EDMUND LOVELL ELLSWORTH, son of Jonathan Ellsworth and Sarah Galley, was born 1 July 1819 in Paris, Oneida County, New York.
My father and mother at the time of my birth owned and occupied the whole tract of land upon which the village of Paris was later built. This land rightfully belongs to me at this time. My father was a carpenter and joiner by trade and he followed his occupation.
My sister, Charlotte, was born in March, 1817 and was married in 1839 to William Cogswell, a furnace man. He was from Pulaski, Oswego County, New York, and was the father of her first tow sons and one daughter. The family was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February of 1841. They moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in the fall of 1844. Because William found difficulty in procuring employment in Nauvoo, he left his wife and children for a short time and went to St. Louis where he found work. Then he went to Ottawa, Illinois and entered partnership with a gentile. The two built a foundry. The next season William sent for his family and they made their home in Ottawa, thereafter.
I know but little of the origin of my father, except that his father was an American and fought under General Washington in several battles. My mother was of Scotch descent. Her father was James Galley. He had a large family of children by his wife Rebecca. She was also of Scotch descent. The family included only one son who was named William Galley. The son, William, lived and died in the town of Ellisburgh. He left a large family of sons and daughters.
My father, at the time of my birth, was absent on a journey to Quebec, where he went with one of my uncles, his brother. They went down the St. Lawrence River on a raft loaded with lumber. Soon after my birth my mother received a letter from my uncle stating that my father had died with yellow fever and that he had willed all of his property to him. Although he failed to produce the evidence in writing he succeeded in driving my mother, with her children, from her home and dispossessing her all the property that belonged to my father. My mother next married a man by the name of Thomas Merrit, who soon died with dropsy. When I was nine years old mother married a man by the name of Abram Hendrickson by whom she had five children, two boys and three girls. They were Abram, John, Sarah, Nancy and Emma. This marriage of my mother did not make a desirable home for me.
When I was about nineteen (1839 or 1840) I went down the Mississippi River. I received a letter from my mother stating that she and her husband had joined the Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. I had heard many bad reports about this people. I, therefore, felt it my duty to try and save my mother from this supposed delusion. Accordingly, I prepared to go home. On the way I passed through the country where Joseph Smith found the plates and started the Church. I took all pains to collect all the evidence that I could against the people. Instead of obtaining anything against them I found much in their favor. When I arrived home I learned the truth relative to the gospel. On 20 February 1841 I was baptized by Lyman Heath¸ as was also my sister, Charlotte, and her husband William Cogswell. The next September, 1841, I started for Nauvoo in company with Brother Marsilles Bates and his wife. I arrived at Nauvoo 7 October 1841 and joined the elders quorum. I went to work immediately at the temple quarry where I was occupied most of the winter.
The 10th of July 1842 I married Elizabeth Young, the oldest child of Brigham Young. I was rebaptized on my arrival in Nauvoo by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who also reconfirmed me. In August 1842 I was ordained a seventy under the hands of Joseph Young. I worked for William Law for about one year, running a saw mill and doing other work. Our first child was born 1 July 1843. We named her Charlotte. In the spring of 1844 I was called to go with about twenty other men as pioneers to explore the Rocky Mountain country. Our purpose was to see if the area offered a place suitable for the settlement of the Saints.
Soon after, the Prophet Joseph Smith concluded to run for President of the United States. I was called to go to the state of New York on a lectioneering mission, to which place I immediately started. There I labored until the death of the Prophet. I was informed of the tragedy in a letter from President Young, in which he called the elders home. I was present at the meeting which heard President Sidney Rigdon. I plainly saw the mantle of priesthood fall upon President Young with its power and spirit. The testimony of this was given to most of the congregation.
The spirit of jealousy on the part of local citizens of Illinois began to increase towards the Saints. Threats of mobbing were frequent. President Young said that the temple must be built. We went to work as one. In poverty we watched and worked and prayed.
When the Fourth Quorum of Seventy was organized I was attached to the quorum. In the winter of 1845-1846 my wife and received our endowments and adoption in the family of President Brigham Young.
In February of 1846 we crossed the Mississippi River, enroute to the mountains. Through wind and storm we traveled west to Richardson’s Point. There Brother Edwin Little, son of Susan Stilson, died. He was my friend and I mourned his loss. When we arrived at Garden Grove I was sent by President Young back to Nauvoo with a span of horses and a carriage to trade them for oxen and a wagon. President Young sent for many things needed in camp, in case I could get them. I was greatly blessed in obtaining everything he had sent for. I also brought his wife, Harriet Cook, to the camp. When I arrived I was shaking with ague. I arrived in time to help mow the hay for winter. We were at Winter Quarters, on the west side of the Missouri River. As the winter of 1846-1847 set in I was placed in charge of the cattle of President Young and President Kimball and sent over 100 miles up the river to the Bush Bottoms where a man by the name of Lathrop wintered. He took charge of the cattle and I returned home safely During my stay at Lathrop’s two days and three nights, I shot over forty wild turkeys. Most of them I shot by moonlight off the trees on which they roosted. I was one of the four men who started the first brass band organized in the Church. The names of the others were William Pitt, James Smithers, and James Standing. During the winter we were called on to play for many dances, sometimes six in a week. This activity was encouraged in order to keep up the spirits of the people. At Winter Quarters many of our people died as the result of hardships and fatigue of the journey. In the early spring of 1847 I was called to go with the pioneers to the Rocky Mountains. When we arrived at the Loop Fork of the Platt River we cut cottonwood tress for the horses. They ate the bark as the only feed available. A little farther west we came to buffaloes so numerous that the feed was all consumed and they were very poor. We were thoroughly instructed to humble ourselves and go as men of God that the blessings of the Lord might attend us. We crossed the Platte River at Fort Laramie, thence through the Black Hills to the upper crossing. By this time the river had swollen so much we could not ford. We were compelled to go for timber. We hewed out three large canoes. These we framed together, making a good ferry boat on which we ferried our wagons. Before we had finished with our own wagon the emigrants to Oregon began to arrive. President Young appointed ten of us to remain and operate the ferry for custom. We were promised that we would share equally in the honors of accomplishment of the mission with those who went on ahead to the Valley. The ten selected to stop expected their families would arrive in a few days, at which time we were to follow the first company. The purpose of our operation of the ferry for hire was to obtain in exchange much needed flour, bacon, and supplies that would help the mission on its return for their families. We were kept busy at the ferry for about two weeks. We expected every day to hear that our own families were near. After waiting for another week ten or twelve members of the Mormon Battalion arrived. They were going east to meet their families. We soon arranged that a part of both groups should start back to meet our families while the rest remained to maintain the camp. No one thought that we would be gone more than two to five days. We took provisions to last only three days. When we arrived at Fort Laramie the Indians reported that wagons were coming up the Platte but they gave us no idea of the distance to them. Provisions could not be purchased. We traveled on for 175 miles with only on antelope and one rabbit for the entire company. This mounted to less than one-half of a meal for each of us in seven days. I never expected to witness greater excitement than prevailed when we beheld at a distance a group of wagons camped for the Sabbath. Our horses did their best to carry us to breakfast where several of us found our families. Truly my soul was filled with joy at meeting my wife and two little ones in company with the Saints moving Salt Lake Valley.
At Strawberry Creek we met and camped with the group returning to Winter Quarters for their families. That night the Indians stole fifty-two head of our horses. The loss greatly distressed the company which was on the return to Winter Quarters.
I, with my family, accompanied the Saints to the Valley where we arrived on the 12th of October 1847. As we entered I beheld for the first time the future home of the Saints.
In the spring of 1848 Charles Dicker and I put in crops on the land later occupied by the 13th Ward of Salt Lake City. We planted several acres to a small variety of corn, called “jumbo”. As a consequence of the climate and the shortness of the season the crop hardly matured. The first killing frost came in September. Early in May of 1848, nine other men and I started back to the ferry on the Platte. There we met many going to the gold fields of California. They were overloaded with the comforts of life. The meeting afforded us an opportunity of obtaining many items for our own families and for other families who were going to the Valley. I started on immediately to meet President Young and company, offering what assistance I could to help them over the last end of the journey. We arrived in Salt Lake in good season.
Provisions were scarce and the Saints suffered more or less with hunger and cold. Many had no houses to keep them warm. We lied in a shanty most of the winter of 1848-1849. Charlotte, our oldest child, froze her feet, making them very sore.
I built a house in the 13th Ward in which we lived for two years. President Young wanted me to build and live near him on the hill. This we did.
In 1848 or 1850 I was ordained to the Presidency of the Third Quorum of Weventy. We had some trouble with the Indians. I was called to go with one company to Battle Creek, where, after a skirmish, the Indians promised to let our stock alone and we returned home. Soon after Provo was settled the Indians commenced killing cattle and shooting at the herders. Two companies of us were called to go and bring about a treaty with them. General Wells took command. We fought the Indians on the Provo River for three days. The second day Brother John Higbee was killed and Elek Williams was wounded. He was in the company of which I had command. The fourth day we went to the south end of the Utah Valley to find that the Indians had fled on west. We followed them. On the morning of the fifth day we killed about thirty Indians. I was wounded slightly. This ended our Indian trouble for a time.
All land that could be watered was cultivated. The water was scarce at that time. Gradually food became abundant. In 1852 President Young called me to take five young men and open the north fork of Emigration Canyon as a source of wood and timber for building. At this work I continued until winter. In the fall of 1852 our oldest child, Charlotte, was burned to death. On the 24 of December 1852 I had Mary Ann Dudley sealed to me by President Young.
According to appointment on the 29th of March, 1854 I started a mission to England, in company with F. D. Richards, one of the Twelve, George D. Grant, William Kimball, James A. Young, James A Little, W. G. Halliday. We began our journey under the charge of Charles Becker, mail contractor. After fording streams, wallowing through snowdrifts and mud, and sleeping on the ground, we arrived at Fort Laramie on the 16th of April. We were all well. At Fort Laramie we reluctantly parted with our conductor, Brother Becker. On the 18th we started again on our journey. We arrived at Fort Kearney the 26th of April. We were all well. On the 3rd of May we met the west bound mail twelve miles above Leavenworth. On the 3rd of June we arrived in Liverpool, England. After spending one day in Liverpool I received my appointment ot labor under the direction of John Barker¸ pastor of the Cheltenham, Worchester and Herefordshire conferences. On the 7th I arrived in Aberschan the headquarters of the Herefordshire conference. There I commenced my labors, making my home with Thomas Hewlett Shoemaker. The Saints received me with warm hearts. On the 26th of June I attended a council of the American Elders held in London. Brother F. D. and Samuel Richards were presiding. The spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us in much profusion. We visited the principal places in town, the Tower, Thames Tunnel, Crystal Palace, Armory, and the Monument. On the 9th of July we held our conference at Pontspool. Pastor Barker was present. We had a good time. On the 12th I baptized fifty of the Saints in Abersychan and continued baptizing through the conference. On the 15th I went 13 miles to Frediggar in the Monmouthshire conference among the Welsh Saints. We had a good conference. On the 17th I held a festival where I sang many pieces and at night for the first time in my life I had my feet washed by Sister Giles as a servant of the Lord. On the 18th I bid farewell to Brother Dan Jones and Brother Jerney and returned to Abersychan. On the 19th I went to Newport, 10 miles distant, and baptized fifteen of the Saints. I saw the Devil in Naish. On the 20th I returned home an baptize thirteen Saints and two that had not been baptized before. On the 21st I received a letter from my sister, Charlotte. I wrote letters. On the 22nd I went to Abergavenny eight miles away. I had a meeting on the 23rd at night and baptized nine of the Saints. On the 24th I went to Garroway Hill, fifteen miles distance. I had no meeting because of rain. On the 25th I went to Orcup, three miles, and preached to unbelievers. We had a good meeting. I continued traveling, preaching, and baptizing until all of the conference that would follow counsel were rebaptized and the good spirit was poured out on all of them. Brother Andrew Galloway, the president of conference, was working with me with heart and soul. According to council I visited and labored some in the Welsh conference, where, in all cases, I was received warmly and was greatly blessed. At one time I was with Brother Giles, the president of the Monmouth shire conference. We stayed all night with a brother whose wife had apostatized and was very bitter against the Saints. Our supper was served to us on our plates. Although hungry and faint my desire for eating immediately left me an I ate no supper. Brother Giles ate heartily. We soon retired to bed. I had been asleep. Brother Giles waked me, groaning in great agony. It occurred to me that he was poisoned. He said, “Brother Ellsworth I am poisoned.” I immediately arose. Fortunately we had with us a bottle of consecrated oil. I gave him the oil and told him to take a good drink. I then laid my hands upon him and rebuked the poison. He vomited freely. The fever and pain left him. He was healed and we gave God the praise and glory. Brother Giles told me that his wife had threatened that if he brought another elder there she would poison him.
One night I had been speaking to quite a large company of the Saints when a brother I had not seen before came to me and said, “Brother Giles is going home with another man and you will go with me.” This I did. When we reached his house he said, “I saw your elbows through your coat while you were speaking. I came to me that the reason my coat was so much too large for me was that the Lord had it made for you. Try it on.” I did and it fit me exactly. He was doubly assured that the coat was mine. The power of God was greatly manifested through my administration. The pain from toothache, especially, yielded to rebuke in the name of the Lord. I found some few who had not obeyed the gospel who were now willing to go forward and be baptized. I found one president of a branch who said that an elder from Zion who could not live on turnips and sleep under a hedge had better return home. I found that the Hereford Conference was some 250 pounds in debt to the book agent. Their faith was at low ebb. Through the blessings of God and the hearty cooperation of Brother Andrew Galloway, we rebaptized the people and reduced the debt to about sixty pounds. We also added some to their numbers. In the autumn the elders were redistributed. I was called to be pastor of the Birmingham, Worchester and Hereford Conference. I labored in that capacity for about eighteen months with great joy until I was released to return home in the spring of 1856. I made my home with Brother John Godsall, who at the same time was called to preside over the Birmingham Conference. He was a good man but sorely afflicted in his family with evil spirits. He emigrated to Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1856. Soon after his departure a young woman by the name of Williams cut her throat and died. Soon another woman of his family cut her throat, but recovered. He suffered from a terrible malady for a few years and died.
In the winter of 1855 – 1856 I received a letter from President Young calling me to lead the first handcart company across the plains. In March of 1856 I was released to return home. I arrived at Iowa City and was placed in charge of the first handcart company. The carts were built of green timber, with no skeins on the axles or boxes in the hubs. At Winter Quarters I put in thick hoop iron skeins and tin boxes in the hubs. With these we started over the plains about the first of July. We arrived in Salt Lake City on the 26th of September. We had a few deaths which was the usual thing in companies traveling with wagons. We had three wagons in our company. One used three mules and one horse, and the other two used three yoke of oxen each.
[Additional material added by someone else.]
Because the handcart method was a world innovation in human transportation and that the success of the first attempt rested in the hands of Edmund Lovell Ellsworth, who was the captain, we think that future generations will enjoy the brief story given in the following few pages.
The first handcart company left Iowa City, Iowa on the 9th of June 1856. There were two hundred and seventy-three souls who embarked upon the journey. Thirty-three gave up the trip, seven men, heads of families, and the rest being women and children. Twelve persons died out of the entire company during nearly four months of traveling. Two hundred and twenty-eight men, women and children arrived in Salt Lake City of the 26th of September 1856. The following is from the record of the company:
June 9th, 1856. At 5 p.m. the carts were in motion proceeding Zionwards. The Saints were in excellent spirits. The camp traveled about four miles and pitcher their tents. All well.
June 10th We remained in camp all day owing to three yoke of oxen having stra owing to three yoke of oxen having strayed from the herd. The brethren went out in search of them. The camp was engaged in various duties.
June 11th. Early this morning the strayed cattle were brought back. About 8 a.m. the camp started forward and traveled five miles. Pitched tents. Brothers Robinson’s and Jones’ carts broke down.
June 12th. The camp started this morning at 6 a.m. Traveled twelve miles. The road was very dusty. Pitched tents about 2 p.m. All in good spirits.
June 13th. The camp started about 8 a.m. Traveled seven miles. Good roads. All went off well. Visited by a good many strangers.
June 14th. The camp started this morning at 6 a.m. In good spirits. Traveled seven miles. Pitched tents about 9 a.m. [?]. The roads good. The camp is in good spirits. Towards evening Elder James Ferguson came to us from the General Camp. About 6 p.m. William Lee, son of John Lee, died of consumption, age 12 years.
June 15th. Today is Sunday. The Saints remained in camp and held two meetings. The morning meeting commenced at half past ten. Singing. A prayer by Elder Heaton. Elder Joseph France addressed the meeting. Afternoon meeting commenced at half past one o’clock. Singing with prayer by Elder Leonard. Elder Edward Frost addressed the meeting. A great many strangers attended the meetings. Good attention by all present. At nine o’clock this morning Lora Pratter, daughter of Richard Pratter, died of whooping cough, age 3 years. At half past seven the sacrament was administered to the two companies. It was a time of rejoicing for all. Elder Ferguson addressed the Saints. About 9 p.m. the above named two children were interred at Little Bear Creek.
June 16th. At half past six a.m. the camp moved off in good spirits. Traveled thirteen miles and rested from half past eleven a.m. until four p.m. at Big Bear Creek. The camp moved two miles and camped for the night. About nine we had a storm of rain.
June 17th At four a.m. the bugle was blown for all to turn out and at quarter to seven the camp moved off. Traveled ten miles and rested two hours. At twenty past two we pitched our tents. The journey was performed without an accident. No wood, plenty of water. About twenty minutes past three, Joe Welling, son of Joe Welling, died, age one year and seven months. Died of canker or inflammation of the bowels.
June 18th. At four a.m. the bugle sounded for all to turn out. At twenty minutes past five the camp rolled out and traveled ten miles without an accident. Pitched tens at thirty-five past 8 a.m. to give the sisters an opportunity of washing the clothes. Today the body of Joe Welling was interred three feet from the Northeast corner of Mr. Watron’s farm, township 80 range 17, Section 25.
June 19th. The camp rolled out today at quarter to seven a.m. and traveled fifteen miles. The journey was accomplished without an accident. We camped at ten minutes to twelve noon. Plenty of wood and water. Several were baptized by Elder John Oakley for their health. Three miles from Greenhustle.
June 20th. The camp moved off at quarter to seven a.m. Traveled sixteen miles. The road was very hilly and rather rough. It was rather a hard day’s travel. About a quarter of eight this morning, John Lloyd, wife and family, backed out. He was very much given to drinking whiskey much given to drinking whiskey along the road. We passed through the city of Newton this morning about nine a.m. We rested by a stream from ten until twelve. Pitched our tents at four p.m. alongside a beautiful stream of water. Plenty of wood. Several were baptized for their health by Elder Oakley.
June 21st. At ten minutes to seven the camp moved off and traveled thirteen miles. Rested thirty minutes by the side of a stream and an hour on the top of a hill. No accident happened to the camp. All was well. At ten minutes to one p.m. we pitched our tents in a grove. Plenty of wood and water. At a quarter to five p.m. James Bowers died of quick consumption, age 44, 24th of January 1856.
June 22nd. Brother James Bowers was buried near to two other graves a quarter of a mile east of the main line of Fort Des Moines, Section 76, Township 29, Range 72. The camp was called together for meeting at twenty minutes past four p.m. Singing. Prayer by Elder Leonard. The meeting was addressed by Elders Heaton, McArthur, and Ellsworth. Much good instruction was given.
June 23rd. The camp moved out at twenty-five past seven a.m. Traveled ten miles. Pitched tents by 10 a.m. The roads were rather rough in some parts and a little hills. Pitched tents by 10 a.m. The roads were rather rough in some parts and a little hill and somewhat dusty. We passed two middling good streams of water, a good camping ground, plenty of wood and water, four miles from Fort Des Moines. Passed a small town this morning seven miles from the Fort.
June 24th. The camp rolled out at thirty past six a.m. Traveled eleven miles. The roads were a little rough and somewhat dusty. The day was exceedingly warm, through which it was rather hard for the handcart boys. Pitched tents at thirty past one p.m. Plenty of wood, water, about half mile the camp on the left side of the road. An old mobocrat came and tried to make a fuss with our captain. Sidney Shinn, son of James and Mary Shill Jr., died this morning. Buried thirty yards south of the bridge on Four Mile Creek on the east bank, under an elm tree.
June 25th. The camp rolled out this morning at twenty-five past six a.m. Traveled nineteen miles. A gentle breeze blew all the way. It was quite refreshing. The roads good; supplied water at six miles and at nine. Pitched tents at forty-five past one p.m. alongside of a river bank Plenty of wood.
June 26th. The camp moved off this morning at thirty past six a.m. Traveled ten miles. Forded the River Racoon about one mile from the camping ground. Passed the town of Balley. At 12 noon we again forded the Racoon and camped on the west bank. Plenty of wood and water; the road good with the exception of two or three hills. Emma Shinn, daughter of Robert and Eliza Shinn, died this morning of whooping cough, age two years and eight months.
June 27th. Emma Shinn was buried this morning twelve feet of southeast of a walnut tree on the west bank of the Racoon, nearly opposite the sawmill. At seven a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled ten miles. Good roads. Camped at thirty past ten right side of the road on the west bank of the stream. There is a beautiful spring of water.
June 28th. The camp moved off at forty past five and traveled sixteen miles. The road was good with the exception of some parts of it being rather hilly. The water rather scarce for about thirteen miles. We got supplied with water at Bear Station. Pitched tents at 1 p.m. Pretty good camping ground; plenty of water; wood rather scarce. We had a heavy thunder storm about six p.m. One of the tents was blown down and another rent from top to bottom.
June 29th. We remained in camp all day and rested our bodies. The day was fine. Several strangers were in the camp. At twenty past four p.m. the saints met together for meeting, singing, and prayer by Elder Crandall. The meeting was addressed by Elders Hargreave, Ellsworth, McArthur, Leonard, and Crandall on a variety of subjects for the benefit of the saints.
June 30th. The camp moved out at fifty-five past six a.m. Traveled sixteen miles. We traveled twelve miles without resting. The roads were but middling; part of the way somewhat hilly. No water for twelve miles. Pitched tents at ten past one p.m. All in good spirits. Plenty of wood and water.
July 1st. The camp moved out at ten past seven a.m. and traveled fifteen miles. The road was rather rough. Passed one creek of water. Camped on the side of the creek. Plenty of water. Wood plentiful; about a half a mile from the camp. About half past ten p.m. we had a severe thunder storm. One tent was blown down and another rent.
July 2nd. We remained in camp til fifty past three p.m. owing to Brother McArthur’s company having lost a boy by the way. At the above hour we started and traveled ten miles. Rested about half an hour on the bank of the river Elishnabotna. Camped two and one half miles west northwest of an Indian town on the banks of a river. Plenty of wood. A most delightful camping ground.
July 3rd. The camp moved out at forty-five past nine a.m. and traveled fourteen miles. Rested at the side of a creek six miles from where we started. Very little water as we came along. After traveling twelve miles, we turned down a road to the right two miles and camped by the side of a creek with plenty of water. Little wood. About twenty of the camp lost the road, but returned about midnight.
July 4th. The camp moved out at ten past seven a.m. and traveled twenty miles. We passed two creeks the first ten miles, the other ten, no water. The roads good. Camped at fifteen past three p.m. alongside of a good creek of water. Plenty of wood. Fourteen miles from Council Bluffs. All in good spirits.
July 5th. The company remained in camp today to rest and get their clothes washed.
July 6th. Today is Sunday. We remained in camp. Had meeting at twenty past four p.m. Singing and prayer by Brother Crandall. The meeting was addressed by Elders Galloway, Oakley, Ellsworth and McArthur. A good many strangers present. Some were attentive; others could not bear the doctrine and walked off grumbling.
July 7th. The camp rolled out at 7 a.m. Traveled fifteen miles. The roads were very hilly. Rested thirty minutes alongside a good creek. For about eight miles there was little or no water. Passed a few houses about two miles from the camping ground where a good many old Mormons were staying. Pitched tents about 5 p.m.
July 8th. The camp moved out at 7 a.m. and traveled sixteen miles over a very rough road up and down hills. One handcart broke down by the way. The camp rested at Pigeon Creek for two and a half hours. Cooked dinners and got nicely rested. Crossed the Missouri by the steam ferry-boat a little below Florence. Got to the camping ground at Florence at fifty past four p.m.
July 9th to 12th. We were busily engaged repairing the handcarts. On the 10th Sister Isabella Stevenson backed out with an old apostate.
July 13th. The saints met in meeting at four p.m. The saints were addressed by Elders McGraw, Ellsworth and McArthur.
July 14th to 16th. Engaged getting our outfit for the plains.
July 17th. The camp rolled out at 11 a.m. Traveled two and one-half miles to Summer Quarters.
July 18th and 19th. We remained in camp till Saturday, finishing the carts and getting the balance of our outfit.
July 20th The camp rolled out at 6 p.m. and traveled seven miles. Pitched tents half past nine.
July 21st. The camp rolled out a nine a.m. and traveled eighteen miles. Crossed the Elk Horn by the ferry Boat and camped about five p.m. Before all the tents were pitched we had quite a thunder storm, and continued more or less all the night.
July 22nd. The camp rolled out at twelve p.m. and traveled seventeen miles along a good road. Passed five dead oxen. Camped at half past seven p.m. at Liberty Pole camping ground close to the Platte River.
July 23rd. The camp rolled out at half past seven a.m. and traveled fourteen and one half miles. Camped at Loop Fork at four p.m. An excellent camping place. Good feed for cattle. The roads were rather heavy and the day very warm. Water scarce.
July 24th. The camp rolled out at half past seven a.m. Traveled nine miles. The roads pretty good. Camped at twelve p.m. at Shell Creek.
July 25th. The camp rolled out at seven a.m. and traveled nineteen miles. The roads were pretty good with the exception of about five miles. Rather sandy. Camped at six p.m. two miles from Loop Ferry Fork.
July 26th. At nine a.m. the camp rolled towards to ferry where we were detained five hours in crossing. At half past five p.m. the camp again moved on about three miles where we were overtaken by a most terrific storm of thunder and rain. In the open prairie without tents. Two brothers and two sisters were knocked down by lightning. Brother Henry Walker from Carlisle was killed. Age fifty-eight. He was a faithful man to his duty. We moved on for one and one quarter miles and camped for the night. Traveled six miles.
July 27th. Brother H. Walker was buried this morning four miles west of Loop Fork Ferry on a sandy rise, right hand side of the road. At twelve noon the camp rolled out and traveled two and a half miles to a better camping ground where we remained for the rest of the day. A beef was killed at night for the camp. About eight p.m. a meeting was called. Brothers Oakley, France, and Ellsworth addressed the meeting.
July 28th. At fifteen past seven a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled twenty miles. The roads in many parts were heavy. We rested two hours and had dinner. We turned to the right about half a mile and camped for the night at half past six p.m.
July 29th. At nine a.m. camp rolled out and ascended a bluff to the right of the camping ground. Traveled fifteen miles. The roads in some parts a little sandy. Camped at quarter to three p.m. about four miles from the upper crossing. Plenty of wood and water. Two good springs on the west side of the camp ground. One of them dug out by Brother Card.
July 30th. The camp rolled out at seven and traveled twenty-five miles. A great part of the road very sandy and heavy for handcarts and wagons. No wood, no water till we camped, and that not very plentiful. Still plenty for camping purposes. Camped at fifteen past six p.m.
July 31st. [no entry]
August 1st. The camp rolled out at eight a.m. Traveled sixteen miles. The road is in good condition. Crossed Prairie Creek twice. The second crossing the handcarts had to be carried over by the brethren. There was a little difficulty in getting the wagons over, the banks of the creek were so steep. We also crossed Wood River by the means of a good bridge. We came very close to a herd of buffalo. Brother Ellsworth went out with his rifle. Wounded two but not sufficient for him to get them. At thirty past six p.m. we camped alongside of Wood River. Plenty of wood and water. A good camping ground.
August 2nd. [no entry]
August 3rd. We remained in camp all day and attended to such duties as we were necessitated to do. Meeting at seven p.m. Brothers Oakley, Butler, and Ellsworth addressed the Saints.
August 4th. At a quarter to eight a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled eighteen miles. Good roads. Camped at quarter to three p.m. near to the Platte.
August 5th. At eight a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled sixteen miles. The road pretty good with the exception of a couple of places. Camped out four p.m. Wood rather scarce, still plenty for camping purposes.
August 6th. At nine a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled twelve miles. Roads good. Camped about two p.m. on Buffalo Creek four miles from the crossing of B. Creek. We killed four buffaloes today. The camp got quite a good supply of meat.
August 7th. At fifteen to nine a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled twenty-five miles. The roads good with the exception of about two miles which is rather sandy. There is no water after leaving the crossing. Camped at about thirty past eight p.m. No water by digging for it. No wood. Plenty of chips.
August 8th. At fifteen to nine a.m. he camp rolled out from this place of desolation and traveled thirteen miles without water. The roads good. Camped about thirty past two alongside the Platte. By turning off to the left aboutone half mile you will find a good camping fround but no wood. There is another camping ground about two miles ahead. By some means Father Sanders got left behind. The brethren have been out on foot and horse. As yet they have not succeeded in finding him.
August 9th. The camp rolled out at ten past 1 p.m. and traveled thirteen miles. Brother Thomas Fowler found Father Sanders this morning about five miles ahead of the camp. The road for about seven miles is very, very heavy, sandy road; hard pulling for handcarts and ox teams. Camped beside the Platte about two miles from Skunk Creek, about fifteen [past] eight p.m.
August 10th. About nine a.m. the camp was called together for a meeting. Elders Ellsworth, France, and Oakley addressed the Saints. A good meeting. The camp rolled out at ten past eleven a.m. Traveled fourteen miles. For two or three miles the road is sandy and bluffy, but they can be greatly avoided by winding them. Camped at Cold Springs camping ground about six p.m. A most excellent place for a camp.
August 11th. The camp rolled out a fifty past seven a.m. and traveled seventeen miles. The roads were pretty good with the exception of some that are sandy, but that can be avoided by turning off a little either to the right or left. Plenty of water every three or four miles. One of our milk cows died near the camping ground. We crossed over a small creek and camped close to the Platte opposite to two or three small islands, where there is wood, but rather difficult to get at. We had two buffaloes brought into camp tonight killed by the brethren appointed for that purpose. We camped at four p.m. All well.
August 12th. We remained at rest today to cut up buffalo to dry for the journey; and repair the handcarts.
August 13th. The camp rolled at thirty past nine a.m. and traveled twelve miles. The roads were rather heavy owing to last night’s rain. Camped about five p.m. alongside of Bluff Fork. We forded the river previous to camping.
August 14th. The camp rolled at ten past eight a.m. and traveled eighteen miles. The first twelve miles was nearly all over heavy sandy bluffs. Right from the camp it made heavy pulling. The last six miles the road was pretty good. One of the covered handcarts broke down. Camped about even p.m. alongside of the Platte.
August 15th. The camp rolled out at one quarter to eight a.m. traveled fourteen miles. For the first six miles the sand wa fully as bad, if not worse, than yesterday. We crossed four creeks took dinner at Goose Creek. For the next eight miles the road was good. We forded Battle Snake and camped about a half a mile from the old Rattle Snake camping ground. Camped about one quarter past six p.m.
August 16th. The camp moved off at a quarter to eight a.m. and traveled sixteen and three quarter miles. A good part of it heavy sandy traveling. Other parts of the road was good traveling,, We crossed small creeks, had dinner on the banks of Camp Creek. Camp about seven p.m. on the east bank of Wolf Creek. Buffalo chips not so plentiful here. Good feed for the oxen.
August 17th. The camp moved out at a quarter to nine a.m. and traveled twelve miles. We crossed over Wolf Creek and ascended the Sandy Bluff. We crossed the bluff to the left instead of going up the old tract. It is easier for handcarts and for ox teams. The road today was very sandy for several miles. Passed over several creeks. Camped at four p.m. on the side of the Platte opposite to Ash Grove. Brother Peter Stalley died today. He was from Italy.
August 18th. The camp rolled out twenty past seven a.m. and traveled nineteen miles. The road was very good today. Forded Hustle Creek. Passed no other creek during the day. Had dinner alongside of a slough. Passed over a sand ridge. Two dry sloughs on the left hand side of the road about four miles from the Platte. Camped at twenty to seven p.m. on the side of the Platte.
August 19th. The camp rolled out at a quarter to eight a.m. and traveled twenty miles. The road today in parts was very sandy. Especially crossing the cobble hills it wa very sandy. We crossed Crab Creek today. Camped about thirty past (?) p.m. on the Platte opposite ancient Bluff ruins.
August 20th. The camp rolled out at thirty past seven a.m. and traveled twenty miles. The road was tolerable good till we came to the last five miles, when it became very sandy in some parts, especially in crossing over sand bluffs. Camped on the side of the Platte forty-five past six p.m.
August 21st. The camp rolled out at thirty past seven a.m. and traveled sixteen and one half miles. The road today was tolerably good. No water for fourteen and one half miles. Camped on the Platte two miles beyond Chimney Rock at four p.m. Buffalo chips rather scarce.
August 22nd. The camp rolled out at twenty past seven a.m. and traveled twenty-one miles. The road today was good. We were detained three hours on the road by a thunder storm. Twelve miles without water. Camped about thirty past seven p.m. on the Platte about half a mile from Spring Creek. Buffalo chips rather scarce.
August 23rd. The camp rolled out at five past eight am. And traveled fifteen and a half miles before we struck the Platte, where we camped. Wood plentiful on the sough side ;by fording for it. The river from two to three feet deep. About six miles of the road was rather sandy. Camped about two p.m. on the side of the Platte near … Killed a buffalo tonight.
August 24th. The camp did not travel any today. We were busy with the handcarts. At six p.m. we had Sacramental and Saints’ meeting. A good time of it.
August 25th. At half past seven a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled nineteen miles. For six or seven miles the road was rather sandy. At a quarter to five p.m. we camped not far from the Platte. Good feed. Plenty of wood.
August 26th. The camp rolled out twenty past seven a.m. and traveled seventeen miles. For about fourteen miles the road was very sandy. Heavy drawing. Forded the Platte opposite to Laramie. Camped at thirty-five past five p.m. on the side of the Platte four miles from Laramie. Good feed, plenty of wood.
August 27th. The camp rolled out at quarter past seven a.m. and traveled twenty-one miles. The road is good with the exception of about four miles, rather rough and rocky. At a quarter to five p.m. we camped at Bitter Cottonwood. Wood and water plenty. Feed scarce.
August 28th. The camp rolled out this morning at thirty past eight a.m. and traveled fifteen miles. Eight miles from Bitter Cottonwood Creek to the Platte, three miles from that to a good spring, and pretty good feed on the fiht side of the road. Four miles from that to the Horseshoe Creek. Good feed and plenty of wood and water. Camped about thirty past four p.m.
August 29th. The camp rolled out a fifteen past seven a.m. and traveled twenty-five miles. The road was pretty good. Sixteen miles to the Platte where we took dinner. Traveled two miles and forded the Platte. Camped about thirty past six p.m. on the Platte. Plenty of wood; feed pretty fair.
August 30th. The camp rolled out at twenty-five past seven a.m. and traveled nineteen miles. The road pretty fair. Forded the Platte again. Traveled about six miles and camped by the side of a creek. Plenty of wood, water, and feed. We passed two emigrants from California. By them we were informed that five wagons were waiting on us at Deer Creek. Camped at about thirty past six p.m.
August 31st. The camp rolled out at quarter to seven a.m. and traveled twenty-four miles. The roads were very good. Camped at Deer Creek about thirty past five p.m. Found the wagons waiting on us. A most excellent camping ground. Plenty of wood, water, and feed for the cattle. Robert Stoddard died of consumption, age 51. Buried about four hundred yards from the left hand side of the road.
September 1st. We remained at Deer Creek today to rest ourselves and the cattle. Busy repairing the handcarts. Killed a cow. Had a good meeting at night. Addressed by Brother Ellsworth and the brethren for the Valley. We spent a first rate day of it.
September 2nd. The camp rolled out at a quarter to seven a.m. and traveled twenty miles. The road tolerably good, but very dusty owing to a heavy wind. Camped beside the Platte. Plenty of wood. Feed scarce. Crossed a creek eleven miles from where we started. Walter Sanders died last night. Buried this morning about three hundred yards from the south side of the road. Age sixty-five.
September 3rd. The camp rolled this morning at thirty past eight a.m. and traveled eleven miles. It was very heavy pulling owing to the dust and a heavy wind. Crossed the Platte a mile and a hlf below the upper crossings. A good place to ford. Camped beside of the Platte at thirty past four p.m. Plenty of wood. Feed middling.
September 4th. The camp rolled out this morning and traveled twenty-six miles. The roads were very good for traveling Had dinner by the side of Mineral Spring creek. Camped at Little Stream Creek at thirty past five p.m. About a half an hour after getting to camp it got cold and rained for several hours so that we could not light a fire.
September 5th. We remained in camp today owing to the inclement state of the weather. It rained and snowed alternately for the whole of the day so that we could not cook hardly anything.
September 6th. About four a.m. this morning ;the weather became more settled, but we found to our sorrow that twenty-four head of our cattle were missing owing to the negligence of Robert Shinn and James Shinn Jr., who were on guard. We had to remain in camp again today as the cattle were not found till about three p.m.
September 7th. The camp rolled out this morning at thirty past seven a.m. and traveled twenty-two miles. The road was good for the first fourteen miles. Camped to have dinner beside a most beautiful creek of water. For the next eight miles the road is very sandy and heavy. Camped at thirty past six p.m. by side of Sweetwater, two miles from the crossing. A good camping ground. Good feed for the cattle. George Neappris died this evening. Age 24. Emigrated from Cardiff in Dan Jones’ company.
September 8th. This morning George Neappris was buried on a sand ridge directly east of three rocky mounds. Two and a half miles from the crossing on the bend on the north side of the river. Crossed Sweetwater by a good bridge. The roads were in many parts rather rough. Had dinner beside an old trading post close by the Devil’s Gate. Camped beside Sweetwater at thirty past five p.m. not far from a company of apostates.
September 9th. The camp rolled at thirty past seven a.m. and traveled sixteen miles. The roads continued rather rouogh with a heavy headwind. Camped at five p.m. beside Sweetwater. An excellent camping ground. Killed a cow.
September 10th. The camp rolled out at forty past seven a.m and traveled eighteen miles. The roads tolerably good to the Sweetwater crossing. After that it was sandy for seven miles. Camped at six p.m. on the Sweetwater. A very interesting camping ground. Poor feed.
September 11th. The camp rolled out at forty past seven a.m. and traveled nineteen miles. The first part of the journey the roads pretty good. No water for twelve miles. You will then come to a good stream of water and good feed. Take the left hand road. Traveled eight miles to a creek. A poor camping ground. Middling feed. Camped at six p.m. About 11 p.m. Brother McArthur’s company came up. They had traveled nearly night and day to overtake us.
September 12th. The camp rolled out at forthey had traveled nearly night and day to overtake us.
September 12th. The camp rolled out at fort-five past seven a.m. and traveled twelve miles. The greatest part of the road very hilly and rough. A good spring of water about six miles from where we started this morning. Camped at fort-five past seven a.m. and traveled twelve miles. The greatest part of the road very hilly and rough. A good spring of water about six miles from where we started this morning. Camped at fort-five past one p.m. Good camping ground. Feed pretty fair. Plenty of good spring water, about two hundred yards from the road, right side.
September 13th. The camp rolled out at forty past seven a.m. and traveled twenty-eight miles. The road was very good. We took the cut off six miles from where we started. There is a good creek of water and plenty good feed two hundred yards from where the road crosses the creek. Nine miles farther on there is another good creek and fee. It is not far from the head of Sweetwater. Camped at nine p.m. at the Pacific Springs. Here we came up with the main body of Captain Bank’s company. They had ten days clear start of us f rom Florence. Mary Mayo died of diarrhea. Age 65. Buried close to the big mountain left had side of the road.
September 14th. The camp rolled out at nine a.m. and traveled three miles where there was plenty of feed for the cattle.
September 15th. The camp rolled out at seven a.m. and traveled twenty-six miles. A creek of water twelve miles from where we started. Also feed. Here we rested two hours. Sixteen miles we camped at Little Sandy. We got plenty of water by digging for it. Plenty of wood and pretty good feed. Camped at nine p.m. Very good roads.
September 16th. The camp rolled out at thirty past eight a.m. and traveled twenty-three miles. Good roads. Crossed a splendid creek of water five miles from Little Sandy. Camped on the banks of Big Sandy at seven p.m. Plenty of wood on the opposite side of the river. Poor feed for cattle.
September 17th. James Birch, age 28, died this morning of diarrhea. Buried on the top of sand ridge east of Sandy. The camp rolled at eight and traveled eleven miles. Rested four hours by the side of Green River. Forded the river about four p.m. and camped about six p.m. Good feed and camping ground.
September 18th. At eight a.m. the camp rolled out and traveled twenty-two miles. Good roads. Camped on Ham’s Fork at seven p.m. Good feed for cattle and wood.
September 19th. The camp rolled at thirty past nine a.m. and traveled twenty-three miles. The roads good. A poor place for feed. Camped at nine p.m.
September 20th. The camp rolled out at forty-five past six a.m. and traveled nine miles to Bridger. The road rather rough and rocky. Camped at Bridger for the day at fifteen past ten a.m. Killed a first rate fat ox. Shod several of the oxen.
September 21st. At seven a.m. the camp rolled and traveled twenty-two miles. The roads were good. Crossed several creeks. Passed a sulphur and soda spring. Camped at six p.m. Plenty of wood and feed, but no water.
September 22nd. The camp rolled out at thirty past five a.m. and traveled twenty-three miles. Had breakfast six miles from where we started. About three p.m. met with Brigham’s and Heber’s sons. They were glad to see us. About half past fie we were taken in a thunder storm and traveled an hour and half in it. Camped at six p.m. Plenty of water and feed. Wood rather scarce. The wagons with the tents did not arrive till twelve midnight. We were cold and wet. Still we felt all right.
September 23rd. The camp rolled out at twelve p.m. and traveled eighteen miles. The roads were pretty good We forded the Weber about one p.m. and had dinner on the Weber banks. Camped about thirty past six p.m. Wood, water, feed, plenty. We were visited by a few Indians.
September 24th. The camp rolled out at seven a.m. and traveled twenty miles. The roads were rather rough and rugged. Camped about thirty past six p.m. Wood, water, feed, plenty
September 25th. The camp rolled out at seven a.m. and traveled twenty miles. Crossed canyon eleven times. The roads a little rough, had dinner at the bottom of Big Mountain. Crossed Big Mountain in two hours and fifty-five minutes. Camped at the foot of the Little Mountain at six p.m.
September 26th. The brethren from the city sent us a wagon with provisions as we were rather short. At thirty past ten a.m. the camp rolled and traveled thirteen miles. About eight miles from the city we were met with Governor Young and his counselors, the Nauvoo brass band, the Lancers, and great many. We were first rate received in the city. Provisions of all kinds came rolling in to us in camp. The brethren of the city manifested great interest toward us as a company which caused our hearts to rejoice and be glad.
Edmund Ellsworth, Captain
A. Galloway, Secretary
Handcart incidents as later recorded by Mary Ann Jones Ellsworth, who was a member of the first company:
We left the shores of England 21 March 1856, a company of 534 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We sailed in the ship Enoch Train. We arrived in Boston 1 May 1856 and traveled to Iowa City by train. We waited for the construction of the handcarts. We left Iowa City on the 9th of June and traveled to Florence, leaving there 16 July. The handcarts were flimsy and were continually breaking down… We were allotted one tent and four handcarts to twenty persons. Our company consisted of 274 members, the other passengers of the ship were in the second company We traveled from ten to twenty-eight miles each day We always reached camp long before the three wagons which were attached to our company. We were allowed 171 pounds of baggage for each person. The included clothing, bedding, and cooking utensils. Some people who wanted to take more than allowed placed on their bodies more clothing than usual while being checked. Thus some thin people became stout all at once. After weighing in these same people placed their extra items on the carts. After a few days all members were checked again, unannounced. One old sister carried a teapot and a colander on her apron string all of the way to the Salt Lake Valley. Another sister carried a hat box full of personal items. She died on the way. The Lord was with us and guided us by His spirit, for although tired and footsore, we could sing the songs of Zion as we traveled. Some stomach may reject a supper cooked with water taken from a buffalo wallow and on a fire of buffalo chips, but to us, the food was good One ay we came to a large herd of buffalo. It seemed that the entire prairie was moving. We waited for an hour for the herd to pass so we might move on. We were stopped on the Platte River by a large band of Indians who demanded food. They were in war paint and were very hostile. Captain Ellsworth asked all of us to pray for him while he talked to them. He gave them some beads and they let us go on. For this we were very thankful.
A remarkable thing happened while we were at the Platte River. One of the oxen, used to pull the wagons, died. Brother Ellsworth asked the brethren what could be done. Should we place a cow in the team? One brother said, “Look, Brother Ellsworth, at the steer on the hill.” There stood a large fat steer looking at us. Brother Ellsworth said that the Lord had provided the animal that we may move on the mountains. The animal worked as well as the others. When we were within two days of Salt Lake City w met some wagons sent with provisions and to help us the remainder of the way. The next morning, when gathering the animals, that steer was gone. After hunting for him for several hours Brother Ellsworth said, “The Lord loaned him to us al long as we needed him.”
We were met in Emigration Canyon by the First Presidency, the brass band, and hundreds of people on foot, on horses and in carriages. It was a day never to be forgotten. We had reached our goal, traveling on foot all of the way. I never left my handcart for a day and only rode over two rivers. We waded streams, crossed high mountains, and pulled our carts at times through heavy sand. We had left comfortable homes, fathers, mothers, brothers, siste, and friends all for our testimony of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and for the privilege of hearing a prophet’s voice and to live with the Saints of God. I have never regretted the trip. We arrived in Salt Lake City 26 September 1856.
Signed by Mary Ann Jones Ellsworth, 20 August 1910 [see http://lds.org/churchhistory/library/source]
Continuation of Autobiography of Edmund Lovell Ellsworth:
Upon arriving in Salt Lake City the President sealed to me Mary Ann Bates and Mary Ann Jones who were members of the handcart company.
During my absence a daughter was born to each of my wives: to Elizabeth, Luna, and to Mary Ann, Mary. Soon after my return home I was set apart to be the senior president of the Third Quorum of Seventy. I was also elected alderman on the City Council and Major of the 2nd Battalion of Infantry¸ Nauvoo Legion, and first counselor to Bishop Moon of the first ward. I served in all offices, civil and military, until I moved to Weber County in 1866.
In the spring of 1858 I was called by President Young to take charge of a train of oxen to haul the tithing grain and flour from Salt Lake City to Provo. I continued with this until the Peace Commission arrived. I heard their talks at Provo and also the replies of Presidents Young and Kimball. The visitors told us that the Government was disposed to forgive us of our rebellion and that we could return and build and plant and enjoy ourselves. President Young said that we were very thankful for being forgiven for the sins we were never guilty of committing. He said that we would return for a season, but if we moved again we would go that way. He pointed to the south. Brother Kimball backed up the President and said that he would suggest that when we return we build on wheels so as to be ready for the move.
My wife, Elizabeth, was confined with her son, John W. She was very sick and about died. She soon recovered when we returned to Salt Lake City,
We moved to Weber County in 1866. There I built a bridge across the Weber River opposite Plan City. I drove the piles for the bridge across the Ogden River at Ogden City in 1868. I took a contract for cutting ties for the Union Pacific Railroad. We cut the timbers in Weber Canyon. That season I made three thousand dollars and paid three hundred dollars tithing. The next season, 1869, I drove the piles for the railroad bridge over the Weber Central Railroad from Ogden to Salt Lake. In 1870 I drove the piles for the road to Salt Lake City In the winter of 1870 – 1871 I superintended the construction of the narrow gage road from Ogden north to Hot Spring. Handcart incidents as later recordeHanHHHHHHHHHand
In 1880 I moved two of my families to Show Low, Apache County, Arizona. If I found a place that suited me, the other two families were to come to me. The two that moved with me were Polly Bates and Polly Jones. (At Show Low he purchased the Club Ranch of forty acres.)
In 1884, the 1st of December, I was arrested for polygamy and taken to Prescott. Under $2,000 bond I was instructed to appear at the June term of court to answer the charge. On the 25th of May, in company with my son, Frank, and James Hogge, I started for Prescott. We arrived on the 31st, 1885.
June 1. Court convened with Judge Howard on the bench. I was advised by J.C. Henderson, my council, to plead guilty to the 3rd count of the indictment, that of unlawful cohabitation.
June 2. I was called to visit Judge Howard, when the following questions and answers took place:
“How old are you?” Ans. “Sixty-six”
“When did you marry your last wife?” Ans. “In 1856.”
“Do you cohabit with two women at present?” Ans. “No, sir.”
“Have you during the past three years?” Ans. “According to Judge Kassis’ interpretation, Yes sir.”
“How old is your second wife?” Ans. “Fifty-one.”
“How old is her youngest child?” Ans. “Twelve years.”
“Do you believe it is right to disobey law?” Ans. “Not constitutional law.”
“Are you to be the judge?” Ans. “Yes, sir; if not, who is?”
“Do you believe the Edmund’s law unconstitutional?” Ans. “Yes, sir.”
“From what standpoint?” Ans. The constitutional amendment No 10.”
“Do you propose to break this law?” Ans. “I do not propose to answer. If I break the law I am amenable to the law without respect to promises.”
After much discussion the judge said:
“As a man I am in favor of releasing you, but as a judge I must obey my instructions. I will be as lenient as possible if you plead as your council advises.”
I told him if he required anything of me that compromised me with my religion, with my God or my honor with my family I would not plead guilty. This he promised not to do. In court, council asked the privilege of pleading guilty of cohabitation, the 3rd count of the indictment. When told to stand up and give reasons why sentence should not be passed, council stated that I was an old man, that for some time I had only lived with one wife. The judge asked if I proposed to obey the law in the future. I answered, “As I understand it.”
The sentence was that I pay a fine of $300 within twenty-four hours or serve sixty days in the territorial prison at Yuma. Not having the money I concluded to accept the prison sentence. In the evening the marshal delivered me to the sheriff, who locked me in jail. There was plenty of odors.
June 3. In the morning I ate no breakfast. I had a headache. My heart was lifted to God. The earth looked mournful. The heavens seemed as brass. In the evening I ate a little. I slept very little that night.
June 4. I ate little breakfast. The clanking of chains and gates and the whistling and murging (?) of fourteen prisoners contrasted with the security at home. I ate some supper and slept at night.
June 6. This morning I saw Henderson. He said the judge had ruled that my prison sentence had commenced on June 1.
June 7. Sunday. Two prisoners were taken from jail to Phoenix for trial. It was lonely in prison. I thought of my loved ones at home and the unappreciated blessing of those who are free. Prison fare was coffee in the morning, with fresh beef and bread. In the evening, tea, bread, and meat.
June 8. My back is so lame I can hardly sit up. I was locked out of the room where the bed was by Hicky, the jailor. Passed a weary day.
June 9. Brother Dan Sedgmiller visited me, cheering me and said he was acquainted with the sheriff and jailor and would speak to them for me. This day my door was left open for which I was thankful. In the evening Brother Flake called to see me on his way home.
June 10. Time passes slowly. I had a sleepless night. I do not feel well. The ladies of Prescott came into the jail last night with bouquets of flowers.
June 11. Thursday – feeling quite well, excepting my back, which is better. All the reading I want. We have good course food.
June 12. Friday I am feeling much better. The court is grinding on. So far all have been convicted.
June 13. Very cold and dry; feeling pretty well. Our food is good and substantial; getting used to prison smell and far. In the evening the U. S. Marshal notified me to be ready to start for Yuma in the morning at six o’clock.
June 14. Traveled all day and all night on the stage. Very tired but sustained by the power of God.
June 15. Traveled all day on the stage. Took rail at half-past seven. Arrived at Yuma at 2 o’clock in the morning.
June 16. I was turned over to the prison. I was stripped and introduced to the prison customs. I found Skousen, Robinson, and Wilson, old acquaintances, all in prison for the same offense. Although I was glad to meet them I would have been more glad if they could be at home.
June 17. Eyes sore, back lame and generally tired out. I feel that God has sustained me to a wonderful degree.
June 18. Getting rested. I repaired a sewing machine, wrote a letter to Deseret News. I conversed with brethren in the cell. Rice for supper, a cool breeze.
June 19. I had a bad pain in my chest during the night. I feel low spirited this morning, but pray to be sustained in life to witness the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
June 20. Saturday. I feel pretty well. I repaired a clock and wrote a letter home. Weather not quite so hot. It is very hot in the evening and at night a sweater.
June 21. Sunday. I was kept in the cell until half past nine o’clock. I have recovered from the effects of the journey. The good spirit said I will return all right to my family.
June 22. Monday. I am feeling first rate. Mr. Green promised to give me some clock work to do. Weather is very hot, sweating in the cell without an overcoat.
June 23. Tuesday. At work repairing clocks. Feel well, weather hot.
June 24. Wednesday I slept well and feel first rate. I think I shall endure the hot weather although we sweat through the night with no clothes over us.
June 25. Thursday I am well and thankful for the good spirit which whispers home and the destiny of Zion, that soon God will rule. The prisons will not hold Latter-day Saints. This is called the hottest place in the United States. Thermometer ranging from 120 to 130 in the shade – 100 feet above sea level and 80 miles from the coast.
June 26. Friday. A fine, cool morning, slept well and feel well. My heart is drawn out particularly for my family. In the afternoon I had a hard spasm of the heart,
June 27. Saturday. A hot night with but little sleep. Feel well. At work with clocks.
June 28. Sunday. I had a shower bath, a luxury in very deed. Pie for supper. Had the sacrament in the cell. A good time. The weather I call warm, yet they all say it is unusually cool.
June 29. Monday. I repaired a sewing machine and a clock. I feel well, weather too hot to sleep.
June 30. Tuesday. Repaired a clock. Ten more prisoners arrived from Prescott. Weather hot and sultry.
July 1. My birthday. Liberty, the sacred boon, is unappreciated by those who enjoy it. It is mourned for by those who are deprived of itI count half of my prison life today Thanks. Called on to sit up with a man in the hospital.
July 2. Thursday. Sick from the smell in the hospital.
July 3. Friday. Had a good sleep but awoke feeling tired.
July 4. Four canons fired to remind us of religious freedom. Time rolls slowly. The day that is to give me my freedom seems at a great distance, yet my health is excellent, appetite good. I think I shall go out of this better than I came in. Fire works in the evening.
July 5. Sunday. Skousen goes out today. We have to stay in the cell until half past seven, then locked up at half past three. This is Sunday.
July 6. Monday. Received letters from P. B., Julia, and Retta last night. So hot I could not sleep. I feel tired and sleepy but good in the spirit. Robinson and Bishop Stewart out today. Skousen still detained waiting for the marshal.
July 7. Very warm. Too warm to sleep, still I feel well, with a good appetite.
July 8. Wednesday. Very hot, sweat all night but feel well. Cloudy and sultry today.
At this date my pencil was stolen by a prisoner. When Skousen left I was called to keep the front gate of the prison and was permitted to sleep in the yard. This continued until my time expired. I am leaving Yuma, the hottest place I have ever seen. My health was very poor when I came, but has improved gradually until I was discharged. God, by His spirit, was with me and I rejoice in being counted worthy to suffer for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I took the train at 12 o’clock at night and arrived at Maricopa at six in the morning, where I met Brother William Passey with a wagon to take me to Mesa City where we arrived at 12 noon. I attended meeting at 2 p.m. Here I met my sons, George and Orson, who had come to take me home to Show Low. We left Mesa, 3 August and arrived home on 10 August 1885. I found all well. The folks had prepared a fat calf for the occasion. We had a feast for the return of husband and father. The hot weather had sweat the heart disease nearly away. I was better in health than I had been for years.
I was captivated with the fine fruit and the locality of Mesa City. In the fall my sons, William and George moved to Mesa. The next spring they sent for their mother to come to them. In June I moved her to Mesa and bargained for a place for the other family. It was one mile northeast of the center of town, containing 40 acres of grapes and four of orchard and 20 of alfalfa. On the 1st of August I moved Mary Ann Jones to Mesa. We lived in Mesa for six years. I taught a class in Sunday School during that time. I moved back to Show Low in November of 1892. In 1893 I went to the dedication of the temple in Salt Lake City.
Edmund returned to Show Low where he died on the 29th of December 1893 after six weeks of illness, the result of heart failure. He passed away without a struggle, age seventy-four.
Show Low, Apache County, Arizona
25 October 1885
To my dear son Edmund:
(The real spirit and testimony of a great pioneer may be appreciated from the following letter written by Edmund Lovell Ellsworth)
I had thought of not writing until my folks had answered my letters to them. As I had answered all of your letters I felt that if you wanted to hear from me you would answer mine. I feel I owe you a duty, as the authorities of the Church have enjoined it upon the heads of families to set their families in order that the church might prosper and that the Kingdom of God might be built up. As the Lord has placed under my care a large family, I am obliged to set before them an example to the best of my ability. If I have erred I have been but human. God, before whose throne I expect to soon appear, knows that I tried to do right, to take a course that I might lead them to eternal life. I hope that those who may judge me unkindly my better my course. I hope that you, my son, may do more and do it better than your father has done. If you do, give God the glory. You were not born and reared a Methodist as your father was, and you do not have to unlearn those errors. We are called upon to keep all of the commandments of God. The Word of Wisdom has become one of the commandments and I hope you are all keeping this with all of the other commandments, and that you are teaching your children to do so. I hope that you do not forget to assemble with the Saints and partake of the emblems of the Lord’s supper until He comes.
I enjoin it upon you, as my oldest son, to look after the family that is in that land, as though they were your own, and try to lead them to God. If it is so that your mother cannot do the work for Charlotte, see that this is done. In the vision or dream which I had, your mother and I were hand in hand and we met you and Luna with Charlotte. She told me that you and Luna had done her work. The unalloyed joy was unspeakable. There was no evidence of discord. We were all of one heart and mind. My testimony is to you that the joy hereafter of those who gain eternal life is well worth our greatest effort.
The family here is all well. Frank and Loretta have gone to St. George to be married. William and George have started to move to Mesa City, on the Salt River. I came through that place on my way from Yuma. I think of all the places our people have ever settled, that this is by far the best. The only drawback is the lack of building timber, and a little too warm in the middle of the summer. While I was there I feasted upon grapes, figs, and peaches All were the best that I have ever seen. They have no difficulty in raising two crops in one year. When I was there the first of August, the farmers were both planting and harvesting corn. They produce five crops of alfalfa in one year. Three crops had been cut previously to my visit. If you can sell where you are, I think we shoul all go there for awhile, or until a hold is secured in Mexico.
(At this point in the letter Edmund Lovell told his son of his experiences at Prescott and Yuma. These are given previously in the journal.)
Tell your mother that Polly Jones is to me a good mother and wife, yet at times I yearn for the companion of my youth. I have assurance that I shall have her soon and that our happiness hereafter will be unbounded. Tell he to spare not good counsel to her children, and be assured that morning and night I remember you all before our Heavenly Father.
Tell Rowennah’s children that grandfather remembers them and wants them to be good children, that they may be saved in the Kingdom of God. Tell John that his father continues to pray for him, and that I feel sorry that he does not write and give evidence that he is going to do better; that God will give him strength to overcome and become a good saint is my constant prayer. Tell your good wife that she is often spoken of as a woman that never caused bad feelings in the family, and whose motto is peace and good will. God bless her forever. I hope he will be as faithful in teaching her children as she has been as a wife to you.
We are a little poor this fall. The cost of court has obliged us to sell some of our cows and part of our mares, or all that we could sell. I still owe $300 to council. This we can pay if we sell out and be out of debt. The Prescott paper lied about me in and out of court. This I wrote up and sent to the Deseret News, which I suppose you saw.
I hope someone will write soon. I cannot think what is the matter, yet I feel to forgive that I may be forgiven.
With love to all I subscribe myself your brother and father in the gospel of peace. Edmund Lovell Ellsworth
Note: In company with Richard Franklin Jardine, Jr, son of Luna Ellsworth, the editor (John Orval Ellsworth) visited West Weber, Utah on 14 September 1955. Frank Jardine was a boy of eight years in 1880 when Edmund Lovell left West Weber with his two families for Arizona. Frank said Edmund had eight wagons with two horses to each wagon. The loose cattle and horses numbered between forty and fifty and were driven by two of the boys on horses. Frank said he remembered that many children and adults of the neighborhood accompanied the party for a few miles as they began their trek south. All of the children of Edmund were born previous to the migration. The thirteen children of Mary Ann Bates and the twelve of Mary Ann Jones ranged from the age of two to twenty-three years. Fannie was then eighteen years of age. Frank Jardine said (Sept. 14, 1955) “I heard Charles Greenwell ask the father, Edmund, if he may marry Fannie” Approval was given and Fannie did not accompany the family to Arizona. Agnes had been married five years previously. Apparently she and her brother, Charles Henry, did not go to Arizona. The party consisted of the father, the two mothers and twenty-two children, or a total of twenty-five persons.
Note by Norene Green who transcribed this on October 31, 2011.
Three of Mary Ann Bates children (Homer, Loren and Emmaline) died before the move to Arizona and Wilford, son of Mary Ann Jones also died before the move. Thus only 18 children went making a total of 21 persons.