Mormon History 1830-1844

History of Wilford Woodruff (1807–1898) (1)
To 1836. Genealogical information, early work history. Wilford and his brother are converted by the first Mormon sermon they hear and are baptized. In April 1834 he moves to Kirtland and joins Zions Camp. When the camp disbands, he remains in Missouri to work for Lyman Wight. Called on a mission by Bishop Edward Partridge, he and Harry Brown set out for Tennessee and Kentucky in January 1835. Interesting mission account. Fulfillment of unusual dream. Brown returns, Wilford takes charge of churches in the two states. Proselyting success with Warren Parrish. Bright light leads to safety across flood streams. Companions arrested for prophesying falsely. Encounters with other mobs, etc. Released September 1835. Mission to the South with Elder Brown.

 
HISTORY OF WILFORD WOODRUFF
(From His Own Pen)
 
<i>Millennial Star</i>
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 11 (Mar. 18, 1865): 167–168.
Genealogy In tracing the history of my fathers, I find it difficult to obtain a satisfactory account of the Woodruff family for more than three generations.    
Great grandfather My great grandfather, Josiah Woodruff, lived nearly one hundred years, and possessed an iron constitution, and performed a great amount of manual labor nearly up to the time of his death. His wife's name was Sarah; she bore to him nine children, as follows:—Josiah, Appleton, Eldad, Elisha, Joseph, Rhoda, Phebe, and [blank.]  
Grandfather

Grandmother

Their children
My grandfather, Eldad Woodruff, was the third son of Josiah. He was born in Farmington, Hartford co., Connecticut, in 1751; he also possessed a strong constitution. It was said that he performed the most labor for several years of any man in Hartford County, and from overexertion in hewing timber, he was attacked with rheumatism in his right hip, which caused severe lameness for several years before his death. He married Dinah Woodford, by whom he had seven children—viz., Eldad, Elizabeth, Samuel, Aphek, Titus, Helen and Ozem.    
Wilford's aunts and uncles Eldad married Lewey Woodford; Elizabeth, Amasa Frisby; Samuel, Miss Case; Aphek, Beulah Thompson and Azubah Hart; Titus, Louisa Allen; Helen, Amos Wheeler; and Ozem, Acksah Merrill and Hannah Hart; all of whom had large families.  

Grandparents' deaths My grandfather died in Farmington, with the spotted fever, in 1806, aged 55 years. My grandmother, Dinah, died in 1824, in the same place, with a cancer in the left breast; her sufferings were very great.    
Father, mother, siblings My father, Aphek Woodruff, was born in Farmington, November 11, 1778; he married Beulah Thompson, who was born in 1782, November 29, 1801. She bore three sons—namely, Azmon, born November 29, 1802; Ozen Thompson, born December 22, 1804; myself born March 1, 1807.    
Mother, step-mother

Half-siblings
My mother died with the spotted fever, June 11, 1808, aged 26 years, leaving me fifteen months old. My father's second wife, Azubah Hart, was born July 31, 1792; they were married November 9, 1810; they had six children—viz., Philo, born November 29, 1811, and died by poison administered by a physician November 25, 1827; Asahel Hart, born April 11, 1814, and died in Terrahaute, October 18, 1838; Franklin, born March 12, 1816, and died June 1; Newton, born June 19, 1818, drowned September 1820; Julius, born April 22, 1820, and died in infancy; Eunice, born June 19, 1821. I married her to Dwight Webster, in Farmington, Conn., August 4, 1841.    
Father's labors My father was a strong-constitutioned man, and has done a great amount of labor. At eighteen years of age he commenced attending a flour-[168]ing sawmill, and continued about 50 years; most of this time he labored eighteen hours a day.    
Wilford baptized his father

Giving man
He never made any profession of religion until I baptized him, with all his household, into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on the first day of July 1838. He was a man of great charity, honesty, integrity and truth, and made himself poor by giving to the poor, and accommodating his fellowmen by loaning money and becoming surety for his neighbors, and always saying yes to every man who asked a favor at his hand.    
Birth I was born in the north part of the town of Farmington, now called Avon, Hartford co., Conn., March 1, 1807. I assisted my father in attending the Farmington Mills, until I was twenty years of age.    
Work history 1827–1830 In April 1827, I took the flouring mill of my aunt, Helen Wheeler, which I attended three years. In May 1830, I took charge of the flouring mill of Mr. Collins, the ax manufacturer, in South Canton, Conn. At the end of one year it was demolished to make way for other machinery. In March 1831, I took charge of the flouring mill owned by Mr. Richard B. Cowles of New Hartford, Conn.    
1832 to New York with Azmon   In the spring of 1832, in company with my oldest brother, Azmon, I went to Richland, Oswego County, New York, and purchased a farm and sawmill, and settled in business.    
1830 profession of faith

Did not join any church

At an early age my mind was exercised upon religious subjects, although I never made a profession until 1830. I did not then join any church, for the reason that I could not find any denomination whose doctrines, faith or practice, agreed with the gospel of Jesus Christ, or the ordinances and gifts which the Apostles taught. Although the ministers of the day taught that the faith, gifts, graces, miracles and ordinances, which the ancient Saints enjoyed, were done away and no longer needed, I did not believe it to be true, only as they were done away through the unbelief of the children of men.  
<i>Millennial Star</i>
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 12 (Mar. 25, 1865): 182–184.
Primitivist seeker   I believed the same gifts, graces, miracles and power would be manifest in one age of the world as in another, when God had a church upon the earth, and that the Church of God would be reestablished upon the earth, and that I should live to see it.    
  These principles were riveted upon my mind from the perusal of the Old and New Testament, with fervent prayer that the Lord would show me what was right and wrong, and lead me in the path of salvation, without any regard to the opinions of man; and the whisperings of the Spirit of the Lord for the space of three years, taught me that he was about to set up his Church and kingdom upon the earth in the last days.    
Robert Mason, the old prophet I was taught these things from my youth by Robert Mason, an aged man, who lived in Simsbury, Conn., who was frequently called the old prophet Mason. He taught me many things which are now coming to pass. He did not believe that any man had authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, but believed it was our privilege, through faith, prayer and fasting, to heal the sick and cast out devils by the laying on of hands, which was the case under his administration, as many could testify.    
1832 to New York with Asahel instead of Rhode Island

Mormon missionaries
In 1832, I was inspired to go to Rhode Island; my brother, Asahel, was also directed by the Spirit of God to go to the same place. When we met, we both told our impressions, and it caused us to marvel and wonder what the Lord wanted of us in Rhode Island; but, as we had made preparations to move to the west, we let outward circumstances control us, and, Jonah like, instead of going to Rhode Island, we went to Richland, Oswego county, New York, and there remained until Dec. 29, 1833, when I heard Elders Zerah Pulsipher and Elijah Cheeny preach.   Asahel is a younger half-brother, b. Apr. 11, 1815 in Farmington, Hartford, CT; d. Oct. 18, 1838 in Terre Haute, IN. He is not mentioned during this period in
<i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ. ¶ Wilford Woodruff Is Azmon intended? Converted by first sermon

Book of Mormon testimony
  My brother Azmon and I believed their testimony, entertained the Elders, and offered ourselves for baptism the first sermon we heard. We read the Book of Mormon, and I received a testimony that it was true.   Azmon, an older brother (b. Nov 29, 1802 in Farmington, Hartford, CT; d. June 14, 1889 in Salt Lake City).   We soon learned what the Lord wanted of us in Rhode Island, for at the time we were warned to go there, two of the Elders were preaching there, and had we gone, we should have embraced the work at that time.
    Baptized December 31, 1833 December 31. [1833] —I was baptized by Elder Zerah Pulsipher; he confirmed me the same evening.
    Ordained a teacher, brother an elder

Branch organized
January 2, 1834.—I was ordained a Teacher, and my brother Azmon an [183] Elder, and a small branch organized of twelve members, by Elder Pulsipher.
    Reads Book of Commandments In February following, in company with Elder Holton, I walked some sixty miles to the town of Fabius, to attend an evening meeting of the Saints in that place, where Elder Pulsipher was presiding. I saw the book of commandments or revelations given through Joseph Smith, and I believed them with all my heart, and rejoiced therein; and after spending several days, and holding several meetings, we returned home rejoicing.
  Holton: rendered Hatton in <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:7. Unable to locate by either spelling (or Holden, Holdon) in genealogical databases, 1830 census for Richland. Parley P. Pratt: join Zion's Camp During the winter, we were visited by several of the elders. February 1st, Elder Parley P. Pratt (h) called upon us and instructed the Branch till midnight; we had a precious time. I accompanied Brother Pratt to Jefferson county, and told him my circumstances; he said it was my duty to prepare myself to go to Kirtland, and join the camp of Zion. I immediately settled my business.     April 1834 to Kirtland

Meets Orson Pratt, John Murdock
April 11, 1834.—With my horses and wagon, I took Brothers Harry Brown and Warren Ingles, and started for Zion. I met with Orson Pratt (h1), John Murdock and other elders, on the way, and arrived in Kirtland on the 25th day of April, 1834.     Lives with Joseph a week The Prophet Joseph invited me to make his house my home; I accepted his offer, and stayed with him about one week. I became acquainted with many of the High Priests, Elders and Saints. I spent one Sabbath in Kirtland, and heard many of the Elders speak, and I felt to rejoice before God for the light and knowledge which was manifested to me during that day.   On Sunday he hears Sidney and both Orsons speak. "It appeared to me there was more light made manifest at that meeting … than I had ever received from the whole Sectarian world." <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:9.

¶ 1834 Chronology
Joins Zion's Camp May 1. [1834] —I started from Kirtland, and went to New Portage, and remained till all the company joined us, when we were organized.   For Wilford's diary account of Zion's Camp, see ¶ Wilford Woodruff. March 7.—We took up our line of march, pitched our tents by the way, and travelled to Missouri.   "Our march was similar to the ancient Israelites. Our horses, waggons and tents were in readiness and we were led by Joseph. Our Company now consisted of twenty baggage waggons and rising of one hundred & fifty men. The men were armed with dirks pistols Swords & rifles For Self defence and according to Brother Joseph's request I delivered him my Sword for his own use." <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:9.

cholera: ¶ Heber C. Kimball (h2)

Heman Hyde's name is not on the list of Zion's Camp participants, though his son's (Heman T. Hyde) is.
Clay county

205 in camp, some had died of cholera
  After we had pitched our tents in Clay county, (our numbers being two hundred five) and many of the brethren had taken sick, and some had died, Joseph requested the camp to disperse, except enough to take care of the sick.   Camp disperses   All who had teams were required to leave the ground and go among the brethren. I went to Brother Lyman Wight's, in company with Heman Hyde and Milton Holmes.   Gather at Lyman Wight's

Joseph: humble yourselves to stay plague
  Shortly, Joseph called the brethren together at Lyman Wight's, and told them if they would humble themselves before the Lord, and covenant to keep His commandments and obey His counsel, the plague should be stayed from that hour, and there should not be another case of cholera in the Camp.     Not another case   The brethren covenanted to do this, and the plague was stayed, and there was not another case in Camp.     Joseph returns to Kirtland

Wilford stays with Lyman
President Joseph Smith returned to Kirtland with many of the brethren; I remained with Lyman Wight, laboring with my hands till the following winter.
    Desires mission I had a great desire to preach the gospel, which I did not name to my brethren; but one Sunday evening I retired into the woods alone, and called upon the Lord in earnest prayer, to open my way to go and preach the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth. The Spirit of the Lord bore witness that my prayer was heard, and should be answered.     Elias Higbee prophecies I arose from my knees happy, and walked some forty rods, and met Elias Higbee, a High Priest, with whom I had stayed a number of months. As I approached him, he said, "Brother Wilford, the Spirit of the Lord tells me that you should be ordained, and go on a mission." I replied, "I am ready."     Ordained a priest November 5, 1834 At a meeting of the High Council at Lyman Wight's, Clay county, Missouri, November 5th, I was ordained a Priest by Elder Simeon Carter; Stephen Winchester and Heman T. Hyde were also ordained Priests.   Minutes of November 5, 1834

Wilford Woodruff's License (Priest)
Bishop calls Wilford on a mission Bishop Partridge said he would like to have me go into the Southern States, through Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky; and if I could find anybody who had faith enough to go with me—for it would be a dangerous country to travel in, in consequence of the Missouri persecutions—to take him. I told him I was as ready to go south as anywhere, and asked if I should go through Jackson county, as it lay in our route. He replied, it would be at the risk of life, and he had not faith enough to undertake it; if I had, I might try it.  

 

 

Not without scrip through Jackson county I also asked him, if I went through Jackson county, if I should start without purse or scrip, [184] according to the law of God. He answered, that he had not faith enough to start on a mission through Jackson county without money, and if I did it, I must do it on my own faith. I felt strenuous to keep the commandments, so I started without money. I called upon Elder Harry Brown, and asked him to accompany me; he consented, and Bishop Partridge appointed him to go with me.     Discharge from Zion's Camp January 13, 1835.—I received an honorable discharge from Lyman Wight (h) (swh), certifying that I had faithfully performed my duties in Zion's Camp.  

The camp disbanded the previous July. The document seems to be more a recommend than a discharge:

Liberty Clay Co. Mo. January the 13 1835
This Certifies that Willford Woodruff has faithfully Discharged evry duty required of him in the Camp of the Saints in Journing from Kirtland to this place has been very faithful in the discharge of his duty Since his Arrival here Both Spiritual and Temporal is Strong in the faith of the latter Day Saints and worthy of his Calling. He is Recommended by the Church in this place to any Branch whare providence may Call him.
Lyman Wight
<i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:17

Wilford and Harry leave that day, the 13th, on their mission.

Starts with Harry Brown

Circulates petition for redress
I took my valise in hand, weighing 15 lbs., mostly Books of Mormon, and started in company with Elder Harry Brown, crossed the river into Jackson county, and felt thankful. We bowed our knees, and prayed that God might protect us from the mob while going through the country, and that his judgments might rest upon the wicked who had shed the blood of the Saints in that land, that the land might be cleansed from sin. I had a petition to the Governor of Missouri, for redress of wrongs perpetrated upon us in Jackson county, for the purpose of obtaining signatures. We bent our way south, through Jackson county, without any molestation; yet, in one instance, we were preserved from a mob of about sixty, assembled at a grogshop which we had to pass.
  Harmony minister

[January] 18. [1835]—We called at the Harmony mission, and had an interview with the President, a Presbyterian minister. Although it was near sundown, he would neither give us anything to eat, nor lodge us, because we were "Mormons."   <i>Millennial Star</i>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 13 (Apr. 1, 1865): 199–200.

The text mistakenly has June. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ, 18.
Minister's deception It was fifteen miles to the nearest house, which was Jerrew's Indian trading house. We asked the minister to direct us there. He gave us directions, but the Spirit said to me he was deceiving us. I asked him three times, and he declared he was telling us the truth.     Lost in the swamp We followed his directions, and we came to the Osage river swamp, where we were lost in darkness of the night. We followed the river, but as it is very crooked, we made but little progress.     Osages After travelling through mud and water for one hour, we concluded to go out on the open prairie, and lie down in the grass until morning; but when we got out into the prairie, we heard the Osage Indians' drum and shout at the trading house, as they [200] were having a pow-wow. As we approached, we were met by a dozen large savage-looking dogs; they smelled us in a friendly manner, but did not attempt to bite nor bark.     Kindness of Mr. Jerrew and wife We arrived about midnight, covered with mud, hungry and weary, and were kindly received and entertained for the remainder of the night by Mr. Jerrew, who had an Osage squaw for a wife; she prepared us a good supper, but marvelled that we did not drink coffee. She proffered us their best bed, which was highly ornamented, but we declined her kind offer, as we were wet and muddy. She made us a good bed of mackinaw blankets, before a large fire, and we slept comfortably. May the Lord reward both Mr. Jerrew and wife, and the Presbyterian minister, according their deserts.     Next day's travel: black bear, wolves [January] 19. [1835].—Mr. Jerrew gave us a good breakfast, put us across the Osage river in a canoe, and we started upon our long day's walk, it being sixty miles to the nearest house. We had not anything with us to eat. Most of our travels through the day was through prairie; before dark we entered timbered land; as we approached the timber, a large black bear met us; we had no weapons. When the bear got within about six rods of us, he rose upon his hind feet, and examined us a short time, and went off. We were soon enveloped in such thick darkness, that it was with great difficulty we could keep the road, and surrounded by a large drove of wolves, which kept up a continual howling, and would frequently rush to within a few feet of us. We travelled about two hours in this situation, feeling that we were in danger, and concluded to stop and build a fire, and wait till morning.   <i>Millennial Star</i>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 14 (Apr. 8, 1865): 216–217.

The text mistakenly has June. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:18.
Mr. Williams, mobber Accordingly, we built a large fire, which drove the wolves off; and as we were about to lie down, we heard a dog bark, and a bell. We felt assured we were near a house; both of us took a brand of fire, and on going about one quarter of a mile, we came to a log hut, which was occupied by Mr. Williams, who had been in Jackson county during the mobbing of the Saints, and had lately moved here, depending upon his gun mostly for his living. It was sixty miles to a house on the north, and twelve miles on the south.     Log hut He and his family were living in a small, old log hut, about twelve feet square, and one bed in the room, upon which lay his wife, several children and three young dogs. He lay stretched out upon the bare floor, with his feet to a small fire. There was no door to the house, but a ragged quilt hung up in the doorway; it was past eleven o'clock at night. I turned away the quilt, looked into the house, and spoke three times; no one stirred, not even a dog. I walked in, and laid my hands upon the man's shoulder, and spoke to him.     Startles Mr. Williams The moment he felt the weight of my hand, he leaped to his feet, and commenced running around the room, leaping as high as he could jump. I told him not to be frightened, as we were travellers and friends, and did not wish to hurt him, but wished to stop with him overnight. When he came to his senses, he gave us permission to stop with him till morning, if we would take the bare floor, as he did.     60 miles without food We asked for something to eat, as we had walked sixty miles without a morsel of food. He replied, he had nothing for us, and assured us he had to kill game for his breakfast in the morning. He informed us that the reason of his fright, was in consequence of his having shot a large panther, a few nights previous, standing in his door, and he thought his mate had lit upon him. We lay down upon the floor, and we were glad of this place, as it soon began to rain, and rained through the night.     Mr. Conner, mobber, provides breakfast In the morning we arose, and went on in the rain twelve miles, to a Mr. Conner's, who was also in the Jackson county mob. He gave us breakfast, but damned us while we were eating, because we were "Mormons." When we had finished a hearty breakfast, we thanked him very politely, and went on our way, leaving him swearing. We felt thankful for breakfast, for we had walked seventy-two miles without eating food.     House to house We taught from house to house as we journeyed.    

First attempt to preach

Nathan Tanner

January 24 [1835]—I preached at Mr. Nathan Tanner's, in Green county, Missouri, the first time we had found a congregation we could preach to in safety, and the first time that I had ever attempted to preach as a missionary. I had great liberty, and was followed by Elder Brown. During our preaching, there was a snowstorm.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:19 has Turners, which is probably incorrect. "John Joshua Tanner, Nathan Tanner, and Amasa Lyman followed the advice of the Prophet and remained in Missouri a year to assist the hard pressed Saints. They returned to Kirtland in 1835 (after their father and the rest of the family had moved there), and soon married." Link to source. Arkansas

Akeman family
We arrived at Petty John Creek, in Arkansas, where Mr. Alexander Akeman resided, with a large family of sons and one daughter, settled around him. Mr. Akeman, and a part of the family, were members of the Church in Jackson county; his wife died strong in the faith in Missouri. His whole family were mobbed, and some of his sons were whipped severely; but he could not stand the persecution and the loss of his property.   Wilford arrived at Willis Akeman's on February 8, 1835 and departed February 11, where he stayed with Johnathan Hubbel, 2 miles distant. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:20–21.   &#34;Administration of Angels,&#34; Wilford Woodruff at the Weber Stake Conference, Ogden, Oct. 19, 1896, in <i>Collected Discourses</i> 5:233&#45;240.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Angels, 234–235:
"There was a man in that country who with his wife and five sons had been in Jackson county. His wife died there. The old gentleman was in the faith apparently when he left there. He was driven out, the same as the rest of the Saints were, and some of his sons were whipped with hickory gads in the persecution there.
Apostate, opposes church   He moved to Arkansas, to get rid of "Mormonism," had apostatized, and was bitter against the work. When we called upon him, he opposed us strongly—spoke against the leaders of the Church and the Book of Mormon. He had one son who received us, and had a little faith.   I knew he was in this Arkansas country, and I felt anxious to go and see him, as he was the only Latter-day Saint that we knew anything about in that region. Dream of serpents I dreamed the night before, that we were required to walk in a straight, narrow path; and while following the path, it led to the door of a house, which was placed in a high wall that we could not get around. As I opened the door to go through, I saw the room was filled with large serpents. I entered, and they all coiled up to jump at me; as they made a spring to bite me, they all fell dead at my feet, turned black, swelled up, burst open, took fire, and were consumed before my eyes.   The night before I got there I had a peculiar dream. I dreamed that an angel appeared to us and pointed out a certain path that we must follow, and that the blessings of God would attend us in following that path. As we went along this path we came to a log cabin with a wall on each side ten or fifteen feet high. This road led right through that building. When I went to the door and opened it, it was full of large serpents. My companion said he was not going into that room for anybody or anything. "Well," says I, "I am, or I'll die trying. The Lord told us to follow that path, and I am going to walk in it, unless I am stopped by some power that I know not of." I stepped into the door. These serpents all arose up ready to jump on me, and there was a very large one in the middle of the floor that made a pass at me. It appeared to me as though I would be destroyed, but when the serpent reached near to me it dropped dead; in fact, they all dropped dead, and they turned black and burst open, after which they took fire and burned up, and both of us went through safely.   Wilford's journal does not report this dream. Opposition We met with much opposition from Mr. Akeman, and many in the neighborhood.   The morning after, we arrived at this man's house. His name was Akeman. It was Sunday morning, and we went into the house. Mr. Akeman and his daughter were at breakfast. His sons were settled in cabins around him. We sat down, but there seemed to be a peculiar spirit in the place. I finally stepped up to the mantlepiece, on which I saw a Book of Mormon. I picked it up, and said, "Brother Akeman, you've got a very good book here." He said, "It's a book that came from hell." I then began to understand a little of what lay before us. He had apostatized. He cursed everything and everybody—Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight, the Apostles and a good many others whom he named. He was very angry. I inquired about his sons. He said they were settled around him there. Well, we took up our valises and left. I looked up one of his sons—the youngest, I believe, and the only one that was in the faith, and he was like a drowning man; but by praying with him we got the Spirit of the Lord in him, and we had a pretty good time with him. … [235] … Elder Brown wants to leave   Elder Brown wished to leave the place immediately. I told him I should stay, and see my dream fulfilled.  

In the morning my companion said he was going to leave the place. Of course, he was an Elder, and I was only a Priest, and we generally suppose that the lesser should obey the greater; but I said to him, calling him by name, "You are not going to leave here, nor I either; we shall both of us stay here till I see the fulfillment of my dream. It is here, and I am going to stay and see it, and you will, too." It is not natural for me to take a stand of that kind, but I felt led to do it upon that occasion.

Sudden deaths   We stayed in the neighborhood twenty-five days, during which time the Lord brought judgment upon those who threatened to mob and kill us; many of them died suddenly,   We stopped there three weeks, and cleared land for father Hubbard, while he fed and housed us.   No threats or deaths, other than Alexander Akeman's, are reported from February 11 to March 2 in Wilford's daily journal. Akeman's wrath   and I was warned three times by the Lord, to go to Mr. Akeman, and bear testimony unto him of the truth of "Mormonism," and the wickedness of his course in opposing it; and the last time I called upon him, he was filled with wrath against me, and when I left his house, he followed me in a rage, apparently with some evil intent.   Three times while we were there I was warned of the Lord to go and warn this Mr. Akeman. The last warning I received from the Lord was on Saturday night of the third week. I went up to his house which was about three quarters of a mile distant, and when I got there his daughter stood in the doorway. I walked in and saluted him. He was walking the room, but did not say anything to me. I told him the Lord had sent me to pay him a visit. Then he made some exclamation that was rather profane. I sat down and commenced warning him. I told him that he had apostatized from the Gospel of Christ; he had had the Priesthood and he was pursuing a course that would send him to destruction, and the judgments of God would overtake him. Well, he raged like a demon. That is about all I said to him. I certainly did not stay long, but I delivered my message. When I left the house he followed me,   [February 14, 1835] On the evening of this day I was suddenly Called to a house of mourning which was Mr Alexander Akeman's. He had walked out of his house and droped dead upon the ground. In a few moments all his Sons and daughters were present. It was truly a time of Mourning. Mr Akeman had belonged to the Church of Christ. His wife died Strong in the faith in Jackson Co. Mr Akeman was through the persecution in Jackson County in Consequence of which he moved to Pope Co Arkansaw Territory where he met his death /In a sudden manner immediately after denying the faith of the Latter day Saints. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:21.  Falls dead   When I had got a few rods from his door, he was nearly treading on my heels, and fell dead at my feet, as though he had been struck with lightning; he swelled, and immediately turned black. This created a great wailing and mourning among his family. Brother Brown and myself assisted in laying him out and burying him. He died February 14, 1835.   and when he came to where I was he fell dead at my feet as though he had been struck with a thunderbolt from heaven. He was a very large man and he turned as black as an African, and his skin seemed almost to burst open. The next day I attended his funeral. But he had raised a mob and had sent word for them to come and drive us out of the country or hang us, and they had sent warnings to us to leave. The consequence was, there were some fifteen or twenty deaths during my stay there. Men were taken with what was called pleurisy. Doctors came in and opened a vein, and they died in five minutes. One of these men sent for me, and I went and saw him. Two men were holding him. He said to me, "I wish you would cut open my side; I have a pain here and it is skin deep; you can cut it out and save my life." I looked at him, but did not say anything to him. I said to myself, "If your eyes were open, you would see the angel of death standing by your side." He died while I was there. (Contnued below.) Opens door to missionaries This singular dispensation of Providence brought solemnity upon the people, and they began to reflect and wished to hear preaching. We held several meetings and preached, and baptized Mr. Hubbel and his wife, who had opened their doors and given us a home;   Henry Hubble spoke in tongues and interpreted the same on February 20. He and his wife were baptized February 22. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:22 Wilford submits to file leader   and just as we had got the people prepared to receive the gospel and anxious to learn, and pleading with us to stay and preach, Brother Brown resolved that he would continue his journey south. I was fully satisfied that we should stop, we would built up a church, and was convinced it was our duty to stop; but Brother Brown held the office of an Elder, and I submitted.   After this my partner left me, and I went alone to Memphis, Tennessee, and met with Brothers Patten and Parrish. Brother Brown did not baptize another person on the mission.   Little Rock, Arkansas We cut down a large cotton-wood tree, and in two days dug out a canoe four feet wide and twelve long, put on a pair of oars, and then rowed down the Arkansas river, one hundred twenty-five miles, to Little Rock, begging our food by the way, a meal at a time, as we had opportunity.   <i>Millennial Star</i>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 15 (Apr. 15, 1865): 230–232. After [231] visiting Little Rock, we travelled down the river ten miles, and tied up our canoe on the east bank, and stopped with Mr. Jones. I preached next day at his house.     Mississippi swamp to Memphis On the 16th we left our canoe with Mr. Jones, and walked back up the river ten miles, opposite Little Rock, and took the old military road, and started to wade the Mississippi swamp, which was mostly covered with water from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, a distance of about one hundred seventy-five miles. We waded through mud and water knee-deep, day after day, and in some instances forty miles per day, before we could get a stopping place.   On the 17th they traveled 40 miles, "Most of the way mud & water." On the 23rd they traveled 40 miles "most of the way through mud & water." No mention of a swamp, but on the 26th, after Elder Brown had gone, Wilford 14 miles "through mud & water." <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:24–25. Rheumatism

Elder Brown leaves in the swamp

Wilford healed
On the 24th [of March, 1835], while in the swamps, I had an attack of the rheumatism, and could not travel fast. My companion, Brother Brown, had got in a hurry, and wished to return to his family in Kirtland; and as I could not travel as fast as he wished, we parted. He left me sitting on a log in the mud and water; I was lame and unable to walk, without food, and twelve miles from the nearest house on the road. He went out of sight in great haste. I then knelt down in the water, and prayed to the Lord to heal me. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I was healed; the pain left me; I arose and went my way. Whenever I met with one or more families, I preached and bore testimony to them.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:25. This is in St. Francis county, Arkansas. No mention of rheumatism in journal. Enters Tennessee

Suspected of being slave stealer
I crossed the Mississippi River in the evening of the 27th of March, and stayed at a public house kept by Mr. Josiah Jackson. I was suspected of being an impostor. Mr. Jackson believed I was one of Murril's clan, who were then murdering and stealing negroes; and to test me, he gathered together a large house full of the most wicked and corrupt people in the city, and set me to preaching, to see whether I could preach or not.     Preaches I do not think that Mr. Jackson, or the same company of men and women, will ever meet together again for the same purpose, for they would not like again to have their sins and abominations revealed to each other as pointedly as I told them that night, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; they were glad to get rid of me upon almost any terms.     Tennessee I travelled from Memphis to Middle Tennessee.     Joins Warren Parrish for 3 months April 4. [1835]—I met with Elder Warren Parrish in Benton County. He and David W. Patten (h) had labored together through the winter in Tennessee and baptized twenty persons. Elder Patten had returned to Kirtland. I joined Elder Parrish, and we labored together over three months, travelling and preaching daily; baptizing such as would receive our testimony; extending our labors in Tennessee and Kentucky.   Wilford and Warren began laboring together April 4, 1834. David W. Patten joined them the following year, in April 21, 1836. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:26,

Warren called to Kirtland June 23. [1835]—We received a letter from Oliver Cowdery, requesting Elder Parrish to come to Kirtland, and for me to remain and take charge of the southern churches, and the Lord would bless me in so doing.   … we received A [33] letter from Brother Oliver Cowdery containing A request for Br Parrish to return to Kirtland as he was one of the seventy chosen Also stating that it was wisdom for me to tarry & labour with the church in great humility that I need not fear as their were other seventy to be called and that I was remembered. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:32–33. Ordained an elder June 28. [1835]—Warren Parrish ordained me an elder. We baptized some forty persons while laboring together.     Baptizes 43 July 23 [sic]. [1835]—Elder Parrish left. I travelled alone through the year, and extended my labors both in Kentucky and Tennessee. I baptized forty-three persons during this season, thirty-one after Brother Parrish left.   Dangerous flooding November 15. [1835]—While traveling in the night, with Brother Benjamin L. Clapp and others, a tremendous storm of wind and rain overtook us. We came to a creek which had swollen to such an extent by the rain, that we could not cross without swimming our horses; several of the company were females. We undertook to head the stream, to ford it; but in the attempt, in the midst of the darkness and the raging of the wind and rain, we were lost in the thick woods, amidst the rain, wind, creeks and fallen treetops. We crossed streams nearly twenty times.
NOV 15th Sunday Preached at Br Clapps … on the attributes of God & Baptized 5 Persons. Then mounted our horses to ride to Clarks River in company with Seth Utley & four other Brethren & two Sisters.

We rode to the creek but could not cross without swiming our hourses as A heavy rain had fallen the night & day before. As night was overtaking us & Also dangerous for females to swim their horses we attempted to head the creeks sufficiently to ford them. But in the attempt both in the darkness of the night & A hard Storm of wind & rain overtook us. We lost our way. We had neither fire, light, nor road but was in rain, wind, creek, mud, & water [&?] treetops. Setting aside our horses & females we made more the appearance of fishermen than travelers.
Bright light leads to safety I was reminded of Paul's perils by water; but the Lord was merciful unto us in the midst of our troubles, for while we were groping in the dark, running the risk of killing both ourselves and animals, by riding off precipitous bluffs, a bright light suddenly shone round about us, and revealed our perilous situation, as were upon the edge of a deep gulf. The light continued with us until we found a house, and learned the right road; then the light disappeared, and we were enabled to reach the house of Brother Henry [232] Thomas, at nine o'clock, all safe, having rode twenty miles, five hours in the storm; and we felt to thank the Lord for our preservation.   I thought of Pauls perils by water. But the Lord doth not forsake his saints even in the seventh trouble. For while we were in the woods grouping as the blind for the wall suffering under the blasts of wind, & rain A light suddenly Shone around about us without either Sun Moon or Stars so that we were able to reach A hous whare we receieved directions & procured some torches to serve us as lights. We went our way rejoiceing allthough the wind & rain beat upon us & the darkness returned.

We reached Mr Henry Thomas'es house at about 9 oclock at night without much harm after riding 20 miles & being 5 hours in the storm & fording Creeks & branches 20 or more times without murmering either Male or Female & felt to thank God for preservation. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:48.
Labors alone through winter and spring During the winter and spring, I continued to labor mostly alone, through Kentucky and Tennessee, opening new places, preaching daily, baptizing, confirming, and organizing new branches.     Ordains Benjamin Clapp, Abraham O. Smoot, and others February 26, 1836.—At a conference held at Brother B. L. Clapp's, in Callaway County, Kentucky, I ordained A. O. Smoot and Benjamin Boydston, elders, and B. L. Clapp and Daniel Thomas, priests.     David W. Patten joins Wilford and Abraham

David fearless before mobs
Brothers Smoot and Clapp both entered into the labors of the ministry. Elder Smoot frequently accompanied me on my mission. Elder D. W. Patten returned to Tennessee in April, and joined us in our labors, accompanied by his wife. It was a happy meeting. He related to me the blessings he had received in Kirtland during the endowments. We travelled and labored together; persecution raged against us. Elder Patten bore a strong and forcible testimony of the work of God; and when we were opposed by mobs, he would rebuke them in great plainness; we were threatened, but not injured. The sick were healed under our administrations.   On April 19, 1836, Wilford wrote that David W. Patten had arrived in the area. Wilford met A. O. Smoot who "had Been with Elder Patten & his wife for several days." In the previous year they had served together in Benton county <.   [On April 21, 1836,] I was Privileged with a happy interview with Elder David Patten also Sister Patten his wife. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:67. Warren Parrish returns

7 branches
May 27. [1836]—Elder Warren Parrish arrived from Kirtland. We held a conference on the 28th, at Brother Seth Utley's. Seven Branches were represented, containing 116 members. Abel Wilson and Jesse Turpin were ordained Priests, and Albert Petty a Teacher.   Ordained a seventy —31,—I was ordained by David W. Patten (h), a member of the Second Quorum of Seventies. We labored over a circuit of several hundred miles. Brother Smoot labored with us, and Brother Clapp frequently. We travelled two by two, and all met together to hold Conferences.   I was ordained unto the High Priesthood and also as one of the Second Seventy & sealed up unto Eternal LIFE under the hands of my Beloved Brethren, VIZ Elder's David W Patten & Warren Parrish. My ordination was requested by the PRESIDENCY of the Church at Kirtland. Ohio. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:78. David and Warren arrested by sherriff and mob June 19. [1836]—A States warrant was issued against D. W. Patten, Warren Parrish and Wilford Woodruff, sworn out by Matthew Williams, a Methodist priest, and served by the sheriff, Robert C. Petty. Elders Patten and Parrish were taken by an armed mob of about fifty, under pretense of law, led by the sheriff, a colonel, first and second major, with other officers, and a Methodist priest with a gun upon his shoulder. I was in another county, and therefore not taken.   <i>Millennial Star</i>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 16 (Apr. 22, 1865): 247–48.

Correct date is July 19. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:83.
Charged with prophesying falsely We were accused of prophesying falsely, by saying that four persons who were baptized should receive the Holy Ghost in twenty-four hours, and that Christ should come the second time before this generation passed away. The whole concern was a mob mock trial, contrary to law, justice, judgment or truth.  

Lyman Wight prophesied that some present would live to see the second coming. ¶ Lyman's Vision and the Man of Sin.

  The crime alledged against us was that we had taught that Christ would come in this generation & that we said some individuals would receieve the Holy Ghost in 24 hours. But as I was absent myself I was not taken but Elders Patten & Parrish was taken by an armd company say 50 in number. They were bound under $2,000.00 dollars bond for their appearence at court. Brothers Seth Utley & Albert Petty was their bondsman. (The two were acquitted the next day.) <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:83 (July 19). Baptist meeting

Deacon forbids him
On the 29th, I went to a Baptist meeting-house, on Thompson's creek, to preach; the house was crowded. As I rose to speak, a Baptist priest, Mr. Browning, arrived at the door on horseback, and stepped in greatly agitated, and told the deacon to forbid my preaching in the house, at the same time commenced a tirade of abuse against the "Mormons," telling several lies, which I corrected before the people, which increased his rage.   June 29th Preached at Mr MCKinzies. Held a debate with a Baptist priest after meeting & selling a Book of Mormon to MCKinzies We Rode to Mr David Criders Gibson Co Ten. 7 m. <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:80. Announces he will preach outside   As I was forbidden to preach in the house, and had been invited, and travelled many miles to fulfil my appointment, I told the people I would like to preach, and was willing to stand on a wood pile, a fence, a cart, or any place they would appoint. A man rose and said he owned the land in front of the meeting-house, and I might stand and preach on that, and welcome.     People follow   All the congregation, with the exception of the minister and one deacon, arose and left the house, walked across the street, and formed seats in a worm fence, and gave good attention while I preached for an hour and-a-half, on the principles of the Gospel.     Hog pen metaphor When I closed, Mr. Randolph Alexander, who had never heard a "Mormon" elder speak before, said, the people of the present day made him think of a pen of hogs; the keeper would make a trough, and pour into it hot or cold water, dishwater, or anything else, and they would drink it; but let a stranger come along, and pour over a basket of corn on the backside of the pen, and the hogs would be frightened, and run and snort all over the pen. He said it was so with the people; the priests would feed them with any kind of doctrine, no matter how false, the people will swallow it down; but let a stranger come and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which will save the people, as Mr. Woodruff has done, and the people are afraid of him.     Several baptized Mr. Alexander invited me home, bought a Book of Mormon, and was soon baptized, and several others followed his example.     Subscribers July 14. [1836]—I wrote a letter to Oliver Cowdery, and sent him a list of subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate, and a detail of my mission in the South.     Cross Tennessee River —18.—I rode in company with A. O. Smoot to a ferry on the Tennessee river. The ferryman was absent. We were offered the use of the boat, and ferried ourselves; but not being much used to the business, and losing one oar in the river, and having to row with a broken oar, we landed a great distance below the usual place, [248] with a high circulation of blood and blistered hands; but our horses leaped the bank, and we went on our way to the Sandy, which we swam, and spent the night at Thomas Frazer's.     Flee mob —30. [1836]—We preached at Mr. David Crider's, also on Sunday the 31st, where we were threatened by a mob. I baptized Mr. Crider amid the scoffs of the rabble, who went in the night and poisoned both of our horses; the one which I rode, belonging to Brother Samuel West, died in two days afterwards; Brother Smoot's recovered; the swine that eat of the horse flesh also died.     David and Warren driven out of county August 11. [1836]—I met with D. W. Patten (h) and wife; he and Brother Parrish had been driven out of Benton into Henry County, and Elder Parrish had left for Kirtland.     Thomas B. Marsh visits —29.—We were visited by Elders T. B. Marsh and E. H. Groves, from Caldwell County, Missouri.   Elisha H. Groves Conference September 2. [1836]—We held a conference at Damon's Creek, Callaway County, Kentucky; several branches were represented, containing 119 members. Johnson F. Lane, Benjamin L. Clapp, and Randolph Alexander, were ordained elders, and Lindsey Bradey a priest, by D. W. Patten, who baptized five at the close of the conference.     Released to receive Kirtland endowment I was released from my labors in the South, and counselled to go to Kirtland and receive my endowments, as was also A. O. Smoot.     First company from the South bound for Far West Sept. 19. [1836]—Elders Marsh (h) and D. W. Patten (h) and wife, and E. H. Groves, started for Far West. I organized the first company of saints who emigrated from the Southern States, which numbered twenty-two souls. I appointed Elder Boydston President of the company, and counselled him to be united, and to remember their prayers night and day before the Lord.
      —20.— [1836] The camp started. I spent a few days visiting the Branches; baptized and confirmed eight, and obtained thirty subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate.      
Wilford Woodruff
Wilford Woodruff (h2)
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