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RETURNING to Nauvoo, we will give a brief history of events transpiring there after the death of the Prophet and Patriarch.
Only a few days after the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, another brother was summoned, and Samuel Harrison Smith passed into the great beyond, on July 30, 1844. He was reputed to have been a very good and kindly disposed man. When by revelation others were admonished for carelessness or unfaithfulness he was commended.
The Times and Seasons mentions him as follows:-
"Died.-In this city, on the 30th ult., Elder Samuel E. Smith, aged 36 years.
"The exit of this worthy man, so soon after the horrible butchery of his brothers, Joseph and Hyrum, in Carthage jail, is a matter of deep solemnity to the family, as well as a remediless loss to all. If ever there lived a good man upon the earth, Samuel E. Smith was that person; in fact, he was too good for this generation, and the infinite wisdom of Jehovah seems to have been exerted in this instance of taking him, 'to remove him from the evils to come.' The highest point in the faith of the Latter Day Saints is, that they know where they are going after death, and what they will do; and this gives a consolation more glorious than all the fame, honors, and wealth which the world has been able to heap upon her votaries, or ever can; and so, when a faithful saint dies, like this, our lamented brother, calm, faithful, and easy, all Israel whispers, as expectants of the same favor, 'Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.'
"His labors in the church from first to last, carrying glad tidings to the eastern cities, and finally his steadfastness as one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and many saintly traits of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity, shall be given of him hereafter, as a man of God."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 606, 607.
On July 15, 1844, three of the Twelve who were at Nauvoo, and Elder Phelps, wrote an address "To the Saints Abroad," in which they advised resignation, and trust in God with humility and a forsaking of all sin; the remaining together of the saints; and the building of the temple; and urged the building of Nauvoo in such a way as indicated that these men had at the time, no intimation that an abandonment of the place was contemplated. 1
1 On hearing of the martyrdom of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, you will doubtless need a word of advice and comfort, and look for it from our hands. We would say, therefore, first of all, be still and know that the Lord is God; and that he will fulfill all things in his own due time; and not one jot or tittle of all his purposes and promises shall fail. Remember, remember that the priesthood and the keys of power are held in eternity as well as in time; and, therefore, the servants of God who pass the veil of death are prepared to enter upon a greater and more effectual work, in the speedy accomplishment of the restoration of all things spoken of by his holy prophets.
Remember that all the prophets and saints who have existed since the world began, are engaged in this holy work, and are yet in the vineyard, as well as the laborers of the eleventh hour, and are all pledged to establish the kingdom of God on the earth, and to give judgment unto the saints; therefore, none can hinder the rolling on of the eternal purposes of the great Jehovah. And we have now every reason to believe that the fulfillment of his great purposes are much nearer than we had supposed, and that not many years hence we shall see the kingdom of God coming with power and great glory to our deliverance.
As to our country and nation, we have more reason to weep for them than for those they have murdered; for they are destroying themselves and their institutions, and there is no remedy. And as to feelings of revenge, let them not have place for one moment in our bosoms, for God's vengeance will speedily consume to that degree that we would fain be hid away and not endure the sight.
Let us then humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and endeavor to put away all our sins and imperfections as a people and as individuals, and to call upon the Lord with the spirit of grace and supplication, and wait patiently on him, until he shall direct our way.
Let no vain and foolish plans or imaginations scatter us abroad and divide us asunder as a people, to seek to save our lives at the expense of truth and principle; but rather let us live or die together and in the enjoyment of society and union. Therefore, we say, let us haste to fulfill the commandments which God has already given us. Yea, let us
It will be remembered that Parley P. Pratt was not at Nauvoo at the time of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. He was the first of the absent members of the Twelve to return, and hence joined in the above epistle. An account of his return and a purported revelation to him, as written by himself, are quite significant. He represents himself as making the following inquiries of the Lord:-
"Shall I tell them to fly to the wilderness and deserts? Or, shall I tell them to stay at home and take care of themselves, and continue to build the temple?"
These interrogations certainly indicate that Elder Pratt was not at that time acquainted with any settled determination to leave Nauvoo and go to the West; and the answer to the queries, if it can be relied upon as a revelation, commits the Lord to the instruction to remain at Nauvoo instead of flying to the wilderness and deserts. 2
haste to build the temple of our God, and to gather together thereunto, our silver and our gold with us, unto the name of the Lord; and then we may expect that he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths.
We would further say, that in consequence of the great rains which have deluged the western country, and also in consequence of persecution and excitement, there has been but little done here, either in farming or building this season; therefore there is but little employment, and but little means of subsistence at the command of the saints in this region. Therefore, let the saints abroad, and others who feel for our calamities and wish to sustain us, come on with their money and means without delay, and purchase lots and farms, and build buildings, and employ hands, as well as to pay their tithings into the temple and their donations to the poor.
We wish it distinctly understood abroad, that we greatly need the assistance of every lover of humanity, whether members of the church or otherwise, both in influence and in contributions for our aid, succor, and support. Therefore, if they feel for us, now is the time to show their liberality and patriotism towards a poor and persecuted, but honest and industrious people.
Let the elders who remain abroad continue to preach the gospel in its purity and fullness, and to bear testimony of the truth of these things which have been revealed for the salvation of this generation.
P. P. PRATT. WILLARD RICHARDS.
JOHN TAYLOR. W. W. PHELPS.
NAUVOO July 15, 1844.
-Times and Seasons vol. 5, pp. 586, 587.
2As I walked along over the plains of Illinois, lonely and solitary, I reflected as follows: I am now drawing near to the beloved city; in a day or two I shall be there. How shall I meet the sorrowing widows and orphans? How shall I meet the aged and widowed mother of these two martyrs? How shall I meet an entire community bowed down with grief and sorrow unutterable? What shall I say? or how console and
Before the death of the prophet four missionaries; viz., Addison Pratt, B. F. Grouard, Noah Rogers, and K. Hanks were assigned a mission to the Society Islands. Soon after the martyrdom news began to arrive from them. They lost Elder Hanks at sea by death, but the other three reached their destination in safety and accomplished an important work. We make brief mention of this mission here, expecting to have more to say regarding it later on, in connection with its prosecution by the Reorganization.
The Times and Seasons, volume 5, page 602, contains a letter from Elder Pratt to his wife, written November 4, 1843,
advise twenty-five thousand people who will throng about me in tears and in the absence of my President and the older members of the now presiding council, will ask counsel at my hands? Shall I tell them to fly to the wilderness and deserts? Or, shall I tell them to stay at home and take care of themselves, and continue to build the temple? With these reflections and inquiries, I walked onward, weighed down as it were unto death. When I could endure it no longer, I cried out aloud, saying: O Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray thee, show me what these things mean, and what I shall say to thy people! On a sudden the Spirit of God came upon me, and filled my heart with joy and gladness indescribable; and while the Spirit of revelation glowed in my bosom with as visible a warmth and gladness as if it were fire, the Spirit said unto me: "Lift up your head and rejoice; for, behold, it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum! My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed. Go and say unto my people in Nauvoo, that they shall continue to pursue their daily duties and take care of themselves, and make no movement in church government to reorganize or alter anything until the return of the remainder of the Quorum of the Twelve. But exhort them that they continue to build the house of the Lord which I have commanded, them to build in Nauvoo."
This information caused my bosom to burn with joy and gladness, and I was comforted above measure, all my sorrow seemed in a moment to be lifted as a burthen [burden] from my back.
The change was so sudden I hardly dare to believe my senses; I therefore prayed the Lord to repeat to me the same things the second time; if, indeed, I might be sure of their truth, and might really tell the saints to stay in Nauvoo, and continue to build the temple.
As I prayed thus, the same Spirit burned in my bosom, and the Spirit of the Lord repeated to me the same message again. I then went on my way rejoicing, and soon arrived in Nauvoo, and delivered this message both to the people and friends individually and in the great congregation. In confirmation that the message was right, I found them already renewing their labors on the temple, under the direction of John Taylor and Willard Richards, who were members of our quorum, and were in jail with the prophets when they were murdered-Taylor being wounded with four bullets, and Richards escaping uninjured.-Autobiography of P. P. Pratt, pp. 370-372.
from latitude 20° 15', longitude 25° 19' west from Greenwich; and on April 25,1844, he wrote to W. W. Phelps, from latitude 25°19', longitude 149°11', still at sea. (See Times and Seasons, volume 5, page 707. ) These letters contain graphic descriptions of a very eventful voyage.
The following letters give information of their arrival and the beginning of their work:-
"FROM THE ISLANDS OF THE SEA.
"TAHITI, June 16, 1844.
". . . But without going into detail, as it would be uninteresting to you, suffice it to say, on the morning of the 14th of May we saw Tahiti, about forty miles distant, and the next day succeeded in getting to an anchor in the bay. But things looked very dark and portentous I assure you. Doubtless you have heard the particulars respecting the French having taken possession of these islands and establishing their laws here. If not, this will inform you of the fact; but the particulars I am not sufficiently acquainted with to give. The natives were and are still unreconciled to these proceedings, and about two weeks before we arrived, after a continual fermenting between them and the French, the natives took up arms against them, and there was a smart engagement took place, the result of which we have never been able correctly to ascertain, but there were many killed on both sides. The natives still remain under arms about ten miles from Papeete, the principal town of the island. What their intentions are is hard to tell, but I do not think there will be any more engagements between them at any rate. What the English may do I know not. There are two large men-of-war cruising off the harbor, and more expected shortly, peradventure they may take the natives' case in hand.
"But notwithstanding all these difficulties, they are no detriment to us as I know of. We are perfectly safe we think from any injury from the natives, as they have great regard for Americans, and we are living right among them. They are very kind and attentive to us, and declare that let what will happen, no harm shall befall us if they can prevent
it. But there is not the slightest danger; the English and French will do all that is to be done. Brother Pratt is on a small island called Tooboui, about three hundred miles from here. He is the only missionary there, and consequently will get along much better than we shall, who have eight or ten to work against us.
"The progress we have made in the language has been very rapid indeed. It is only twenty-five days since we came on shore, and we are able to hold quite a conversation, and read without difficulty. In fact, the natives tell me I can read better than Mr. Moore, a missionary who has been here eighteen months. We will soon be able to appoint meetings and preach. What success will attend it time alone can determine, but we think it will be good. The Lord grant it. Pray for our success, brother, . . . and request the church to do the same, for we feel in need of all the help we can get.
"We have heard nothing from the church since we left, with the exception of a few words by some missionaries bound to the Sandwich Islands, who left America two months after us. They said they did not think the church had been driven; at any rate they had not heard so. God grant it may be so, but still such news is but little better than no news at all.
"We feel very anxious, and shall wait very impatiently until we get letters. Do write to us, brother, . . . and give us every particular that you think will interest us, for news is precious from the church here, I assure you.
"I am, your brother in the bonds of the covenant,
"BENJAMIN F. GROUARD."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 739, 740.
"TAHITI, August 15, 1844.
"Dear Brother Young:-An opportunity having presented itself of sending letters to America, and believing also you would like to know how the work of the Lord prospers in this distant land, we thought we would address a few lines to you, giving account of our prosperity, and also a brief sketch of the political state of affairs here.
"To do this it is necessary to go back to the time we first made the island of Tooboui, which is a small island about
three hundred miles south of this. The circumstance of our making that island was one quite unexpected, and one which the captain had tried to avoid, but unsuccessfully. His object being to recruit the ship, however, before arriving at Tahiti he thought he would send a boat on shore and learn if it afforded anything he wanted, the result of which was he could obtain everything he wanted. This gave us an opportunity of going on shore, which we gladly embraced after being shut up on board our ship for almost seven months. We found the natives very friendly and very religiously disposed, although there was no white missionary on the island, neither had there been for a great length of time. As soon as they learned that we were missionaries they were very anxious to have one or more of us stay with them. There were a number of very respectable American mechanics residing on the island, who were also anxious to have one of us stay. There being an effectual door opened for us, it was thought prudent for one to do so. The lot fell upon Bro. Pratt by his own choice. After a short stay we bade him adieu, and sailed for Tahiti, where we arrived on the 14th of May. Circumstances certainly looked very unfavorable when we arrived, but we could do no better than stay, as there was no way open for us to go anywhere else.
"The circumstances, which we will briefly state, were as follows: The French, as no doubt you are already aware, had taken possession of the islands, dispossessing Queen Pomare, and established their own government here; which indeed has been a most fortunate thing for us, for had the native government been in full force when we arrived, most likely the missionaries (who hitherto have been mighty men in this kingdom) would have so influenced the natives against us as to prevent us from landing. But thank the Lord, their greatness has had a downfall, and a mighty one too, in this land. There had been one battle fought when we arrived, and the natives were still under arms, threatening daily to come down upon the French and annihilate them. Under these circumstances it was that we obtained permission from the French government to land as missionaries. There being no convenient place in town for us
to stop at, we moved into a missionary station about four miles below it. . . .
"After we had been here about six weeks (during which time we had not obtained the privilege of preaching once in public), the French forces went up into the next missionary station above us, where the native forces were encamped, and gave battle to them. During the engagement an English missionary who was residing there was killed. Whether this circumstance alone started them or not, we do not know; but at any rate, shortly after it the news came that they were going to leave, all but two, some for the Navigators and some for England.
"Thus we see the Lord is working for us, and that too in a way we least expected and could hardly have hoped for. They have not all gone as yet, but are doing so as fast as possible, and the quicker they are off the better we shall like it and the better it will be for us; for they are continually operating against us with every energy of their souls.
"We preach in English every Sabbath at present, and considering the few European inhabitants here, our meetings are well attended and good attention is paid. There is considerable interest awakened among the people; four have already been baptized, and we hope ere long many more will be; we feel the Lord is working with us. Our labors among the natives as yet have necessarily been very limited, owing to their unsettled state of affairs. They are also in a most deplorable condition in a moral point of view, notwithstanding the fifty years' labor of the missionaries.
"We have just received a letter from Bro. Pratt. He writes us that several of those Americans, who I mentioned as living there, have been obedient to the gospel, and have taken hold of the work in earnest to assist in building up the kingdom. He also states that he has had a call from an adjacent island to come and preach to them. And indeed were we divided into a hundred different parts, and each part an efficient preacher of the gospel, we should have as much as we could attend to, and more too, so great is the work in these islands. How many saints will be made out of them is hard to tell; time and labor alone can prove that. But one
thing we think is certain, and that is, they will take hold of it almost to a man. It may be hard in some cases to obtain a foothold, but when it is once obtained, we think there is not much difficulty in making them believe the truth.
"We have not as yet heard one syllable from home since we left. It is certainly very unpleasant to be shut up on a lone island of the sea and debarred as it were from all communication with the world, especially when so many who are near and dear to us by the strong and tender ties of the everlasting covenant are exposed to the relentless persecutions of their unmerciful enemies.
"Please write us on receipt of this what to do and how to act, for we feel to stand in need of your counsel. Our love to all. We request an interest in the prayers of the church.
"We remain yours, etc.,
"BENJ. F. GROUARD.
"P. S.- Bro. Pratt also writes that many of the natives on that island are already to be baptized, and all he is waiting for is to acquaint them more fully with their duty after being so."-Times and Season, vol. 6, pp. 812-814.
The following, from Elder Pratt to his wife, will be read with interest:-
"September 17. 1844.
"My Dear Wife:-I doubt not but you will say, 'Now my husband has got the desire of his heart,' when I tell you the first six persons I have adopted into the kingdom by baptism are sailors, and perhaps you will ask, Did you hammer the rust off them any? I will answer, could you see them on their knees and hear their humble petitions and the sincerity with which they thank the Lord for so ordering events that I have been so casually thrown on this island and have been instrumental in his hands of showing them the way of life and salvation, I doubt not but you would say, There has been a great change wrought somehow.'
"I told you in my last, dated July 6, I had baptized one. On the 22d July I baptized nine more; four Americans, one Scotchman, four natives. Two of them are the man and wife with whom I live. On the 29th July I proceeded to
organize a branch of the church, which we call the Tooboui branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (take particular notice,) consisting of eleven members, all in good standing.
"On the 5th of August I administered the sacrament. For wine I substituted cocoanut milk, that was a pure beverage, which had never come to the open air till we broke the nut for that purpose. On the 8th of August I baptized another. The inhabitants have recently held a meeting to regulate government affairs. Among other things they resolved to build me a house; they seem determined on my staying here, notwithstanding I say much about the gathering.
"Were I to take up my residence anywhere out of the body of the church I could not find, I believe, a more delightful spot than this. The climate is beautiful; never so cold as to have frost, though in July and August it is as cold as it can be, and not freeze. January and February are the warmest months, though the heat is never so scorching as some days we have at home.
"There are only two objections to the island: in summer the mosquitoes are innumerable, in winter the fleas are equally plenty; but we have means to guard against them.
"Before I came here King Tommatooah buried his wife; on the 14th July I married him to Toupah, his queen. He has been very friendly with me ever since I came here. Perhaps you will ask, How do you enjoy yourself so far from former friends and home? I answer, sometimes when I get to thinking about home I feel that I could leave all and return as quick as possible. . . .
"The second Sabbath after I came, the church came over to visit me, and I baptized seven more, all natives and heads of families. I administered the sacrament and we felt that we were greatly blest. . . .
"It is now a year since I have heard a syllable from home, and three months since I have heard from the brethren at Tahiti. The last mentioned vessel brought word that there were missionaries coming here from Tahiti and would . . . with me for breaking into their sheepfold. I returned to
my place, told Bro. Hill if anything of importance transpired to send me word.
"There came a runner before my morning discourse was ended informing me that the missionaries had arrived. In the evening came a letter that they had been on shore and given the poor Mormons a tremendous thrashing, christened some infants, told all the lies they knew about Bro. Joseph and the church, and had gone on board again; that they were to be on shore the next day, and I must meet them.
"The next morning I went over and found them in the house I had kept school in learning the natives to sing. Bro. Bowen was acquainted with them. I went in with my church and was introduced to them. I reached out my hand. They said, 'No; we do not give you the hand till we are better acquainted.' I sat down where I could look them full in the face, which I did, as if they had been the first specimens of the human family I had ever seen. I had heard so much of their iniquity, I wanted to see how they looked. To me they looked guilty indeed! The fourth, by the name of Moore, is a hot-headed fellow against the Mormons; he got so enraged the day before, he fairly danced about it. Howe at length turned to me and very sanctimoniously remarked, 'I understand you have come among these islands in the capacity of a preacher?' I answered in the affirmative. 'And what do you preach?' 'The sacred truths of the Bible,' I replied. Said he, 'I suppose you are aware that so many years ago the London Missionary Society established a mission here at a very vast expense?' The whole stress was on the 'vast expense,' the cost of translating the Bible, etc. 'Well.' said I, 'and now are you opposed to having the Bible preached after you have accomplished the translation ?' He said no; he had no objections to my preaching the Bible, but he understood I had another book I preached from. I told him it was a mistake, and went on to tell him what it was. A long dialogue ensued in which they all questioned me on the fundamental principles of the gospel, and they had to drop several points they introduced for fear of trapping themselves. At length they told me they found no fault with me as far as the Bible was
concerned, but the Book of Mormon they had read, and said it was a bad book. I told them to show me some specimens of bad doctrine in it. They turned to the place where it says, 'Adam fell that man might be,' they flounced greatly at that; I soon succeeded in proving it was not contrary to Bible doctrine. . . .
"We separated, they shook me by the hand with the cordiality of old friends. The natives felt hurt for me when they saw them at first refuse to shake hands with me. King Tommatooah told me not to lay it to heart, for they were going home to England and would not return; and now is time to supply them with missionaries.
"The natives took my part, and defended the cause with great boldness when I was not present. Bro. Hill I have adopted in Bro. Hanks' stead. He is one of the honorable men of the earth, intelligent and kind; I have great reason to esteem him. My American brethren are all extremely kind, and willing to divide to the last with me. . . .
"When the brethren get their vessel done, which will be a year from this time, if we shall not hear from you we think of going to Columbia River, and so cross the Rocky Mountains to Nauvoo. If you wish to know when I am coming home, you must ask Bro. Young.
"I see nothing in the way of sending a host of elders; the islands all want teachers.
"Our long imprisonment on the Timoleon (for I can never call it anything else) served to form attachments among the passengers which will be long remembered. Dr. Winslow and his wife treated me with great respect, made me several presents; likewise the captain made me some presents, and told the young king if he did not use me well he would come back there and take me away. Dr. Winslow told me if I wished to leave the island and had not means I might draw on him at Tahiti for any amount I wanted and he would meet the demand, and if I could never conveniently refund it, he would give it to me. Mrs. Winslow is a superior woman. We parted with much friendship, and from Tahiti they sent me a long letter, that the wars there had thwarted their plans, that their goods were reshipped
for the Sandwich Islands, and urged me to visit them before I returned to America.
"Mr. Lincoln, 3 I understand, is baptized at Tahiti; he was one of our passengers, and a fine man too. . .
"To Mrs. Louisa Pratt, Nauvoo."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 882-885.
Several other communications were received from these elders, which we omit, and close the subject by quoting a report from Elder Rogers, written after he returned to Nauvoo:-
"NAUVOO, January 5,1846.
"Bro. Taylor:-Having been requested by many brethren to give some account of my late mission in the Pacific, and being willing to gratify them and others, I send you an abridgment of my journal during my mission, which if you deem worthy of publication, is at your disposal.
"Being set apart with Brn. Addison Pratt, B. F Grouard, and K. Hanks, to go to the islands of the south sea, we accordingly took leave of our families, and on the first day of June, 1843, left Nauvoo for Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], where we arrived on the 12th. Bro. Pratt left us at Evansville for Pleasant Garden, Indiana. Bro. Grouard left the same day for Philadelphia. Bro. Hanks and myself tarried in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] the 14th, when we left for Philadelphia, where we arrived on the 23d in the evening. Here we found Bro. Grouard. We stayed in the city until the 29th, when it was agreed that Brn. Grouard and Hanks should go on, and that I should await the arrival of Bro. Pratt; during which time I visited a branch at Downingtown, also Goshen, where I attended a conference with Brn. Sheets and Moore, who organized a branch. From hence I visited Centerville, Delaware, on the 4th of July, where I tarried until the 6th with Sr. Moseley. I then visited Wilmington, stayed one day, then returned to Philadelphia; and on Sunday 9th, by
3Father of Elder George S. Lincoln, of San Francisco, California.
request of Bro. Grant, preached near the Navy Yard and baptized four. In the afternoon attended meeting with Bro. Grant.
"Monday, 10th; went to Burlington, New Jersey, and on the 15th was joined by Bro. Pratt at Mount Holly. The same day we visited Shreesville, and returned to Burlington. On the 17th went to New York; and on the 21st arrived at New Bedford, Massachusetts, where we found Bro. Grouard. Bro. Pratt and myself visited Boston on the 22d, from thence Bro. Pratt went to New Hampshire. I followed on the 26th; visited many places in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York; then returned to Boston, where I found the Twelve. Here also I met Brn. Pratt, Grouard, and Hanks.
"By counsel of Bro. Young, Bro. Pratt went to New Bedford to procure a passage, which he did for one hundred dollars each, in the ship Timoleon, Captain Plasket. The brethren in Salem and Boston contributed liberally, as did also the brethren in New Bedford, particularly Bro. Lewis, who with a liberality becoming a saint gave us three hundred dollars. After paying our passage we had eighty dollars left for contingent expenses.
"All things being ready, on the 9th October we embarked for the Pacific Ocean. There were on board eight passengers besides ourselves: Dr. Winslow and family, and Mr. Lincoln and wife. Bro. Hanks was quite feeble when we embarked. Bro. Grouard and myself were seasick, particularly in the gulf stream, a pleasing sensation, which Brn. Pratt and Hanks escaped, although the sea was very rugged. Bro. Hanks continued to fail until the 3d of November, when he departed this life without a struggle. The evening before his death he had a vision concerning spirits in prison, an account of which has been written by Bro. Pratt. The captain and officers were not willing to keep the body until we could make Cape Verde Islands, consequently we were obliged to bury our brother in the deep blue sea.
"'Amid the wonders of the deep
We made our brother's grave!
Sweet and unbroken is his sleep;
Lulled by the roaring wave.'
"The loss of Bro. Hanks was severely felt by us all, for he was truly a good man and a worthy brother. On the 9th of November we arrived at St. Nicholas, one of Cape Verde Islands. Several of us went ashore, procured donkeys, and rode to Bravo, a village six miles in the interior. The inhabitants of these islands are mostly black, and speak the Portuguese language; their religion the Catholic. The streets are from four to eight feet wide, and the houses are one story high, made of round stones and clay mortar. The soil is sterile and unproductive. These islands are of volcanic origin, and the island of Fogo has a volcano which may sometimes be seen in a state of eruption. After leaving these islands we steered for Tristan D'Acunha, and on the 10th of December crossed the equator, and continued our way with a fine breeze until the 3d of January, 1844, we made the above-named island, situated in latitude 37° south, and longitude 20° west. On the 4th we encountered a severe gale which lasted twenty-four hours, in consequence of which we were unable to beat up to the island; but I learn that the island contains fifty inhabitants, descendants of one Glass, who was sergeant in the English Army, from which government he draws a pension, and is governor of the island. There are three islands in the group, only one inhabited; they also are of volcanic origin.
"On the 10th left these islands; and on the 25th doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and stood on for the island of St. Pauls, which we made on the 21st of February. We lowered three boats and caught twenty barrels of fish of the rock cod species. The next day we went on shore, where we found fifty or sixty miserable looking Frenchmen and one American from Albany; these were the only inhabitants of the island. The peculiar form of the island deserves some notice. This island seems to have been thrown up by strong volcanic action, forming in the center of the island a huge crater. From this crater on the south the land is sunk, leaving in the crater a basin or bay into which vessels of light draught may enter and have a safe and commodious harbor. In the center of this harbor no soundings can be found. From this basin or crater rises on all sides a hill, to
the height of two thousand feet, broken only by the sunken part. This hill slopes gradually to the sea, and on the top many mounds are thrown up by eruptions. Boiling springs are found near the crater, in one of which we boiled a crawfish. Situated 38° 42' south latitude, 77° 52' east longitude. Bro. Grouard and myself ascended the hill, where we had an opportunity to pray undisturbed, a privilege we had not enjoyed for months.
"Nothing unusual occurred on our way to New Holland. On the 20th March made the south cape of Van Diemen's Land, an island south of New Holland; and on the last of March and 1st of April passed the island called 'Three Kings' and pursued our way to the Society Islands. On the 30th of April made the island of Tooboui, and went on shore with the Captain.
"The next day all the passengers went on shore also. This island contains about four hundred inhabitants. They having no missionary, and finding who we were, requested us to stay. Bro. Pratt stayed among them. On this island were a company of Americans, eight or nine who were building a schooner. They received us kindly. We tarried here nine days, when we set sail for Tahiti, which we made on the 13th, and on the 14th came to an anchor in the harbor of Papeete. The French have possession of this town and harbor, which is under martial law; the harbor guarded by frigate, corvette, and steamer. The French and natives had a battle a few days before our arrival, and three or four since. The French are generally victorious, for the natives are more afraid of the sound of big guns than they are of bullets. After obtaining a permit of the French governor to land, we went on shore, where we could not obtain board among the white inhabitants for less than seven dollars per week. I however made a hoa (friend) of a native, with whom I lived for two dollars and a half per week. Bro. Grouard boarded with Mr. Lincoln (our fellow passenger mentioned above) at about the same price. A few days after our arrival a battle took place between the French and the natives at Point Venus, in which an English missionary
was accidentally shot by the French, whose funeral I attended. . . .
"We hired a house for eight dollars per month and commenced preaching in it, and soon baptized from fifteen to twenty whites, Americans and English. In the meantime we began to acquire the Tahitian language, and to preach to the natives, hundreds of whom professed to believe our preaching, but would not obey. Their reason was that they dare not, because they expected assistance from the English against the French, and they feared the missionary influence with the English government would be exerted against them if they embraced our principles. Affairs being thus in Tahiti, Bro. Grouard and I thought best to visit other islands. Accordingly we ordained Bro. Lincoln to preside over the branch in Tahiti, and took our departure, Bro. Grouard east and I west. I visited Morea, Huhena, Rieatiea, Bobobolo, and Taha; from thence to the island of Mote, one of the Harvey group.
"From thence to the island of Mangla, where I landed. This island contains about four thousand inhabitants, whose language is a little different from the Tahitian. No missionary was on this island, so I offered to tarry and teach them; but they informed me that they had received letters from Mr. Pratt and Mr. Baff, English missionaries, forbidding them to receive any missionaries or teachers unless they brought letters from them; that all who had not these letters were Popa havare (lying Catholics), consequently they had passed a law that no white man should live among them. From here I went to the island of Ruruto, where they told me the same story. So I found the missionaries had written to all the islands in the group to prevent our landing. The Lord reward them according to their works.
"I then returned to Tahiti, where I received letters from Bro. Grouard. He had landed on the island of Anana, one of the chain group. This group consists of thirty or forty low coral islands, with no vegetables but cocoanuts [coconuts]; but they have plenty of fish and hogs. The population of Anana is about four thousand. Bro. Grouard had baptized twenty of the principal men and many were investigating
the work. Bro. Grouard thinks that twenty or thirty elders might be well employed on this group; he will probably do a great work in those islands.
"The productions of the Society Islands are breadfruit, bananas, oranges, faii, plantains, yams, sweet potatoes, taro, vites, guavas, etc., etc. Cattle and horses have been brought here, and hogs, dogs, goats, sheep, and fowls are here also. The natives are tall, well proportioned, and muscular, of an open intelligent countenance, dark olive or copper color, quick of apprehension, of a mild disposition and very friendly. Finally, on the 3d July, 1845, I left for home in ship 'Free Brother,' Captain Mitchell. On the 6th made the island of Tooboui; went on shore, but was much disappointed not seeing Bro. Pratt, who was on the other side of the island, six miles distant. A native immediately ran to carry him word of my arrival, but the captain would not wait, so I was obliged to leave without seeing him. I learned that he had baptized eight or nine Americans who were building the schooner, and about forty natives, in all fifty or more.
"After staying on shore about an hour, and obtaining a few vegetables and hogs, we went on board and stood away for Cape Horn, after passing which the Captain gave me leave to preach, which I did four or five Sundays. The result was that seven or eight believed, two of whom I baptized in Philadelphia. The captain himself believed, but finding that he must obey also, became very bitter, which rendered some part of the voyage rather disagreeable. After a passage of one hundred and thirty days from Tahiti, I arrived at Nantucket, Massachusetts, on the 6th of November, and on the 22d arrived in Philadelphia, where I stayed two days and baptized three. On the 24th left for Nauvoo, where I arrived on the 29th of December.
"Thus, after an absence of two years and a half, I have circumnavigated the globe, to build up the kingdom of Christ and prepare a way for the spread of the gospel among the islands of the sea.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 1085 to 1087.
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