Transcript for Missionary reports, 1831-1900, MS 6104, Church History Library

Statement of William M. Wall Historian’s Office Dec. 12, 1857 (Reported by Leo Hawkins) I left my home in Provo May 1856, & this City on the 17th. Arrived at Carson July 2nd., left there on the 23rd. I attended Judge Drummonds’ Court. There was a man taken for stealing. Drummond sent for me to defend him; I would not. Drummond said I was a licensed atorney & I must. I told him licensed or not I did as I had a mind to in such things, and I would have nothing to do with it. The prisoner, John Simpson, was fined. He got away and they put 4 of the boys in prison for letting him escape. Bro’s Leonard Nuies & Jesse Earl were two of them Pool, in company with John Whitbeck, A.P. Chesley, T.S. Johnson, Thaddeus Fleming, Joseph Kelly, (W?) C. Crandall, James Phelps, G.W. Parish, & Z. Snow, bound for Melbourne. We touched (2) Tahiti, and lay there five days. I was told by an American gentleman who had resided here for 30 years, that previous to the arrival of the Christian missionaries there was not a case of bastardy known on the Island, and until the arrival of the French there had been but very few – the missionaries being parties – and they were kept private, but since the arrival of the French, prostitution had become almost general. . We touched at the Fidgi Island, and lay there 36 hours. Here I measured men 6 ft. 6 in. high, & saw some taller – they were well proportioned men, destitute of clothes, except a small bunch of bushes over their privates. After a passage of 104 days we landed at Melbourne and staid there two days when we shipped for Sidney on the Barque “Monarch” and seven days after landed in Sidney. We held a conference on the 20th of December; I was appointed President of the New South Wales Conference. I then visited all the Saints in that Conference and then went up the Hunters’ River on the steamer William Williams. I travelled and preached in the vicinity of Melbourne some 4 weeks, when I received a letter stating that I was (3) wanted in Sidney, as there was some difficulty among the Saints, on account of the Presiding officer of that Conference, William Chevalier, marrying a woman to a man, by the name of William Robb, who had a wife who was then living, which had created considerable excitement among the Saints, and great prejudice with the outsiders. I undertook to cut Chevalier off the Church, and also Robb, but could not get any backing, and we settled it the best we could. I then labored in the vicinity of Camden and Campbell Town, but found the people very hard. I returned to Sidney and was appointed to labor in that vicinity in connection with Elder A.J. Stewart. Bro Stewart and I labored in that vicinity until the 1st of June. I was appointed an agent to get up a company to sail for Zion – Bro Stewart was appointed Secretary. We succeeded in getting up a company, and on June 27th, 1857 we sailed from Sidney, on the ship “Lucas,” Capt J.C. Dachett. We encountered two heavy squalls off the Coast of New Zealnd, after that we had a pleasant (4) voyage, but tedious; we landed at San Pedro on the 12th of October (There were 4 children born on the trip). I hired a carriage and started for San Bernardino to get wagons to haul the Saints to San Bernardino . I arrived at Los Angelos at 4 o’clock in the afternoon; one of the animals becoming lame through want of shoeing. I stopped for the night to get the animals shod. I soon discovered that there was great excitement in the town against the Mormons, on account of a company being massacred by the Indians, which they laid to the Mormons. Mr. Chatman, Quartus S. Sparks, Dr Andrews, and many other apostates, whose faces I knew, but could not call by name, gathered around me and threatened to hang me; they seemed to be very much excited. I heard Dr. Andrews say, that he would as soon see Gov. Young’s hearts’ blood run, than to see cold spring water when he was dry. They threatened me most furiously and gathered round me, about 25 of them; they finally drew off from me a little, and I called for my room and (5) went to bed early in the evening. About 10 o’clock at night there came a company and knocked at the door and asked for if William M. Wall was in there. I told them he was. They said they had some business with him and wished him to open the door. I told them it was after my business hours and I would wait on them in the morning. They then said there was no use in any of my damned poss-uming, they had got to hang me and was going to do it. I was unarmed at the time, but on searching the room I found I could take the roller out of the bedstead, which I did and stood at the door intending to defend myself the best I could. I told the mob that I should not unlock the door, but they could kick it down if they wished, as it was very shackely, but there was one thing certain, the man that came in first I should kill. They then withdrew, after rolling a volley of curses upon me. In the space of half an hour, another company, or the same, returned, one pretending to be the Sheriff of Los Angelos County; he said he had (6) for William M. Wall and he wanted that door opened. I told I should not open the door. He said he was Sheriff, and he would be God damned if he would not take me. I told him I should not open the door, but if he chose to knock it down, to do so, but I should certainly kill him. I also said I had not injured any body, and had not been in the United States for nearly two years and never was in that County before that morning. After threatening, and swearing the most horrible oaths that I ever heard, both him and his comrades withdrew threatening that they would shoot the house to pieces if I did not give up. During the night I received a letter, purporting to be from a friend, advising me to leave the room as they had a company organized to take me from my room and hang me, and they would be 100 strong for one. This letter also advised me to go out by a back passage and cross the street to where I would see a light in a small store and there I would find the (7) undersigned, who would befriend me until I could get away. When the man came with the letter, I would not let him in, but made him put it over the door. I lit a candle but did not take time to read the letter or any part of it. The spirit dictated me to blow out the light, which I did, still continuing to forbid them to come in. The man who brought the letter pretended to be alone, but I could hear talking with other persons. I again stood by the door and told them that I had done nothing and should most assuredly kill the man that came in. They then withdrew and went to the bar room where I could see through my window, I should think about 25 men, who took glasses of liquor round, and returned, with the most furious oaths and threats and commenced firing their revolvers, but did not shoot any into the room; they then withdrew about half an hour before day. I staid in the room until sunrise, and then went down and paid my bill, and said nothing to the Landlord or any body (8) else. In a few minutes I discovered Dr Andrews walking down the street; he motioned with his cane as though he was motioning for some others to come. Mr Chatman and some ten or a dozen others gathered around me and threatened me most furiously and said that I had been guilty of murdering a couple of men at Springville last winter. Dr Andrews then came up and I spoke to him – it was the first time I pretended to known who he was – I offered him my hand, but he said no, he did not shake hands with with any of my Kind. They said “he have killed old Parley Pratt, one of the damned scoundrels, and we intend to finish every one we got hold of.” Dr. Andrews said he knew me, that I was Bill Hickman’s mate and my course was run, that I was one of Brigham Young’s hounds, “no,” said he, “not a hound, a bull dog that bites wherever he points.” I then almost became satisfied that they would kill me, and bore them a faithful testimony of the truth (9) of the gospel, of being a prophet, and also of the Prophet Brigham. I then told them that I was not afraid to die, but at that time the spirit of fear had left me, but I told them that there was one little particular I wished to impress upon their minds, and that was that some of them had got to die in the operation and I did not wish to kill any man that had a drop of honest blood in him; if there was any such man I begged of them to withdraw and let the worst hounds they had remain to do the deed as I should certainly kill three or four. This seemed to put the spirit of fear upon them and they dropped off one at a time until there was but a few round me. Dr. Andrews invited me into a room, as he said, to decide the difficulty. I told him I had nothing to decide, but made it a practice to kill all dogs that took hold of me. They then all withdrew except Dr. Andrews, Mr Chatman, and one or two other apostates I told them they had better be off if they wanted to be (10) healthy; they stepped back a little and I got into my carriage and rode towards San Bernardino, but soon turned for San Pedro. I fell in with Bros Joseph Matthews, Norman Taylor and David Holliday. I hired them and another man brother, making 4 teams. We went down to the beach and got the Saints with some of their luggage and started for San Bernardino – came out three miles to the Springs. The next day travelled 30 miles to the Monte, most of the Sisters walking. I then learned that they a company on to overtake me and assassinate me on the road to San Bernardino, but they had missed me and all got drunk on the strength of it and had a regular drunken row and fight among themselves, A man took the news back to Los Angelos that he had seen where there had been a scrape in the road, and that he supposed I had murdered the crowd – 5 men – They then filled up another company and sent them to see after them, but they met them, they having \ (11) got sober enough to ride. We came on the next day to a little place about 12 miles from San Bernardino The next day (Saturday) I reached San Bernardino the company all well and in good spirits. On Sunday I was called on to preach; I preached and delivered the company to the charge of the Presidency there. I then went to work and got teams and got the remainder of the luggage from San Pedro, which I did in the course of ten days and settled up the business of the company to general satisfaction. I was threatened considerably while in San Bernardino, by Jerome Benson and others. I stopped at the residence of my brother-in-law, Alva Downey. The house was watched for several nights, but no attempt made for any assault on my person, but I could hear the most furious threats every day, that I never should leave there alive. They inquired how and when I was going to leave, I did not let them know until the morning I started. I started with the mail at one o’clock (12) on the 8th of Nov. There was about 20 of those mobocrats standing around, they asked me if I was going through with the mail. I told them I was intending to go myself I was not going to send a hand. I had at that time a splendid double barrelled shot gun, three revolvers, a good bowie knife and a legging knife all in sight; they looked very savage at me, but said nothing. We came on up to the mouth of the Cahoon Pass and there fell in with a young man, Wilbur Barney, the son of John Barney who wanted to come through with us. He travelled slowly, and on the 9th or 11th fell in with Bell’s train near the foot of the Mohave – some 15 or 20 mule wagons and about the same amount of camels and dromedaries. They said the camels performed well in the sand, in crossing the desert, but they were no account at all in the mud. I had a conversation with the wagon master; he asked me if I was an American. I told him I was, that I was lately from Australia and had got a job of carrying the (13) mail to Utah. He told me I would have to be careful as I was going through an Indian country and they are very hostile; and, said he, you will have to keep your mouth shut pretty close when you are among the Mormons; I presume they will treat you well. He then said the mormons United States had got into a difficulty with the Mormons and he feared it would be a serious difficulty before it was ended. I said I presumed it would be a small matter for the United States to settle the difficulty. He said he thought it would not be so damned easy as there was from 20 to 30,000 fighting men, and the hell of it was they were all united, and commanded by the smartest man in the United States, and the women, and children, and old men would raise grain, while the younger class of men would lay in the mountains and annoy the Government Troops for the next ten years to come. He also said the Mexican war was no comparison to this difficulty. He furthermore said that the Mormons (14) were well drilled, for the United States had taken pains to drive them from place to place until they were well drilled and would whip the regulars two to one, and they were acquainted with hardships and a mountain life. indian battles, with no aid from Government, and his people are the richest people in the U.S. for the size of them> I then told him who I was, and that I had become personally acquainted with Mr Beale in 1853 as he was passing through the southern part of the Territory exploring, and I was at the same time in charge of a company defending the Territory against Indian hostilities and that I was one of the men that had been driven from my home and forced into the mountains. I said he was right in his estimate of Gov. Young being the smartest man in the United States, and simply because God honored answered inspired him, and he Knew what to do, and everybody acceded to it; and, that before I would be driven I would do as he said – be in the mountains and fight for my rights for the next 10 or 20 years, but I was an American citizen and wished to support the laws of the United States while they would give me my rights in (15) common with my fellow men. I told him we had begged and had tried every plan to obtain our rights, and now they had got us they determined to make us fight for them. I then told him I had two wives of my own that God had given me; they had been faithful and true to me and I should defend them while I had strength in my body to do so – and I did not deny them in any nation or country. He then patted me on the shoulder and said he gloried in my spunk gut, that he did not blame me at all for my feelings. At the foot of the Mohave we fell in with Elders John Quincy, Knowlton, & Orson Miles, <&> Charles Hardin and George Harden. We travelled on, nothing of importance occurred until we reached Los Vegas – we found a few indians there. We then fell in with 40 or 50 indians, they seemed friendly as soon as they found who we were, but they inquired very particularly into our religious tenets. As I could talk (16) rather the best indian in the crowd, they directed their conversation more particularly to me. I had no difficulty in convincing them that Bros. Knowlton, Miles and myself were Mormons, but the balance they said might be Mormon papooses (children) but there was not much Mormon in them, showing on their finger nails how much. We then came on to the Muddy – the company went on ahead, leaving Mr Williams and myself with the mail. They reached the Muddy a little before day, when the Indians discovered them, one got upon the hill and cried “Merikaes” (Americans) The squaws ran in every direction, but we soon arrived with the mail, an Indian also arrived there from the Virgin; by that time they had surrounded the party and seemed to be pretty savage, but when they learned from this Indian who we were they treated us very friendly – some of the children stole some few articles. One of the indians stole a pistol from us, and Isaac the chief of the Rio Virgin made him give it up – an indian overtook us about half way across (17) the desert with it. Isaac travelled with us about half way up the Rio Virgin to his home. He told me to tell Brigham that he had not stole anything from the Mormons; he paused a little, and then said, rather reluctantly, nor from the Merikats neither; and that he did not intend to steal anything from the Mormons, as they had never inter- rupted him. He said that the Mormons could pass there whenever they pleased, but the Merikats had shot his men and killed them, and he intended to kill the Merikats. He said “tell Brigham to speak to God for me, for I don’t want to be sick.” We then came and met Bell’s train going down from the Santa Clara to the Virgin, all in good health and spirits, but were still a little afraid of the indians. We came on to the Santa Clara – got there in the night – the Indians raised considerable excitement and wanted to know who we were. When they learned who we were they began to holloa out for Benjamin, one of the brethren; they built up fires & went for him. We told them we had (18) to eat and they got some corn for us but we did not see fit to take it as we had nothing to pay for it and we thought they were in a worse fix than we were. I arrived at Provo, on the 2nd of December, we had bad weather from the rim of the basin – found the brethren in all the settlements in good spirits. I arrived in this city last evening and made the report of my mission to Prest B. Young – he spent two hours asking me questions; and blessed me and said I was welcome home. Dec. 12. 1857 Statement of William W. Wall. His Australian Mission – difficulties in Los Angelos – Interview with Beale’s wagon master -