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PRESIDENT SMITH'S WESTERN TRIP
AS MENTIONED in the last chapter, President Smith left Plano, Illinois, on July 17, 1876, for a Western trip. We think that this trip and incidents connected therewith will be of sufficient interest to justify a special mention; so in this chapter we give a detailed account of the trip in his own language.
On August 3, 1876, he wrote from Mission San Jose, California, and from other places and on other dates, as given below:
I left Omaha on the 25th of July, having spoken in Council Bluffs the afternoon and evening of the 23d, and at Omaha the evening of the 24th. The constant pushing westward, morning, noon, and night, has a strange effect upon one going over the route for the first time-at least it did upon me-and I could not fail to reflect, as the train swept over the long, interminable wastes, how sadly, despondingly, thousands threaded those wastes, ever pushing westward, footsore, heartsick, and weary.
I reached Niles, California, Saturday afternoon at half-past three, and found Brn. D. S. Mills and Albert Haws, with part of Bro. Mills' family, waiting at the depot.
The beauty of the landscape, the balminess of the air, the exhilaration of having reached my journey's end took away my weariness, and I greeted these friends of the cause with pleasure.
San Francisco, August 14.-I arrived here on August 8, and have spent the time mostly in this city, occasionally visiting Oakland to get acquainted with the Saints, or as business demanded.
On Sunday, yesterday, I spoke at West Oakland, in a hall secured by the brethren, and at night in the city, in the hall of the Grand Army of the Republic, in which the Saints held their regular services. The audience in the evening was very fair, the hall quite well filled. I enjoyed
reasonable freedom. At the close a gentleman asked leave to present a question or two. Leave being accorded to him, he asked the usual questions about the complicity of my father with polygamy, which I replied to as I could. He was quite temperate in his remarks, though he was strongly impressed with the strangeness of the case, which he put thus: "It is to me very strange that a people should be accused of practicing polygamy in 1838, in Missouri, and in Nauvoo in 1842, at the same time publicly denying their complicity with it in their public works as late as 1845, and yet, two years afterwards they are found practicing and defending it, the heads or leading men steeped in it. So to me it is very strange."
We admitted the strangeness of the position; but denied the responsibility of it. What effect the question and replies will have, I have no present means of knowing.
The Saints are mostly in good spirits and the work stands fair; but there are some personal causes for distress and annoyance. Lack of wisdom in administrative affairs has done some damage to individual feelings. Some cases of apparent insubordination and the urging of individual right as against the right of the whole, are acting as stumbling-blocks in the way of a few; apparent distrust and want of effort results.
Bro. Mills has not yet organized our route of travel; but I expect to hear this week. We shall then be off for a tour among the branches so long as I remain.
A good feeling prevails at Nortonville, Contra Costa County, California. Bro. T. R. Davis, who presides there, is an excellent man, full of faith. Nortonville is a small mining town right in the mountains of the coast range. We spent Sunday, the 6th, there, in company with Bro. D. S. Mills, a most excellent man and a beloved pastor; all bearing testimony to his faithfulness. We here had the pleasure of meeting some of the faithful delvers in the mines for coal. An explosion and fire in the mine some two weeks before our arrival killed eleven men, the last of whom was buried the day we were there.
WINDSOR, California, September 1, 1876.
Bro. D. S. Mills and the editor left the Old Mission San Jose, on August 19, to make the circuit of Stockton, Sacramento, and other places lying "up the coast" from the "city," as in California, San Francisco is the central point from which radiate the lines of travel "up the coast," "down the coast," "overland" and "oceanward." We stopped at Stockton first. This city is situated on the plain, between the two great ranges of mountains, the Mount Diablo and coast. This plain is a rich adobe delta, covered sparsely with oaks, and cultivated in wheat, hay, and fruit. . . .
We spoke in Stockton, in the Saints' chapel, a neat little frame building, built on land donated by Captain Weber for the purpose, and for
which the Saints hold him in honorable remembrance, holding four services in connection with Bro. D. S. Mills, and partaking of the sacramental emblems with them, Bro. Henry P. Robins, presiding.
From Stockton we went to Sacramento, situate on the river of the same name. Here we met Bro. Hiram P. Brown, an able and efficient elder of the old-time warfare, who, with Brn. E. H. Webb, C. Bagnall and others are keeping the tocsin sounding. We spoke twice in Sacramento in a hall where the Saints assemble at stated times to hold services. We met quite a number of the old-time Saints here. They still feel kindly toward the faith they once held, though they are cautious and hesitate to accept the theory we bring; some of them, indeed, having discarded any and all connection with religion.
We climbed the cupola of the capitol here, and were rewarded with a wonderful panorama of the surrounding plain.
We here met Bro. J. B. Price, of Davisville, at whose invitation we went on the 24th to his place of residence, and presented the gospel to the people, in a hall procured by Bro. Price and a friend or two. Here we met a few Saints and spent an evening in converse and singing.
On the morning of the 25th, we left for Santa Rosa, by the way of "Frisco," riding two hours by rail and boat down the bay, spending three hours in the city, and then two hours by boat up the bay and one by rail brought us to "Pennis Grove," a solitary station-house, and windows out and abandoned. A mile and a half of California dust on foot and we were, at Bro. Jacob Adamson's, where we were welcomed with a saint-like hospitality. We slept here and on the 26th reached Santa Rosa by "due course of mail."
At Santa Rosa, we were the guests of Bro. J. M. Parks, whom we once met at Louisiana, Missouri, and who is now a staunch defender of the faith. We visited several of the Saints; among them Bro. Jeremiah Root, an old-time Saint, who has seen some rough experience as a lover of the truth.
We preached in Ridgeway's Hall, on Sunday, the 27th, morning and evening, Bro. Mills occupying the afternoon.
Bro. Root carried us to Windsor, seven miles, on Monday, his wife, Bro. Bowen, and Bro. Parks and his wife accompanying us. Here Bro. Bell had procured a hall and we addressed the people. We slept at Bro. Bells, and went to Healdsburg on the 29th. We spoke at the latter place in the evening, to a fair audience. Here we were permitted to experience a thunder-storm accompanied by lightning and rain. We were told by some that it was the first they had seen for twenty-three years, the length of their stay in the State. We had been told that there were no such storms in California; so we thought it extraordinary-possibly got up for our benefit. We met here Bro. E. Adamson, whose guest we were; Brn. Graumlich and Hollar, and Mark Briggs, a brother of Jason W., of Healdsburg, and Bro. Cobb of Lower Lake, and Bro. McKinly of Pine Mountain, all anxious to have the work made honorable.
On the 30th, we returned to Santa Rosa, and Bro. Root turned us over to Bro. John Cooper; Bro. Root had carried us from place to place till the good old man was weary, so we bid him good-bye, leaving him with his faith in God and the work unshaken.
At Petaluma, we found rest with Bro. George W. Oman, another old-time Saint, who had passed through the valley and drifted to the shores of the Pacific. The Saints had obtained a hall and we preached on the "laying on of hands." We met Bro. W. Patten and others here.
Bro. and Sr. Parks had been with us on the trip round, and we sped away to "Frisco," en route for the "Los Angeles."
GOSPEL SWAMP., Los Angeles Co., Cal., September 16, 1876.
From the Mission San Jose, our route lay south to Watsonville, via San Jose, Los Gatos and Soquel, over the Santa Cruz range of mountains, and through a portion of the redwood country. We started on September first, near noon, dined at Bro. Peter Burgess', in the pretty town of San Jose, and entered the mountain range about dusk in the evening, through the gate (Los Gatos).
The next day we reached Watsonville, where, domiciled at Bro. D. J. Phillips', an old-time Saint who had "gone on" and through "perfection" at the valley, we enjoyed a season of rest and refreshing with the people of God. The Saints held a meeting at their chapel on Saturday evening, but we did not attend; on the morrow, however, the rink having been secured, we addressed the people morning and evening, and again on Monday evening, attending a sacramental service on Sunday afternoon in the chapel. The services were well attended throughout.
On Monday we all went to the beach, where we had the pleasure of looking out upon the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The wind was blowing strong, and the surf beat on the sands with a roar. We lunched, and sang till the day waned, and returned to the city in readiness for the evening service.
Bidding the Saints good-bye on Tuesday morning, we left for the San Benito Valley. We dined with Bro. Lyman Hutchins, in the Pajaro Valley, and reached Bro. John Range's, near Hollister, at night, passing through Robber's Glen and the old, old town of San Juan, in full sight of Fremont's Peak, made famous by the sojourn of Fremont and his army during the Mexican War, just prior to the capture of Monterey. The dust was deep, the weather dry, and the wind blowing in the same direction we were traveling; so we were covered with it. We stopped one day at Hollister, visiting, and on the 7th reached Bro. John Root's, on the San Benito. We spoke here in the schoolhouse, to an audience hastily gathered. We arrived at the Jefferson Branch, on the San Benito, at a little past noon, on the 8th, and stopped with Bro. John Carmichael, another old-time Saint, who, obeying the truth before the Martyr's death, had a strong "will to won't," when told to submit to the dictation of counsel. "In plain English, I will not," was the language used by him when counseled to "forget the wife of his youth."
The Saints came together at two o'clock on Saturday the 9th, and had a season of testimony and prayer. Bro. D. S. Mills spoke in the evening to an interested audience. Here the Saints came together from Long Valley, Bitter Water, Peach Tree, Salinas, Hollister, and Watsonville. On Sunday we spoke twice, morning and evening, attending sacramental service in the afternoon. We had been scolding some of the brethren for preaching long sermons; but on the occasion of our Sunday evening service we fairly earned our own scolding, as they will doubtless bear witness; however, we begged pardon, and they ought to forgive us.
Notwithstanding the burning of the "bowery" at the Swamp, we lost only two meetings, for the brethren rallied and at three o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday, the 16th, and in the evening, Bro. Mills and self were permitted to address quite a fair audience.
We here met Brn. Russell Huntley, John Brush, John Garner, Joseph Burton, and quite a number of "old-timers," as those who were with the church in Nauvoo are called.
The Saints held three meetings on Sunday, September 17. We spoke in the morning at eleven, and in the evening at seven; Bro. Mills occupying the afternoon service. The weather was fair, the audiences large and attentive and good liberty was had. The Saints seemed to enjoy the services, and the occasion of our assembling together was made peaceful and pleasant by the presence of the Spirit. . . .
The branch at the "Swamp" called the Newport Branch, is about seventy-six in number, three being added during our stay. A good feeling prevails, and the Saints are winning golden opinions from their neighbors, as a rule; except a few, possibly a very few, who are too bigoted to enjoy their own religion and allow others the same privilege.
From Newport to San Bernardino, by the Santa Ana River, is a long day's ride; but with the company of Bro. John Garner, with whom we rode, Brn. Mills and Joseph Burton, the way was enlivened; and at dinner, under a sycamore-tree which would have afforded shelter and seats for many a Zaccheus in its wide spreading branches, with the addition to our company of Bro. and Sr. Richard Allen, Sr., Sr. Worley, Daniel Garner, R. R. Dana, and - Damron, we had a pleasant hour. We arrived at San Bernardino after night-fall, ready for a night's rest and sleep.
Here, amid the vines, fig-tree, and balmy breezes of an oasis hidden from the arid plains, in a sweep of the grand old hills, the everlasting hills, lies one of the beautiful places of the earth. . . .
We arrived at San Bernardino on the evening of the 20th, and our spiritual labors began the next evening. Bro. Mills delivering the opening sermon, while we remained at Bro. Garner's nursing a cold contracted during the long ride on the cars from "Frisco" to Anaheim, and at the Swamp. However, on the evening of Friday, the 22d, we addressed the citizens at the Saints' chapel; and on Sunday morning in the grove of Mr. Clark Faburn, kindly offered for the purpose. A large congregation
gathered and listened with good attention. Again in the evening, and the evening following, we spoke in the Saints' chapel. A respectful hearing was accorded us, and we trust good was done. We tried to tell the gospel in plainness and as we understand it.
We visited many of the old Saints; found them watching and praying for the full redemption of Zion to come. They are ready and willing to welcome the day dawn of full release.
We met quite a number at this place who had been with the church almost from the beginning, Brn. Richard Allen, Sr., Stephen M. Saint John, - Shephard, Q. S. Sparks, - Ridley, John Garner, Sr., Judge A. D. Boren, David Aldridge, and many others, all of whom greeted us with friendship and aided us on in the labor of preaching the word; and when we bade them good-bye, we did so feeling that the work had warm friends who were friends to us for the work's sake. . . .
After returning to San Francisco, on the 29th of September, we spoke in the Grand Army Republic Hall, the Saints' place of worship, on Sunday, the 1st of October. The audience on this occasion was not so large as at our first visit; but some interest was manifested. On the evening of the 4th we gave a lecture on the subject of the Marriage Relation. Some seemed satisfied with the views we expressed, and the Saints generally indorsed [endorsed] them.
Friday, October 6, we met the Saints in their semiannual conference. We assembled at Oakland, in the Music Hall, which had been secured for the occasion. Quite a gathering took place on this occasion, and a fair representation of the various districts composing the mission was made. An idea of the business that was done will be obtained from a perusal of the minutes.
Conference lasted for three days; Sunday being occupied only as the law of the church directs-in paying our devotions and in the ordinances of the house of God. Five were baptized, one received on original baptism, the sacrament was administered and the word preached. In the evening the Republican tent, kindly lent us for the day, was filled and good attention was paid to the word spoken. It seemed a matter of some surprise that there was so good ground for our faith as there appeared to be.
During the week after conference, we had the pleasure of leading one into the waters of the Pacific, thereby setting the seal to our ministry on the Western coast, as we did last year at Jonesport, Maine, on the Eastern coast. They were good, earnest souls who obeyed at that time, and so was she who obeyed here. May God keep them of the East and the West to strike hands in the midst of the land with a redeemed and saved people.
At conference we had the pleasure of listening to a sermon by Elder H. P. Brown, formerly of Waverly, Iowa, now of Sacramento, California. Earnest and positive in his evidence he made a strong defense of the "faith once delivered to the Saints."
One cheering evidence was vouchsafed to us, in a report from Sacramento, to the effect that Bro. James Sloan, at one time recorder at Nauvoo, in the days of the Martyrs, had cast his lot with us of the Reorganization. Also, Sr. Maria Zimmerman, of Placerville, [who] was baptized by Elder Shurtliff in 1840, in Indiana. These things point to the fact that the Spirit that accompanied the elders and bore witness to the work, when they preached the truth, now bears a like testimony respecting the work of the Reorganization. We hail these faithful ones with pleasure.
On the 13th we left the city and on the 15th we spoke at Washington Corners, morning and evening. Quite a fair attendance and good attention on both occasions.
A trip over the Santa Cruz mountains by wagon is a pleasure that is not enjoyed by sojourners on the fertile plains of Illinois; but if now and then one should wander out to California, we recommend to them that they just pocket business and business affairs for the time being and do themselves the pleasure of passing over one of the most picturesque and pleasing drives in the State.
On the morning of the 24th of October, 1876, Brn. D. S. Mills and S. Stivers, of Old Mission San Jose, and the writer, accompanied by a son of Bro. Stivers and one of Bro. D. J. Phillips, of Watsonville, left the Mission, "armed and equipped as the law directs" for a trip to Santa Cruz, forty-five miles distant, and over the mountains.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It was dusk when we began to descend the grade on the yonder side, and quite dark when we turned out of the ravines at Sequel to cross the benches to Santa Cruz. The lights were blazing in the streets and the houses when we reached Bro. M. A. Meeder's, where we were made welcome.
The city of Santa Cruz is the modern overshadowing the ancient. The old town is partly left in some old buildings, and the older regime of the Catholic power, visible in the new church, built close by the old one; on which we read, "Deo Optima Mexicana, Dedicate 1868." This church is surrounded by the school, parsonage, convent, and the usual accessories of a local rule as careful and relentless as fate.
Nearby and higher up the hill, toward the setting sun, two excellent reservoirs, fed from the Santa Cruz River, by the tireless thews of the steam engine, a half mile away, give the city its water.
Right under the Catholic church and grounds runs the Felton Narrow Gauge Railway, through a tunnel a thousand feet long; thence away to the powder mills, a few miles off, at Felton, and then to the "red woods," where thousands of busy hands are fast destroying for the uses of man, what God has been centuries preparing for him. A few years only and the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz range will have passed away, as forests, but will live in villa, mart, cottage, and hall, things of use and
beauty, a joy-but not forever, for man passes away and his habitation is left to strangers.
Here, a half mile from the shore of the ocean, we hear again the pounding of the surf, mellowed by distance into a thunderous roar, grand, but solemn.
We visited with Bro. Meeder and family one day, then recrossed the mountains, "climbing up another way" than we went down, through Scott Valley, and by Mountain Charley's. The scenery of this ascent is beautiful, some parts of it very beautiful; but when part way up the fog shut in, and the rain descended, and the top, and valley, hill and plain were all obscured.
We reached our home at the Mission on the third day, tired but gratified for what our eyes had seen and ears heard of the beauties and wonders of California.
After returning from Santa Cruz, on the 26th of October, we made immediate preparations to leave California; and on the 29th for the last time spoke to the congregation of Saints and friends in the hall of the Grand Army of the Republic, on New Montgomery Street, where the Saints at present hold their Sunday services. There was a good audience present, and we enjoyed a fair degree of liberty.
On the 30th we visited a few of the brethren in Oakland, among them Bro. Thomas Dungan, who is sorely afflicted with a disease in one of his legs, which has baffled all efforts to stay its ravages, and is slowly sapping away the old soldier's life. He is some seventy-seven years old, and it was a sad sight to see him so tormented.
On the 31st we officiated in the renewal of the covenant of a good sister at Oakland, Bro. Russell Huntley assisting us, and blessed a number of children, at the house of Bro. John Roberts, whose guest we were, and for whose kindness we feel grateful. We also visited a number of the Saints in San Francisco, all of whom expressed regret at our departure, and gave tokens of their friendship for the cause; for which may the blessings rest with them that they so well merit.
On the first of November we bade Sr. Lincoln and her family, Brn. William Anderson, Job Hall, Thomas J. Andrews, Peter Canavan, A. C. Bryan, and others farewell, and left the city of San Francisco, in company of Bro. Daniel S. Mills, who accompanied us as far as Sacramento, where we bade him good-bye, he bound for Salmon Falls on an errand of mercy; and we en route for Reno and Carson City. We reached the latter place early Thursday morning; and in the afternoon reported to Bro. A. B. Johns, president of the district, and spent a night and a day in Jack's Valley. On Saturday we returned to Carson, and on Sunday morning and evening we addressed those of the citizens of the city who chose to gather at the court-house to hear us; the attendance was good, on both occasions, and the Saints seemed to be pleased with the effort made.
On Monday, by the kindness of Bro. Thomas Milliard's son, Harry, we
went to Bro. Johns', and was by him taken to Genoa, Carson Valley, where we spoke to a large assembly in the court-house. From there, Bro. Johns had arranged for preaching at Mottsville, Fairview, Diamond Valley, and Jack's Valley, on successive nights; all of which engagements we filled, visiting the Saints between times.
At Genoa and Mottsville, we fell in with a number of the brethren who accept William Davis, now at Walla Walla, as a leader. It is stated that there are a number of resurrected saints, ancient and modern, among them; as, for instance, the ancient of days; Daniel, of the lion's den; Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It is also stated that Jesus in the person of a child of about eight years of age, is at Walla Walla with Mr. Davis' family. We heard other rumors about them, but do not care to repeat them. Some of the men whom we met are evidently sincere and earnest men; and as we can only wish them well, we do not choose to report anything not well authenticated. Most of them were with Elder Joseph Morris in the Webber trouble.
On Friday, November 10, we baptized three, in Jack's Valley, holding confirmation services at Bro. A. B. Johns'. Two were children of Bro. and Sr. David R. Jones, and one, a Sr. Trimmer, a citizen of Carson City. We returned to Carson, on November 11, and went directly to Virginia City, the mining center of Nevada. We met Bro. George Smith, of Pleasant Valley, on the platform at Carson, who accompanied us to Virginia.
At Virginia we mat Bro. John Parsons, and - Petrie, once of the Morris band now standing aloof from all; also Bro. Levi Atkinson and family, whose guest we became during our stay. We received an invitation from the Liberal Association, by Elder McGrath, their pastor, to occupy the stand at their regular Sunday evening services, in the National Guard Hall, to which invitation we responded. The hall was large and well filled with an audience of intelligent people. We were thankful for the opportunity, pleased with the liberal sentiment expressed in the invitation, and tried to do our duty-the result is with our Master. We were more favorably impressed with this invitation because it was so opportune and so out of the ordinary line of treatment accorded to us by religious bodies.
From Virginia City, we visited Gold Hill, calling upon the widow of Bro. David Holman, deceased, and spending a pleasant half hour in chatting about the early days of the church. Sr. Holman was with the Saints during their Missouri and Illinois troubles, and still retains her faith. Her husband was intimately acquainted with Joseph Smith and family; was with the family during the Liberty Jail trials, went with them to and from Missouri and refused after the death of Joseph to accept the rule of President Young.
Leaving Virginia City on Monday, November 13, we visited Bro. C. A. Gross, at Gold Hill, and while there blessed a child of the family. Bro. and Sr. Gross treated us very kindly. We dined with him and his, and
Bro. and Sr. Atkinson, who were visiting with us there, and after a while walked over to the "switch" on the mountain side, and returned to Carson City in time for evening service in the court-house. This was our last effort in Carson; it was well attended and we tried to do the best we could-we acknowledge the aid of the Spirit.
From Carson to Franktown, Washo Valley, on Tuesday, where we spoke to fair attendance, with comparatively good liberty. . . . There are good Saints in those valleys, as we are prepared to affirm. Bro. George Smith, of Pleasant Valley, here offered us conveyance to the railway station, via his own home, where we spent a few pleasant hours. We left the house of Bro. J. Twaddle, and the companionship of the brethren there with the kindliest feelings for those who people the plains amid the everlasting hills.
We took train at Steamboat Station; and at Reno, on the main line of the Central Pacific, met Bro. E. Penrod, with whom we journeyed to Battle Mountain. At this place we remained from Thursday, half past one in the afternoon, till Monday the 20th of November, the guest of an old-time playfellow and schoolmate, Bro. Albert Haws. Preached on Sunday at two o'clock in the afternoon and seven o'clock in the evening. Baptized two on Sunday in the Humboldt River, confirming them at the house of Bro. Haws, he assisting in the services.
We bade the Saints of Battle Mountain, few in number, good-bye, on the 20th, and left for Salt Lake City, Utah, where we arrived on the morning of the 21st of November, without having been previously heralded, except to one or two of the brethren. Brn. Thomas Hudson and P. H. Reinsimar met us at the train, and we were soon "at home" with the latter-named brother, who kindly offered us a sojourning place, and who failed not to make us welcome while we stayed. Both he and his family did all that could be done to make the stay pleasant.
We made the entry into Salt Lake City, the "City of the Saints," almost in regal style; for although "unheralded and unannounced," there was but one other passenger over the line, and we almost literally had a whole train to ourselves. The ride in from Ogden is very suggestive, or at least it was to us, for, contending emotions born of the circumstances of our life, condition, service, and the occasion of our visit to these mountain fastnesses, came struggling up for recognition and prominence-and the question, How Will we be received? would constantly recur.
The evidences of thrift, energy, and faithful devotion to the principles, the following of which had brought this people, whom we were going to visit in their principal city, to these plains amid the hills were everywhere visible. We held many things of faith and belief in common with them; some were relatives, many others were acquaintances, once friends-were they so still? We were on an errand antagonistic to the genius of their institutions and their social bond-what ought we to expect from them? These thoughts and many more of a similar nature occupied us as we
passed successively Farmington, Kaysville, Centerville and Wood's Cross, all scattered hamlets lying against the foothills to the left of the road. Above them the everlasting hills, some of them whitening with the snows of early winter.
The ride of forty miles seemed short, and soon we wound into the strange city of a strange people. Once domiciled at the home of Bro. Reinsimar, we had leisure to think, and thinking to take time to determine what course to pursue. For a number of days we visited in the city, places and people, endeavoring to discover whatever might aid in the solution of the puzzle, What shall we do? Many received us cheerfully and pleasantly; among these were our relatives, uncle Hyrum's sons, John and Joseph F. Smith; uncle Samuel's son, Samuel H. B. Smith; and a son of cousin George A. Smith, John Henry, by name. We met many who have a hope in the ultimate triumph of the work of the last days, but who are now at a loss which way to turn to look for progress, and advancement. Some of those whom we met were cordial and friendly, but sincerely impressed that it was a bad thing for us to be fighting against that work begun by our father and uncle. To these we grant the meed of honesty and sincerity; for they frankly met us and we agreed to differ in peace. We did not ask any of our relatives to compromise themselves in our behalf, nor did they do so, though we acknowledge our indebtedness to them for kindnesses shown in accompanying us about the city, and introducing us to many of their brethren; a like courtesy was shown us by Bro. P. H. Reinsimar.
We visited the Temple grounds, where work was just closing up for the winter season. The Temple walls are now some twenty or more feet above the water table, and seem to be in a fair way of going up. We also were permitted to visit the Tabernacle, through which we were escorted by Professor Thomas, who very kindly showed us over it, including the organ, one of the finest in the world. The ceiling had been festooned in the summer for festival purposes, and the evergreen boughs yet remained, making the roof look like an inverted forest of miniature trees. We heard a few notes of the organ, likewise, but could only guess its power. We inscribed our names in the visitors' book, in which we saw the names of U. S. Grant, General W. T. Sherman, Dom Pedro, and others of similar and less note.
In company with Bro. Robert Warnock we visited Camp Douglass and likewise went over Jordan, and returned. By invitation of Superintendent H. C. Kimball, of the Utah Western R. R., Elder John Smith, wife and daughter, Bro. P. H. Reinsimar and self, took an early morning ride over the road to Lake Point, where we took breakfast, spent a few pleasant hours in examining the lake and the surroundings that could be seen, returning to the city by two o'clock in the afternoon with an excellent opinion of the kind courtesy of Mr. Kimball, and a better conception of the saltness of the salt, salt sea. . . .
This trip to the lake was the only courtesy of a public nature offered us
during our stay; and for this we thank Mr. Kimball as a man, an enterprising, energetic officer of a new road in a growing country.
On Sunday, December 3, we spoke twice, morning and afternoon, in the Liberal Institute, to quite large and attentive audiences; meeting a number of old-time Saints, who kindly remembered us for "our father's sake." They loved him and wished to shake hands because of that love. We were pleased to learn of their love and regard still cherished for him; but it was a trifle mortifying to be made to think we had no merit of our own for which to claim a recognition. However, some seemed to grant this, and we can not complain. On Wednesday night we again spoke in the Institute, and on Thursday night, December 7, we spoke in Bishop Rawlin's ward meeting house, near Union Fort, he having kindly granted us the privilege at the request of Bro. William B. Smith, our brother in charge of the little Union Branch, of that place. The house was warmed and lighted; was a very comfortable place to speak in, and though large, was well filled. The audience was very attentive; and, although many of them at first looked as if they expected us to be harsh and denunciatory, this was apparently dissipated, and a good feeling seemed to prevail at the last.
On the next day, in company with Bro. Reinsimar, we returned to the city, having had a most excellent visit at the house of Bro. Smith, with the band of Saints under his charge, and some from adjoining places. We hereby extend our thanks to Bishop Rawlins for the use of the ward meeting house in his ward. We do this the more readily because it shows the growth of a more liberal spirit than characterized many places in Utah, when the elders have been there heretofore.
We spoke again in the Institute in the city, on Friday night, making the fourth service held by us in the city. Bro. Thomas Hudson, in charge of the branch, presided at our meetings, and we were on two occasions led in prayer by Bro. Jason W. Briggs, who arrived in the city during our stay. We met the Saints in prayer, testimony, and business meeting, and spoke to them once in the house of Bro. Joseph Clark, where their meetings have been held for some time past. We found them earnest and seeking after the truth. We formed some new acquaintances, which to us were very pleasant ones.
There will be a continued effort made by the Saints in Salt Lake City, to build a small chapel. It is deemed by many of them, including Bro. Briggs, to be necessary. Others, not with us in faith, but in sympathy with the effort we are making, also think it advisable. We also, though before favorable to the erection of a house there suitable for the occasion of public worship, are in favor of it still
It was rumored that instructions had been given that if we asked for the Tabernacle it should be opened for us; but this was evidently only rumor; as there being no facilities for warming and lighting it, it had been closed for the winter. We did not ask for it, moreover, as we did
not think it quite consistent to ask a favor hitherto denied to our brethren who had preceded us.
Collections were taken at three of our meetings, and the audience liberally responded, so that enough was realized to pay for the use of the hall. The proprietors of the Institute were, also, liberal, and gave us a reduction in the rates of hire-and this enabled us to say that we addressed the people in "our own hired house."
We remained in the city until after Sunday, the 10th, and on that day we had the pleasure of listening to Elder Orson Pratt, in the Seventeenth Ward assembly rooms. The day was cold, the room not comfortable, yet the house was well filled; and Elder Pratt spoke well; we were pleased with both manner and matter. His discourse for the first half was a relation of his early experience in Mormonism, in connection with the martyrs and others; the latter half of it was a rapid review of prophecy respecting the establishing of Zion in the last days. It was, as a whole, such as any orthodox saint might indorse [endorse], being singularly free from those objectionable features which we believe to be unwarrantable innovations into the creed of the church. After the service we were introduced to the elder and passed the usual courtesies of greeting. We attended the meeting of the Saints at Bro. Clark's, in the evening, and spoke to them as we were led.
On the 11th of December we bid adieu to the Saints, and to Salt Lake City, and in company with Bro. Briggs came to Ogden. Here we called at Bro. John Hart's near the depot, also at the Freeman Office, and stopped all night at Bro. Wells Chase's, a little ways out of the city. We were well treated, had a pleasant Visit with Bro. and Sr. Thorn and Bro. Chase's family. We left Ogden on the morning of the 12th, and stopping over at Lamoni, for Saturday and Sunday, the 16th and 17th; spoke to the Saints in their temporary tabernacle, near Bro. Ebenezer Robinson's on the last-named date, respecting the gathering-and we hereby apologize to the Lamoni Saints for whatever language we used that day that was unduly harsh. In company with Bro. D. H. Smith we returned home on the 19th of December, after a Western tour of five months and two days, during which time we have traveled some thousands of miles, delivered some seventy discourses, baptized ten persons, seen many, to us, new and strange places and faces.
We return, thankful to the Ruler over all for care, protection, and guidance; to him be honor and glory for ever and ever.
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