This book contains the record and account of my forefathers and connections as near and as far back as I can get them, and very imperfectly arranged and a great many mistakes on account of my not being much of a scholar, but, after generations can trace these generations back by it and keep up a family records, which I hope they will be faithful to do.
My ancestor, John Tippetts, as near as I can learn, left a British Man-of -War in the year of 1600 and came to Salem Massachusetts. As near as I can learn he originated from Germany. He settled in Mathwen, Massachusetts. He raised a family and they settled in Mass., John the second, third and fourth were all born in Mass. Some of the members of these families when come to manhood, settled in Maine. My grandfather moved from Mathwen to N.H., from this place into the state of New York, in the year 1800. His wife's maiden name was Osten. I am not certain whether her given name was Phoebe or Jerusha. She died before my remembrance. He died, I think, in the year 1827, in the 66th year of his age.
My father's name was John. He was born in Mathwen and went to New Hampshire with his father in the 24th year of his age. He married in Graton Mass. a lady by the name of Abigail Pierce. Her mother's name was Abigail Prescott of Mass. In the year of 1813, my father moved to Essex County, state of N.Y., where his father was. My name is John H. Tippetts of the sixth generation. I was born in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, in the year 1810, on the 5th of September. I was three years old when my father settled in Essex county, state of New York. I lived with my father and labored to procure a comfortable living until I was 20 years old, then in a poor state of health, I hired to a man to drive a mail carriage six months in the winter. I labored with my father the year following. I labored one year for a man by the name of John Sanders, a highly respected man and family. The year following, I labored again with my father. While in the employ of Mr. Sanders, in the month of March, I heard of the Book of Mormon. I arose one morning very early and walked fifteen miles to see the Book of Mormon. I arrived at my father's at breakfast time, then went three miles to get the book. I then returned to my labor which ended the first of April, then returned home and worked in company with my father. In the year of 1832, in July, I was baptized by a man by the name of Collins, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In the fall of the year, I went to see my friends on my mother's side in Mass and Rhode Island, and formed acquaintance with those I had never seen before. My health got poor, and I returned little short of one year, then labored with my father the following winter and till the next June. At this time he sold his farm and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with all his family except three; my sister Jerusha, Maria, Percy and Dicey went with my father. My brother William was in Zion's camp, which had been called for by the Prophet Joseph Smith. My sister Abigail and myself were still in Essex county. My sister Abigail married Alvah Tippetts, her cousin. My brother's going to Zion's camp, my father going to Ohio and Abigail's marriage all took place in 1834 in the latter part of September. In this year I got my father's business settled up, my cousin, Alvah and Uncle Alma Tippetts prepared a team and wagon, and my cousin Harrison Tippetts and his sister Caroline and myself started for Kirtland Ohio with the intention to go to Clay County Missouri. We arrived in Washington County, New York, in the month of October. There was a branch of the Church there. We stopped at Brother Tanner's, attended meeting on Sunday. Here I went to see a lady by the name of Aby Jane Smith. On Sunday night, I rode three miles and it rained heavily. I offered marriage to her and she was readily accepted. I was married on Tuesday, and started on Wednesday morning for Kirtland, Ohio. We arrived in Kirtland on the 9th December 1934, where we rejoiced to see the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Saints.
We visited Brother Joseph this morning on the 9th of December. we presented our letters of recommendation. Had a counsel in the evening at the candle light, it being in winter season. We were counseled to stay in Kirtland until the spring of the year in which we readily accepted; the church in Jackson County, Missouri, being drove from their homes and broken up, and the Church generally poor, and the printing works destroyed, Joseph wished us to loan our money to them which we were very willing to do. Myself and a cousin loaned then $300.00 and paid a donation of 100.00 the donated by my cousin Alvah Tibbetts. We remained here through the winter, spring and summer. Obtained a great deal of good instruction. In July, my brother returned from Missouri to Kirtland, his being a member of Zion's Camp. Brother Joseph made a wedding and He, William Tippetts was married to Caroline Tippetts, his cousin in the year 1835.
(Note) Information given May 11th, 1913 by Mrs. Eleanor Wise Tippetts concerning the $300.00 that her husband John H. Tippetts loaned to the Prophet Joseph Smith. John H's father, John Tippetts , was not at that time a member of the Church, and upbraided his son for lending it. But although Joseph was constantly harassed by his enemies in law suits, and thus much in need of money, he returned to John H. Tippetts, every dollar due.
Joseph, our Prophet, called a counsel, and instructed us to start on our journey to Clay County, Missouri. We started on the 24th day of September bidding them all good bye and receiving from them the blessing of the Lord. On our journey here we took with us our father and mother and sisters Jerusha, Maria, Percy and Dicey. In Ohio, we passed through Cleveland, Springfield, Bell Fountain; in Indiana, we passed through Indianapolis, Terre Haute and we crossed the Wabash River into Illinois. We passed through a good deal of new country, passed through the capital of the capital of the state; from this place to the Mississippi Valley. Crossed the Mississippi into the state of Missouri; passed through St. Charles and Old Sheridan, crossed Sheridan river, traveled within three miles of the mouth of Grand River where it entered into the Missouri. We got there on the first of September (October?) 1835. Here we worked for a man by the name of Beet, through the winter, in a little town by the name of Brunswick.
In March 1836, we started for Clay County, in the Upper Missouri where we rented a farm on year. We commenced farming the 1st of April. In June, my brother's wife died in childbirth. My brother and I bought eighty acres of land in the fall. I built a house on my part, so when the rent was out I had a place to go. I went to my place in the fall of this year. In the summer part of this year, our enemies got up a great treaty to leave the country, and form a new country forty miles north. In the year 1836, on the 11th day of December, my wife bore me a son. We gave him the name of John Osten Tippetts, being the maiden name of my Grandmother Tippetts. This closes this year.
Our people having to form a new country on account of the hatred of our enemies, I, with my wife and child went to Caldwell County in March 1837, and made a new beginning. Here was sick with the ague and fever most part of the year. My father and mother and four sisters were still in Clay County, sick with ague and fever. Late in the fall, I got so I could go and see them. I got there the day before my mother died. She was able to say a few words when I got there. She died November 3, 1837, and was buried on the place where they lived. My cousin Alvah Tippetts and my sister Abigail his wife, emigrated from Essex County, New York to Caldwell County Missouri in the year 1836. In August 1838, here the mobs raged again. It commenced at election time. The mob was not willing our people should vote. A fight commenced with a few. This kept getting worse until we had to arm ourselves in defense. The mob fell on small settlements, and robbed and plundered, and circulated lies of the deepest kind, till the whole state of Missouri was ordered out. It was estimated that about 7,000 came against a handful of 300. They stole our cattle, hogs, robbed our corn fields, and ravished our women and girls, took some of our men prisoners, and struck one on the head with a gun and broke his skull so his brains came out. He died in a few hours. They struck another by the name of John Tanner on the head. One of our men by the name of George NcHincle betrayed the Prophet Joseph Smith into the hands of his enemies. He was taken prisoner and the whole place was put under marshal law. Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Lyman White were all sentenced to be shot the next morning, but God over ruled the country. They were put under strong guard and taken to Jackson County. There they gazed upon the remains of some of their brethren which the mob committed on them. In 1833, went on to the Temple lot which they dedicated in August 1831, by the commandment of God, rejoicing and praising God in knowing where the Zion of God should stand. They were guarded here to Richmond. Here they were brought before Judge King and held as prisoners. They were removed from this place to Liberty, Clay County; here they were kept as prisoners till May. They were guarded from here to Davis County and into Lexington County. Here the guard let them go. The names of the prisoners are: Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Caleb Baldwin and Alexander Maora. After the guard let them go, they traveled into the woods and came to Quincy Illinois where they were greeted and welcomed by their brethren, and numerous friends. From here Joseph went sixty miles up the Mississippi River where some of our brethren had bargained for land on his counsel, and to settle on it, and gave it the name of Nauvoo.
I shall now take up my history from the year 1838 to Nauvoo, which was settled in 1839. I went to Caldwell, as stated, in 1837, witnessed all the scenes I have mentioned. In tracing Joseph's imprisonment, in this year after being mobbed, robbed, in December, the Governor issued an order of extermination, or to leave the state. All this summer and winter I was sick with the Ague and fever. The whole church made arrangements to leave the state. A good many apostatized. A great many poor had to be helped by others [this included his daughter Caroline's future father in law, William Milam]. In the winter I had an old wagon fixed up and had a good yoke of oxen and a good wagon cover, and started on the first of March, with my family and a widow woman by the name of Caroline Pew, and her two children. I got six miles and one of my wagon tires broke. I had to leave my family and wagon on the open prairie alone. Me and an old man nearly seventy walked back the six miles and carried the tire ourselves. We got a blacksmith to mend the tire, and go back with us to help set it. For all this work the blacksmith charge me only seventy cents. The old man and myself started, came up with our company near dark where they had camped. This company left me in trouble as I had described. I had been sick with the ague and fever for six months and I thought it hard.
We arrived in Quincy in April 1839. I went south of Quincy sixteen miles, stopped a few days and returned to Quincy and met my cousin Alvah. He went with me to where we stopped. we rented a farm that summer. Stayed at this place through the winter. In March 1840, my wife died in childbirth with a son child. The child died also. I gave it the name of Moses Tippetts. My cousin moved to Nauvoo. I hired a man by the name of Henry Miller for three months. I went with my little son and married Caroline Pew, the woman I spoke of. This place was a very sickly place, and a great many of our people died here. The church built a temple, the finest building in the state, in the fall of 1842. I went on a mission throughout the state of Illinois and Indiana preaching the Gospel. I had some very good times and some very hard times. In the spring ot 1843, I took a steamboat at New Albany in Indiana. I went down the Ohio River to its connection with the Mississippi, and up the River to Nauvoo. In June 1844 a mob got up a great excitement and the Governor called out the Militia, and had a mob spirit. They took Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, his brother, and while in Carthage Jail waiting for their trial, the mob entered the jail and shot Hyrum dead. Joseph sprang to the window. They shot him from the outside. He fell to the ground, a distance of ten to twelve feet. They shot him again after he fell. This was done on the 27th day of June, of the same year. All of Nauvoo looked like it was in mourning. It was truly a scene of sorrow. (In the spring of 1842, my wife bore me a daughter. We gave it the name Aby Jane, the name of my first wife. It died at the age of four months. These few lines should have been on page 53.)
After the clothes had been taken off Joseph and Hyrum, they were shot in, and the blood washed from their bodies, they were laid out and we went to see them and took our last sight in this world. It was a time of grief.
I have traced my experience with Joseph and Hyrum from the 9th of December 1839 to the 27th of June 1844. In this year Brigham Young took the leadership of the Church. The Temple was hurried on to get ready to give the Saints their endowments. In August, 1845 the mobs began again, on the small settlements to burn houses, hay and grain stacks and shot some of our men. They continued this until fall. There was no prospect of peace. Brother Brigham Young argues that if they cease in their doings, we would leave in the spring. They did not get together any more, but made trouble with small settlements here. They shot Edmund Durphey, shocking corn in his stack yard in Feb. 1846. There was a writ got out on the part of the people. the State Marshal came to Nauvoo, a distance of 150 miles, drove his carriage up to the Temple as big as a lord. Brigham's carriage and driver was standing there at the time. Brigham was in the upper room of the Temple. Through the wisdom the Lord gave him, he said to William Miller, "Put on my hat and cloak and go down and into my carriage." He did and the Marshal came up to him and sid to him "You are my prisoner." The Marshall took him to his carriage, he went sixteen miles to Carthage. While at dinner a man came in who knew Miller and called him by name. The Sheriff, in great astonishment says: "Is your name Miller?" "My name is called Miller, Sheriff" said Miller. The Sheriff said, "Why did you not tell me your name?" and William Miller said, "Why did you not ask me my name?" There was a great laughter in the company. The sheriff in shame went home.
As we had agreed to leave, the first company crossed the Mississippi River on the ice, the first time if had froze that winter. The river soon opened and we had to cross in flat boats. My father's death should be on page 61 in the 66th year of his age. He did not belong to the Church but was a good moral man.
I crossed the river in May, and we went twelve miles and stopped at my wife's sisters. There my wife ahd a son. We gave him the name of John Harvey Tippetts. This birth was on the 18th of May 1846. The little company I was with came up with Brigham Young's company at a place then called Council Bluffs on the Missouri River. At this place Counsel Cane came up with orders from the general Government for 500 men out of the Mormon Community. Counsel Cane became our friend. Counsel Allen made the demand of Brigham Young in a hostile feeling reply. "You can have them." A meeting was called and explanations given. Brigham Young called on the people that day and a battalion of 500 volunteered. On the 16th day of July we took our march., leaving our families in wagons and tents and some had none. Some had provisions and some had comparatively nothing. Our men were ordered to Santa Fe, from there to upper California [now San Diego], a distance of 2,300 miles on foot. The 16th July we took leave of our families. I left one child very sick in a wagon. The second day we buried one man thirty miles from his home. We marched to Leavenworth in September 1846, for Santa Fe, distance of 900 miles. Here Colonel Allen took sick. He ordered us to march to a grove of timber at a creek or stream of water, called Big John and camp, a distance of 90 miles and he would overtake us there. While we were camped there news came of his death. A captain by the name of Smith took command while we were camped at this place. we took our march from this place under the command of Smith I spoke of. We came to the crossing of the Arkansas River. Here was where we buried a man. The men that had their families along was sent up the river to a trading fort to winter. From this place we had sixty miles to go without grass or water. (page 9 of manuscript missing)
We worked day and night. We came to the springs in the latter part of the night, the water was black and bad. We started again before the sun rose, went fifteen miles to the Simerone Springs in the Simerone Bottoms. This was good water. We stayed that part of the day and the next day at this place. It ahd the appearance of a very large and ancient river. We traveled up the Simerone three days. After a few days march we came to another place. It had every appearance of a very large river. On our march we passed a good many springs and little streams, and other places named by travelers. I have not mentioned here they are in my journal. We were in 90 miles of Santa Fe, the most able of our men had to go on a forced march. We marched until one o'clock and lay on the ground. Started early in the morning, continued our march, we got in 40 miles of Santa Fe, fifteen mules gave out, we left them in the woods. We got into Santa Fe, between the first and the middle of October. While in Santa Fe a soldier belonging to the Missouri regiment tried to brake into a Spanish house in the night time ...and his woman in the fight, beat him so he died after getting eighty rods from the house. The Spaniard was taken and buried and sentenced to be tied to a wild mule's tail and let him run. I have mentioned in its place that this battalion was called in the Mexican war of 1846.
We left Santa Fe, the 1st of October, and went down the Delmont river two hundred and fifty miles, past through all the little towns and along the river. One hundred miles below Santa Fe we buried a man by the name of Hampton on the bank of a river. When we had got 250 miles Colonel Cook who took command at the Santa Fe Camp sent back the sick to the head of the Arkansas River where the families were that I spoke of, and a few able men to go with them. I was one to go. Got back to where we buried Hampton. We buried a man by the name of Green. Traveled one day more, camped next morning. Buried two by the name of Carter and Eliges. We got back to Sanpart of one day we went over a mountain in snow two feet and two and one half feet deep at places. We were under the necessity to leave a sick man by the name of Colbum at a Spanish house. Our Lieutenant was nine miles ahead of us when we came to him he would not send back for him, and as near as we could learn the Spaniard killed him. After we got over the mountain and through the snow, two days brought us to where the families were. Glad times then. At this place myself and a man by the name of Thomas Woolsey got leave to go to Sanpear Point Missouri. We started from -- we left on the 23rd of December, the first day we got lost. It took all the next day to find our road again. The fourth day we camped near a ledge of rocks. The next morning we found ourselves under four inches of snow. We had to stop that day. The sixth day we camped on Cherry Creek, the seventh day on the south fork of the Platte. The next night on the Platte near the Indian Trading fort. We kept down the river. On the eleventh a severe cold wind rose, took us in the face. We had to take shelter under the bend of the River. The rest of the day and night with a very scanty fire as there was not wood on the plains. Our mules froze to the end of their tails. The ice on the river froze ten feet in width in twenty minutes. We were now 200 miles in the open plains, and strangers to the country. We knew not what to do, but we could do no better than to keep down the river. We rode that day, camped at night.. It was so extremely cold and there being wood at this place we stopped three days. We were out of provisions. We tried to kill a buffalo and failed until the last day at sundown a small herd came near our camp and we shot one. This was given to us by inspiration that day we would get one. The next day we started out. At night camped in an old Indian Wickiup. Still extremely cold. We stayed at this place one day. As I was going for water, an old buffalo ran me back to camp. I secured myself behind a large log, and shot him. The weather turned warmer the second and third day. We came to a camp of Indians. They took us in and kept us that day and night, and held a council over us the next day. At noon we left at the risk of consequences and rode until dark, camped in the he bush. Next day, we were stopped by seven of these warriors. They searched in everything we had. We packed up and left them, rode that day until dark, hid in a grove of timber, and camped in the snow. Next day crossed the Platte River on the ice. Next day crossed the Loup fork on the ice at great risk and came to Miller's trail made the summer before. Camped that night on a little island on the Platte River. Next night camped in some timber on the Platte where there were plenty of rushes. Stayed next day to let our mules feed, as they were ere nearly starved. The following day we came to a river called the Horn. Had to carry sand to throw on the ice so our mules would not slip. After crossing, the Indians stopped us. There was a man that could talk English. I asked him if he could talk English. He said he could, and I asked him where we were. He told us we were sixteen miles of Winter Quarters where our people were. We had been three days and had not eaten as much as one meal of victuals. That night at dark we rode up to Brigham Young's door, surprising the whole camp. They was just ready to sit down to supper, and no excuse we must eat with them, rough and dirty as we were. After supper, I found my family. The whole number of days on this route was fifty two. In all these changes, I have to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in our safety. We arrived home on the 15th day of February 1847 stayed until the first of April, and started in the Pioneer Company for Salt Lake Valley.