where we opened a mercantile establishment. When we came to this place we had two children, Alvin and Hyrum.2
|[p.276]6 months afterwards I was taken sick, The physician declared my case to be confirmed consumption My mother attended me day and night I grew so weak that I could not bear the noise of a foot fall except in stocking foot nor a word to be spoken in the room except in whispers||[p.276]We had lived in Randolph but six months when I took a heavy cold, which caused a severe cough. To relieve this, every possible exertion was made, but it was all in vain. A hectic fever set in, which threatened to prove fatal, and the physician pronounced my case to be confirmed consumption. During this sickness my mother watched over me with much anxiety, sparing herself no pains in administering to my comfort, yet I continued to grow weaker and weaker, until I could scarcely endure even a footfall upon the floor, except in stocking-foot, and no one was allowed to speak in the room above a whisper.|
|One M Mr. Murksly Methodist exhorter heard of my afflictions and came to visit me when he came to the <door> he knocked at the door in his usual manner not knowing that I was so very weak that the the noise would disturb me, This knocking agitated me so much that it was some time before my nerves were settled again The My Mother stepped to the door and motioned him to a chair informing him of my weakness in who <whis>per he seated himself and for al a long time seemed pondering in his mind something he wished to say||While I was in this situation a Methodist exhorter came to see me. On coming to the door, he knocked in his usual manner, and his knocking so agitated me that it was a considerable length of time before my nerves became altogether quieted again. My mother motioned him to a chair, and in a whisper informed him of my situation, which prevented his asking me any questions. He tarried some time, and while he sat he seemed deeply to meditate upon the uncertainty of my recovering; in the mean time, he showed a great desire to have conversation with me respecting my dying.|
|[p.277]I thought to myself he will ask me if I am prepared to die I dreaded to have <him> speak to me for Said I to myself I am not prepared to die for I do not know the ways of christ and it seemed to me as though there was a dark and lonely chasm between myself and Christ that I dare not attempt to cross then I thought as I straned my eyes towards the light (which I knew lay just beyond the Gloomy vale before me) that I could discover a <faint> glimmer of the light||[p.277]As he thus sat pondering, I fancied to myself that he was going to ask me if I was prepared to die, and I dreaded to have him speak to me, for then I did not consider myself ready for such an awful event, inasmuch as I knew not the ways of Christ; besides, there appeared to be a dark and lonesome chasm, between myself and the Saviour, which I dared not attempt to pass. I thought I strained my eyes, and by doing so I could discern a faint glimmer of the light that was beyond the gloom which lay immediately before me.|
|Mr. m then left—and my Husband came to my bed and caught my hand and exclaimed as as well as he could amid sobs and tears <Oh!> Lucy! My wife! My wife! you must die the doctors have all given you up <and> they all say you cannot live a||When I was meditating upon death, in this manner, my visitor left, soon after which my husband came to my bed, and took me by the hand, and said, “Oh, Lucy! my wife! my wife! you must die! The doctors have given you up; and all say you cannot live.”|
|I looked to the lord and begged and plead with the Lord that he would spare my life that I might bring up my children and comfort the heart of my husband, thus I lay all night my <mind> at one <time> moment slowly raising gradually, borne away to Heaven above all hight then reverting back again to my babes and my Companion at my side||I then looked to the Lord, and begged and pleaded with him to spare my life, in order that I might bring up my children, and be a comfort to my husband. My mind was much agitated during the whole night. Sometimes I contemplated heaven and heavenly things; then my thoughts would turn upon those of earth—my babes and my companion.|
|and <I> covenanted with God if he would let me live I would endeavor to get that religion that||During this night I made a solemn covenant with God, that, if he would let me live, I would endeavour|
|[p.278]would enable me to serve him right whether it was in the Bible or where ever it might be found even if it was to be obtained from heaven by prayer and Faith At last a voice spoke to me and said Seek and ye shall find knock and it shall be opened unto you let your heart be comforted ye believe in God beleive also in me3||[p.278]to serve him according to the best of my abilities. Shortly after this, I heard a voice say to me, “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Let your heart be comforted; ye believe in God, believe also in me.”|
|My Mother came in and looked upon me and cried out lucy you are better||In a few moments my mother came in, and, looking upon me, she said, “Lucy, you are better.”|
|My speech came and I answered yes mother the Lord will let me live and I grew so strong in one week that I sat up and in 3 weeks I went to Deacon Davis’s And if I am faithful I who to the4 promise which I have made to God he will suffer me to remain to comfort the hearts of my Mother My Husband and my children||I replied, as my speech returned just at that instant, “Yes, mother, the Lord will let me live, if I am faithful to the promise which I made to him, to be a comfort to my mother, my husband, and my children.”|
|From this time forward I Gained strength continually. I said but little upon the subject of religion but although it occupied my <mind> entirely and I thought that I would make all diligence as soon as I was able to seek some pious person who knew the ways of God to instruct me in things of Heaven||I continued to gain strength, until I became quite well as to my bodily health; but my mind was considerably disquieted. It was wholly occupied upon the subject of religion. As soon as I was able, I made all diligence in endeavouring to find some one who was capable of instructing me more perfectly in the way of life and salvation.5|
|[p.279]I was acquainted with one Deacon Davis a man of exceeding piety one who had known my situation and the miraculous maner of my recovery as soon as <when>I had gained strength enough I made him a visit and here I expected the same that I heard from my mother The Lord has done a marvelous work let his name have the praise thereof But no from the time I came in sight I heard <untill I left the house I was there> nothing for a long while but Oh Mrs Smith is coming run build a fire make the room warm help her in fill the tea kettle Get the Great arm chair &c &c their excessive anxiety for my physical conveiniance not being tempered with one word of pertaining to Christ or Godliness sickened and disgusted me and I went home disapointed and sorrowful6||[p.279]As soon as I had strength sufficient, I visited one Deacon Davies, a man whom I regarded as exceedingly pious; and, as he was apprised of my sudden and miraculous recovery, I expected to hear about the same which I had heard from my mother—“The Lord has done a marvellous work; let His name have the praise thereof.” But, no: from the time I arrived at his house until I left, I heard nothing, except, “Oh, Mrs. Smith has come—help her in— run, build a fire, make the room warm—fill the tea-kettle—get the great arm-chair,” &c., &c. Their excessive anxiety concerning my physical convenience and comfort, without being seasoned with one word in relation to Christ or godliness, sickened and disgusted me, and I returned home very sorrowful and much disappointed.|
|In the anxiety of my soul to abide by the covenant I which I had entered into with the almighty I went from place to place to seek information or find if possible some congenial spirit th who might enter into my feelings and sympathize with me||From my anxiety of mind to abide the convenant which I had made with the Lord, I went from place to place,7 for the purpose of getting information, and finding, if it were possible, some congenial spirit who could enter into my feelings, and thus be able to strengthen and assist me in carrying out my resolutions.|
|[p.280]at last I heard that one noted for his piety would would preach the ensuing Sabbath in the presbyterian choir church thither also I went in expectation of obtainig that which alone could satisfy my soul the bread of eternal life when the minister I comminced I fixed my mind with breathless attention upon the spirit and matter of the discourse||[p.280]I heard that a very devout man was to preach the next Sabbath in the Presbyterian Church;8 I therefore went to meeting, in the full expectation of hearing that which my soul desired— the Word of Life. When the minister commenced speaking, I fixed my mind with deep attention upon the spirit and matter of his discourse;|
|but all was emptiness vanity vexation of spirit9 [at this point a box is drawn around the next several lines:] and palled upon my heart like the chill night air upon on the feverish brow <untimely blast upon the starting blade ear that else had ripened in a summer sun> of the youthful warrior but it did not fill the aching void within nor satisfy the craving hunger of the soul I was almost in total despair and with a load of grief greaved and troubled spirit [end of the boxed passage] I returned saying in my heart there is not on Earth the religion which I seek I must again turn to my bible and taking the Jesus and his deciples for an ensample I will try to obtain from God that which man cannot give nor take away And thus I said in my heart I will settle myself down to this I will hear all that can be said read all that is writen but particularly the word of God shall [p.281]be my guide to life and salvation which I will endeavor to obtain if it is to be had by diligence in pre prayer||but, after hearing him through, I returned home,10 convinced that he neither understood nor appreciated the subject upon which he spoke, and I said in my heart that there was not then upon earth the religion which I sought. I therefore determined to examine my Bible, and, taking Jesus and his disciples for my guide, to endeavour to obtain from God that which man could neither give nor take away. Notwithstanding this, I would hear all that could be said, as well as read much that was written, on the subject of religion, but the Bible I intended should be my guide to life and salvation.|
|This course I pursued for many years till at last I concluded that my mind would be easier if I were baptized and I found a minister who was willing to baptize me and leave me free from any membership in any church after which I pursued the same course untill the a my oldest son attained his 22nd year||[p.281]This course I pursued a number of years. At length I considered it my duty to be baptized, and, finding a minister who was willing to baptize me, and leave me free in regard to joining any religious denomination, I stepped forward and yielded obedience to this ordinance;11 after which I continued to read the Bible as formerly, until my eldest son had attained his twenty-second year.12|
|Now I must return to the earlier part of my life and change the subject from spiritual to temporal things as||JOSEPH SMITH, SENIOR, LOSES HIS PROPERTY AND BECOMES POOR—RECEIVES A VISIT FROM JASON MACK—THE HISTORY OF THE LATTER CONCLUDED.|
|As I said before; my Husband followed merchandize for a season in Randolf here he he ascertained shortly after he commenced buisness that chrystalized Gin sang13 bore an immense value in china as it was then the time of <the> plague.||My husband, as before stated, followed merchandising for a short period in the town of Randolph. Soon after he commenced business in this place, he ascertained that crystalized gensang root sold very high in China, being used as remedy for the plague, which was then raging there.|
|[p.282]there he went into a traffick of this article when <when> he He got a quantity of the same on hand a merchant <of royalton> by the name of Stevens came to him and made him an offer of $3000 for <the> whole lot but <that> it was not more than 2⁄3 its worth and Mr Smith refused saying he would rather ship it himself than accept the offer||[p.282]He therefore concluded to embark in a traffic of this article, and consequently made an investment of all the means which he commanded, in that way and manner which was necessary to carry on a business of this kind, viz., crystalizing and exporting the root. When he had obtained a quantity of the same, a merchant by the name of Stevens, of Royalton, offered him three thousand dollars for what he had; but my husband refused his offer, as it was only about two-thirds of its real value, and told the gentleman that he would rather venture shipping it himself.|
|Mr Smith then went immediately to the City of New York and made arrangements to send his Gin sang to China on board a vessel that <was> had about to set sail||My husband, in a short time, went to the city of New York, with the view of shipping his gensang, and finding a vessel in port which was soon to set sail, he made arrangements with the captain to this effect— that he was to sell the gensang in China, and return the avails thereof to my husband; and this the captain bound himself to do, in a written obligation.|
|Mr Stevens being rather vexed at his failure sent his son to China on the same ship who when he arrived in china sold the Gin sang which my husband sent and took possesion of the * [no corresponding note or insertion] avails and returned to R Tunbridge||Mr Stevens, hearing that Mr. Smith was making arrangements to ship his gensang, repaired immediately to New York, and, by taking some pains, he ascertained the vessel on board of which Mr. Smith had shipped his gensang; and having some of the same article on hand himself, he made arrangements with the captain to take his also, and he was to send his son on board the ves-[p.283]sel to take charge of it.It appears, from circumstances that afterwards transpired, that the gensang was taken to China, and sold there to good advantage, or at a high price, but not to much advantage to us, for we never received any thing, except a small chest of tea, of the avails arising from this adventure.When the vessel returned, Stevens the younger also returned with it, and when my husband became apprized of his arrival, he went immediately to him and made inquiry respecting the success of the captain in selling his gensang. Mr. Stevens told him quite a plausible tale, the particulars of which I have forgotten; but the amount of it was, that the sale had been a perfect failure, and the only thing which had been brought for Mr. Smith from China was a small chest of tea, which chest had been delivered into his care, for my husband.14|
|[p.283]here he hired a house of Maj. Mack my brother as employed 8 or 10 hands s for the purpose of setting up the business of Chrystalizing Gin sang||In a short time after this, young Stevens hired a house of Major Mack, and employed eight or ten hands, and commenced the business of crystalizing gensang.|
|When he had fairly set up buisness my Brother went to see him he found him intoxicated well said my brother <Mack> you are doing a [p.284]fine buisness You will soon be ready for another trip to China. Then turning in a gay sociable maner said Oh Mr Stevens how much did Bro. Smiths venture bring the man being under the influence of liquor <was off his guard so he> took my brother by the hand and led him to a trunk <of silver and Gold> and archly observed there sir is the avails of Mr Smith’s gin sang||Soon after engaging in this business, when he had got fairly at work, my brother, Major Mack, went to see him, and, as it happened, he found [p.284]him considerably intoxicated. When my brother came into his presence, he spoke to him thus, “Well, Mr. Stevens, you are doing a fine business; you will soon be ready for another trip to China.” Then observed again, in a quite indifferent manner, “Oh, Mr. Stevens, how much did brother Smith’s adventure bring?” Being under the influence of liquor, he was not on his guard, and took my brother by the hand and led him to a trunk; then opening it, he observed, “There, sir, are the proceeds of Mr. Smith’s gensang!” exhibiting a large amount of silver and gold.|
|Maj M was astounded but smothered his feellings talked awhile indiferently and returned home ordered his horse and started at 10 oclock that night for Randolf where we were still living||My brother was much astounded at this; however, he disguised his feelings, and conversed with him a short time upon different subjects, then returned home, and about ten o’clock the same night he started for Randolph, to see my husband.|
|Mr Stevens found upon inquiring of the hostler where my brother had gone When he ascertained that the Maj went started for Randolf he went to his esta buisness establishment dismissed his hands called his carriage and fled cash and all for Canada and has not been heard of in the United States since||When Mr. Stevens had overcome his intoxication, he began to reflect upon what he had done, and making some inquiry concerning my brother, he ascertained that he had gone to Randolph. Mr. Stevens, conjecturing his business—that he had gone to see my husband respecting the gensang adventure, went immediately to his establishment, dismissed his hands, called his carriage, and fled with his cash for Canada, and I have never heard any thing concerning him since.|
|[p.285]My husband pursued him awhile but finding that pursuit was vain returned home quite dispirited at 15State of his affairs. He then overhauled his accoun books and found that in addition to the loss he met withe in the Gin sang traffick he had lost more than $2000 more in bad debts and was himself owing $1800 for goods purchased in <the city of> Boston||[p.285]My husband pursued him a while, but finding pursuit vain, returned home much dispirited at the state of his affairs. He then went to work to overhaul his accounts, in order to see how he stood with the world; upon which he discovered that, in addition to the loss sustained by the China adventure, he had lost about two thousand dollars in bad debts. At the time he sent his venture to China he was owing eighteen hundred dollars in the city of Boston, for store goods, and he expected to discharge the debt at the return of the China expedition; but, having invested almost all his means in gensang, the loss which he suffered in this article rendered it impossible for him to pay his debt with the property which remained in his hands. The principal dependence left him, in the shape of property, was the farm at Tunbridge, upon which we were then living, having moved back to this place immediately after his venture was sent to China.|
|He rturned [sic] to Tunbridge sold his farm there for $800 in order to make a speedy payment on his debts in Boston16 here let me observe that my brother Stepen mack made me a present of $1000 previous to my marriage which I had as yet made no use of I [p.286]told <desired> Mr Smith that to add this to the sum which he received for his farm17 and by this means we would be enabled to liquidate all debts that stood against us and although we might be poor we would have the satisfaction of knowing that we had given no man any cause of offense complaint and having a conscience void of offence the society of our children and the blessing of health we still might be indeed happy—He acceeded to my proposition and deposited the whole in the hands of Colonel Mack who took the same to Boston and paid off the demands against us and returned with the receipts which set us free from embarrassment of debt but not from the embarrassment of poverty||This farm, which was worth about fifteen hundred dollars, my husband sold for eight hundred, in order to make a speedy payment on the Boston debt; and, as I had not used the check of one thousand dollars, which my brother and Mr. Mudget gave me, I added it to the eight [p.286]hundred dollars obtained for the farm, and by this means the whole debt was liquidated.|
|[This page is headed “Corrections,” much damaged along the right margin.] Page 7 Jason Mack came to make me a visit in Tunbrige <for> Introduce Esthers death his despondency &c &c [damaged] comes the following as they come in order He came to see me in Tunbridge when I had 3 or 4 children brought his addopted son with him left ti the young man <a child he took in Nova Scotia by the name of [p.287]William Smith> and left at school. the Boy’s [damaged] tions Jasons object in taking him &c.&c. relgious [sic]||While we were living on the Tunbridge farm, my brother Jason made us a visit. He brought with him a young man by the name of William Smith, a friendless orphan, whom he had adopted as his own son, and, previous to this time, had kept constantly with him; but he now thought best to leave him with us, for the purpose of having him go to school. He remained with us, however, only six months before my [p.287]brother came again and took him to New Brunswick, which they afterwards made their home, and where my brother had gathered together some thirty families on a tract of land which he had purchased for the purpose of assisting poor persons to the means of sustaining themselves. He planned their work for them, and when they raised anything which they wished to sell, he took it to market for them. Owning a schooner himself, he took their produce to Liverpool, as it was then the best market.|
|came to see me again t at Tunbridge—when h [damaged] set out he bought many things for his sisters [damaged] a woman crying her husband drowned Jason ritu [damaged] her 15 dollars and a suit apiece for her and six c [damaged] dren rode 2 days put up at a tavern asked if th [damaged] wanted preaching and man there from vermont with [damaged] <cattle> preached man staid with cattle to hear him 3 day farther apointed meeting found a poor wom[damaged] gave her a new dress and shoes—||When Jason set out on the above-mentioned visit to Tunbridge, he purchased a quantity of goods, which he intended as presents for his friends, especially his mother and sisters; but, on his way thither, he found so many objects of charity, that he gave away not only the goods, but most of his money. On one occasion, he saw a woman who had just lost her husband, and who was very destitute; he gave her fifteen dollars in money, and a full suit of clothes for herself and each of her children, which were six in number.|
arrived at [damaged] house preached—————returned——[damaged] coasting owned a schooner. His he had a [damaged] on new bru<n>swick supported 30 families [damaged] he made it his home in new Brunswick a [damaged] from there to Liverpool he preached ever [damaged] as landed. he arranged buisness at in his e [damaged] them at their springs work planting and making [damaged] paris and lime, he then coasted 2 years and [damaged] to see us he stopped at Boston a heavy [damaged] his head that he would beat the [p.288]Ear [damaged] figures men at operations—he came home [damaged] told his adventures—One pitch dark night [damaged] thrown overboard by the main [damaged] seas a light appeared by [damaged]cle rope that was hung out fo [damaged] saved by the power of God—[damaged] and sister Lucy you don’t kno [damaged] at our meetings and how we d [damaged] would send the gifts and as e [damaged] when we lived in Norige
and pursue the subject of my brother [X’ed out from here to the end of the paragraph] he single till his age of 50th year but continued preaching the word by land and seas untill the year 1835 when we received from him the following letter which was the last we heard of him before his death
Coray/ Pratt: 1853
This was the last interview I ever had with my brother Jason, but, twenty years later, he wrote the following letter to my brother Solomon, and that is about all the intelligence I have ever received from him since I saw him:—
South Branch of Or<o>mucto
“South Branch of Ormucto,
My Dear Brother Solomon
You will no doubt be surprized to hear that I Sam verily still alive although in an abcence of 20 year I have never writen to <you> before but I trust your gladne will forgive me when I tell you that for most part of the 20 years I have been so situated that I had little or no communication with the lines and have been holding meetings day and night or from place to place <and> and My <mind> has been so taken up with the deplorable situation of [p.289]the Earth in the darkness in which it lies that when My labors did call me near the lines I did not realize the opportunity that presented itself of letting you know where I was
“My Dear Brother Solomon:—
You will, no doubt, be surprised to hear that I am still alive, although in an absence of twenty years I have never written to you before. But I trust you will forgive me when I tell you that for most of the twenty years, I have been so situated that I have had little or no communication with the lines, and have been holding meetings, day and night, from place to place; besides, my mind has been so taken up with the deplorable situation of the earth, the darkness [p.289]in which it lies, that, when my labours did call me near the lines, I did not realize the opportunity which presented itself of letting you know where I was.
|And again I have designed visiting you long since And annually have prommised Myself that the succeeding year I would certinly [sic] seek out my relatives, and to enjoy the priviledge of one pleasing interview with them before I passed into “The vally and shadow of death”. But last though not least let me no startle you when I say that according to my early adopted principles of the power of faith the Lord has in his exceeding kindness bestowed upon me the Gift of healing by the prayer of faith and the use of <such> simple means as seems congenial to the human system but my chief reliance is upon him who hath organized us at the first and can at pleasure restore that which is disorganized||And, again, I have designed visiting you long since, and annually have promised myself that the succeeding year I would certainly seek out my relatives, and enjoy the privilege of one pleasing interview with them before I passed into the valley and shadow of death. But last, though not least, let me not startle you when I say, that, according to my early adopted principles of the power of faith, the Lord has, in his exceeding kindness, bestowed upon me the gift of healing by the prayer of faith, and the use of such simple means as seem congenial to the human system; but my chief reliance is upon him who organized us at the first, and can restore at pleasure that which is disorganized.|
|The first of my peculiar success20 in this way was 12 years since and from near that date I have had little rest for in addition to the hourly <incessantly> calls which I in a short time had There was the most overwhelming torrent of opposition immediately poured down upon me that I ever witnessed.But it pleased God to take the weak to confound the wisdom of the [p.290]wise. I have in the last 12 years seen the greatest manifestation of the power of God in healing the sick than with all my sanguineity I ever hoped or immagined||“The first of my peculiar success in this way was twelve years since, and from nearly that date I have had little rest. In addition to the incessant calls which I, in a short time had, there was the most overwhelming torrent of opposition poured down upon me that I ever witnessed. But it pleased God to take the weak to confound the wisdom of the wise. I have in the last twelve years seen [p.290]the greatest manifestations of the power of God in healing the sick, that, with all my sanguinity, I ever hoped or imagined.|
|And when the learned infidel has declared with sober face the time and again that disease had obtained such and ascendency that Death could be resisted no longer that the victim must wither beneath his potent arm I have seen the almost lifeless clay slowly but surely resuscitate and revive till the palid monster fled so far that the patient was left in the full bloom of vigorous health But it is God that hath done it and to him let all the Praise be given||And when the learned infidel has declared with sober face, time and again, that disease had obtained such an ascendency that death could be resisted no longer, that the victim must wither beneath his potent arm, I have seen the almost lifeless clay slowly but surely resuscitated, and revive, till the pallid monster fled so far that the patient was left in the full bloom of vigorous health. But it is God that hath done it, and to him let all the praise be given.|
|I am <now> compelled to close this Epistle for I must start immediately fo on a journy of more than 100 miles to attend a heavy case of sickness. So God be with you all farewell
|“I am now compelled to close this epistle, for I must start immediately on a journey of more than one hundred miles, to attend a heavy case of sickness; so God be with you all. Farewell!
|This was the last intelligence we received from My oldest Brother previous to his death which took place 6 years anterior to the date of the above letter.21No more of my brother untill the letter came 20 yea[rs] after— thence to Nauvoo—2 years Dead wife dead one daugter alive 22[p.291][damaged] ory which is that my hu [damaged] dge untill the farm was [damaged] dtch N. B revisers During the time in which Mr Smith was reflecting seriously upon the subject of religion he used||The next intelligence we received concerning Jason, after his letter to Brother Solomon, was, that he, his wife, and oldest son, were dead, and this concludes my account of my Brother Jason.|
|while we were yet living in the Town of Tunbridge I was very seriously impressed the subject of religion occasioned probably by my singular experience while sick at Randolf and I endeavored to persuade my husband to attend the methodist meeting with me he went a few times to gratify me for he had so little faith in the doctrines taught by them that my feelings were the only inducement for him to go—But as soon as his Father and brother23 Jesse heard that we were attending Methodist meeting they were much displeased and his father came to the door one day and threw Tom Pains age of reason into the house and angrily bade him read that untill he believed it24 [p.292]they also told him thou [sic] he ought not to let his wife go to the meetings and it would be far better for him to stop going this gave me very accordingly my husband requested me not to go as it gave our friends such disagreeable feelings he thought it was hardly worth our while to go—I was very much hurt by this but did not reply to him then but retired to a grove of handsome wild cherry trees and prayed to the Lord that he <would> so influence the heart of my husband that he would <one day> be induced to receive the Gospel whenever it was preached I spent some time in prayer and returned to the house much depressed in spirits. That night I had the following dream—||[p.291]While we were living in the town of Tunbridge, my mind became deeply impressed with the subject of religion; which, probably, was occasioned by my singular experience during my sickness at Randolph. I began to attend Methodist meetings, and, to oblige me, my husband accompanied me; but when this came to the ears of his father and oldest brother, they were so displeased, and said so much in regard to the matter, that my husband thought it best to desist.25 He said that he considered it as hardly worth our while to attend the meetings any longer, as it would prove of but little advantage to us; besides this, it gave our friends such disagreeable feelings. I was considerably hurt by this, yet I made no reply. I retired to a grove not far distant, where I prayed to the Lord in [p.292]behalf of my husband—that the true Gospel might be presented to him, and that his heart might be softened so as to receive it, or, that he might become more religiously inclined. After praying some time in this manner, I returned to the house, much depressed in spirit, which state of feeling continued until I retired to my bed. I soon fell asleeep, and had the following dream:—|
Lucy Smith’s Dream
That Thought that I was standing in a beautiful <pleasant> medow which I was well acquainted with and I was looking and and admiring the loveliness or beauty of the scenery when [the page ends here]
I thought that I stood in a large and beautiful meadow, which lay a short distance from the house in which we lived, and that everything [p.293]around me wore an aspect of peculiar pleasantness. The first thing that attracted my special attention in this magnificent meadow, was a very pure and clear stream of water, which ran through the midst of it; and as I traced this stream, I discovered two trees standing upon its margin, both of which were on the same side of the stream. These trees were very beautiful, they were well proportioned, and towered with majestic beauty to a great height. Their branches, which added to their symmetry and glory, commenced near the top, and spread themselves in luxurious grandeur around. I gazed upon them with wonder and admiration; and after beholding them a short time, I saw one of them was surrounded with a bright belt, that shone like burnished gold, but far more brilliantly. Presently, a gentle breeze passed by, and the tree encircled with this golden zone, bent gracefully before the wind, and waved its beautiful branches in the light air.26 As the wind increased, this tree assumed the most lively and animated appearance, and seemed to express in its motions, the utmost joy and happiness. If it had been an intelligent creature, it could not have conveyed, by the power of language, the idea of joy and gratitude so perfectly as it did; and even the stream that rolled beneath it, shared, apparently, every sensation felt by the tree, for, as the branches danced over the stream, it would swell gently, then recede again with a motion as soft as the breathing of an infant, but as lively as the dancing of a sunbeam. The belt also partook of the same influence, and as it moved in unison with the motion of the stream and of the tree, it increased continually in refulgence and magnitude, until it became exceedingly glorious.
I turned my eyes upon its fellow, which stood opposite;27 but it was not surrounded with the belt of light as the former, and it stood erect and fixed as a pillar of marble. No matter how strong the wind blew over it, not a leaf was stirred, not a bough was bent; but obstinately stiff it stood, scorning alike the zephyr’s breath, or the power of the mighty storm.
I wondered at what I saw, and said in my heart, What can be the meaning of all this? And the interpretation given me was, that these personated my husband and his oldest brother, Jesse Smith; that the stubborn and unyielding tree was like Jesse; that the other, more pliant and flexible, was like Joseph, my husband; that the breath of heaven, which [p.294]passed over them, was the pure and undefiled Gospel of the Son of God, which Gospel Jesse would always resist, but which Joseph, when he was more advanced in life, would hear28 and receive with his whole heart, and rejoice therein; and unto him would be added intelligence, happiness, glory, and everlasting life.
FIRST VISION OF JOSEPH SMITH, SENIOR—THE BOX—SECOND VISION—THE TREE AND THE SPACIOUS BUILDING.
After selling the farm at Tunbridge, we moved only a short distance, to the town of Royalton. Here we resided a few months, then moved again to Sharon, Windsor county, Vermont. In the latter place, my husband rented a farm of my father, which he cultivated in the summer, teaching school in the winter. In this way my husband continued labouring for a few years, during which time our circumstances gradually improved, until we found ourselves quite comfortable again.
In the meantime we had a son, whom we called Joseph, after the name of his father; he was born December 23, 1805. I shall speak of him more particularly by and by.
We moved thence to Tunbridge. Here we had another son, whom we named Samuel Harrison, born March 13, 1808. We lived in this place a short time, then moved to Royalton, where Ephraim was born, March 13, 1810. We continued here until we had another son, born March 13, 1811, whom we called William.
About this time my husband’s mind became much excited upon the subject of religion; yet he would not subscribe to any particular system of faith, but contended for the ancient order, as established by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and his Apostles.
One night my husband retired to his bed, in a very thoughtful state of mind, contemplating the situation of the Christian religion, or the confusion and discord that were extant.29 He soon fell into a sleep, and before waking had the following vision, which I shall relate in his own words, just as he told it to me the next morning:—30
[p.295]1st vision of Joseph Smith Sr received the next month after William was born.31
|I seemed to be traveling in an open barren field I looked to the east to the west to the north and to the south I could see nothing but dead fallen timber not one or leaf not a tree not a spear of grass could be seen in any direction no sound of t any animate thing was to be heard in all the field||“I seemed to be travelling in an open, barren field, and as I was travelling, I turned my eyes towards the east, the west, the north, and the south, but could see nothing save dead fallen timber. Not a vestige of life, either animal or vegetable, could be seen; besides, to render the scene still more dreary, the most deathlike silence prevailed; no sound of anything animate could be heard in all the field.|
|no living thing neither animal or vegetable was there save myself and an attendant spirit that stood at my side of this personage I enquired the meaning of what I saw and why I was traveling in this gloomy place [“He go are” [?] erased] He <said> this field field is the world which his [sic] inanimate & dumb as to the things pertaining to the true religion or the order of Heavenly things all is darkness But travel on and on a certain log by the wayside you will find a box whose contents will make you wise and if you eat the same you shall have wisdom and understanding[p.296]I did as I was directed and presently came to box I took it up and placed it under my left arm forced up the lid and began to taste of its contents when all maner of beasts and horned cattle and roaring animals rose up on every side and rushed upon me tearing the Earth tossing their horns in air belowing round him <me> threatning every moment to devour me <me>||I was alone in this gloomy desert, with the exception of an attendant spirit, who kept constantly by my side. Of him I inquired the meaning of what I saw, and why I was thus travelling in such a dismal place. He answered thus: ‘This field is the world, which now lieth inanimate and dumb, in regard to the true religion, or plan of salvation; but travel on, and by the wayside you will find on a certain log a box, the contents of which, if you eat thereof, will make you wise, and give unto you wisdom and understanding.’ [p.296]I carefully observed what was told me by my guide, and proceeding a short distance, I came to the box. I immediately took it up, and placed it under my left arm; then with eagerness I raised the lid, and began to taste of its contents; upon which all manner of beasts, horned cattle, and roaring animals, rose up on every side in the most threatening manner possible, tearing the earth, tossing their horns, and bellowing most terrifically all around me,|
|they came so close upon me that I was forced to drop the box—and fly for my life although <it> the possesion of made me the happiest of anything <of which> I ever had possession I awoke trembling with terror32||and they finally came so close upon me, that I was compelled to drop the box, and fly for my life. Yet, in the midst of all this I was perfectly happy, though I awoke trembling.”|
From this forward my husband seemed more confirmed than ever in the opinion that there was no order or class of religionists that knew any more concerning the Kingdom of God, than those of the world, or such as made no profession of religion whatever.
In 1811, we moved from Royalton, Vermont, to the town of Lebanon, New Hampshire.33 Soon after arriving here, my husband received another very singular vision, which I will relate:—
[p.297]“I thought,” said he, “I was travelling in an open, desolate field, which appeared to be very barren. As I was thus travelling, the thought suddenly came into my mind that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing, before I went any further. So I asked myself, ‘What motive can I have in travelling here, and what place can this be?’ My guide, who was by my side, as before, said, ‘This is the desolate world; but travel on.’ The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it; for, said I to myself, ‘Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat.’34 Travelling a short distance further, I came to a narrow path. This path I entered, and, when I had travelled a little way in it, I beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to the west. Of this stream I could see neither the source nor yet the termination;35 but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope, running along the bank of it, about as high as a man could reach, and beyond me was a low, but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree such as I, had never seen before. It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or, if possible, whiter. I gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so, the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness. I drew near, and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description. As I was eating, I said in my heart, ‘I cannot eat this alone, I must bring my wife and children, that they may partake with me.’ Accordingly, I went and brought my family, which consisted of a wife and seven children, and we all commenced eating, and praising God for this blessing. We were exceedingly happy, inso-[p.298]much that our joy could not easily be expressed. While thus engaged, I beheld a spacious building standing opposite the valley which we were in, and it appeared to reach to the very heavens. It was full of doors and windows, and they were all filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us, and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt. But their contumely we utterly disregarded. I presently turned to my guide, and inquired of him the meaning of the fruit that was so delicious. He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his commandments. He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also.’36 Upon raising my eyes, I saw two small children, standing some distance off. I immediately went to them, and brought them to the tree; upon which they commenced eating with the rest, and we all rejoiced together. The more we eat, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees, and scooped it up, eating it by double handfulls. After feasting in this manner a short time, I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building which I saw. He replied, ‘It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of God, because of their humility.’ I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy.”37
This was considerable of a trial to us for it deprived us at once of <not> only of the comforts and conveiniences of life but also of a home of any discription [a straight line is perpendicular to the line of writing] and we took our [a second straight line appears here] 3 oldest children and went to [p.299]Sharon and hired a farm of my father which My husband cultivated in the summer season and in the winter he taught school This course we pursued for a few years gaining gradually untill we found ourselves in quite comfortable circumstances Here
Here it was that my son Joseph was born one who will act a more conspicuous part in this work than any other individual From this place we went a short distance to Royalton where Wiliam <am> was born <in 1811> as also one who died in infancy which we named Ephraim
|Lucy: 1844-45||Coray/Pratt: 1853
SICKNESS AT LEBANON—SOPHRONIA’S MIRACULOUS RECOVERY.
|(Thence To <to> Lebanon <1811> here we settled ourselves down and began to congratulate ourselves upon our prosperity and also to renew our exertions to att obtain a greater abundance of this worlds goods we looked around us and said said to our what do we now lack there is nothing which we have not a sufficiency of to make us per and our children perfectly comfortable both for food and raiment as well as that which is necessary to a respectable appearance in society <both> at home and abroad taking this view of the subject we thought it time to begin to provide for the future wants of our family and ourselves when the decline of life should come upon us.39 This raised [p.300]our ambition much and I commenced by laying in for the ensueing winter 100 lbs of candles that we might the better pursue our labors on 200 yds of cloth for a stock of Clothing <for> my family||We moved, as before-mentioned, to the town of Lebanon, New Hampshire.40 Here we settled ourselves down, and began to contemplate, with joy and satisfaction, the prosperity which had attended our recent exertions; and we doubled our diligence, in order to obtain more of this world’s goods, with the view of assisting our children, when they should need it; and, as is quite natural, we looked forward to the decline of life, and were providing for its wants, as well as striving to procure those things which contribute much to the comfort of old age.|
|and as my children had been deprived of school we made every arrangement to suply that deficency our second son <Hyrum> we sent to <established in> the accademy in Hanover the remmainder who were old enough attended a school near by whilst I their Father and myself were industriously laboring late and early to do all in our power for their future wellfare We met with success on every hand||[p.300]As our children had, in a great measure, been debarred from the privilege of schools, we began to make every arrangement to attend to this important duty. We established our second son Hyrum in an academy at Hanover; and the rest, that were of sufficient age, we were sending to a common school that was quite convenient. Meanwhile, myself and companion were doing all that our abilities would admit of for the future welfare and advantage of the family, and were greatly blessed in our labours.|
|But the scene Soon changed When we had been in this place for the space of 2 years <in 1813> the typhus fever came into Lebanon and raged there horribly among the rest who were seized with this complaint complaint were my my oldest daughter Sophronia who was sick 4 weeks next Hyrum came from Hanover <sick> with the same disease then Alvin my oldest and so on till there was not one of my Family left well save Mr S Smith and myself[p.301]here I must request my readers to bear with me for I shall probably detain them some time||But this state of things did not long continue. The typhus fever came into Lebanon, and raged tremendously.41 Among the number seized with this complaint were, first, Sophronia; next Hyrum, who was taken while at school, and came home sick; then Alvin; in short, one after another was taken down, till all of the family, with the exception of myself and husband, were prostrated upon a bed of sickness.|
|My Sophronia was very low She was and remained so 89 days on the 90th day the attendant physician declared that she was so far gone that it was imposs [sic] for her ever to receive any benefit from the effects of medicine and discontinued their his attendance upon her <on> the night of the 90th day she lay utterly motionless with her eyes hal wide open with that peculiar set which most strikingly exhibits the hue of Death I gazed upon my child as a mother looks on the last moments shade of life in a <darling> child of her be in the distraction of the moment (<for> her Father was with me) we clasped our hands togather and fell upon our knees by the bed side and poured our grief and suplications into His ears who hath numbered the hair upon our heads42 then think it not strange if he heard us—||[p.301]Sophronia had a heavy siege. The physician attended upon her eighty-nine days, giving her medicine all the while; but on the ninetieth day, he said she was so far gone, it was not for her to receive any benefit from medicine, and for this cause he discontinued his attendance upon her.43 The ensuing night, she lay altogether motionless, with her eyes wide open, and with that peculiar aspect which bespeaks the near approach of death. As she thus lay, I gazed upon her as a mother looks upon the last shade of life in a darling child. In this moment of distraction, my husband and myself clasped our hands, fell upon our knees by the bedside, and poured out our grief to God, in prayer and supplication, beseeching him to spare our child yet a little longer.|
|he did hear us and I felt assured that he would answer our prayers but||Did the Lord hear our petition? Yes, he most assuredly did, and|
|[p.302]when we rose to our feet the appearance was far otherwise my child had apparently ceased to breathe I seized a blanket threw it round her and caught her in my arms and commenced pacing the floor those present remonstrated with me saying Mrs Smith it all [sic] of no use you are certainly crazy the Your child is dead but I would not for one instant relinquish the hope of seeing her breathe again and live||[p.302]before we rose to our feet, he gave us a testimony that she should44 recover. When we first arose from prayer, our child had, to all appearance, ceased breathing. I caught a blanket, threw it around her, then, taking her in my arms, commenced pacing the floor. Those present remonstrated against my doing as I did, saying, “Mrs. Smith, it is all of no use; you are certainly crazy, your child is dead.” Notwithstanding, I would not, for a moment, relinquish the hope of again seeing her breathe and live.|
|Now my reader are you a parent, place yourself in the same situation are you a Mother that has ever been in like circumstances feel for your heart strings can you tell me how I felt with my expiring child strained to my heart <bosom> with all which thrilled with all a mothers love a mothers tender yearnings. for her own offspring. At last she sobbed would you then feel to deny that God had power to save to the uttermost45—all who call on him I did not then and I do not now at last she sobbed I still pressed her to my breast and walked the floor she sobbed again and then looked up into my face with an appearance of natural life breathing freely. My soul [p.303]was satisfied but my strength was gone I laid her on the bed and sank <down> beside her overpowered by excess of feeling you will anticipate me in the fact of her <final> recovery||This recital, doubtless, will be uninteresting to some; but those who have experienced in life something of this kind are susceptible of feeling, and can sympathize with me. Are you a mother who has been bereft of a child? Feel for your heartstrings, and then tell me how I felt with my expiring child pressed to my bosom! Would you at this trying moment feel to deny that God had “power to save to the uttermost all who call on Him”! I did not then, neither do I now.At length she sobbed. I still pressed her to my breast, and continued to walk the floor. She sobbed again, then looked up into my face, and commenced breathing quite freely. My soul was satisfied, but [p.303]my strength was gone. I laid my daughter on the bed, and sunk by her side, completely overpowered by the intensity of my feelings.From this time forward Sophronia continued mending, until she entirely recovered.|
THE SUFFERINGS OF JOSEPH SMITH, JUNIOR, WITH A FEVER SORE—EXTRACTION OF LARGE FRAGMENTS46 OF BONE FROM ONE OF HIS LEGS.
|so and I shall here be under the necessity of turning the subject to my 3 son Joseph who had so far recovered that he sat up when he <one day> sudenly screamed out with a severe pain in his shoulder and seemed in such etreme distress that we were fearful that something dreadful was about to ensue and sent immediately for the Doctor who said he was of the opinion it was a sprain but the child said this could not be the case as he had not been hurt but that a sharp pain took him very suddenly that he had not been hurt and <he> knew cause for it.||Joseph, our third son, having recovered from the typhus fever, after something like two weeks’ sickness, one day screamed out while sitting in a chair, with a pain in his shoulder, and, in a very short time, he appeared to be in such agony that we feared the consequence would prove to be something very serious. We immediately sent for a doctor.47 When he arrived, and had examined the patient, he said that it was his opinion that this pain was occasioned by a sprain. But the child declared this could not be the case, as he had received no injury in any way whatever, but that a severe [p.304]pain had seized him all at once, of the cause of which he was entirely ignorant.|
|[p.304]The physician insisted upon <the truth of> his first opinion and anointed this the shou [sic] with bone linament but the pain remmained as severe as ever for 2 weeks when the Doctor made a close examination and found that a very large fever sore had gathered between his breast and shoulder which when it was lanced discharged a full quart of of Matter As soon as this sore had discharged itself the pain left it and shot shooting like lighning [sic] as he said down his side into the marrow of his leg on the same side, The boy was almost in total despair Oh Father said he the pain is so severe how can I bear it.||Notwithstanding the child’s protestations, still the physician insisted, that it must be a sprain, and consequently, he anointed his shoulder with some bone linament; but this was of no advantage to him, for the pain continued the same after the anointing as before.When two weeks of extreme suffering had elapsed, the attendant physician concluded to make closer examination; whereupon he found that a large fever sore had gathered between his breast and shoulder. He immediately lanced it, upon which it discharged fully a quart of matter.48As soon as the sore had discharged itself, the pain left it, and shot like lightning (using his own terms) down his side into the marrow of the bone of his leg, and soon became very severe. My poor boy, at this, was almost in despair, and he, cried out “Oh, father! the pain is so severe, how can I bear it!”|
|[p.305]His leg immediately began to swell and he continued in the most excutiating [sic] pain for 2 weeks longer during this time I carried him in my arms continually soothing him and doing all that my utmost ingenuity could suggest untill to ease his sufferrings until 49nature was exhausted and I was taken severly ill myself||[p.305]His leg soon began to swell, and he continued to suffer the greatest agony for the space of two weeks longer. During this period I carried him much of the time in my arms, in order to mitigate his suffering as much as possible; in consequence of which, I was taken very ill myself. The anxiety of mind that I experienced, together with physical over-exertion, was too much for my constitution, and my nature sunk under it.|
|Then Hyrum who has always been remarkable for the tenderness and sympathy desired that he might take my place Jo accordingly Joseph was laid upon a low bed and Hyrum sat beside him almost incessantly day and night grasping the most painful part of the affected leg between his hands and by pressing it closely in this maner the little sufferer was enabled the better to bear the pain which otherwise seemed almost ready to take his life||Hyrum, who was rather remarkable for his tenderness and sympathy, now desired that he might take my place. As he was a good, trusty boy, we let him do so; and, in order to make the task as easy for him as possible, we laid Joseph upon a low bed, and Hyrum sat beside him, almost day and night, for some considerable length of time, holding the affected part of his leg in his hands, and pressing it between them, so that his afflicted brother might be enabled to endure the pain, which was so excruciating, that he was scarcely able to bear it.|
|At the end of 3 weeks he became so bad that we sent again for the surgeon who, when he came <made> cut his leg open <an incision of 8 inches> on the front side of the leg between the <knee> and ancle the distance of 8 inches and by continual dressing his leg was somewhat releived untill the wound commenced healing when the pain be-[p.306]came as violent as ever the surgeon again renewed the wound by cutting to the bone the second time shortly it commenced healing the second time and as the healing prg progressed the swelling rose at last a councill of surgeons was called it was decided that there was no remedy but amputation||At the end of three weeks we thought it advisable to send again for the surgeon. When he came, he made an incision of eight inches, on the front side of the leg, between the knee and ankle. This relieved the pain in a great measure, and the patient was quite comfortable until the wound began to heal, when the pain became as violent as ever.[p.305]The surgeon was called again, and he this time enlarged the wound, cutting the leg even to the bone. It commenced healing the second time, and as soon as it began to heal, it also began to swell again, which swelling continued to rise till we deemed it wisdom to call a council of surgeons; and when they met in consultation, they decided that amputation was the only remedy.|
|When they rode up I went to the door & invited them into another room apart from the one where Joseph lay Now said I gentlemen (for there were 7 of them)50 what can you do to save my boys leg They answered we can do nothing we have cut it open to the bone 2 and find the bone so affected that it is incurable||Soon after coming to this conclusion, they rode up to the door, and were invited into a room, apart from the one in which Joseph lay. They being seated, I addressed them thus: “Gentlemen, what can you do to save my boy’s leg?” They answered, “We can do nothing; we have cut it open to the bone, and find it so affected that we consider his leg incurable, and that amputation is absolutely necessary in orderto save his life.”|
|but this was like a thunderbolt to me. I appealed to the principle Surgeon <present> said I Doctor Stone can you not try once more by cutting round the bone and taking out the affected part there may be a part of the bone that is sound which will heal over and thus you may save the leg you will you must take off the leg till you try once more to save it I will not consent to your entering his room till you promise <this>51||This was like a thunderbolt to me. I appealed to the principal surgeon, saying, “Dr. Stone, can you not make another trial? Can you not, by cutting around the bone, take out the diseased part, and perhaps that which is sound will heal over, and by this means you will save his leg? You will not, you must not, take off his leg, until you try once more. I will not consent to let you enter his room until you make me this promise.”|
|[p.307]This they agreed to <this> after a short consultingion; then we went to the invalid:—the Doctor said, my poor boy, we have come again. “Yes,” said Joseph, “I see you have; but you have not come to take off my leg, have <you sir?”> No, said the surgeon, “it is your Mothers request, that we should make one moore <more> effort; and that is what we <have now> come for now.52||[p.307]After consulting a short time with each other, they agreed to do as I had requested, then went to see my suffering son. One of the doctors, on approaching his bed, said, “My poor boy, we have come again.” “Yes,” said Joseph, “I see you have; but you have not come to take off my leg, have you, sir?” “No,” replied the surgeon, “it is your mother’s request that we make one more effort, and that is what we have now come for.”|
|My Husband, look <who was constantly with the child,> seemed <for a moment> to contemplate my countenance;— a moment and then turning his eyes upon his boy, <at once> all his sufferings, <together with> and my <intense> anxiety seemed to rush<ed> upon his mind; & & he burst into <a flood of> tears, and sobbed like a child.|
|The surgeons <immediately> now ordered cords to be brought, and to bind <him> the patient fast to the bedstead; But <he> Joseph subject child objected. and When the doctor insisted that he must be bound tha <confined> he said decidedly; “No, Doctor I will not be bound. I can have endure <bear> the process better to be unconfined.” “Then,” said Dr Stone, “will you drink some brandy.” No,” said the child, not one drop.” Then said the Dr, “will you take some wine?” for [p.308]You must take something, or you never can <never> endure <the severe> operation to which you must be subjected.||The principal surgeon, after a moment’s conversation, ordered cords to be brought to bind Joseph fast to a bedstead; but to this Joseph objected. The doctor, however, insisted that he must be confined, upon which Joseph said very decidedly, “No, doctor, I will not be bound, for I can bear the operation much better if I have my liberty.” “Then,” said Dr. Stone, “will you drink some brandy?”“No,” said Joseph, “not one drop.”[p.308]“Will you take some wine?” rejoined the doctor.53 “You must take something, or you can never endure the severe operation to which you must be subjected.”|
|Answered <“No, answered> the the boy, I will not touch one particle of liquor; neither will I be tied down: but I will tell you what I will do, I will have my Father sit on the bed close by me; and then I will bear do anything that <whatever> is necessary to be done, <in order> to have the bone taken out. But me Mother, I want you to leave the room, I know that you cannot stand it endure to see me suffer so. Father can bear it. But you have carred me so much, and watched over me so long you are almost worn out. Then looking up into laid he her <with his eyes swimming with tears> my face his <eyes> swiming with tears, he said beseechingly; Now Mother, promise me you will not stay, will you? The Lord will will help me to so & <that> I shall get through with it; so do you leave me, and go away off till they get through with it.||“No,” exclaimed Joseph, “I will not touch one particle of liquor, neither will I be tied down; but I will tell you what I will do—I will have my father sit on the bed and hold me in his arms, and then I will do whatever is necessary in order to have the bone taken out.” Looking at me, he said, “Mother, I want you to leave the room, for I know you cannot bear to see me suffer so; father can stand it, but you have carried me so much, and watched over me so long, you are almost worn out.” Then looking up into my face, his eyes swimming in tears, he continued, “Now, mother, promise me that you will not stay, will you? The Lord will help me, and I shall get through with it.”|
|I consented to do so; and <To this I consented: so,> after bringing a number of <folded> sheets to fold <lay> under his leg, I left him, went <going> some 100 <hundred> yards from the house.||To this request I consented, and getting a number of folded sheets, and laying them under his leg, I retired, going several hundred yards from the house in order to be out of hearing.|
|[p.309]The surgeons began by boring into the bone, first on one side of the affected part, then on the other after which, they broke it loose with a pair of forceps or pincers; thus, they took away 254 large pieces of the bone. When they broke off the first piece, he screamed so loud with the pain <of his leg,> that I could not repress my desire of goinge to him but as soon as I entered the room <he cried out> Oh! Mother! go back! go back! I do not want you to come in I will tough it if you will go||[p.309]The surgeons commenced operating by boring into the bone of his leg, first on one side of the bone where it was affected, then on the other side, after which they broke it off with a pair of forceps or pinchers. They thus took away large pieces of the bone. When they broke off the first piece, Joseph screamed out so loudly, that I could not forbear running to him. On my entering his room, he cried out, “Oh, mother, go back, go back; I do not want you to come in—I will try to tough it out, if you will go away.”|
|when the 3 [8?] fracture was was taken away I burst into the room again and Oh! my God what a spectacle for a Mothers eye the <wound> torn open to view My boy and the bed on which he covered with the blood which that was still gushing from the wound he was pale as a corpse and the big drops of sweat were rolling down his face every feature of which depicted agony that cannot be described||When the third piece was taken away, I burst into the room again— and oh, my God! what a spectacle for a mother’s eye! The wound torn open, the blood still gushing from it, and the bed literally covered with blood. Joseph was as pale as a corpse, and large drops of sweat were rolling down his face, whilst upon every feature was depicted the utmost agony!|
|I was forced from the room and detained till they finished the opperation and <after> placing him upon a clean bed with fresh clothing he clearing the room from every appearance of blood and any apparatus used in the extraction I was permite to enter55||I was immediately forced from the room, and detained until the operation was completed; but when the act was accomplished, Joseph put upon a clean bed, the room cleared of every appearance of blood, and the instruments which were used in the operation removed, I was permitted again to enter.|
|[p.310]he now began to recover and when go he was able to travel his un he went with his uncle Jesse Smith to Salem for the benefit of his health hoping that the sea breezes might help him in this we were not disapointed for he soon became strong and healthy56||[p.310]Joseph immediately commenced getting better, and from this57 onward, continued to mend until he became strong and healthy. When he had so far recovered as to be able to travel, he went with his uncle, Jesse Smith, to Salem,58 for the benefit of his health, hoping the sea-breezes would be of service to him, and in this he was not disappointed.|
|After one whole year of affliction dis we were able once more to look upon our children and each other in health, and I assure you my gentle reader we realized the blessing for I believe <we> felt more to acknowlege the hand of God in preserving our lives through such a desperate siege of disease pain and trouble than if we had enjoyed health and prosperity during the interim||Having passed through about a year of sickness and distress, health again returned to our family, and we most assuredly realized59 the blessing; and indeed, we felt to acknowledge the hand of God, more in preserving our lives through such a tremendous scene of affliction, than if we had, during this time, seen nothing but health and prosperity.|
JOSEPH SMITH, SENIOR, REMOVES TO NORWICH, THENCE TO PALMYRA—HIS DREAM OF THE IMAGES— OF THE JUDGMENT.
|When health returned to us it found us as may well be supposed in very low circumstances as we had hired nurses all the time and been upon continual expense Sickness with all its attendant expenses of [p.311]nurses medical attendance and other necessary articles R Reduced us so that we were now compelled to make arrangements for going into some kind of buisness to provide for present wants rather than future prospects as we had previously contemplated.||When health returned to us, as one would naturally suppose, it found us in quite low circumstances. We were compelled to strain every energy to provide for our present necessities, instead of making arrange-[p.311]ments for the future, as we had previously contemplated.|
|My Husband now determined to change his residence accordingly we moved to Norrige in New Hampshire Vermont and established ourselves on <a> farm belonging to Squire Moredock, The first year our crops failed and we bought our bread with the proceeds of the orchard and our own industry the 2nd year they failed again In the ensuing spring Mr. Smith said if that he would plant once more on this farm and if he did not succeed better he would go to New York where they farmers raised wheat in abundance||Shortly after sickness left our family, we moved to Norwich, in the state of Vermont.60 In this place we established ourselves on a farm belonging to one Esquire Moredock. The first year our crops failed; yet, by selling fruit which grew on the place, we succeeded in obtaining bread for the family, and by making considerable exertion, we were enabled to sustain ourselves.The crops the second year were as the year before—a perfect failure. Mr. Smith now determined to plant once more, and if he should meet with no better success than he had the two preceding years, he would then go to the state of New York, where wheat was raised in abundance.|
|This year was like the preceeding seasons blig vegetation was blighted by untimely frost and which well nigh produced a famine. My Husband now decided upon going to New York and one day he came to <the> house and sat down and after meditating sometime he said if [p.312]he could so arrange his buisness he would be glad to set out shortly for New York <with> one Mr. Howard who was going to Palmira and but said he I cannot leave for you could not get along without me besides I am owing some debts that I must pay||The next year an untimely frost destroyed the crops,61 and being the third year in succession in which the crops had failed, it almost caused a famine. This was enough; my husband was now altogether decided upon going to New York. He came in, one day, in quite a thoughtful [p.312]mood, and sat down; after meditating some time, he observed that, could he so arrange his affairs, he would be glad to start soon for New York with a Mr. Howard, who was going to Palmyra. He further remarked, that he could not leave consistently, as the situation of the family would not admit of his absence; besides, he was owing some money that must first be paid.|
|I told <him> I thought that he might call upon both his debtors and creditors by so doing make an arrangement between them that would be satisfactory to all parties and As for the rest I thought I could prepare myself and my Family to follow him by the time he might be ready for us He called upon <all> those with whom he had any dealings and settled up his accounts but there were some who neglected to bring their books but however wittesses [sic] were called in order that there might be evidence of the settlement—||I told him it was my opinion that he might get both his creditors and debtors together, and arrange matters between them in such a way as to give satisfaction to all parties concerned; and, in relation to the family, I thought I could make every necessary preparation to follow as soon as he would be ready for us. He accordingly called upon all with whom he had any dealings, and settled up his accounts with them. There were, however, some who, in the time of settlement, neglected to bring forward their books, consequently they were not balanced, or there were no entries made in them to show the settlement; but in cases of this kind, he called witnesses, that there might be evidence of the fact.|
|[p.313]having done this Mr. Smith left Norrige for Palmira New York with Mr. Howard My sons Alvin & Hyrum followed their Father with a heavy heart some distance after the departure of my Husband we toiled faithfully untill we considered that we were fully prepared to leave at a moments warning we soon received a letter from Mr. Smith requesting <us> to make <ourselves> ready to take up a journey for Palmira immediately And a Messenger soon arrived with a team conveyance for myself and family to take us to him As we were near setting out <several of> those gentlemen who had demands against Mr us and who settled with my husband pre before he left now visited me bringing the accounts that had been withheld heretofore. Thus I was compelled to pay out $150 out of the means reserved for bearing our expenses in traveling this I made shift to do and saved 60 or $80 for the Journey62||[p.313]Having thus arranged his business, Mr. Smith set out for Palmyra, in company with Mr. Howard.63 After his departure, I and those of the family who were of much size, toiled faithfully, until we considered ourselves fully prepared to leave at a moment’s warning. We shortly received a communication from Mr. Smith, requesting us to make ourselves ready to take up a journey for Palmyra. In a short time after this, a team came for us. As we were about starting on this journey, several of those gentlemen who had withheld their books in the time of settlement now brought them forth, and claimed the accounts which had been settled, and which they had, in the presence of witnesses, agreed to erase. We were all ready for the journey, and the teams were waiting on expense. Under these circumstances I concluded it would be more to our advantage to pay their unjust claims than to hazard a lawsuit. Therefore, by making considerable exertion, I raised the required sum, which was one hundred and fifty dollars, and liquidated the demand.|
A gentleman by the name of Flog,64 a wealthy settler, living in the town of Hanover, also a Mr. Howard, who resided in Norwich, were both acquainted with the circumstance mentioned above. They were very indignant [p.314]at it, and requested me to give them a sufficient time to get the witnesses together, and they would endeavour to recover that which had been taken from me by fraud.65 I told them I could not do so, for my husband had sent teams for me, which were on expense; moreover, there was an uncertainty in getting the money back again, and in case of failure, I should not be able to raise the means necessary to take the family where we contemplated moving.
They then proposed raising some money by subscription, saying, “We know the people feel as we do concerning this matter, and if you will receive it we will make you a handsome present.” This I utterly refused. The idea of receiving assistance in such a way as this was indeed very repulsive to my feelings, and I rejected their offer.
M We set out with Mr. Howard a cousin of the Gentleman who <traveled to New York> went with Mr. Smith on his journey I had prepared a great quantity of woolen Clothing for my children besides I had on hand a great deal of diaper and pulled cloth in the web.
|My Mother was with me as d she she had been assisting in my preparations for traveling she was now returning to her home when we arrived there I had a task to perform which was a severe trial to my feellings one to which I shall ever look back with peculiar sensations that can never be obliterated I was here to take leave of that pious and affectionate parent to whom I was a indebted for all the religious instructions as well as most of the educational priviledges which I had ever [p.315]received The parting hour came my Mother wept over me long and heartily <bitterly> She told me that it was not probable she should ever behold my face again but my Dear Child said she I have lived long my days are nearly numbered I must soon exchange the things of Earth for another state of existence where I hope to enjoy the society of the Blessed and now as my last admonition I beseech <you> to continue faithful in the exercise of every religious duty to the end of your days that I may have the pleasure of embracing you in another fairer World above—||My aged mother, who had lived with us some time, assisted in preparing for the journey. She came with us to Royalton, where she resided until she died, which was two years afterwards, in consequence of an injury which she received by getting upset in a waggon while travelling with us.66On arriving at Royalton I had a scene to pass through, and it was truly a severe one—one to which I shall ever look back with peculiar feelings. Here I was to take leave of [p.315]my affectionate mother. The parting hour came; my mother wept over me, long and bitterly. She told me that it was not probable she should ever behold my face again; “But, my dear child,” said she, “I have lived long—my days are nearly numbered— I must soon exchange the things of this world for those which pertain to another state of existence, where I hope to enjoy the society of the blessed; and now, as my last admonition, I beseech you to continue faithful in the service of God to the end of your days, that I may have the pleasure of embracing you in another and fairer world above.”This parting scene was at one Willard Pierce’s, a tavern-keeper. From his house my mother went to Daniel Mack’s with whom she afterwards lived until her decease.|
|After this I purued [sic] my journey but a short time untill I discovered that the man who drove the team in which we rode was an unprincipled unfeeling wretch by the manner in which he handled my Goods <$> & money as well as his treatment to my children especially Joseph who was still somewhat lame <this child was compelled by M [Mr.] H to||Having travelled a short distance, I discovered that Mr. Howard, our teamster, was an unprincipled and unfeeling wretch, by the way in which he handled both our goods and money, as well as by his treatment of my children, especially Joseph. He would compel him to travel miles at a time on foot, notwithstanding he was still lame.67|
|[p.316]travel for miles to time on foot> but we bore patiently with repeated aggravations untill we came 20 miles west of Utica when the was one morning we were preparing as usual for starting on the days journey my oldest son came to me mother said he Mr. Howard has thrown the goods out of the waggon and is about Setting off with the team I told him to call the man in I met him in the bar room where there was a large company of travellers male and female I demanded of the man his reason for such proceedure he answered that the money which I gave him was all exhausted and he could go no farther||[p.316]We bore patiently with his abuse, until we got about twenty miles west of Utica,68 when one morning, as we were getting ready to continue our journey, my oldest son came to me and said, “Mother, Mr. Howard has thrown the goods out of the waggon, and is about starting off with the team.” Upon hearing this, I told him to call the man in. I met him in the bar-room, in the presence of a large company of travellers, both male and female, and I demanded his reason for the course which he was taking. He told me the money which I had given him was all expended, and he could go no further.|
|I turned to those present said I Gentlemen and ladies Please give me your attention for a moment. As Now as there is a God in Heaven that Waggon and those horses as well as the goods accompanying them are mine And here I declare that they shall go This man is determined to take away from me every means of proceeding on my journey leaving me with 8 little children utterly destitute but I forbid you Mr. Howard from Stiring one step with my Wagon or horses but I here I [p.317]declare that the team goods and children with myself shall go together to my Husband and the Father of my children as for you sir I have no use for you and <you> can ride or walk the rest of the way as you please but I shall take charge of my own affairs. I then proceeded on my way and in a short time I arrived in Palmira with a small portion of My effects my babes & 869 cents in money but perfectly happy in the society of my family.||I then turned to those present and said, “Gentlemen and ladies, please give your attention for a moment. Now, as sure as there is a God in heaven, that team, as well as the goods, belong to my husband, and this man intends to take them from me, or at least the team, leaving me with eight children, without the means of proceeding on my journey.” Then turning to Mr. Howard, I said, “Sir, I now forbid you touching the team, or driving it one step further. You can go about your own [p.317]business; I have no use for you. I shall take charge of the team myself, and hereafter attend to my own affairs.”70 I accordingly did so, and, proceeding on our journey, we in a short time arrived at Palmyra, with a small portion of our effects, and barely two cents in cash.|
|The joy I felt in seeing throwing myself and My children upon the care and affection of a tender Husband and Father doubly paid me for all I had suffered for when I saw The children surrounded their Father clinging to his neck an covering his face with tears and kisses that were heartily reciprocated by him—||When I again met my husband at Palmyra, we were much reduced— not from indolence, but on account of many reverses of fortune, with which our lives had been rather singularly marked. Notwithstanding our misfortunes, and the embarrassments with which we were surrounded, I was quite happy in once more having the society of my husband, and in throwing myself and children upon the care and affection of a tender companion and father.|
|[p.318]We <all> now Sat down and maturely councilled togather as to what course it was best to take how we shold proceed to buisness in our then destitute circumstances It was agreed by each one of us that it was <most> advisable to aply all our energies together and endeavor to obtain a Piece of land as this was then a new country and land was low being in its rude state but it was almost a time of famine wheat was $2.50 per bushel and other things in proportion how shall we said My Husband be able to sustain ourselves and have anything left to buy land. [An “X” here refers to the next paragraph.] As I had done considerable at painting oil cloth coverings for tables stands &c I concluded to set up the buisness and if prospered I would try to supply the wants of the family. In this I succeeded so well that it was not long till we not only had an abundance of good and wholesome provision but I soon began to replenish my household furniture a fine stock of which I had sacraficed entirely in moving71||[p.318]We all now sat down, and counselled together relative to the course which was best for us to adopt in our destitute circumstances, and we came to the conclusion to unite our strength in endeavouring to obtain a piece of land. Having done considerable at painting oil-cloth coverings for tables, stands, &c., I set up the business, and did extremely well. I furnished all the provisions for the family, and, besides this, began to replenish our household furniture, in a very short time, by my own exertions.|
|[The other “X” appears here.] My Husband and 2 oldest sons set themselves about raising the means of paying for 100 Acers of land for [p.319]which Mr Smith contracted and which was then in the hands of a land agent.72 Mr [blank] In one years time we made nearly all of the first payment The Agent Agent adivised [sic] us to build a log house on the land and commence clearing it we did so. It was not long till we had 30 acers ready for cultivation73||My husband and his sons, Alvin and Hyrum, set themselves to work to pay for one hundred acres of land, which Mr. Smith contracted for with [p.319]a land agent.74 In a year, we made nearly all of the first payment, erected a log house, and commenced clearing. I believe something like thirty acres of land were got ready75 for cultivation the first year.|
|3th vision of Joseph Smith Senior he dreamed same month that carlos was born [damaged] dreamed that he was very sick and so lame he [damaged] could scarcely walk he then asked his guide what he should do that he was sick and so lame <in my knee> that he knew not what to do his guid [sic] said get up and walk to a such a garden that I shall shew you he then got and walked set out for this garden meditating, while on his journey he asking his guide how he should know this garden the guid said walk till you come to a larger gate then open the gate and your Eyes shall see behold the most beautiful folowers [sic] you ever Saw then I took a staff with the firmest resolution to get to the garden in order to be healed limping along with great difficulty with much [p.320]Exertion I was enabled to reach the gate on going in I found flower the garden beautified with flowers of every hue and discription—<and> walks between soon bed [?] about 3 1⁄2 feet wide the most beautiful I ever saw set with marble stones—I then looked on <the right> my right hand and garden <side of the alley> and Saw which ran through the garden from the gate to the extremity therof trode the and on each side of the alley was a bench which ran the whole length of the alley—and on each hand I turned to the right and I saw a wooden image seated on the bench—on that side of the alley the image rose and bowing low before me made his obeisance I then turned to the left and Saw an image who sat qu<i>te opposite the first who also rose and made his obeisance I then perceived that there were twelve <24> images on either side 12 on this ride [sic] and 12 on that side and I continued turning first to the right and then to the left and as I turned each individual image arose and made his obeisance unto me untill the last and I then woke then asked my guide what was the meaning of all this he began to explain the vision when I sudenly awoke||I shall now deviate a little from my subject, in order to relate another very singular dream which my husband had about this time, being as follows:—“I dreamed,” said he, “that I was travelling on foot, and I was very sick, and so lame I could hardly walk. My guide, as usual, attended me. Travelling some time together, I became so lame that I thought I could go no further. I informed my guide of this, and asked him what I should do. He told me to travel on till I came to a certain garden. So I arose and started for this garden. While on my way thither, I asked my guide how I should know the place. He said, ‘Proceed until you come to a very large gate; open this, and you will see a garden, blooming with the most beautiful flowers that your eyes [p.320]ever beheld, and there you shall be healed.’ By limping along with great difficulty, I finally reached the gate; and, on entering it, I saw the before-mentioned garden, which was beautiful beyond description, being filled with the most delicate flowers of every kind and colour. In the garden were walks about three and a half feet wide, which were set on both sides with marble stones. One of the walks ran from the gate through the centre of the garden; and on each side of this was a very richly-carved seat, and on each seat were placed six wooden images, each of which was the size of a very large man. When I came to the first image on the right side, it arose and bowed to me with much deference. I then turned to the one which sat opposite me, on the left side, and it arose and bowed to me in the same manner as the first. I continued turning, first to the right and then to the left, until the whole twelve had made their obeisance, after which I was entirely healed. I then asked my guide the meaning of all this, but I awoke before I received an answer.”|
|But the second payment was now coming due and no means as yet of meeting it Alvin accordingly proposed to his Father that he should take the buisness at home in his [p.321]entire charge whilst I said <he> will go abroad and <to> see if I cannot make the second payment and the remmainder of the first By the dilligence industry of my son By my son’s persevering industry he was able to return to us after much labor Suffering and fatigue with the necessary amount of or money for all except the last payment||I will now return to the subject of the farm. When the time for making the second payment drew nigh, Alvin went from home to get work, in order to raise the money, and [p.321]after much hardship and fatigue, returned with the required amount. This payment being made, we felt relieved, as this was the only thing that troubled us; for we had a snug log-house, 76 neatly furnished, and the means of living comfortably.|
|So that in 2 years from the time we entered Palmyra strangers destitute of friends or home or employment. We were able to settle ourselves upon our own land a a snug comfortable though humble habitation built and neatly furnished by our own industry||It was now only two years since we entered Palmyra, almost destitute of money, property, or acquaintance. The hand of friendship was extended on every side, and we blessed God, with our whole heart, for his “mercy, which endureth for ever.”77|
And if we might judege [sic] by any external manifestation we had every reason to believe that we had many Good and affectionate friends for never have I seen more kindness or attention shown to any person or family than we received from those around us Again we began to rejoice in our prosperity and our hearts glowed with gratitude to God for the manifestations of his favor that surrounded tr us Permit me here to relate a little circumstance by way of illustration A friend of mine having invited several of her associates to take tea with her one afternoon sent an urgeant request for me also to call on her with the rest <the lady’s invited were some wealthy merchants wives and the [p.322]minister’s lady> we spent the time quite pleasantly each seeming to enjoy those reciprocal feelings which renders the society of our friends delightful to us—when tea was served up we were passing some good-natured remarks upon each other when one lady observed Well I declare Mrs ought not to live in that log house of her’s any longer she deserves a better fate and I say she must have a new house. so she should says another for she is so kind to every one She ought to have the best of every thing Now Ladies said I thank you for your compliments but you are quite mistaken I will show you that I am the wealthiest woman who that sits at this table Well said they now make that appear—“ Now mark I answered I to them M I have never prayed for riches <of the world> as perhaps you have but I have always desired that God would enable me to use enough wisdom and forbearance in my family to set good precepts & examples before my children <whose lives I always besaught> <the lord to spare> as also to secure the confidence and affection of my husband that we acting togather in the education and instruction of our children that we might in our old age reap the reward of circumspection joined with parental tenderness viz the Pleasure of seeing our children dignfy the their Fathers name by an upright and honorable course of conduct in after life I have been gratified so far in all this and more I have tis true been suffered many disagreable disapointments in life with regard to property but I now find myself very comfortably situated to what any of you are what we have has not been obtained at the expense of the comfort of any human being we owe no man anything we he never distressed any man this <which> circumstance almost invariably attends the Mercantile life of so I have no reason to envy those who are engaged beside there is none present who have this kind of wealth that have not lately met with a loss of chidren or othe [sic] friends (which really was the case) and now as for Mr Mrs. the Minister’s lady I aske you how many nights of the week you are kept awake with anxiety about your sons who are in habitual attendance on the Grog Shop & gambling house—they all said with a melancholly look that showed conviction Mrs. S. you have established the fact I <reader> merely relate this that you may draw a moral therefrom that may be useful to you
We still continued felling timber and clearing land and about this time we began to make preparations for building a house—
In the spring after we moved onto the farm we commenced making Mapel sugar of which we averaged each season 1000 lbs per year78 we then began to make preparations for building a house as the Land Agent of whom we [p.323]purchased our farm was dead and we could not make the last payment we also planted a large orchard and made every possible preparation for ease as when advanced age should deprive us of the ability to make those physical exertions which we were then capable of
Now I shall change my theme for the present but let not my reader suppose that because I shall pursue another topic for a season that we stopt our labor and went <at> trying to win the faculty of Abrac drawing Magic circles or sooth saying to the neglect of all kinds of buisness we never during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up every other obligation but whilst we worked with our hands we endeavored to remmember the service of & the welfare of our souls.79
And not only temporal blessings were bestowed upon us, but also spiritual were administered. The Scripture, which saith, “Your old men shall dream dreams,” was fulfilled in the case of my husband, for, about this time, he had another vision, which I shall here relate; this, with one more, is all of his that I shall obtrude upon the attention of my readers. He received two more visions, which would probably be somewhat interesting, but I cannot remember them distinctly enough to rehearse them in full.80
[p.324][Fragment] 6th vision of Joseph Smith Sen.81
I thought May the same year that Carlos was 2 years old
I thought I was walking very fast alone and although I was very much I still fatigued I went on as fast as I conveineently could and I seemed to be on my way to meeting <and it was the day of judgement and I was going to be judged but I thou> when I came in sight of the meeting house I saw crowds of people coming from every direction and presing with great anxiety towards the door of the great house but I thought <that I should get there time nough [sic]> that there was no need of bein att in such a hurry and a bustle there was no danger but that I should enter and I felt very careless but and easy but when I came to the door I knoc found it shut. I knocked but a personage who [damaged] the door informed me that I could not come in as I had come to late and the door was shut. I soon felt that I was perishing and began to pray but I my flesh continued to wither on my bones and I grew still more anxious and prayed still more [p.325]fervently and I was about to despair thinking that I had must be out an when the angel that attended th me asked hime if I had not [le]ft some thing undone if I had done all that was necessary in order to get admission at le I said I have done all I knew well said My guide Justice must have its demands and then mercy <has its> claims the it then came into my mind to ask God in the name of jesus and I cried out in the agony of my soul Oh lord I beseech thee in the name of Jesus christ to forgive my sins then I then felt strengthened and my flesh began to be restored I and the angel then said you must plead the merits of jesus for he is a82 [ad]vocate with the father and a meditator between God and man I now was made quite whole and the door was opened and I entered upon entering I awoke—
[p.324]The following, which was the sixth, ran thus:—
“I thought I was walking alone; I was much fatigued, nevertheless I continued travelling. It seemed to me that I was going to meeting, that it was the day of judgment, and that I was going to be judged.
“When I came in sight of the meeting-house, I saw multitudes of people coming from every direction, and pressing with great anxiety towards the door of this great building; but I thought I should get there in time, hence there was no need of being in a hurry. But, on arriving at the door, I found it shut; I knocked for admission, and was informed by the porter that I had come too late. I felt exceedingly troubled, and prayed earnestly for admittance. Presently I found that my flesh was perishing. I continued to pray, still my flesh withered upon my bones. I was almost in a state of total despair, when the porter asked me if I had done all that was necessary in order to receive admission. I replied, that I had done all that was in my power to do. ‘Then,’ observed the porter, ‘justice must be satisfied; after [p.325]this, mercy hath her claims.’83
“It then occurred to me to call upon God, in the name of his son Jesus; and I cried out, in the agony of my soul, ‘Oh, Lord God, I beseech thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to forgive my sins.’ After which I felt considerably strengthened, and I began to amend. The porter or angel then remarked, that it was necessary to plead the merits of Jesus, for he was the advocate with the Father, and a mediator between God and man.
“I was now made quite whole, and the door was opened, but, on entering, I awoke.”
The following spring we commenced making preparations for building another house, one that would be more comfortable for persons in advanced life.
1. Coray: John P. Mudget
3. This message is a conflation of parts of two scriptural verses: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9) and “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1).
6. Coray: “Their excessive anxiety for my bodily comfort and convenience, without being seasoned with one word about Christ, or Godliness, sickened and disgusted me; and I returned home sorrowful and disappointed.” RLDS: “sickened me.”
11. Coray: “… number of years; but finally, regarding it as my duty to be baptized, and finding a minister who was willing to bapt<i>ze me, without compelling me to join any religious denomination, I stepped forward and receivd the ordinance of baptism.”
13. GAS on Coray and Pratt corrects the spelling to “Ginseng” throughout this chapter. Ginseng has a bifurcated root, giving it the rough appearance of a human being and hence suggesting medical properties. The plant in Vermont is panax quinquefolia to treat a variety of ailments. (See also Vogel 1:243.) IE and Nibley use “ginseng” for all references.
14. This paragraph (beginning “When the vessel …”) does not appear in Coray, but its presence in Pratt seems to confirm that it was in Lucy’s 1845 fair copy in Pratt’s possession, omitted through scribal error by the Corays while making the second copy.
17. The page ends here. As arranged on the microfilm, the narrative picks up seven pages later after (1) a page headed “Corrections,” (2) a page with a damaged top left margin; the third visible line is the heading “N. B. reviser,” (3) a full page headed “2st vision of Joseph Smith Sen,” (4) a full page headed “3th vision of Joseph Smith Senior,” (5) a continuation of the previous page, ending the third vision and commencing “6th vision of Joseph Smith Sen.,” and (6) a full page with damage to the upper right margin. The first line begins “The last and 7th vision.”
24. Asael Sr.’s religious feelings seem to have been deep and sincere, although his feelings about organized religion may have fully shared Jesse’s skepticism. In a letter written to his family on 10 April 1799, which he intended to be read after his death as a “spiritual will,” in Richard L. Anderson’s phrase, he urged: “You have to deal with an infinite majesty; you go upon life and death. Therefore, in this point be serious … When you think of him, speak of him, pray to him, or in any way make your addresses to his great majesty, be in good earnest.” He affirmed the necessity of a savior but not of any particular religion or religious practice: “Satisfy your own consciences in what you do … Go all to God as to your father, for his love is ten thousand times greater towards you than ever any earthly father’s could [be] to his offspring … As for the Church of Christ [Congregationalism]: neither set her above her husband nor below her children; give her that honor, obedience and respect that is her due.” As a consequence, Anderson, New England, 207n183, doubts that Asael agreed with the passages in which Paine “ridicules the divinity of Christ, the atonement, the resurrection, and the authenticity of the New Testament, all of which Asael deeply accepted … His act may have been scornful, an association of the then unpopular Methodism with the deviations of Paine—or an agreement with Paine’s attack on religious superstition, though Asael Smith stopped far short of the extremism of the Age of Reason.” Anderson adds that, although moderator of the local Universalist Society, Asael was a (Congregational) pew holder in both Tunbridge and earlier in Topsfield (Ibid., 207nn183, 185).
25. IE and Nibley: “I commenced attending Methodist meetings, and in order to oblige me, my husband accompanied me; but when this came to the ears of his oldest brother, he was so displeased, and said so much in regard to the matter, that my husband thought it best to desist.” Nibley note: “Jesse Smith, the eldest brother of Joseph Smith, Sr., was always bitterly opposed to every form of religion.”
30. Richard L. Bushman characterizes the religious differences between Lucy and Joseph as “turbulence. Although … both stood along the edges of church life, … Lucy always hoped she could find a church or minister to suit her; Joseph Sr. thought the churches were corrupt.” Joseph Sr.’s vivid dreams, according to Bushman, show both “a profound skepticism about the authenticity of the churches” and “a visionary yearning to find God and salvation.” This position left him “open to forms of religion that the educated Protestant clergy considered outlandish or heretical” (Bushman, “Joseph Smith’s Family Background,” 11).
32. Coray: “—yet, in the midst of all this terror, I was perfectly happy; though I awoke, trembling for fear.” At this point, another note appears on the bottom of the sheet: “—and inquire for a man by the name of Blake who <was formerly> had been Capt. of a boat which belonged to <my brother> gen Mack and upon my brothers decease he purchased the same <and was> still plying the lakes under his command [three words marked out].” See chap. 39.
33. According to Larry Porter (“A Study,” 25), the family settled in what is now West Lebanon, Grafton County, where Hyrum may have attended Moor’s Charity School at Hanover. Dan Vogel (1:63-65) has established that the family was present to be assessed taxes in both May 1813 and May 1814, but not earlier or later. Because they were renting, the owner probably paid taxes on the land and buildings. In 1813, the Smiths owned four “cattle” (which were distinguished from oxen, cows, and horses), and paid $5.06 in taxes. They paid no “minister’s tax,” probably because Joseph Sr. was a universalist. Further evidence that the typhoid fever attacked during the winter of 1813-14, reducing the already straitened family finances to penury, is the fact that they had only two “cattle” in May 1814 and paid only 83 cents in taxes. Joseph Sr. had voted in 1813 but was so poor in 1814 that he did not qualify. The typhoid epidemic began in 1812 and continued into 1815.
34. See Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
36. If Joseph Sr. were counting the unnamed first child and Ephraim as among the seven children in this dream, then Lucy’s dating of it as “soon” after the move in 1811 could have been any time before Katharine’s birth on 28 July 1813. If, however, he was counting Katharine and Ephraim, while the two children were those yet to be born (Don Carlos and Lucy), then this dream occurred after 1813.
37. The next three loose pages in Lucy’s rough draft, as noted above, are Joseph Sr.’s third, sixth, and seventh visions. I have moved them to chaps. 17 and 18 to correspond to the Coray 1845 and Coray/Pratt 1853 versions.
39. Coray: “we doubled our diligence, to obtain more of this world,s goods in order to assist our children; besides, as is quite natural, we looked forward to the decline of life, and were making provisions for its wants, as well as its comforts.”
40. Nibley note: “It was while residing in Lebanon, New Hampshire, that Catherine, the second daughter, was born. Mrs. Smith gives the date of her birth as July 8, 1812.” Katharine’s more likely birth year was 1813.
41. The Smith family was most likely afflicted from the late summer or fall of 1812 (Hyrum’s school was in session) to the late spring of 1813, as dated by the availability of Dr. Nathan Smith at Dartmouth. (He went to Yale after the spring of 1813.) Although Katharine’s birth year is given variously as 1812 or 1813, spanning the epidemic, there is no question that either year would have made this siege of illness a difficult one for Lucy. If Katharine were born in July 1812, she would have been a nursing infant during the typhoid epidemic and the subsequent illness of the entire family of six other living children (Ephraim had died in 1810). If Katharine were born in July 1813, Lucy would have been pregnant during the winter when she was trying to care for six sick children, one of whom, nine-year-old Sophronia, was bedfast for three months and nearly died.
43. Coray: “The physician attended upon her 89 days; but, on the 90th day, he said, she was so far gone, that medacine [sic] could be of no benefit to her …” IE and Nibley: “discontinued his attendance …”
47. Joseph Smith, in a memoir dictated in December 1842 (Jessee, Papers 1:268), remembers that he was about five (more probably seven), and that the doctors who attended him were, first, Dr. Parker, who called it a sprain, followed by a team consisting of “Drs. Smith, Stone and Perkins, of Hanover.” He remembers one occasion when “eleven Doctors came from Dartmouth Medical College”—no doubt medical students (Durham, 481). LeRoy S. Wirthlin, M.D., in his classic article on Nathan Smith identifies him as the originator of an innovative treatment for bone infection (osteomyelitis) which involved drilling into the long bone and removing infected pieces, then allowing the bone to renew itself from the living ends while the wound healed from the inside out. This treatment was not discussed in the literature until the 1870s and did not become standard until after World War I. Dr. Parker, Wirthlin hypothesizes, was one of Nathan Smith’s students, since Smith recommended the incision treatment in the disease’s early stages. Nathan Smith was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, in 1762; his family then moved to Chester, Vermont. He was an apprentice to a surgeon, Harvard Medical School’s fifth graduate, a member of the London Medical Society, founder of Dartmouth Medical School (1798), cofounder of Yale and Bowdoin Medical Schools (1821), and president of the New Hampshire Medical Society. The typhoid fever outbreak in the Connecticut River Valley had begun by January 1813, delaying his departure for Yale when four of his own children became ill; it was still in progress by March 1813. Joseph Smith had turned seven in December 1812. Nathan Smith had taught all of the courses singlehanded at Dartmouth until another professor, Cyrus Perkins, joined him on the faculty and in his practice. They were unique in insisting that medical students accompany them on operating tours. The Smith/Perkins daybooks and ledgers (1811-14) list no fee for treating Joseph Smith, and no other case records were kept. Nathan Smith died in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1828.
54. This figure more closely resembles a “9” since the bottom bar of the “2” is missing. However, “2” seems more probable than “9,” “2” is the figure in the Coray fair copy, and it is also the number used in the 1853 edition. However, see note 56.
56. Joseph himself remembers that he was still using crutches and limping heavily until January 1817 when the family moved to Palmyra and that fourteen separate fragments of diseased bone worked their way through his skin (Vogel 1:142).
61. The 1815 volcanic explosion of Tambora on Sumbawa in Indonesia “blew fifteen cubic kilometers of volcanic ash and pulverized rock into the atmosphere,” creating “the year without the summer” in 1816. “Several inches of snow” fell in Vermont on 8 June and water froze. The Smiths joined an out-migration “from which [Vermont] did not recover for a century. The population in Orange County, which contained Tunbridge, had more than doubled between 1790 and 1800 and grown by another 50 percent in 1810. After the cold summer the 1820 census showed 600 fewer people than in 1810 … In 1880 Orange County had shrunk by more than 3,000 people from its size in 1810” (Bushman, 40, 200).
66. Coray: “where she stopped and remained until she died; which was two years afterwards: Her death was occasioned by an injury, which she received while travelling with us in getting upset in a wagon.”
67. According to a memoir that Joseph Jr. dictated in December 1842, he had only just stopped using crutches, it was winter, and the family was utilizing sleighs rather than wagons. The teamster sent by their father, Caleb Howard, “spent the money he had recived of my father in drinking and gambling, &c.—We fell in with a family by the name of Gates who were travelling west, & Howard drove me from the waggon & made me travel in my weak state through the snow 40 miles per day for several days, during which time I suffered the most excrutiating weariness & pain, & all this that Mr. Howard might enjoy the society of two of Mr. Gates’ daughters which he took on the wagon where I should have Rode, & thus he continued to (do) day day after day through the Journey & when my brothers remonstrated with Mr Howard for his treatment to me, he would knock them down with the butt of his whip.” On the leg of the journey from Utica to Palmyra, New York, Joseph was supposed to have a place in the last conveyance, but its driver, the Gates son, knocked him down and “left [me] to wallow in my blood until a stranger came along, picked me up, and carried me to the Town of Palmyra” (Jessee, Papers 1:268-69).
68. Vernon, Oneida County, New York, is about twenty miles west of Utica on the Seneca turnpike, according to Dan Vogel (1:274). Here were situated three taverns; the proprietors were surnamed Williams, Graves, and Persons.
69. Coray: “two.” This figure more closely resembles an ampersand than an “8,” since the pen stroke begins at the lower right and goes diagonally up, then curves to the right and descends to the left, to make the loops. Martha Jane typically made “8” in the conventional way, by starting at the top right and circling to the left to make the loop. However, this figure is not typical of her ampersands either, which more resemble the plus-sign-and-loop still in use today as an abbreviation for “and.” Various transcribers have rendered this figure as “2,” “9,” and “3.” The essential point, however, is the same: Lucy was broke. In fact, according to Joseph Jr.’s December 1842 memoir, even twelve-year-old Sophronia’s earrings had gone to pay their traveling expenses.
70. Joseph Jr.’s memory of the confrontation, dictated in 1842, is more dramatic: “My mother seized the horses by the reign, & calling witnesses forbid his taking them away as they were her property” (Jessee, Papers 1:268).
73. Coray: “In a year, besides erecting a log house and clearing about 30 acres of land, they made nearly all of the first payment.” In Lucy’s 1844-45 rough draft, the next paragraph describes Alvin’s labor to raise money for the annual payment. The Coray 1845 fair copy, which Pratt follows, rather awkwardly interpolates Joseph Smith Sr.’s third vision at this point, probably to maintain events in as chronological an order as possible.
76. The Smith family first lived in a house on the west end of Main Street in Palmyra. Between April 1819 and April 1820, they moved to a small cabin on Samuel Jennings’s property just north of the Palmyra/Manchester township line. This log house was their third residence in Palmyra and the first they had constructed (Vogel 1:278). Vogel argues that the family did not move to their new cabin until 1822 because they were still in Palmyra when daughter Lucy was born on 18 July 1821 and during the list for road repair drawn up in April 1822. Lucy dates the spring 1823 events as “the spring after we moved onto the farm.” Furthermore, the Smith property was assessed at $1,000 on 24 July 1823, a significant increase from the previous year, suggesting that the cabin had been completed (Vogel 1:280).
79. Vogel 1:456 reports an account by Fayette Lapham (b. 1794), a farmer in nearby Monroe County, New York, since 1820, of a discussion he had with Joseph Sr. He and a companion “soon learned, from his own lips,” that Joseph Sr. “was a firm believer in witchcraft and other supernatural things; and had brought up his family in the same belief. He also believed that there was a vast amount of money buried somewhere in the country … That he himself had spent both time and money searching for it, with divining rods.” The most thorough compendium of information about the magical/occult beliefs and activities of the Smith family and their associates is D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, 2d ed. rev. and enl. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1998). In it he documents, among other things, Lucy’s use of a seer stone (42), the report by Brigham Young that Lucy possessed a piece broken from the lid of a treasure chest almost secured by Joshua Stafford, Joseph Smith Jr., Martin Harris, and Orrin Porter Rockwell (61-62), and divinatory dreams by which she “helped direct her son to treasure-digging locations” (68). Quinn points out that Lucy “did not attempt to disassociate Joseph Sr. and Jr. from those occult practices [making magic circles and soothsaying]. She simply acknowledged them as part of her family’s spectrum of activities which included Bible-reading, hard work on the farm, and religious dreams and visions” (66). For his discussion of the origin, meaning, and contemporary uses of the term “abrac,” see pp. 68-70. A diagram of the Abracadabra inverted triangle of magic from the 1929 edition of Encyclopedia Americana is reproduced in Fig. 42 after p. 320; “Abrac” is “the holy seventh line” from the triangle’s top.
83. Interestingly enough, the New Testament contains no passage that juxtaposes justice and mercy in quite this way, but it appears several times in the Book of Mormon. See, for example, “mercy could have claim on them no more forever” (Mosiah 3:26); “he did not exercise his justice upon us, but in his great mercy hath brought us over that everlasting gulf of death and misery …” (Alma 26:20); “. . . this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice … And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice” (Alma 34:15-16); “mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God … therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also” (Alma 42:13-15); “For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved. What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God” (Alma 42:24-25).